Friday, October 22, 2010

Homeschooling Situation Check Point

The status is now:

"The tail is wagging the dog."

I hate that and it must stop.

I knew this over-scheduled autumn would be difficult but exactly what lessons would be learned was not known.

By joining multiple homeschool group learning experiences I have given away my power to have full (or almost any) control of the learning experiences my kids are exposed to. What they are spending their time doing will not get them to their goals they set for themselves or to the goals my husband and I have for them.

Additionally some classes that we didn't think would have homework have homework, sometimes twice as  much homework as the length of their class that week.

Some classes have required last-minute added-on purchase of textbooks or other supplies.

Some classes have required additional prerequisite learning be done which takes time and sometimes the purchase of even more curricula. In one case the course content was so difficult extra work independently has to be done outside of class, administered by me.

Some things I thought I was paying to hand my children off to learn from someone else requires my help for prerequisite learning in a scrambling type mode and my assistance with homework. So much for me having "free time" on my hands. I have also learned that trying to teach content from the middle of a course in a rushed manner for a class deadline is much harder and more chaotic than a systematic, organized, and thorough manner of home instruction that proceeds in a calm atmosphere at home.

Things have wound up being:

more time in the group classes
more time at home doing work for the group classes
more energy on my children and my part to expend in time outside of class
more money spent on materials and supplies than expected

Mid-December can't come soon enough for any of us.


K said...

How is the biology class coming along?

K said...

BTW..file away this URL:

It is a link to the high school courses Texas Tech University ISD offers. They are pretty affordable at $150/semester + books. A good filler for classes that you can't/don't want to do at home or locally, easily.

christinemm said...

Only 3 biology classes have been held so far. One was a lab where pond water was looked at under a microscope and nothing was recorded in the lab book. Another the kids led themselves in doing worksheets together. I don't know what they did in class 3.

My issue with that class is not with the teacher, it is that a full high school biology year cannot be taught in 10 hours of lecture and 5 hours of lab.

He also did 3 chapters on his own and the worksheets which was said to be what was covered in the first semester that he didn't take. At that rate I'm not sure how much could be covered in 2 full calendar years given that there are 10 classes in each co-op semester, with 2 semesters in a calendar year.

He also had to read Mystery of the Periodic Table as a prerequisite.

christinemm said... I am thinking home study with more hours of study per week OR doing an online class with an accredited school that is more rigorous and seeks to cover the full topic in one academic year is better than at a co-op or at least THIS co-op.

Madere said...

Since the theme for awhile has been pressure over readiness for high school, have you given some thought to just giving your son an extra year before high school? I have twin twice-exceptionals, and I recently decided to give my own kids that extra year. It is amazing how it has taken the pressure off. My daughter will have another year to prepare her art portfolio, my son another year to advance in music, they will both have another year to work on study skills and organizational issues, and I'll have another year to save for college. For us, there is no downside -- it's not as if the kids will have to redo any classes! They'll have more time for APs, SAT IIs, community service, etc. What do you think?

christinemm said...

Hi Madere,
Thanks for sharing your ideas and thoughts. Yes I have, or thought of doing 5 years of high school. I've talked to my son about it and he is adamant (now) that he remain in this grade. He wants to own this grade and to move to grade 9 next year and to get on with college to enter in fall of 2015. So for now we are staying on track.

Perhaps when he is given a full load of rigorous courses in grade 9 he may change his tune, then or in grade 10.

Sorry if all my ramblings are becoming repetivie or tedious.