Wednesday, June 22, 2011

We call it "school at home"

Because it sounds less formal that way.

Several of the questions you guys asked centered around homeschooling.
And now that I have 7 days of experience under my belt, sharing space with my spare tire, I consider myself nothing less than an expert.


Megan S asked:

Do you genuinely contemplate homeschooling or is it just a way to get PTB riled up?

Megan! I totally wish I had thought of that years ago. I could have proclaimed my intent to homeschool when Alex was a mere fetus, and made Pat the Bunny squirm for so much longer!

*Evil Cackle*

Of course that would just be mean, and I try not to be too mean to the mother of my dearest husband.

Unless provoked, naturally.

For instance, if she gloats over a cribbage victory, I feel like I must respond with a story of her falling down in Chick-fil-a. 

Fair is fair.

 But to answer your question, I am not just trying to get her dander up. We actually are legitimately considering homeschooling. As a matter of fact, there are books and binders and maps spread over my dining room table currently.
Operation Attempt Homeschooling began earlier this month.

But now that you've given me the idea...

Hey, Pat the Bunny! What are you doing in 2022? Can you help me chaperone Alex's high school prom?
I'll be hosting it in my living room.

Oh, I can be so naughty.

Let's move on.
Taylor and April were both wondering how things were going with this experiment.

So far it is going...good?
I feel the need to knock on some wood since we are so fresh at this.

We decided to start during the summer so that I could still have the chance to wave the white flag of surrender and get Alex enrolled in first grade if needed.
So far I haven't felt the need to pull out the flag. 

Here is what I like about it compared to traditional schooling:

1) I do not have to get up at the plumbers-crack of dawn to get her on the school bus.

2) I don't have to pack her lunch.

3) So far my reasons are purely selfish, are they not?

4) I enjoy knowing what she's learning about, because it makes it very easy and natural to reinforce the concepts throughout the day during our non-schooling hours. I never really knew what she was learning about at school-- because, darn it, she wouldn't tell me.

5) I like watching her learn new things, and I enjoy having time with her while she is well rested and receptive to instruction. When she got off the bus after school, I received a disheveled and fatigued version of my daughter who had time to do her homework, eat dinner, and have a bath before she needed to get to sleep.

6) I love our reading time together. I love that she is absolutely in love with an illustration of Fern feeding a bottle to baby Wilbur. So much so, that every time we see a baby and I mention how cute he or she is, she chimes in "But not as cute as the baby pig!"

7) My apologies to all the new mothers she has offended.

And here are the things that I find difficult:

1) She is a lot like her father. (This deserves it's own number)

2) She wants to do well at everything she attempts. This means that if something challenges her, she gets frustrated easily.

3) I miss the quiet hours I had this past school year with just me and the boy.

4) I don't want Derek to feel that he's in the way, and it is a challenge to keep him happily occupied while Alex and I work together.

4) The number of arguments that I have to deal with between the two of them has grown exponentially with the amount of time they are together.

NOW HEAR THIS: They will learn to get along, or we will all die trying.

5) It's been a good life. I'm sorry it has to come to an end.

JeramieLee asked a two part question. Part 1--
1. How did you make the choice to homeschool?

There was one main factor that really gave me the push to pursue homeschooling, and that is Josh's upcoming deployment.

Allow me to give you the good, the bad, and the ugly synopsis:
The Good: Josh will be home in just a couple of days from his current 19 day trip!
The Bad: My patience ran out about 3 days ago.
The Ugly: If you multiply the number of days he's been gone by 10, you would still be under the total number of days that he will gone on the deployment.

What does this mean?
This means that I need the freedom to be able to get the heck out of town and have some help every once in a while. I need to run to grandparents and beg for a break.
Being chained to the school calendar would make that difficult.

The deployment is not the only reason. We put quite a bit of thought into the idea. Homeschooling can be a good fit for a military family who makes frequent moves. But we will be making the decisions on our children's education one year at a time.
Maybe even one semester at a time.

“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matthew 6:34)

Can I get an amen?

And part 2 of her question-

2. What made you decide to use Sonlight?

(Sonlight is the curriculum we purchased.)
The main factor in my decision to use Sonlight was that the method of instruction greatly appealed to me.
If you ask me to remember a series of dates and historic events, I can do it. I can ace the test.
Shortly thereafter the information falls out of my ears while I sleep.
But if you give me a good story with an intriguing character and put her right in the middle of an historic event, I will remember it forever. I will remember the details and know what it was like to live in that era.
It's just the way I learn.
So the literature based approach is what caught my interest.

These other things helped--
- They had the most informative website of all the programs I researched. They offer curriculum samples that took the mystery out of what it was really like. You can request samples of the Instructor's Guide that you're interested in and get several weeks worth of lessons. I knew exactly what I was getting when I placed my order.

- There is a great return policy (You can use half of the year's materials and return it for a complete refund if you're not happy with it). Good news for someone who is indecisive.
Like me.

- The books! Love, love, love the great books that are part of their program.

So there you have it! That's our "school at home" journey in a nutshell. 

My biggest concern is that I'm going to enjoy it, and that would throw a wrench in my plans of sending the children off to school and helping gravity keep the couch in place.

T'would be a pity.


Grandma said...

Please forward this "sample material" to me. Thank you. And as I stated before, this plan means that you will enter Michigan before the end of September and not leave until at least March. I will also handle teaching her to dance. I am multi-talented, as you well know.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget me I can teach her to shoot a gun

Pee Paw

Grandma said...

That's right Pee Paw. We will produce a well rounded child. And don't forget our boy! There is so much he can learn in Michigan.