Both of my kids are still asking to not do any outside classes or co-ops for homeschool academics. I knew they would tire of just being with each other and having me administer everything and that they'd want to be in classed with other kids. I knew this based on the fact that they enjoyed that last year and in prior years.
I base my opinions on living experiences, trying things, and seeing how it pans out. My kids, especially my teenager (who now has that complete teen attitude thing going on) challenge my opinions even though mine are more solid and logical. Why they think their ideas are more true and valid, they cannot explain.
Well the other night my fourteen year old blurted out in anger that he was lonely and bored and that he doesn't see enough kids his age. Well, we just moved here a couple of weeks ago and in the last less than two weeks our main focus has been staying home to unpack, organize, and wait on repairs and deliveries. I am bored too, and I'm lonely too.
I was right about them not going to want to do 100% of their studies at home with me as the teacher. The one math class with one 90 minute session a week online for my ninth grader is not going to suffice for social time.
My teen signed up for the high school rowing team. It is a community team for high schoolers which takes kids from public schools, private schools, or homeschools. It is a competitive team that travels far and wide to weekend regattas. It is a co-ed group. Practice is four times a week. My son was already talking with kids there and starting to make friends at the first practice.
Boy Scout Troop shopping has begun. It will actually be a challenge to run from rowing practice directly to Boy Scouts but we'll have to find a way to make it work. There may be clashes for my older son with camping and the regattas, so for the first time, sports will be a higher priority than Scouts, mostly because there are many more Scout activities to attend at other times.
We are still church shopping. Maybe they will also find friends at whatever church we wind up choosing to attend.
Last week I spent time looking for homeschool in-person group academic classes to do with local homeschoolers. I am having a hard time finding courses that jive with our academic plan. As was the challenge in Connecticut, so many things available are extra-curricular or fun rather than being core academics that counts much toward high school credit. What is rigorous enough is not the right content for my son. Other things that are extras take time away from being able to do the more important core work.
For example a great sounding history course is offered only as an elective credit and focuses on Asia when my son would still have to study a different history at home for a history credit. I plan to cover the 1850-2011 time period and do history chronologically not focusing on just one geographic location. Do we really want to do both the core history and home and Asian history and geography at a paid class which also has homework to complete? My son has asked not to use electives on history anyway, so that is my deciding factor, no matter how cool the course sounds.
As an example of a great online class that my son is interested in that I can't teach, he has not fulfilled the prerequisite math requirements so he can't take them. He is interested in doing some computer programming or a class on how to use CAD. I saw some other classes online that he could quality to take (how to use PowerPoint, how to do Word and Excel) but am not sure he needs a class for those.
It seems easier sometimes to just teach something at home, for mom to teach it or for the student to teach themselves. However what is done at home takes discipline to stick with it and to do the necessary work, sometimes it is easier to push oneself to complete homework that an outside teacher assigns, and to get it done by their deadline seems easier than to work toward mom-imposed or self-imposed deadlines.
When doing home studies it takes some effort to make sure you are doing enough to qualify it for a high school credit. It is easier to just pay a teacher and let them plan the class and make sure that the content is deep enough and was studied with enough hours to qualify it for high school credit. With group classes there is also the social environment which hopefully is a good thing!
Well back to the situation of doing group classes for academic purposes in order to also get some social time in with other kids, I need to get this figured out as some classes already started this week and have one class already gone by.
I knew this would happen....but I so wanted to listen to my kids and have their buy-in with this homeschool year. The fact that it is combined with a stressful move and them wanting to have some amount of control over something, since the move and those changes were completely not in their control. But what they were asking for went against my better judgement. We'll see what happens. I can scramble and cram them in to some classes now or I can do as we had agreed on prior and ride it out for this semester and start in with classes in January, I guess. Oh, but those high school classes are year long courses, oh no...I'd better stop blogging and get back to researching!