Last year after I pulled DD out of preschool I was eager to get her into a less socially volatile program. I found one that I really liked that was geared towards homelearning families, but they weren’t taking 3 year olds, so I had to wait. As soon as I could I went to sign her up, but then they announced they’d changed the program and were looking for 5 and 6 year olds. I pestered the teacher throughout the summer until she finally agreed to let us in. Well, it was due to start next week and now we’ve decided not to go.
Our decision to homeschool was a big part of it. Suddenly it didn’t seem so important that she be in some sort of program *now*. And I wondered what the point was given that I wasn’t intending to continue with any other sort of program once this one was through. And since getting more involved with the homelearning community, there were programs and events that were going to conflict with DD’s schedule.
There was also the pleasantly surprising realization that I was going to miss her. It was six hours a day, twice a week. As the time drew nearer, I found myself thinking it was an awfully long time to be away from her, and her away from me. And while I could be there with her the whole time if I wanted to, it then raised issues with childcare. DS is too active to be there without causing trouble, so it was either miss DD and be with DS, or the other way ’round. And while the plan was to have her be okay with me leaving her there after a while, it’s a total unknown as to how long that would take. The bottom line is that I would really miss her and I realized quite suddenly and surprisingly that I don’t want to be away from her for that long. It is actually a nice feeling.
But the biggest reason turned out to be money. Because DD is not yet kindergarten age, she does not qualify for government funding. The full fees were quoted to me as $400/month. This seemed reasonable back when getting her into the “best program possible” was of paramount importance to me. It seemed less so after deciding she is never going to school. Then last week the teacher told me that the fees were actually $450/month and that is when DH put his foot down. I’m glad he did, because I was just going to accept it. We talked about it and he put it this way: for 10 months of school it will cost $4500. That’s almost five grand for a year of education for a FOUR YEAR OLD. Pretty insane. I mean, what is the cost if she doesn’t go? Is she going to be hopelessly behind? Disadvantaged? I don’t think so. And if we really want her to do this program, she can go next year for almost half the cost.
So we decided to pull her out. I had a hard time telling the teacher because I really suck at stuff like that. I feel like I owe people, like I have obligations not to disappoint them. It’s not like DD took someone’s place (there are still spaces available) and it’s not like the program will be shut down b/c she isn’t there. I feel like an idiot for bugging the teacher so hard to let her in and then jamming out at the last minute, but she is actually a really cool person and didn’t make me feel at all rotten for doing so.
Now that the decision has been made, I am really happy about it. I don’t think I realized how much I would miss her until we made this decision. And I’m happy that I can do some things with DS! We’ll do some programs together, and DD can go into a few more (she’s already doing gym class) if she wants. And we can hang out more with the other homelearning families.