Monday, October 12, 2009

Using K12: days 1 and 2

Excited, nervous, and overwhelmed, I began our first day using K12. Because the school year in Hawaii started at the beginning of August we are a quarter behind. I haven't met with my girls' teachers yet to find out what it expected of us, but I am thinking we can just breeze through a bunch of lessons and get caught up in no time. Side note: my kids have teachers for school. How weird is that? Technically they are public school students. I feel like kind of a trader to the homeschool world...

Anyway, the first day was pretty rough. The older girls needed my help figuring out what they were supposed to do. My youngest was pestering us all because we weren't paying any attention to her. Everyone was jealous of my oldest who has her own laptop. I was flipping out because I was already missing the old way we homeschooled. I was quickly realizing that we weren't going to be able to get caught up as quickly as I thought. And did I mention the it has been like a sauna in our house all week?

Day 2 wasn't any better. Oh, there were some good moments like discussing what happened after the Civil War with my oldest and my youngest pulling out her history book and asking, "When can we learn about the Egyptians and the hieroglyphics!" and listening to my youngest narrate the stories she read. But then there was the time that I was trying to read to my youngest and I was interrupted 5 times by my other daughters needing my help. And the fact that I hadn't been able to do anything but school for 2 days in a row and the house was falling apart. And have I mentioned the oppressive heat?

My dear hubby came home for lunch on day 2 and I broke down crying. I had been trying to keep a stiff upper lip while chanting inside, "we only have to do this until December..." But when he asked me how my day was going, I kind of lost it. He talked me off the ledge and we finished the rest of our school day.

Now you might think after all of this that I would be ready to return all of the stuff, quit, and go back to our old way of homeschooling, but actually I am not. My husband has been my rock. He has helped me to see past my emotions and realize that even though this is hard now, it will get easier and that it is helping our kids to learn things that they weren't learning like how to learn independently, how to manage their time, how to study, and take tests. And that, despite what homeschoolers worldwide are chanting, worksheets are not always evil. It is funny that I am struggling with giving up our relaxed homeschooling methods when I am the one who would have sent our kids to school if it weren't for my husband convincing me to homeschool.

My kids have also been amazing through all of this. I believe that part of my fragile emotional state has been due to all of the changes that we have had recently - moving, living in a place so very different from what we are used to, and now changing our homeschool method. But my kids have just soldiered through it all. Oh sure, they have had some whiny moments. OK, a lot of whiny moments, but all in all they have been handling it pretty well.

I am just so proud of my oldest. This change in homeschooling affects her the most. Being a 6th grader she is expected to do a lot more work than her sisters. Both days that we did school, she worked hard without complaining. We both knew it was time for her to move on from the big comfy couch homeschooling, but it has been a harder transition for me than it has been for her. We are both hoping that once we get used to this program we can add back in some comfy couch time.

The jury is still out on whether this program will work for us for the long haul, but for now we keep trying at it. I will keep you posted...


Heidi said...

I very much look forward to hearing how you like it after you all have settled into it. Everything I have read about it says it is sooooooo much work if you have more than 2 kids. Change is exciting, though! You have been such a great homeschooler...a wonderful example to me. :) I have thought about k12 a lot just so that I don't have to worry about the gaps so much...but it just seems like a LOT of work. So I will be anxious to hear if it is!

Ann said...

Hugs! and sending some snow your way.

Rummfor5 said...

I haven't used the program, (uh, hello. We met briefly in CO at a park day in Estes Park-- I'm Heidi's sil ;)), but I hear it's tons of work too. That isn't necessarily bad.
We've had very flexible curriculum and so I think most of the challenge would just be for me personally to feel tied that much to someone else telling me what I had to do.
That said though, I have some friends who *love* it and have great success with it. I think all changes require patience and adjustment period. I hope you all settle into this and that you see wonderful things come to your family during this stage of life!

michelle said...

Hi Lotus, I remember meeting you. Right now it is a lot of work, but I am thinking that it might not be necessarily bad, like you said.

With my oldest being a 6th grader this year, I am feeling like it is time to be little more rigorous with her schooling. I could get around someone else telling me what to do by putting together my own curriculum. I don't really want to create the curriculum myself, so I would have to purchase a bunch of stuff and piece it together and we can't really afford that, so we are going to try and see if we can make it work with K12 since it is free.

Thanks for the encouragement.

Thanks for the hugs, Ann, you can keep the snow ;)

Heidi, I will keep you posted.