Tuesday, August 4, 2009

It's a Homeschool Again!

I was returning home from Karate practice last night when I noticed the message board on the sign in front of the Apathy fire house. The sign might be for the Apathy prison, too. One sits in front of the other. I drive past the sign regularly but I have no idea which organization owns it. The message informed me that registration for the 2009-2010 Apathy school year was on the last day of July.

Oops. I guess I missed that deadline.

Ironically, Sunday morning I mailed notices to the superintendent of the Apathy School District and to the principal of Apathy Middle School, informing them that I was withdrawing General Mayhem from school. I used the generic withdrawal form supplied by the Home School Legal Defense Association. I love using HSLDA letterhead to send a message to the school district. It screams, “Mess with me, I dare you!” Apparently, the forms have not arrived yet. Twenty minutes ago I received a phone call from the registrar of the middle school. She wanted to know if the General was returning for classes this year.


I have not written much about home schooling. Last year was a very difficult homeschooling year that saw all three children in our local public school for a brief period of time. The general was in for the longest time, and when he was discharged for the summer he told the Boss and me that he wanted to return to the middle school this year. I was disappointed. The decision was not solely his to make, but his desire to return would make the decision on whether or not to homeschool that much more difficult. Fortunately, letting go of the issue and allowing God to work in our lives paid off. Rather than forcing a decision, we just enjoyed our summer.

Long before the school year ended we decided that the General would complete his Saxon7/6 math curriculum over the summer break. His math grades plummeted after he started at the middle school. The math instruction hop scotched through the textbook in what was obviously an attempt to teach to the state mandated tests last March. The remaining instruction time between March and May was used to fill in the concepts that had been skipped throughout the school year. We strongly felt that regardless of where he attended school this year, we needed to re-teach sixth grade math if the General had any hope of understanding math at the next higher level.

Last month, at the end of a particularly fun math lesson, I teased the General. “Are you enjoying working with me on math as much as I am enjoying working with you?” I asked.

He smiled. “Yeah.”

“So, are you ready to stay home and home school this year?”

He smiled again. “Yeah.”

My jaw hit the floor. Instead of my getting a rise out of him, he had me speechless. It was obvious by his tone that he was sincere. I allowed a couple of weeks to pass before I seriously pursued the topic. He did not change his answer after I asked him if he was serious about homeschooling. Not only was he enjoying our work together, but he had rediscovered the joys of school work in jammies at the kitchen table after sleeping in. That was enough for him.
Several conversations took place before we made the final decision. The General is returning to the home school. I am thrilled. This is the way it is supposed to be. The Major will be home again (and if he karate chops his teacher this year there will be consequences!). Only the Captain will return to the elementary school, but that will be for two mornings each week and only for the purpose of receiving speech and occupational therapy. I promise that if there is one case of swine flu at that school this year, she is out of there!

We are collecting the last of the curriculum needed for the seventh grade school year (we already have the Major’s and the Captain’s curriculum), and completing some basement work to move the classroom into a new location. I am looking forward to a challenging school year where I will be teaching three children full time. I am looking forward to participating in a homeschooling running club that I started with Twisted Sister, a regular reader of BiB and a homeschooling mother of three. It will provide a regular opportunity for our younger two to meet with and play with other homeschoolers in the area while the older kids run. We’ll be participating in four 5K races this fall. If that doesn’t shed some pounds, nothing will.

Somewhere in Illinois, Prodoceo will be dancing!


jedijson said...

Awesome! If we could live on my salary alone, we, too, would homeschool. I applaud you for doing it, reguardless of how others treat you.

We are working to get in a financial position so that, by the time Pride makes middle school, we can start homeschooling. I'll have to teach math, science, and art appreciation, but my wife will be able to do the rest.

Have fun this year, and know that some of us readers are jealous!

Kathleen said...

Awesome! If I could dance, I would be dancing with Prodoceo!! So glad they'll be at home with you. Still perplexed over the General's ps math experience. Well, seriously, not perplexed. Just shaking my head. Math sure isn't my strong suit, but who decides teaching math non-sequentially is a good idea anyway??

Arby said...

People who must prepare their students to pass a mid-year test, or else~

Kellie said...

Dancing here in TN as well! Glad you came to a decision that everyone is happy with. Must post pictures of the running club!

And now, I must return to my desk. I am neck-deep in preparations to start school this coming Monday...yikes.

CrossView said...

I'm so glad the General is in agreement. It makes it so much easier for all!

TeacherMommy said...

Public school teacher here ducking in and out (but I was homeschooled for most of elementary, so I still have a voice, right? ;P ). Saw some hints and all over on Fiddledeedee, and while you no doubt have your own wonderful systems in place, I figure any teacher can always use ideas, so here's the link: http://fiddledeedee.net/2009/08/05/a-workbox-system-that-works/

Good luck!