Homeschooling Tips and Tidbits: Day 5

Home Education Advice You Didn’t Know You Needed!

Day 5: Don’t Make Irrevocable Decisions About Your Home school Before June 1

Every year the same old thing happens. The co-op or hybrid school we’ve been attending or exploring announces in February that they are taking registration for the next academic year. As it usually goes, the earlier we register our kid(s) the lower the fees. In some circumstances, once we’ve signed the dotted line, we are responsible to pay for the entire year at a program whether our kids attend or not. Then there’s the soft pressure to ” make sure our child gets the best teachers, courses, equipment, time slots, etc.,” if we sign up early.

Now, I’m all about signing up kids for fun programs and academic endeavors, but a few years ago I quit caving into pressure to shell out registration fees 6 – 8 months out. I’ve been burned too many times!

Invariably, around March, the academic doldrums set in. I get tired and
cranky with the monotony. We get spring fever and decide we want more freedom, or a different curriculum or better social situations next year. Usually, this eases out by May as the year winds down and I get clarity. Yet, what if I started making decisions and plopping down hundreds of dollars on a program that would happen eight months hence when I’m entering the doldrums phase of our school year?  This is when disaster has happened.

Here’s what I do now. I wait for the school year to end, then I breathe
deeply and enjoy a few unstructured days. After a week or two, when my mind is refreshed and I’ve had time to pray and ponder the next school year, then I make decisions.  If I must pay an extra $50 or $100, I figure I’ve saved that money in lost fees, lost interest and aggravation.

Naturally, there are times when you know! You’ve researched, toured, planned and you are certain about a decision, so you commit in March. This is a good feeling and one I’ve had on a few rare occasions.  However, I find that when I wait and live with a decision internally before laying down cash and signing papers, then I fare better.  Children, circumstances
and family dynamics can change drastically in a few short months.  It works better for our family to have the flexibility to move with these changes rather than be locked into a school or program that may not be a good fit.

Bottom line:  Hybrid schools, co-ops, classes and programs are great resources for home school families.  But, don’t feel pressured to make early decisions.  Sign up when you feel comfortable with the decision and its impact on your family. 


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