Monday, September 22, 2008

The Unthinkable? Not so much...

I have gone and done it and I fear that all the denim jumper wearing homeschoolers of the planet will come over and smack me, but I am quite content with what I have done.

We entered the world of cyber school. The free, tax payer funded type. Gasp now, get it over with and then read on. I will tell you why...

I love, love, love the idea of a classical education and having been trying to do that for almost four years now. First I used Sonlight and got the boxed curriculum with the teacher's guides and really liked them. I would have liked them more if they had been on a disc and "clickable" (like Homeschool Tracker, but with all of Sonlight's curriculum pre-loaded). I would have stuck with it more if each year was not progressively more and more expensive. I love that curriculum, but I hated the steep price.

Then I put together my own. I got all the best of each subject and formed them into one school day. I loved it. I still love it and am quite hesitant to not use my own curriculum, but I am a gal that needs some sort of accountability and can slip into a lazy zone, with an attitude of, "they're doing fine! We will get to that book/project/lesson tomorrow".

On the flip side I am also a gal that likes all my ducks in a row. Check off the list and make sure that tomorrow's list is ready! It's a lot easier when someone else is double checking your list. That is kind of where I am right now. I had to put my, "Why We Homeschool" criteria in a real order and see what was most important to me.

I usually tell people that we homeschool to give our children a Christ based, classical education, and that is all true. But I hesitate to give the number one answer. Frankly, I have no desire for my kids to emulate the traits I see in LOTS of brick and mortar school children. They probably would not appreciate that, since most people curious as to why we homeschool have young ones in school.

But mainly, I want them to have the best possible education possible, and in this day and age I do not see that happening in a class room of thirty that one poor teacher has to teach with no authority to do much of anything (regarding discipline, etc.) with students that know it. Each kid is different and a cookie cutter education tends to leave some far behind. So for those two and various other reasons, we homeschool. Yet K.Z. is not the student I know that he can be. I think we both need more structure.

When I was a kid learning came very easy for me. I was taught something, I mastered it quickly, got bored repeating it and got excited when we moved on. I erroneously assumed that would be the case for each of my kids as well. When we started homeschooling and K.Z. hadn't mastered reading while potty training I changed my approach. Obviously I was doing something wrong. Then Xena started school and is an exact replica of me as a child, learning wise. Two kids, two different styles. Hmmm, what a concept. Who'd a thunk it?

So I am delving into a new educational world and excited to see what may happen with a bit more structure and accountability. I had a lot of misconceptions when I started journeying down this path that were soon squashed by some research. Hopefully this will prove fruitful.

There are the well meaning people that tell me that K.Z. is still young and that what he has fallen behind on he will catch up fast, as boys learn slower than girls in a lot of cases. I believe that, I know it is true, but I am not willing to risk him missing something fundamental just to prove that theory. So I am handing over a small portion of the reins and letting a professional come in and help me derive the best curriculum plan for him.

Pray for me. This does not come easy for me.

7 comments:

Carolyn said...

Bottom Line: you are doing what you think is best for your kids; yo can't go wrong with that. Have peace in your decision. God will always direct you to where you are suppose to be. Trust Him.

Susie said...

You are already in my prayers, and I will continue them with this. :o) {{{HUGS}}}

And remember I'm only a phonecall away...or 15 minutes by car to Target or B&N. *wink*

Luke said...

I look forward to hearing about your experiences with cyber school. May it work out well for your family.

~Luke

Heather said...

{Hugs}

Is like coming out of the homeschooler closet? LOL!

I know HSLDA is really against these cyber-schools, but {shrug} everyone has to do what's best for their own family. I know one family who uses one here in WI and they love it. In addition to free curricula, I believe that they even got a free laptop out of it!

I'm definitely keeping it open as an option for us toward the high-school years for various reasons. One is that in our state, public school students who qualify can take free in-state college classes for high-school credit. If I wanted to have one of the boys take a class without being affiliated with a cyber school, I'd have to pay full price for the class. With the cyber school, it would be absolutely free!

Good luck! I can't wait to hear how it goes. :-)

Aduladi' said...

HSLDA is such a great organization that we actually considered them as we were weighing our options (since you cannot even be represented by them if you are in a cyber school!), LOL! That was actually one of our "cons".

The best part of this (cyber school) option is that it is easy to get out of it, if I decide it is not for us, but I do like your point Heather about High School options!

Mrs. Sam said...

Hey sisters in schooling...I do both! My daughter is in grade nine at home and she used Saxon Math with D.I.V.E cd's...have you seen grade nine math lately...eegads. So we do some school on our own, and other school with a little help from people who know a little more in that area where I am weak. The burden it took from me..well, it was amazing. And let me also say this about that...my one girlfriend used ABEKA DVD for grd 7 and 8 for both her daughters. The oldest now in conventional highschool in grade 12 is holding over a 90% average and the other isn't far behind. Something to be said for excellence.

GDS said...

A - I have a good friend who is a cyber teacher and she raves about the program. Many many of her families are similar to yours. They want their children out of the "institutional" system, and like the flexibility and support it provides. A vast number supplement with religious training.

She considers her students to be Home Schooled.

Our school board keeps raising taxes, so you might as well get something out of it!