One might argue that there's no way for me to predict how any decision, no matter how small, could affect them 15 years down the road, but I don't think that's entirely true. I'm quite sure that feeding the kids a wide variety of healthful foods (tonight we had a dish called boerenkool... it had been suggested by a friend, and it was delicious!) is the right choice, just like homeschooling M1 is the right decision. As much as I fought against it, medicating his ADHD has been a good thing for him, too. Sometimes the pros very obviously outweigh the cons.
But those... well, they weren't easy decisions, but hindsight is 20/20.
(Typing pause for earthquake... during a tornado watch... because Oklahoma is WINNING. Thank you for your patience.)
Right... so back to it. Pros, cons, and decision-making. I've mentioned before that my schedule is somewhat out of control. Some days aren't so bad, but at least two days per week I'm pushed to, if not beyond, my limit. Errands are getting pushed off to evenings or weekends because I simply don't have time to do them during the days any more. School days with M1 are taking longer the older he gets, plus we have swim, allergy shots, events to attend... and somehow I'm supposed to keep the house in livable shape, too! I feel like I'm not able to give M2 her fair share of attention, either, because when she gets home I'm still trying to catch up from the day, then she has violin practice or lesson, homework, sometimes therapy, and then I'm off to fix supper. After supper the kids take their showers and brush their teeth, clamber onto the couch so I can read them a chapter out of the latest book, and then it's time for melatonin and bed so we can get up bright and early the next morning to do it all over again!
It's exhausting just typing about it, and I'm tired. M1 is holding up all right because he gets the odd downtime in the car or on the odd days where we don't have anywhere to go. I think M2 is suffering, though... either that or she's headed back into a depressive state... or both. It's kind of hard to tell.
I've been considering bringing M2 home next year (she's been asking for sooner, but there are lots of complications there and it's doubtful that early withdrawal is a viable option). The problem is that I'm not entirely sure it's the best decision for her. For me? You betcha. It would change the dynamics of the day, but at least I would be able to control scheduling so I didn't have to be two or three places at once. More on this later. Would it work for M1? He claims not to care although I'm sure it would affect him in more ways than he has considered yet. M2 is a Chatty Cathy worker; he prefers working in silence.
I've been trying to compile a list of pros and cons of bringing her home. Here's what I've got so far, and I have hope that you guys will be able to help me add to either side of the list.
- I would be in control of the schedule. Though my schedule definitely wouldn't be any emptier, it would would mean later wake-up times and probably later bedtimes and I could leave enough time in between events to keep me from dashing across town at speeds that aren't exactly legal.
- I would save money on tuition. It might not be a ton, because I'd probably let M2 enroll in yoga or swim and would have to purchase extra curriculum, but it'd be something. Given the fact that we want to move (and like wouldn't move any closer to M2's current school than we are currently), this would allow for a little extra savings.
- No fundraising. No PTA meetings. No missing out on field trips due to scheduling conflicts. We could participate in volunteering opportunities around town, too, which I feel gives back a lot more than raising money for an individual school.
- The kids would get more time together. They miss each other during the school day, and I'm blessed to know quite a few homeschooling families that have kids close to their ages so they shouldn't get too lonely.
- M2 would miss her friends. She claims she wouldn't, but she would, and I'll be honest... I'm not very good at getting in touch with other parents and scheduling get-togethers. Plus when she's depressed, I don't want her to think that hibernating at home is an acceptable solution.
- M2 enjoys competition. If she's at home, she can't be the "top" of her class because the only person to compete with is M1, and she hates, hates, HATES feeling like she's second best.
- She does well at school, and the teachers do their very best to try to push her when they see that she's working ahead. They currently have her working a grade ahead in reading, and the teacher sent home extra math pages last week because M2 insisted that she wanted them.
- M2's learning style is quite different than M1's. He is thriving on a fairly classical education. He loves schedule and structure and likes doing (more or less) the same thing each day. M2 would get bored. There will be days where she will want to do nothing but math... and then not touch math again for a week. Maybe not initially, but eventually, she'll fight me like M1 never has. I'm not quite sure I'm up for that. I'm a little too Type A.
Of course, there's Option #3, which is to transfer her to a decent public school. It would have a different schedule, thus saving me tuition and swim day chaos, and I wouldn't have to worry about the religion issue that I didn't even touch on (her current private school is Catholic, which our family is not). But I'm not sure that's the answer, either. With so many schools being taken on and off the "Needs Improvement" list, who can even tell what schools are really worth the effort any more? And I would miss our week off in October, which is when we would take our family vacations!
I don't know. I thought typing it out might help, but it hasn't clarified anything for me. Thoughts? Anyone?