Rita comes from Brazil and now lives in a rural area in between a tiny town with about 300 people and a little town with about 3000, and she shares her thoughts on homeschooling. She says:
The tiny town is simply one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been. As I rode a bike through an amazing path by the sea with this exuberant green life, I decided this was worth a while longer to stay.
The big difference about these two options is the school. The tiny town obviously has no kindergarten. Instead, there is a wonderful lady doing some volunteer homeschooling work for two hours twice a week.
There is another tiny town close by (half an hour by bike) with a same kind of homeschooling hours program in which I could put Luísa into (and get fit while doing so ).
Besides these few hours, I’d need some babysitting hours to complement and give me some time to work. It would be very close to unschooling.
The 3000 people town has a really nice kindergarten that runs for 6 hours a day, five days a week. One thing about that kindergarten is that Luísa would be around 9 peers of the exact same age as her (this is a bit freaky for me to think about, because in real life, you are never around people the exact same age as you. I reckon this stimulates a bit more the competition among the peers).
In that kindergarten, they have a sort of strict program to follow. A nice program indeed with lots of arts and interesting games and outdoor activities in a beautiful setting. But I wonder if this has a bit too much structure for the wild cat that Luísa is.
I’m guessing the kids have to follow the program, there are only two teachers and they can´t simply have the children doing whatever they want there, it would be hard to manage them. At the same time, giving Luísa discipline is my weakest point and this school could be a good thing.
The six hours looks a bit extensive to me (although it would be liberating for the mama here). They work with the children from 8:30 till 2 or 2:30 pm. They use the children´s most fresh hours.
I kind of miss Luísa already just to imagine her there almost all day to come back to me tired. Of course, I’m assuming this, maybe she would love it and be still full of freshness to share with me. Actually, a mother that has a son in that school commented how happy her son comes back home. I’m sure Luísa would learn English there super fast and be with nice and tender caregivers.
At this point, I’m not even worried about having the time to surf anymore. We are here for a short time (about seven months, maybe) and I want to write and get this blog off the ground. So I’m left with the unschooling or not choice. Less school and less time for myself with more loving hours with my precious little one or more time for myself and more mind-controlling of her.
What scares me the most about schooling is making her fit immediately into the system. Making her sit and work with the watercolors even if she is not feeling like that to a point where not only self-control will be learned but conformity as well. And she is only three! I consider this a bit too early.
Back home in Brazil, she was going to a kindergarten in the mornings for four hours since she was two and had I read¨Two – Too Young For Preschool¨ before, I´d maybe had kept her home a bit longer. Although I needed some time for myself and I know all that school staff and trust them 100% in the loving and giving freedom criteria.
I´m finding that the choices about parenting are the most important ones in life and the most difficult to make.
I get full of anxiety, excitement, fears, insecurities and guilt feelings all mixed together, but hey, I´m no super mom right? So I´d better simply stop trying to be and be ok with my parenting choices. I´ll start with the tiny town and see how it goes. We will adapt as time goes by, and for now, the Christmas holidays will allow me a few days to give it some good thought.