I once taught at a wonderful public school who’s philosophy was a variation of “Every student is a teacher, every teacher is a student and every parent is both”. Recently, I learned about a whole educational movement I had never ever heard of before, but had been actively engaged in for several years: Afterschooling. Oh!!! so that’s what the kids and I have been up to!
In simplest terms, Afterschooling is when your children attend public school, but you augment their education at home in a structured and meaningful way. This is like how Bruce attends our local school districts part time Kindergarten program, and then in our off hours I work with him on math, reading, and science concepts that are at his appropriate level.
As a former teacher who has worked in one of the best public schools in California, as well as one that was really struggling, I am 100% committed to public education. (For more on this, please see my post: http://teachingmybabytoread.blog.com/2011/04/04/womens-retreat/.)
However, I understand and respect that Homeschooling is also a viable and meaningful option for many families, for a variety of reasons. I am really excited at how so many districts, including the one in which we live, have developed outstanding Homeschool resource centers to help assist families who choose Homeschooling.
For us, Afterschooling has been the answer up until now. Bruce has truly learned and benefited from all of the social interaction school has provided. He loves his teacher, his friends, PE, library time, even music. The Kindergarten curriculum itself, has been pretty simple for him, and his teacher has been very supportive of us supplementing at home.
Next year Bruce has been accepted into the number #1 performing public school in our state, which promises to be be more challenging. We are very exited about this move, and also a bit apprehensive! It is hard to predict if I’ll feel the need to continue with Afterschooling for Bruce or not. I’m hopeful that the new school will meet all of his learning needs, and we’ll be able to save our afterschool hours for home, Cub Scouts, soccer and playing in the back yard. Of course, that will also free my time up to do more activites with Jenna. Does that make us Beforeschoolers as well?