If you've read my blog I'm sure you know I live in Chicago and this year we just got a new mayor. No, I'm not going to make this a political post, but with a new mayor comes many changes. Some of those being made to our schools, if you are not form Chicago you may not know that Chicago Public Schools (CPS) cover a huge area, there are many under performing schools in our city, but also many great ones.
I'm lucky we live in a good district and my children would actually attend a public Montessori which is pretty rare around here. I was very excited about this being a former Montessori teacher myself. Now, though they are going to add two weeks a year and 90 minutes a day to CPS and are not giving schools any extra money, while giving teachers a 45 minute lunch and 60 minute prep period. I think it is great teachers will have extra time to prep and eat that is much needed, but with no extra money I'm not sure who they will have watch the children, which is what worries me. They are going to have to hire people to do this and since there is no money they are going to have to let go teachers, which will increase class size.
All in all I think it is just a wacky way to do things. Basically they are saying: Add 90 minutes to your school day and two weeks to the school year, you figure out what the kids will do with that extra time, and no we will not give you any extra money and teacher's can not have a raise, are you crazy? Figure it out for yourself we are just telling you have to do it. So that means kids will go to school 7.5 hours a day and for 90 minutes of that day I'm not sure who will supervise them, plus I just think it is too long for a 5 year old. I don't think I'd be so worried if my kids were older or they had a good plan in place, but now I'm not sure if I will want to send my kids there and we can't afford private school.
This has brought me to consider......homeschooling or they have CPS virtual school (which is mostly done from home, but meets one day a week). I never thought I would ever consider these options (my husband isn't crazy about the idea but said he would keep an open mind), but I don't want to send my children to a school I am not happy with especially for 7.5 hours everyday, that's almost a full work week. I need to research more about homeschooling because this is an option I never really thought of before. I would love to hear opinions: positive or negative about homeschooling.
Luckily my oldest has one more year of preschool, so I am going to watch how the grammar schools new day unfolds and how things work out. I know I probably worry too much, but as a parent you want to do what's best for your child and I want to make sure I make the right decision.