This is not about math. It's about finding a good experience for my son.
My son is 9. He was at a freeschool for Kindergarten through 2nd grade, where he got to play all day with lots of friends, and zoom around on bikes and scooter, and it was mostly good. When the school closed in 2010, one parent opened a mini-school in her home. That was a good experience too. She was hoping to expand, but that didn’t work out. There was a different teacher involved this school year, and the location has changed a bunch. They have just now decided that it’s not sustainable (there were only two students for most of the fall), and will end in December. So I am looking for a good situation for my son. I see 3 options:
1. Start a mini-school in my home, contract with a marvelous teacher / mentor, and find other students to join my son. I like the idea of schools as community centers, which I wrote about here. (Pros: I get to find just the right person, and if it works out really well, I can encourage other working parents to try it; cons: this will take lots of time.)
2. Send him to a school with a good philosophy: Diablo Valley School (pros: kids make the decisions, $760 a month is affordable; cons: far away, not much outside play space) or Crestmont (pros: close, almost affordable; cons: so different from what he’s used to; unknowns: how much choice do the kids have, how much playtime, what is their day like? And there may not be any openings...).
3. Find an unschooling family who’d be interested in having him join them 3 days a week (TWTh). I’m not sure what the pros and cons are, but I am excited by this possibility. If a family you know (close to Richmond, California) would enjoy having another kid around, we’d like to talk with you.
If you can see any other options, I’d love to hear them. (Public school is not an option on my list, because academics are pushed too early to be developmentally appropriate, there's way too much testing, etc. I know of one public school I think would be good for my son, but it's in Minnesota. I can’t afford most private schools. I am a single parent, and I love my work, so staying home is not an option for me.)
My son is very smart, but is 'behind' academically because he's never done conventional school. He loves biking, trampoline, cars, taking photos and videos, and being silly. I sometimes imagine him becoming an engineer or inventor, but there are so many possible paths, I mostly want him to fill his days with adventures, learning what he's moved to learn.
Got any ideas for us?