I've had this post in mind for at least 3 months, and I'm just now getting around to writing it out. Mostly because I've become flat-out lazy about posting, but also because I haven't quite known how to go about it. While I am devoted to homeschooling, DH and I have decided to enroll BB in a local church's half-day kindergarten for the upcoming school year.
The decision wasn't an easy one and it is not one that we are entering into lightly. We only plan for BB to be in school for this one year. Mostly to gain some much-needed socialization skills. I know that many homeschool parents feel that socialization is over-used as an excuse to place children in school. For the most part, I do agree. However, they are also not BB's parent.
Something that I have not mentioned on my blog before is that BB is autistic. You probably wouldn't immediately guess it upon first meeting him, unless you have had experience with such individuals before. BB is high-functioning, and is merely on the spectrum of autism. In other words, he comes across as quirky and precocious. He knows far more academically than most of his peers, yet is a year or more behind when it comes to interpersonal skills. The school has a small class size of 12 students, and the 3 hour school day should move quickly enough to prevent BB from becoming too bored academically or overwhelmed from social interaction.
There is also the fact that Baby Deux is due any day now. I don't quite trust my abilities to maintain a consistent homeschool schedule with an infant in the house (although I know many who have done so). During my postpartum with BB, I really struggled with depression, far beyond typical baby blues. In an attempt to avoid that this time around, I think placing BB's education in the hands of someone else temporarily is wise. I am already feeling conflicted about adding a sibling to BB's life; I do not need to feel as though I am failing him in his education as well.
I am sure that there will be drawbacks to placing BB in a school setting. While he will gain some much-needed interaction skills, he will also learn things I will wish he hadn't. There is no perfect solution. But this solution has what we believe to be the fewest drawbacks. Prayers for BB, his teacher, and his classmates are appreciated. :)