January 3, 2013

Homeschool Decision


As I have mentioned previously, I am now in my 2nd year of homeschooling my kids.  I started out 6 years ago homeschooling where I made my own curriculum up and did no regulatory testing to know if I was keeping up on what I needed to for my kids.  My husband and I were uncomfortable with NOT knowing where we are in comparison to other kids their age/ grade level.  So we ended up putting them into public school, until 2011. 

My 2 oldest were struggling with public school.  My oldest son's teacher told us that he was struggling because he (teacher) was holding the class to a higher standard than what other teachers in the school hold kids.  He said that teachers get behind each year and teachers were just trying to catch up all the time, teaching for tests...  He said in his class, he was teaching at the level that kids their age should be at.  Hmmm.... Aren't all kids supposed to be at the same level?  Not just trying to play "catch up" and learning for tests?

I dug further into things, wondering if any other parents had some concerns also.  I found lots of them, and lots of kids that struggled with the cramming for tests.  Lots of teachers who really had no business with teaching (though I have to say my boys had a few teachers that were great). 

I didn't want to get back into traditional homeschooling because we would be in the same situation that we had been in before.  So what could we do?

About that time, I had got a postcard in the mail from a 'public school online'.  I did some digging and made some phone calls.  This 'school' was like a homeschool.  You, as the parent, were with the child daily, helping them with their work.  All of their work is layed out for them on their personal login page...  They have an actual teacher that talks to them every 2 weeks via phone call and at least 2 times a week via online classroom (think chat room meets PowerPoint). The teacher is available at all times during school hours. The books are FREE! 

My boys also participate in all of the required state testing. 

A common worry of people with any homeschooling is that the children are being shielded from things that they need to know...  We are active in church, in sports, and with music lessons, so our kids are around other children a lot.  No worries on not being exposed.  But in the things that they are exposed to, we are able to be there to help explain and answer questions.  This should be a parents job anyways, in my opinion.

IF you are used to the freedom of traditional homeschool, you might not like that you have a start and stop date (first day of school and last day), but you have freedom of hours, you can do school on Saturdays, or can take vacation whenever you want.  They have a "spring break" but you can change that around to have it whenever you want, or skip it all together and get out of school a week or more earlier at the end.  You don't have the freedom of choosing the curriculum, but I don't have much to complain about on the curriculum that they do use.  (PLUS IT'S FREE!!! Did I already say that?) 

For us, this has worked out great.  I love having my boys at home.  I love that when they are exposed to things of this world, that we are with them able to explain things.  I love that we know everything that they are learning.  I love that I now know that they are learning above and beyond what they would be learning in traditional public school. 

I'm sure you will continue to hear bits and pieces of what we do, but if you have questions, I will do what I can to answer them! 

8 comments:

ASHLEY said...

Hi, I am very interested in getting more information on this. Can you please email me some info on where I caan read more about it. My email is mendez405@hotmail.com Thank you so much.

Anonymous said...

I am a retired elementary teacher who applauds your decion to homeschool. But I do have one major disagreement with you. NO - all children are Not at the same level nor should they be. they don't all walk or crawl or talk or potty train at the same "level" or age. Yes, there are some standards but please do not expect all children to be the same.

Joy ☺ said...

Yay! I didn't realize you were still blogging! Then I remembered your blog name and found you! So I added you bag to my blog list. I thought you had quit for some reason.
Do you feel like the curriculum with homeschooling is easy to follow and teach? That has been my concern forever. I feel like I'm not adequate enough to teach the skills they need.

Beth said...

Hello Sarah! I've found your blog from The Urban Homesteader...from a comment or possibly something you wrote. We share the same state! AND we have recently made the big move from a big, beautiful house to a little country house on just under and acre. We also felt that God was asking us to do something else. We have recently adopted a little boy...Israel, who is six and is originally from the Congo. He makes the number of children...some already grown...to 9. We have a lot of fun and this is the year to start homesteading! I've been working on my raised beds and have decided to do some other gardening as well. (Have you watched the film "Back to Eden"? You can google it...) Anyway, I wanted to say hi and by the way, I also homeschool two of our children. Hop over to my blog and get to know me, too! I will...when I have time...try to peruse YOUR blog!!
Blessings,
Beth

Italian Corner said...

i love your pretty tastes and your attractive ideas

Anonymous said...

Started reading your blog before you got all the animals - just wanted to say glad you're back! Congrats on the new place - the LORD is indeed good :)

~April

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Anonymous said...

Seems today home schooling is the only way to shield kids from things they do NOT need to know, and actually teach them things the need to know in life.