Saturday, September 3, 2011

Things Are Changing

Last week, I went to the local high school to register the two boys. I've mentioned before that Joe wanted to meet more kids and be involved in the cross country team. We filled out paperwork, but weren't able to sign up for classes because the school had to decide what credits they would accept. Both of my boys are young for their school grade. Their birthdays are in late December and our state cut off date is December 1. The boys and I discussed the grade issue and decided to register the boys in the grades that would have been in had they gone to school from day one. Essentially, both boys lost credit for a year of school. The decision made Joe a freshman and Steve is now a junior.

Our thinking did not necessarily overcome all obstacles. The school isn't sure that they will accept all of Steve's credits. They may require him to take tests for most of his other classes or retake them. I mentioned to the counselor that Katie had transferred in as a senior and ALL of her credits were accepted without any problems. The counselor explained that the new principal has a different view of homeschool credits and doesn't believe that the homeschool work is an rigorous as public school classes. Ha! She hasn't seen my requirements! Steve and I decided that if his classes aren't accepted, I'll bring him home next year and graduate him as a homeschool student.

Katie was able to get 12 credit hours at a community college in a nearby town. I wasn't sure if she would be able to find enough classes that had spaces available, but thankfully it all worked out. Nothing like procrastinating until the very last minute. She finished signing up on Thursday evening for next Tuesday's classes. She's nervous and excited about starting. She's now trying to organize her work schedules at two different locations around school.

Monday night, Paige started crying because she wanted to go to "real" school this year. Of course, Allie chimed in that she wanted to go too. Mike said that he and I would discuss the idea and get back to them. There are pros and cons to both educational options.

1. We'd like the girls to participate in more community activities, but the information is spread through the public school system. We once again missed out on soccer this fall.

2. The girls would get to know a wider group of children.

3. My workload would decrease. (Mike feels that this is a huge benefit right now. I'm starting to develop some health issues that could be alleviated with more exercise and I should be more available to help my mom.)

1. The girls would get to know a wider group of children. The will be sick more often and will pick up bad behaviors.

2. Mike isn't around on weekends or evening until after 10 p.m. due to his work schedule. The girls wouldn't see him very often. (This is my biggest concern.)

3. We will need to live our lives around the public school schedule.

After lots of discussion and thinking, Mike decided that the girls should go to school this school year. I have some reservations, but understand his reasoning. We are doing this for one year and will reassess in June.

Wednesday morning, I took the little girls down to the local school (two blocks away) and registered them for fall. Paige and Allie are excited to be going, but my heart is a little heavy.

Madelyn will still be homeschooled this year. We should be able to get through a ton of things this year. Her days will probably be quite a bit shorter than normal, because she will have my full attention. I like that Madelyn will have so much one-on-one time. She's been a little short changed with mom time because of her spot in the family. She's already asked if we can go letterboxing or to do other fun things after she finishes her work. We're already planning on doing lots of cross country skiing this winter in the early afternoons.

Tuesday will be strange. One child will officially start college, and four kids will go to "real" school for the first time. Is it to weird too take First Day of School pictures of my high school kids?


Barb the Evil Genius said...

I hope it all works out for everybody! As a mom whose daughters actually prefer "real" school to homeschool, I think I'm biased to be optimistic.

Can you talk to the boys' principal in person? Show her some of their work? Let them start in the harder classes and take the easier ones only if they find the work too difficult? I do understand that school authorities can be difficult to deal with sometimes.

Hopefully the girls will meet kids that do not have a lot of bad habits that you don't want your kids to learn. That's one advantage to being able to meet lots of kids instead of being limited to a few neighbors. Disciplined hand washing might help with germs.

I'm sure you and Madelyn will have lots of fun!

Melrose said...

I really enjoyed this post. I just started home schooling my oldest this year, he's 5 1/2 :). I love reading your blog and seeing an image of how my family could look years from now. What I loved about this post is your open mindedness even when it's scary...continuously reassessing what is best for YOUR family and each individual child. I hope I can be as open minded and go with the flow as the years pass.

Karen said...

Melrose: Thanks for commenting! I love feedback. As I've gotten older, I've become more open minded. It's easier for me to not stress over the small things. Also, now that some of the kids are adults, it's easier to see ways that I could have handled things better.

Enjoy your homeschool journey. The time passes much quicker than expected and you will have memories to last a lifetime.

Melrose said...

Karen, I was thinking about how nice it must be to see several children becoming so bright and successful as adults and know that children really DO grow up to be capable...some days the burden of homeschooling feels so overwhelming that I just cry. Both my husband and I grew up in public school and I just feel so clueless. Having all boys they learn so differently. I so desire for my boys to LOVE learning and be curious and it seems the only way to achieve this so young is with less rather than more...which is so hard because as a woman I just want to get to work! If you think about it/have time or if there is a past post about the different teaching styles you've used throughout the years (from more unschooling-ish to more regimented for example) and also about the differences between teaching boys and girls I would love to hear your insights! Thanks for blogging, it's so encouraging to me!