Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Curriculum . . .

I hate the word curriculum because it sounds so institutionalized. With that said, I got mine in the mail the other day and am so excited to get into it! I did quite a lot of research into all the many forms of homeschooling, and let me say there are a lot out there. I read books, reviews, articles, and more on everything there is out there and came to a decision on what we wanted for our family and what would work best. The curriculum that we will "base" our schooling on is the Accelerated Achievement A squared LDS version. Along with this, we will incorporate a big use of the classics. I found the book A Thomas Jefferson Education helpful with this.

So now onto the planning. Some homeschooling families say that there really is not a whole lot of planning that needs to be involved, which I am sure is true with some courses, but I am a planner and organizer and so over the next couple of months, I will be delving into my information during my free time and getting things together.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

A Little Info . . . Ok Maybe A Lot

I just wanted to start with a little info about us. We live in Chubbuck, Idaho. We have three daughters and one son. Our kids are now 9, 7 1/2, 3 1/2, and 1. I have always been interested in home schooling my kids, but never felt qualified to do so. I did home preschool with them. I sent them to a home preschool for 6 months before Kindergarten and still felt great. When it came time to put my oldest in kindergarten, it quite literally made me feel sick to think that they would be away from us for that amount of time and I really would have no say in what went on.

So, I thought about the home school thing again, and still felt like I would not be enough for them. So, begrudgingly, off to kindergarten with our first child and a year later the second followed. I have never felt comfortable with the way the education system works. I tried to be involved in everything just so I would know what was happeing at all times and what was filling my kids heads, be it from peers or educators. I volunteered in classrooms and on the boards of parent organizations, anything to be in the middle of things. I did not interfere with their learning, I left that up to the teachers, but found that there was so much more that they could get with supplementing things at home.

Then when the oldest was in first grade, she started coming home with all kinds of "opinions" that had been shared by teachers. Students think that this is real and true because that is what their teacher is there for, to teach them facts about subjects. Well, no matter who it is, a teacher can not help getting their own opinions and life styles in the middle of what they teach. After the year ended, and feeling like I spent a lot of time playing "school politics", I again entertained the home school idea. I started doing some research and felt so inadequate. Could I give this to my children? I wasn't sure. So, into the next year, I felt like I was doing what I should, keeping them in school with their friends and on their same curriculum. During the back to parents night at our elementary school at the time, the principal made the comment that we as parents have the responsibility to make sure our children are at school always. She then followed it up with " . . . because if your child is not here, we don't get paid." WOW! I just about turned and left and said see you later. At the time, I was dealing with some health issues, loss of my husbands job, trying to move, and have baby number four.

Here we are, half way through 3rd and 2nd grade, and for the past year, I have had a strong feeling that I need to have them home. Nothing "bad" has happened at their school. We have been at a new school in a new city for the past 8 months and it has been ok. But just ok. Already, the have shared their teachers "opinions". So after the first two months of school, I got back into my reading and research about home schooling. For the past few months, I have been researching curriculum, reading advice and opinions, and through many, MANY, conversations with my husband, myself, and with the inspiration from the Lord, we decided that starting this next fall, it is home school for good.

After making this decision, we have all felt peace. After our last parent teacher conferences where one child was told that she is "TOO" creative and another was shown that she is just another number, I felt peace in knowing that we will be done with "Education Politics". So that is my story and how I came to this point.