There have been quite a few posts here about the trouble Will is having at school. Here's a run-down of what's going on...
Will's original teacher, Mrs. P, is on leave for cancer treatments. She is not expected back until April 1st at the earliest. Her leave started during the Thanksgiving holidays. The two weeks after the Thanksgiving holiday his class had a substitute that a friend of mine called a boot-camp kindergarten teacher. It was a rough couple of weeks; Will spent the whole time on yellow or orange.
Then there was winter break. That was a great 14 days for us. We all worked together, enjoyed each others' company, and accomplished things together. I truly loved having all three boys home at the same time and not having a rigid schedule to follow. I felt like a good parent and LOVED IT!
After winter break, there was a three day school week with a different substitute. I'm not really sure, but I think this was a very lax week as I remember Will saying they got to play a lot.
The following Monday, there was yet ANOTHER substitute, Mrs. B. She is a certified teacher (but new to the work-force) and will be remaining in Will's class until Mrs. P. returns. She has been teaching his class for two weeks now. The majority of his days ended on orange or red; although he's been on yellow the last two days, thankfully. I don't know if it's him or if the teacher is super-strict or if it's just a transition period. Jeff and I requested a meeting with his teacher and that will be tomorrow.
Jeff and I met with the principal last week to express our concerns. Although it was good to talk with him, nothing is resolvable at this time and the situation is still very real. Jeff and I both feel that the school and teachers have done everything they possibly can to make the transition easy for the kids, but there has just been SO MUCH transitioning.
Will has more than once said that he wonders who his next teacher will be. He has cried a few days that he doesn't want to go to school. He has said that he follows Mrs. P's rules and shouldn't be getting in trouble for the things he is doing. It has been a rough couple of months!
I've also received a phone call on two different occasions from the PE teacher and then today the reading instructor walked Will out to the car to let me know he has been out-right defiant the last two days. His behavior is not acceptable, but this is just so unlike him.
I've talked with another mother from Will's class and she says that her child is having the same issues. This mother also says that she's spoken with another mother who's child is also struggling.
There's so much to this that I don't even have the time to write it out. There is so much spinning in my head going back and forth about what to do.
In the end, I am not satisfied with the amount of cards being pulled on Will - some of them being pulled for what I would consider normal 6 year old behavior. As a result, Will has not had any positive reinforcement from his teachers in two months. There have been days that I didn't want to send him to school because I didn't want him to feel like he was in trouble all the time. In fact, this past Friday, I did keep him out; I told him he could have a "vacation day". It was time for him to just have some FUN and RELAX.
You know something needs to change when you don't want to send your child to school anymore.
I am seriously considering pulling him out for the remainder of the school year and homeschooling. I feel like I would be able to give him a more consistent, understanding environment. I certainly feel competent enough to teach him what he needs to learn in order to be ready for 1st grade. At this time, my intention would be to return him to public school next year... unless we all absolutely love homeschooling.
There is a part of me that really wants to do this. I cannot express how much I actually enjoyed our winter break together. Having a task, working on it together, and accomplishing it. I don't remember a time that I have enjoyed more with just the boys and me at home.
Before you question about socialization... let me just say that Will is the most social 6 year old boy I know. He strikes up conversations with strangers, feels completely confident talking with adults, and getting rough-n-tumble with kids. We attend church three times a week, he'll be playing soccer in the spring, and he's showing an interest in learning to play the piano (another post in itself). Then of course, there are homeschooling co-ops and such. I seriously don't think socialization is an issue - even if we decide to homeschool for a few years.
The down-side to pulling Will out of school is that he won't be with his friends daily. He also won't be there when Mrs. P returns. I think that although there will be yet another transition back to her, in the end it would be a positive note to finalize the year. The kids just adore her. Another down-side is that I won't have even less time to myself... which is totally selfish, but a reality I need to consider.
Like I said... there are so many thoughts in my head. Pros and cons to both sides. Too much to list right now, so I'll leave it to you:
If you are a homeschooler, what were your reasons for choosing homeschooling? What do see as pros and cons to homeschooling? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
If you send your kids to school, what are your thoughts about homeschooling? Have you ever considered it and why did you choose not to do it?
I'm just a mess about this whole situation. I'm heart-broken for Will, disappointed in his behavior, irritated and the whole situation, and just really don't know what to do... please pray that Jeff and I will have the wisdom to make the right choice for our son and our family.