Homeschooling - Gustoff family in Des Moines 018 (Photo credit: IowaPolitics.com)By Maria Berry
There's no turning back now! We joined the ranks of the home school movement! We actually left behind the traditional brick and mortar school system. We did? Yikes! How the heck did I do this alone AND find the right path or "home school program" that was perfect for our family?
The biggest question was can I do this? Eek! I realized I was about to embark on a colossal voyage; full-time employment, full-time teacher, full-time mom! I'm so glad I didn't think how massive this thing was at the time (risking I'd chicken out once I realized the scope of this task all by my lonesome).
I just decided to move forward and wing it. I had a "Mom the Builder" attitude. Once I made my mind up, I declared "I CAN do this ... yes I CAN!" I was determined to move forward full speed and damn the torpedoes! I was resolved to stick with this as long as we were achieving positive results. We'd give it a year and make an assessment after that as to whether to continue.
Logistics and Research
A big factor we didn't consider, were the people in our life and whether they would support or interfere with this decision. We had to keep those who were unsupportive at bay. I was wise enough to understand, if we failed, we would have learned a valuable lesson and would be stronger from the experience. If we succeeded ... all the better!
The next thing I needed to address were the "physical logistics." Where to set up the "classroom" and a comfortable workspace, while keeping "distractions" to a minimum. We opted to convert the master bedroom into a home office/classroom. It was spacious enough for both our needs. I could set up daily lessons and continue on my own work. Plus, I would be right there to give guidance and aid when it was needed. A perfect fit!
With the initial concerns tackled, next was finding the right program. I conducted extensive research to see what was available. Wow! I had no idea there was so much information out there on home schooling and home school programs. So much so, that it was a bit overwhelming.
I didn't know which direction to head! I didn't know anyone PERSONALLY that home schooled their children. In fact, many of my friends and family thought I was insane! Their valid concerns were about "socializing". But it didn't stop us, because it felt right and I was open to implementing extra curricular activities to cover the "social" aspect.
I also contacted other families who had home school experience to get the pros and cons from their own journey. My internet research yielded all sorts of home school programs, including free and tuition programs, as well as Christian based curriculum programs. I had no idea there would be so much to choose from. I certainly had my work cut out for me!
After I concluded my research, we decided to try out the K12 program to see if it was the right one for us. It is an "accredited" chartered public school that provides all the tools found in a traditional brick and mortar public school arena. Over the years, they provided us (since the first grade) with a computer, printer, textbooks and the tools for each subject (science, math, literature, spelling, history, art and yes even music!).
When we received our first shipment, it was like Christmas! The support we continue to receive from the school is commendable AND because we had to relocate from Arizona to Nevada (for employment reasons) we did not have to change curriculum. K12 is available tuition free in both states!
Needless to say ... this was a great choice for us ... big time! My child excels in school, is a grade ahead of her peers and an honor roll student at the top of her class!
If home school is not the path for your family, but your child is struggling with school, you may wish to look into a tool that can help achieve better grades with the least amount of effort. For more information visit: http://www.funhomeschool.com.
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