Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The "H" word.


School is about to start. The good part about this is that I will no longer see this face. Okay, that didn't come out right...what I meat was I will no longer see this LOOK. I will indeed see this sweet little face EVERY.SINGLE.DAY of the school year because I homeschool. What I won't see is the "Mommmmm, I'm bored" face. Follow?

I'm kind of nervous about this school year. Last year, I just homeschooled Whitney. This year I have Whitney AND Aaron who is starting Kindergarten. Don't get me wrong, I love homeschooling, but it's a lot of work. And I never get tired of the looks from people when I tell them I homeschool. Why? Because I can just imagine what is going through their heads when they hear the word HOMESCHOOL. It probably looks something like this: (watch it...you won't regret it!!!)

(I never get tired of that video! It's hilarious!)

I never thought in a million years that I would ever homeschool...I thought homeschooled kids were weird. I thought homeschool parents were even WEIRDER. But, my oldest daughter, Whitney has health problems and I didn't feel comfortable having her so far away. If she died at school I would never forgive myself. So, I did Kindergarten with her at home. I didn't use any particular program or set of books, I used a bunch of different things. And to my surprise, I actually REALLY enjoyed it! With 1st grade, I felt we needed more structure. So, after a lot of prayer and searching, I decided on doing the K12.com program.

K12 is actually an online public school. (yes, that's right, PUBLIC school!) It's free, it's accredited, and it is individualized to your student. They send you all of your books, supplies, and even a computer for your child (yes, it's all free)! You are assigned a homeroom teacher who you keep in close contact with for questions and such, and you meet with them a few times a year for testing to make sure your child is where they are supposed to be academically. They still have things like field trips, but instead of riding on a bus up to the museum or the zoo or wherever it is, you go as a family and get to meet other families from K12. And, they have fun things like pen pal programs, and in the summer they have field trips to Elitch Gardens at half price! It really is a neat school!

What do I like about homeschooling?

I don't have to be up before sunrise to drag them out of bed, get them dressed, make their lunches, get them to the bus stop, and if they MISS the bus I don't have to drive them to school and worry about them being tardy.

I love that we can start whenever we're ready. We don't have to start at 8:00 sharp. If we feel like starting an hour late, we can.

I love that I get to be the one to see the excitement on their faces when they understand something.

I love that we have a homeroom teacher (whom we ADORE) so I'm not doing this all on my own with nobody to turn to for questions.

I love that God is allowed at school. 'Nuff said.

(Whitney wants me to add that she likes not having to worry about bullies...)

I love that it's not a big deal to miss a day if they're sick. (And honestly, I do love that I don't have to worry about them bringing home whatever is going around school)

I love that we can go on family trips or field trips whenever we want! We don't have to worry about missing school, we can take school with us!

I love that we can get all of their school work done in about 4 hours, instead of them having an 8 hour day. Things go a lot faster when you don't have to wait for the rest of the class to finish. ;)

I love that it is so structured. I just look online at the class schedule for the day at what needs to be done, I get them started, I help them when they need help, and when they finish it I mark it as completed. That's it.

I love that the kids take a little assessment test at the end of each lesson to make sure they understand what they were supposed to learn. If they don't pass it, we go over the lesson again and re-take it. I always know they are ready to move on.

I love that our day is so flexible. If they need a break or are really having a difficult time, we can stop and take a breather and then give it another try. And, if they need to spend more time on something, they can. Or, if something is really easy for them, we can move on faster. The school is built around your child, not your child built to the school.

I love the way the school teaches. Part of the class is workbook activities, and the other part is online. They usually have fun interactive games and things for them to do. Like, when we were learning about the ocean, they got to play a simulated submarine game to explore the ocean. There were sea creatures they could click on to learn more about them. And the deeper they went into the ocean, the darker it got and the cooler the creatures were. It was fun even for ME! :)

I love just being able to be with my kids. I love KNOWING what they are learning and not having to worry about them being taught something I don't agree with. (Especially with everything going on these days!)

These are just a FEW of the things I like about homeschooling. I'm not saying that I think public school is bad...I think there are so many awesome things about public school, and I think the WORLD of teachers. They are amazing! And, I know it's not for everyone. Annnnd, I don't know what my future holds, but I feel very blessed that I am able to homeschool them for now.

So, anywayyyy, if you are interested in using K12 with your family, you can learn more at K12.com! I'm not even getting paid for this...that's how much I love it!


9 people leaving some love!:

Nicole@Thrifty Decorating said...

Oh my goodness!!!! That is hysterical!!! Would you mind if I would repost that??? Is the link on You Tube? I know that some of my friends would so appreciate that!

We've also done k12! :) Loved it!

Janet said...

Hey Natalie!

My boys are homeschooled too. I've been homeschooling for over 3 years now, and my oldest is about to enter the 7th grade.

I heard of the K12 program, and even have some friends here in CA that have used it! Only for us, I like our curriculum to be more Christ centered, so we go with Switched On Schoolhouse! Such an AMAZING program :)

I just hooked up with our new church's homeschool group, which has TONS of kids...such a blessing to have found them! They do field trips once a month and then they all go to church together also...it's so different than when I lived in our old town and we just had ourselves!!


Lara Zierke said...

I was having a discussion with my MIL last week about how we hope we can afford private school when the time comes because cuts in public schools have compromised education so much. And I even threw homeschool out as an option because the likelihood of affording private school for more than one kid is small. My MIL FLIPPED OUT! She made me promise to really look into all the public schools before I would EVER homeschool. It kind of makes me want to do it just to show her. :)

I have known a few home schooled kids and they are all awesome people. Okay, one was weird, but the rest were awesome. Gotta love those stigmas.

Angela said...

I agree, home school ROCKS! Even on the worst of days there is no other place I would rather them be :)

I have a 3rd grader and 2nd grader and then the little crew which are 4, 3, and 1. The days are interesting to say the least ;)

We use "My Father's World"...

Enjoy those kids!

Jess said...

I wish i was as brave as you! I think Toph needs to be homeschooled so he doesn't get so bored, but i haven't been able to completely convince myself yet! I also worry that if i homeschool him that i should the others and i worry Cree would not do well! Anyway, way to go girl!!!

Unknown said...

That was hilarious! I have missed your blog posts so I'm glad you're back! I would LOVE to talk to you more about the products I use...email me your phone number and we will set up a Skype chat!
Sadie Jane

The Yoder's Five said...

Sounds like a good program--I didn't realize that everything was free! You are an awesome person to do what you do.

Beck said...

If my child didn't need the space so much, I would really consider this program. :)I think homeschooling moms are awesome! I just don't have the patience. :/ But I think that if I did, this sounds like the IDEAL program. And (even though I probably won't for now) they even have one in Virginia! Yay for the school year starting!

Lisa S said...

Nat, I haven't spoken to you in long time! You blog is awesome and your creativity envy-worthy.

Logan started a public prek two weeks ago and we are not impressed to say the least. I am touring a a Christian private school later today but after reading your blog I am leaning even more toward homeschooling. I have basically been doing it anyway, just in a less structured manner. Since I'm going to school online it might be a time crunch...but then again it is right now because I have to worry about getting him on the bus and then being to the school almost an hour before I'll be able to get him because of how long the parent pick-up line is. (He could ride the bus home but is over 100 degrees out and the buses have no AC and won't let him have water.)

Anyway, thanks for being an insperation and helping me make a big decision.