Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Who are we and why are we homeschooling?

This is my very first post so I'd like to introduce myself to you. You can call me Candice. I am a stay at home mom of three energetic little ones. I am an artist and I attend school online for my Bachelors in Graphic Design. I have two boys, Spaceman (8) and Cowboy (6) and a little girl, Princess (4). Yesterday, February 26, 2014 was a very important day for our family. It was the day that we finally decided it was time to stop fighting with the school system and pull Cowboy out of the public charter academy that the boys are both enrolled in.

I first tried homeschooling using the eLearningk12 curriculum in 2010 for Spaceman in Pre-K. He was getting into so much trouble in class because he was bored. I did not realize that the things I was teaching him at home was far more than they were expected to learn at his age. I was not forcefully teaching him, only satisfying his natural curiosity.  We only did the online curriculum on the side for a few months. I did not like how unstructured the Pre-K curriculum was and I still had two little ones at home.

The next year Spaceman returned to the public school for K and Cowboy joined him in Pre-K. They both struggled all year. I spent 2-3 days every week there for the boys so I started to volunteer. I was on the PTC for the two years that my boys attended that public school. I was a board member and I was involved in collaborative meetings. It was sad to see how the school was becoming stagnate. When we first bought our home in 2009 we were excited to only be two miles from my dad and be able to live in an amazing school district. One of my brothers is 13 years younger than me and I watched him attend this same public school. The problem arose when my little Spaceman went to register for Pre-K. His first day was also the new principal’s first day. Everything began to change. Faculty and staff started dropping like flies.

This led us to the public charter school. The previous principal from the public school was amazing! She was such a great leader that the best and brightest from the public school followed her to the charter school when she was appointed the Director. We also followed like lambs to slaughter. We were promised a higher education and a more disciplined and creative setting. Cowboy had a great year in K at the charter school. He had the most amazing teacher ever. She was able to see where he was struggling and got him all the help he was so desperately needing. Spaceman enjoyed the harder curriculum, but had a very hard time staying out of trouble. He got into trouble in science class when he corrected his teacher several times. They were switching classes at 1st grade already. My first grader had four different teachers and my Kindergartener had five different teachers! Now I still have Princess at home with me because we decided to send her to Pre-K. She is super smart and gets all of the socialization she needs from family, gymnastics and other outings. She is a social butterfly. She already knows what she needs to start K, she just needs to meet the age requirement.

My hubby and I decided it may be time to pull them out of the charter school and start homeschooling the boys for next school year. Both of my boys have had multiple surgeries for PE Tubes, Adenoids and Tonsils. They still stay with earaches constantly. Spaceman just finally lost his last tube last week, but Cowboy still struggles and has his tubes pushing out. Any parent that has gone through this knows how much pain these little guys can go through. This is his second set of tubes. The nurse at the charter school sent a note home stating all of the excusable reasons for an absence that only require a parent note. Cowboy has missed a lot of school lately. Most of these excuses have had doctor’s notes, but some were parent notes. I was called by the school to set up a meeting about his absences and how he is falling behind in class. Not to mention how miserable he is the entire day.

After talking with my hubby I asked Cowboy if he wanted to stop going to the charter school and do homeschool now. Yes, in the middle of the year. My biggest fear, uprooting a kid mid-year. I called eLearningk12 to set everything up. Since it is mid-year I will be going with the level 2 instruction, where their teacher provides the lesson plans and deals with the administration aspect. By next year I may or may not need this. I have not had time to set up the classroom yet, since that was planned for after we were done with spring cleaning. We have a nice sized 4 bedroom house where each kid has their own room and we have an extra building that I used to do my crafts in before I returned to school. We had ideas of combining the boys and moving the rooms around to make the largest room the class.

I will be setting up in the dining room with Cowboy doing his work at the kitchen table for now. I will be posting more as we go along. This is only the beginning of our journey.