icRKphJXQm-ezth8lntKydifkDg The Loose Screw: Schooling

Friday, August 28, 2009


I've homeschooled the kids for 10 years now, since Nick was starting 2nd grade. The only exception was that Alyssa wanted to go to kindergarten, and she did. I won't say it has always been easy, but I wouldn't do it any other way. I can't imagine my kids away from me all day for most of their childhood. We've gone through many different curriculum changes, with most of our years of homeschooling being an eclectic mix of different curriculums. Then, once Nicholas started High School, I realized it was important to us that the kids get a diploma. So, we signed Nick up for Abeka Academy, which was an accredited distance high school. He did that program for a year, and it was really hard on both of us. Then, we heard that Utah was starting their own online program you could get a diploma from, using the K12 curriculum. We started that program last year, and have been pleased. My only complaint would be that it is secular, and I would have preferred something with a religious/Christian theme to it.

This year Nick is in 12th grade. Assuming he finishes his six credits for the year, that put him two credits short. So, he is also doing two credits through Electronic High School online. So, he has a full plate. Alyssa is in her first year of High School through UTVA. She did it last year as well, but the High school program is quite different than the K-8 program. In the High School program, they have a different teacher for each subject, and classes they attend online weekly.

Here is my problem. Chad is in 1st grade and I sent him to public school. This has been eating away at me. We have multiple reasons for Chad being in public school (he also went to Kindergarten, but for some reason that 2 1/2 hours a day did not bother me as much). We have always said that we would evaluate each child and each school year individually and meet those needs, even if it meant public school. First, Chad is so much younger than his siblings, he has no one in the family to play with-Nick and Alyssa had each other. Secondly, my health is not as good as it was with Nick and Alyssa at that age. When they were Chad's age and I was homeschooling them, I was very active in the local homeschool groups and we did co-ops, field trips, outside classes, etc. I don't think I could do half as much with Chad. Thirdly, homeschooling Nick (even with it being an independent program and officially I'm not the teacher) is a big undertaking. He is very off-task, distracted, will not do his assignments, and is very argumentative. Much of this has to do with his medical conditions, and of course some is just being a teenage boy. BUT Chad is a VERY active boy, and with Nick needing to get more than the normal six credits done this year, I feel I need to focus on getting Nick graduated before I can really focus on schooling Chad. Even then, I wonder if homeschooling will be right for him.

In the meantime, I feel awful with Chad gone all day. It just does not feel right, and it bothers me so much. But then there are days when I get so much done while he is gone, that feels great too. Also, when I am having a bad health day or flare-up, it is so much better on my body to be able to take my medicine and go back to bed in the morning after getting Chad off to school. This week was the first week of High School, and I realize it would have been much more stressful with Chad at home. I guess what it comes down to is that I have homeschooled for so long, and have always had my kids home with me, it feels not right for one of my kids to be in public school, almost as if he is not as 'important' to me as the older two, and with him being the adopted one as well, I don't ever want him to think that way. We are doing what we feel is best for him, and he absolutely adores school and his teacher. These early elementary years I really don't worry about the things that bother me about public school-those things mostly happen in later elementary and middle school, when other kids are mean and self-esteem can be so low. Unless my health is really poor by then, I hope to homeschool him in the next few years, but I will try to be true to doing what is best for each child, each year. I must say I am already looking forward to his month of being off-track in October!!

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