Tuesday, April 13, 2010
4:39 AM | Edit Post
I'm in the midst of filling out paperwork for my 5 year old to "attend" Connections Academy, which is basically public school at home. They provide all the materials and access to teachers via phone and internet when we need/want it, and we do the lessons ourselves. This is kind of my compromise, to prove to my husband, family, and hell.. even myself, that home schooling is possible and right for our family. I won't lie, I'm a total scatterbrain, but I still feel really compelled to at least give home schooling a try. I figure Connections Academy is a good way for us to get our feet wet, while still having some requirements and structure that will help keep ME on track. Then perhaps with time, we'll branch off on our own and do "real" home schooling. I kinda already feel like an outcast, lol. I wonder if the "real" home schoolers will look down their nose at me for this. And I know that it's going to be interesting with our family. Hopefully not TOO bad, seeing as many of my cousins have been very successfully home schooled. If my parents give me a hard time, I can say "Hey, look at their kids... now look at yours... see the difference? 'Nuff said" In any case, she's been learning from me for 5 years so far, and she's doing grand! Not much would change, we'd just have new materials.
Before my daughter started pre-school, they did the typical tests and found her to be "at a first-grade level" (Really? jeez louise, I wasn't even trying!). So I figure that even if I blow it and she learns NOTHING from me during Kindergarten (which would be impossible!) she'd still be just fine and ready for first grade. My logic is that she ended up 2 years "ahead" according to their standards, and we were just living and helping her learn naturally according to her interests, so I can't possibly suck at teaching too bad, right?! And she's clearly got the learning thing figured out for her end of it, lol.
Anyway, I'm praying a lot about this. I know it isn't a lifetime commitment, and "normal" school is always an option at any time, but I honestly don't want to have to go with that. I'm looking at public school as a safety net, there if we *need* it, but not our first choice. It parallels my feelings about breastfeeding and formula, actually. As long as I can breastfeed, by golly I will. Same goes for this. Now I just need to cement that in my mind!
Despite some of the nervousness I have, I'm also pretty excited. They offer a lot of electives that our public schools don't, and I think she'll be really excited about that. She has a lot of interest in sign language, and they offer it in every grade level! My mother is fluent, and was a deaf interpreter, so she could even join in and expand on the lessons. I'm excited that I have my own vehicle now, and we can go out on "field trips" or even do her "school work" at the park, grandma's house, by the lake, whatever. I'm excited that we only have to put in a couple hours a day, rather than full school days (not because she'll be learning less, but because we can use time more effectively being one-on-one). I'm excited that she'll have more time and flexibility to just be a kid, spend time with her family, and do other activities that interest her. I'm excited that I don't have to surrender 13 years of my child's life to strangers that will never EVER care as much for her mind, body, and soul as we do.
On one hand, it feels like a lot of pressure, but on the other hand... I've always been her mother. I've always been her main caregiver. And I've always been the person she learns most things from. I'm not really taking on anything new. I'm just holding on to my usual responsibilities rather than surrendering them to others.
Deep breath... bring it on!
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