Nov 18, 2011

Monday Home School Report - Weekend Edition

In other news H.S. news this week...
 I finally made it to our new charter school (30 minutes away) and met my "Educational Specialist" (E.S.) and picked up a bunch of curriculum.  I'm excited, but also terrified.

And back to having hourly panic attacks and asking myself alternately;

"WHAT was I thinking?"
"What would they do if I just took him back to school and dropped him off tomorrow...?!?"

The reason for my panic is that our "E.S." told us to expect to work for a normal full school day.  Six hours.  I don't think we (ANY of us) can handle that!
BUT I'm not totally hopeless.
I want to try it and see what happens.
This comes on the heels of Monday.
We had a great day of "unschooling" on Monday.  We went to the beach with my cousin and uncle and family (who's visit I still need to blog) and talked about:
Starting a business, patents, monopolies, competition, price fixing, price gouging, marketing, advertising, overhead, profit margins, supply and demand, etc.
AND (during lunch at Ruby's on the Pier)
Customer Service, (good vs. bad) tipping, and work ethic.
AND (walking across the Pier)
A bunch of engineering stuff about how you support a Pier and get it to stand up.  (Okay, that part came from cousin Cliff.  Not me.)
AND saw a sea star, some live (caught) fish, and two pelicans,
AND played in the sand,
AND even looked up some stuff on the Internet about the Pier that night.

Anyway, it was an awesome day of learning and playing without many books.  (Though we still worked on math and the above writing.)

It's hard to want to trade that in for a very structured and full day.

I'm torn.

But like I said...I still need to try the Charter method and see how it goes.
Okay, yesterday I sat down with Max and cracked the books we got from the charter school.
It was INCREDIBLY overwhelming.  Then, late last night after coming home from a church activity, I started trying to tell Doug about the Charter school and their expectations and pretty much had a full blown panic attack.
If I do what the C.S. wants, I'll be completely overwhelmed.  If I don't, I'll feel guilty that he's getting behind in other core subjects like science and history.  (Since our focus has been on Math and Writing.)

This morning...I don't know what I'll do.  And my E.S. is gone for vacation so I can't get any more information about what is actually required and what is suggested.  All I know is, they expect me to work with him for 6 hours a day and gave me enough to do with him for 10.

So here's my question:  Do I take Max back to school NOW, or wait until after Thanksgiving...?


Anonymous said...

Hi, I'm one of your blog-stalkers, and you totally don't even know me. But I had to comment on this post. I pulled my son out of 2nd grade last year and homeschooled him (he's back in public school this year). I learned a lot from the process, but the most valuable thing I learned is that you have to do what's best for your child-- NOT what everyone else is telling you to do. I used a different curriculum (K12) and the teachers we could ask help from, were intent on having the child get the work done, but also counting fun things as school. You need to find the right balance for you. If you're panicking, it's not right. There are lots of other curriculum options out there. We did about 2-3 hours of work a day, and he learned everything he needed to know. Hang in there-- you're doing great!
-From anonymous blog-stalker :)

Sherm said...

Some perspective. When I was a junior in high school I had an accident that put me out of school for about 10 weeks. The school district provided someone who came in daily to keep me up on my studies. She came for less than two hours and we covered the material for six hours of high school. Homework took some additional time. There's a lot of dead time in a typical school day. The smarter your kid the more dead time.

Ana said...

I am also someone who you don't know (I can't remember how I stumbled on the blog), but now I feel spurred to comment. We're a military family, overseas at the moment where my son is in a tiny school that works for us. However, because he's so far ahead for his age and has done so well in a four person classroom with mixed grades, I don't want to put him in public school. (Also, we're going to be moving mid-year, and will move again a few years after that.)

Anyway, I've gone back and forth about how to go about homeschooling him (he'll be a second grader). Originally, I thought we'd use a similar charter school program, but the more I learn about it, the more I am leary of it. My husband deploys twice a year, and that means I like to be able to visit family etc. when he's gone. I need flexibility very much.

So, I have been looking elsewhere. I don't at all believe that it's necessary for a kid to have six hours straight of schoolwork. That seems crazy - my son doesn't have that much now in public school and he's screaming ahead of his peers. I think the most important thing is finding a balance that works for both your son and your family. I'm looking at more flexible programs now, and am leaning toward an online one called time4learning. I'm still not sure if we will use it, but I like it so far. I'm going to use their free two week trial this summer to make my final decision.

Anyway, just wanted to let you know it absolutely does not have to be a "do the charter school thing or go back to public school" sort of decision. Just keep trying things. You'll find out what works and what doesn't. The hardest leap for me when considering homeschooling was finding some faith in my own ability to guide him through his studies. Don't forget you are his mother and you really do know him better than any school you could put him in. Trust that and go from there.

Best of luck to you!

Anonymous said...

Okay, I too am going to reveal myself as a blog stalker. But I felt inclined to comment as well. :)

I started homeschooling my daughter last year, using the K12 program (very similar sounding to your C.S.). I thought it would be good to have some structure for our first year. It drove me completely out of my mind! It works great for some people (my SIL has used it for years and loves it!), but I would constantly have panic attacks and I would have to fight my daughter to sit down and do school. I ended up sending it back mid-year and after a lot of research have found a system that works great for us! Don't give up it! It is truly a learning curve for mom and kid, but once you find something that works well for YOU and your son you'll love it! We are currently using something called the Workbox system, you can read about it here if you want:

*that is one of my all time favorite homeschooling blogs btw!

Also, another option if you want more structure but not all the pressure is Sonlight curriculum ( You can order complete curriculum sets or individual subjects. They're a little pricey, but I think worth it!

Sorry for the novel! :)

acte gratuit said...

THANK YOU everyone for your comments and encouragement! I really REALLY REALLY appreciate it. I really was ready to throw in the towel last night but I'm already feeling more hopeful!

THANK YOU AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!