Part of the reason, among others, that my husband and I made the choice to homeschool our kids is because of our nomadic lifestyle (read more about our decision to homeschool and how we plan to school our kids while traveling full time HERE). It would be a nightmare to put our kids in and out of different schools if we are moving every 4-6 months. Homeschooling would allow us the freedom to spend as much time as possible with our kids while traveling. We were excited about taking control of their education, to use the world and its history, cultures, languages as platforms for learning. What better way to learn, right?
P.S. We are not those out-there, super-ultra-religious homeschoolers who don't believe in global warming or sex-ed or evolution. So, kick that thought out of your mind. We may be a little bit crazy, but we're not stupid.
We were really passionate about homeschooling. We still are. Yet, here we are, in Bogota, putting Desmond in a traditional preschool. What changed?
"How is he ever going to learn anything?"
"He needs to be around other kids."
"How is he going to know to say please and thank you and other such niceties without it being taught to him by a teacher?"
"He'll be so behind his peers if he doesn't go to school."
And on, and on, and on. We just rolled our eyes, said we'd think about it, and went on our way settling in to our new lives in Bogota. Our apartment is located near one of the major Colombian universities. Because of this, our neighborhood is mostly comprised of college-age students. There were no readily available kids for Des to play with. That's when I started thinking that putting him in daycare might be a good idea (daycares here are more similar to pre-k programs back in the States). I brought the idea up with Billy and he agreed to it strictly for the development of Des's social and language skills.
So, we found a daycare (they're called Jardines here) close to our house and put Des in for 3 days a week, from 7:30 - 12:30. The next month, he was up to 5 days a week. Now, he's there 5 days a week from 7:30 until 2:30. So, basically, he's in school full time. And I have some massive mommy guilt about this one partly because we were so committed to homeschooling but mostly because I actually ENJOY the time away from my son. I'm not going to lie...I even considered putting him in Super Full Time (7:30 - 5:00) until my mommy guilt really kicked me in the ass.
I love my kid. I love being around him (most of the time). But I can't deny that these precious hours in the morning have been wonderful: I get to actually talk to my husband over breakfast, breakfast can take as long as I want it to take, I have time to do a proper yoga class, I could catch up on my blog reading...
And then he comes home. And he tells me story after story (all in Spanish!) about Lulu (his "girlfriend") and Salome (who doesn't shower) and how much he loves his teachers and I start feeling sad and a little bit jealous because shouldn't that time be mine? Shouldn't he be gushing to everyone about how much fun he had that day with me? Shouldn't I be that kind of mom to him?
"This is good," I think. "This is good."