Saturday, August 18, 2007

Homeschool vs Public school ~& the debate is on~

See?? I SAID I would post again, really really really soon, and I DID!! hahaHAH!

So here is the dealio ~
My kids have been public-schooled now since they were in Kindergarten. But last year, (2006-2007) I tried something new. My oldest child was in 9th grade and hating life. Released time ( for seminary) was her only repreve in long day filled with endless homework, memorized diatribe and media-stained filth & expectations. The only saving grace was that her sister was just under her in 8th grade, and so they might see each other in the hallway or at lunch once in a while.

These two girls had braved the realities of the current status quo "Jr High experience" for 2 & 3 years. They had friends in the same boat ~ just pushing through the filthy rush, hoping to make it through as unscathed as possible. In the midst of all this, my husband and I were constantly there, trying to unteach what the world teaches, giving what insight and hope we could to what looked like a very bleak picture of the future. (All along, I have always tried to supplement my children's education, not only with fun vacations, museum trips, cultural introductions, fact-finding quests, and trying out new and different things, but also as a teacher's aide, a substitute, room mother, PTO member, and finally, PTO president... I have been VERY involved, in all 5 of my kids' educational progress.)

Then, mid-year, I heard about a different type of charter jr. high - highschool, based on a Thomas Jefferson Education. I had never heard of it prior, and when they gave me a book to read called "A Thomas Jefferson Education", by Oliver DeMille, I about flipped! It was EXACTLY what I was after! AND, it neatly refuted all of my former concerns about homeschooling. I HIGHLY recommend this book to ANYone. After reading this book, I knew something had to change. I researched the Jefferson charter school, & switched my oldest two to it. Then I started looking into homeschooling very seriously, in fact, I even considered taking my younger three kids out of school that very year. Of course, I didn't. I let them finish the school year out. I planned and planned some more, made a lot of new contacts within the homeschooling community, found out about federal funding, (figured out how to use it to MY advantage), prepared a place within my home to hold school properly, & THEN made the leap.

My two oldest kids ( ages 15 & 14) have the option of attending either my homeschool or the Jefferson-based chartered highschool, ( they chose the charter, which is great, they love it, and so do I), while my three younger kids (ages 12, 10, & 9) will get to homeschool, & wait for that once they hit 8th or 9th grade.

And so, we've done it, I'ved applied for and recieved the federal funding, I've put together an AWESOME curriculum, my husband has finished off the basement to make a NICE school room, with plenty of lighting & storage for school supplies & curricula materials, my kids have adjusted to the idea that they will actually get to have FUN with learning, and voila! ~ another homeschooling family is born!

And I have to say, I NEVER thought I would be a homeschooler. See my previous post for concurrence on this; I'm embarrassed to admit it, but I honestly thought that most homeschoolers were a little "sstraannnge". ( And great and mighty is the fall there-of......;-D)
So, without further ado, I'll be the first to admit my snasty hypocrisy, and proclaim my repentance! For I , too, have joined the homeschooling ranks!


Gorilla Bananas said...

Good for you, Ms Red. I love the way you have given your children a choice, treating them like responsible people. I expect you'll also learn a lot from having to teach.

redhead83402 said...

thank you GB, yes I suppose I will, although to be quite honest, I have been teaching them since the day they were born. I guess that's what mothers do. :-D

Corrie said...

I'd love to know more about your research into federal funding. Any words of advice?

Corrie said...

I just sufred the IDEA site, and now I'm wishing I lived in Idaho - as far as I know, our state doesn't have something similar only the opportunity to do k12.

Any tips?

redhead83402 said...

Hi Corrie! Thanks for stopping by ~ I just left a lengthy comment on your blog, dealing with federal funding. Interestingly enough, I have had quite a few emails regarding that, I guess very few states let it be known about their federal funding. I will probably blog about that in the next few days in more depth.