Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Big Change

No, not menopause. Although it has been super hot here in Hawaii because it is the time of year that the trade winds stop blowing and it has been like I have been having one continual hot flash all week. No, I am talking about the change in how we homeschool that I mentioned last week.

Here is how it came about. A month after we moved, I felt like we were settled in enough to get started with school. I decided that we would start on the following Monday, but on Friday I met a mom who mentioned that she was homeschooling her 6 year old and was using an online program called Hawaii Technology Academy. When I got home, I decided to look into the program. I discovered that it was the K12 charter school program that is available in most states in the US. I had looked into K12 before and decided that I liked planning my own lessons and didn't want that much oversight in how I homeschool. At that point I pretty much disregarded it.

The next day my husband and girls and I went to Polynesian Cultural Center to see the night show and sitting in front of us were the homeschool mom and her husband. We chatted a little about homeschooling and she mentioned that Hawaii Technology Academy offers one day a week classes. When we lived in Colorado my girls went to a one day a week program for homeschoolers. They loved it. I loved it. Hum, I thought, maybe this program would be worth the oversight, so we could take advantage of these classes.

I ended up spending the rest of the week obsessing over it. Should we give this program a try or not.

Getting lots of free stuff. Good.

Having to keep track of every little thing we do each day. Bad.

Having everything planned out. Good... and Bad. (I am getting tired of the planning, but I might miss it)

It will help my older girls become more independent with their school work. Good.

I will miss doing history, science, art, and music with all of the girls together. Bad.

It fills the gaps in areas that we haven't worked on in our homeschool thus far like test taking and studying skills. Good.

The Learning Center classes are an hour's drive away. Bad. Almost a dealbreaker.

It follows the Core Knowledge curriculum (aka What your__ Grader Needs to Know). Good.

And the list goes on. I talked about it all weekend and about drove my husband mad. Will it take too long to finish school each day? Will it be boring? Will there be too many worksheets? Will it be like school at home? Will we be able to take days off without getting "behind"?

Finally we decided to give it a try until December and then see how we are feeling. It was definitely a hard decision. My husband made many valid points about why this curriculum would be good for our kids, but it was a struggle for me to give up the way that we have been homeschooling.

On Wednesday our supplies arrived. I was excited for them to arrive, but when the Fed Ex man showed up with 10 huge boxes, I felt a little overwhelmed. Oh yes, it was fun and a little like Christmas to open all of the boxes, but once that was over I had to figure out what to do with all of it. The oppressive heat that day did not help. With sweat dripping down my back I took all of our previous homeschooling books out of the cabinet to make room for the new stuff.

I admit that I was a bit emotional about displacing all of the curricula that I had spent hours and hours researching and, I might add, had recently decided was just about perfect. Why is it that as soon as we think we have homeschooling all figured out something happens that changes it all up? Something to think about. I'll stop here and post later about using K12 days 1 and 2.

1 comment:

Michelle said...

Wow, what a big change! I hope it goes well....eagerly awaiting your update. :)