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Friday, September 10, 2004

I have a headache, and it's only 6.30am.

We still haven't figured out what to do about Emily's schooling. We had almost decided on the homeschooling option, but now we have cold feet, mainly because we worry about her missing out on the IB opportunity.

Points in favour of being homeschooled :

  • Her school day is very long. She gets onto the bus at 8.40, school starts at 9, ends at 4.10, and she gets off the bus again at 4.45. That doesn't leave much time for anything else, especially if you factor in her homework. On climbing nights, for instance, she'd have half an hour at home before we had to leave for the gym.

  • Her geography teacher is a moron. They're "doing Africa", and last week he very authoritatively told the class that you pronounce "Johannesburg" with the J sound as in Juan. Maybe he thinks they speak Spanish there? He also told them that South Africa is the richest nation in Africa, and they choose "not to share" with the other countries because they are "greedy". We had a look at the textbook and it's a perfectly balanced, post-Apartheid book, so we're not sure where the heck the teacher is getting his information.

  • I think we could do interesting, challenging work at home.

  • She is currently unhappy and desperately wants to quit school.

  • Points against homeschooling :

  • She's struggling to make friends at school, but I can't see it being any easier in the homeschool groups. It may be even harder, in fact, as there are fewer kids in the "potential friendship" pool. And, is it healthy to quit things when the going gets rough? Part of me says - yes, of course, why be miserable when you can be happy? But part of me (and all of Bobby) says no, it's necessary to work through these things.

  • She'd walk out of the IB program. There are not many places available, so I can't see them accepting her back again if she decided that homeschooling was not for her. If she stayed with the program and graduated with the IB diploma, she'd have a good shot at entrance to the elite colleges. If she were to go to UCF, it would probably enable her to go directly to her second year, as well as getting a scholarship.

  • I could go on and on but I need to wake the girls and make breakfast for everyone. If anyone has any thoughts on this, I'd love to hear them.

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