Saturday, May 7, 2011

why we choose to homeschool

I knew in my heart before my child even entered school, but my husband was adamant that we not 'unschool' so I sent him for K - 2, but by the end of 2nd, I had had enough of the school. Enough of the HUGE classes (19 kids when he really needed small classes of 8-10), I got tired of him going to the nurse 3 days a week sick from the stress of anxiety each day and panic attacks.

I also got totally frustrated that they dragged their feet a year when he was not learning how to read, I finally insisted that they give him testing, and resources to learn how to read, but after 1 year of 'extra help' he was still 14 months behind in reading, and they 'graduated him out' because he was only failing 2 of the 4 criteria so they wanted to redirect resources to other children, more at risk.

since I had to find a curriculum that was a regimented as my husband wanted, and as guided and directed as I needed since I was college educated, but in math and science instead of elementary education, I went with k12. since I am by nature a frugal person, I opted for the TXVA so that I could get whole package for free. While I like most of the program, there are some components that I do not like, so I have replaced them with alternatives, like the music program I replaced with a foreign language and piano. I still provide a lot of outside enrichment that I feel are more interesting like trips to Glacier N.P. to learn about glaciers, going to Carlsbad Caverns to learn about stalagmites and stalactites instead of reading in a book. Next week we are going to Ocean of the Pacific to learn about oceanography.

We needed the structure in place, but I still have the final discretion to add or subtract what we learn, how we learn it, and where we experience it. currently we are split up, my 4th grader is on his way for 3 weeks of language and cultural immersion in Norway, while I am here in California with family for 3 weeks of family and west coast activities that I would not have had the option to do with a Brick and Mortar school and all the attendance drama.

I do miss the two days a week that my son had of socializing at the school and it is a real shame that the public school is so 'territorial' that they do not offer the option for a hybrid of resources that benefit the children instead of excluding them because of funding. Imagine an education system like the colleges where you can pick and choose your courses, some online, some in the classroom, some independent study, some small group, some huge lectures? I first discovered just how 'territorial' they are when we could not even participate in Chess Club, and after school program that I thought was an excellent community resource, but sadly it was exclusive to the school district and that exclusivity is hurting our children. Something that just torques me off, since I send a yearly check for a couple thousand dollars for taxes directly to that school district.

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