I have to admit that I am not dealing well with our transition to isolation. Being suburban born and raised, I felt fairly isolated just living in a small town, and now we are 16 miles away from the nearest small town.
So, I guess it is no surprise that I am having more days where I contemplate putting the girls in public school and getting a job (not that there are any jobs in our area that really appeal to me, anyway). I worry about Eva being so isolated, since she is so social.
Hubby and I have been discussing the public school option for a little while, but when we think about the pros and cons, homeschooling is still winning at the moment. Here's our general thoughts:
Public school pros: Eva would be around more people throughout the week, and would have some playmates other than Charlotte.
Public school cons: Eva would be exposed to more peer pressure, would probably be bored in a lot of classes, she might have to repeat Kindergarten because of the cut off dates (I am hopeful that the school wouldn't give us problems since she is enrolled in Seton, so she would be a transfer, but I just can't guarantee they wouldn't fight me on it), she would be away from home for about 9 hours a day, 5 days a week (so if we take out sleeping hours she would have around 4 hours a day at home, and would probably have homework to do during those hours), she might feel even more isolated come summers and school breaks because she would be missing her school friends.
Homeschooling pros: Eva is doing very well with her school work, she works hard and gets done with her formal school work quickly, she has time to be a kid and play, she is around to play with Charlotte, we can take a day off to travel and can take MIL to her doctor's appointments in the city, she gets to see daddy at lunch time (we aren't seeing much of him this time of year...he won't be home until their bedtime tonight), Our school and sleeping schedules can change with the farming seasons, we can slow down on school work if she is just not getting it, we can speed ahead on things that she gets quickly, she has my (almost) undivided attention.
Homeschooling cons: The girls are home ALL DAY, EVERY DAY and I don't get much of a break, the girs tend to fight with each other as the day wears on, planning school can be very draining, and I can get very frustrated if I can't seem to get a concept across, being a little bit type A, I worry about whether or not we are succeding at school.
So, what do I do to make our lives less isolated? We go to town every Monday for Eva's (private) piano lesson. We also go to town twice a month for storytime at the library, which the girls love (I really wish more moms came to it though...it was so much fun in our old town to see all my friends at the library's weekly story time...but here, most kids are brought by their grandparents/daycare providers...) Eva also goes into town every Wednesday to Relgious Education at church with grandma. I wonder if maybe I am projecting the isolated thing on her, because she seems to get along great wherever we go.
I have contemplated getting her involved in Girl Scouts, but the nearest troop is around 40 miles away. I have contemplated starting a Little Flowers group, but then I'd have to start it...I don't know of any homeschoolers in town with younger kids, and I am pretty sure we are the only Catholic homeschoolers in the area...none at the local church, anyway.
Hubby wonders if we should put her in some sort of organized sport, but those only really exist for little kids in the summer months. I am concerned about how often they would practice and have games...I don't relish the thought of driving to and from town every day of the week, but I might be willing to give it a try.
So, if you have ever homeschooled in an isolated area (or were homeschooled in an isolated area) what are your suggestions for getting through it? I am sure in a couple of years, I'll feel much more at home and have some sort of community feeling...I'm just not sure how to do so in a small town while not sending my girls to the local school.