education, hampton roads, home education, homeschooler, homeschooling, new homeschooler, SAT, virginia

Wow! It Has Been A While!

I did not mean for such a long time to pass before I updated my blog! Where to begin??  After all of my moaning and complaining about SAT Prep, my dd did just fine.  She will be attending a wonderful college in Boston in the fall! God is good! We both prayed and fasted for God’s providence in her college search. In fact, I am writing a senior devotional to help other families pray through that senior year!

I have 2 not so little ones left at home to homeschool next year. DS will be in  1st grade and dd will be rising to the 7th grade. I am already planning her high school curriculum along with her middle school work. Its just easier to have a long term view on things. Next year, will be so different in our household. We will miss older sis desperately, but we have peace knowing that God has spoken in her life.

Where are you in your journey? I’d love to know!

Blessings Always!!!

home education, homeschool transition, homeschooling, new homeschooler, virginia

Getting Organized…

Well, at this point in the year, I really begin thinking about how I will organize my upcoming homeschool year. I ordered Managers of Their Homes, and I am devouring Teri’s great advice on scheduling for the homeschool family. I also had the good fortune to stumble upon Sue Patrick’s Workbox system and now I’m really trying to figure out how I can combine Teri’s schedule and Sue’s workbox to make something perfect for me.
What I like about Teri’s scheduling is that I can see just how much I have to get done in a glance, and my kids are not constantly asking me what comes next; they can see for themselves and work independently. I love that she schedules in time for the kids to play with each other and personal time for herself (what’s that?). I don’t like the finality of the Maxwell schedule however. Maybe I won’t FEEL like Math at 9am on Tuesday? Maybe, just once, I’d rather do English with my 10yr old at 9am on Tuesday. Then what?
Which brings me to what I like about the Workbox system. I love the “neat-i-ness” of it. The neat clear boxes on the “neat” rolling cart, your child just goes from box to box during the day until they have completed all 12 boxes. Yes, 12 boxes! Each child must have 12 clear boxes on a rolling cart containing the day’s lessons and activities, including boxes that allow for games and enrichment activities that always seem to slip through the cracks during normal school days. I love that the kids “check-in” to school each day via “neat” little paper pockets and laminated “school cards”. Nice. What I don’t like is that with 3 children that means I’d have to have 3 rolling carts with a total of 36 of those little boxes! Please… I barely have room for the kids in my school room.
So now, here’s what I’m thinking will work best for me, perhaps a book shelf with 4 clear containers for each child.
container 1 (daily work for home – English, math, music, etc), container 2 (Co-op Work- work that must be completed for our weekly coop- science, rhetoric, spanish,etc), container 3 (CBS – work that must be completed for weekly bible study), and container 4 (Enrichment Activities and Games). Next, I will have a schedule that allots time for School+a box number only but doesn’t assign a particular subject at a particular time – when a child sees “School” and a box number on their schedule they will know to go to their assigned box/container and pull out their assignments for the day and do them in the order that pleases them.
Okay, I’ll post pictures when I get this all set-up. What do you all think? Genius or disaster?

curriculum, education, hampton roads, home education, homeschool transition, homeschooling, virginia

Where’s My Bailout?

I’ve decided that it is patently unfair that the public education system gets to have millions of my tax dollars to do a bad job, and I get “bopkus” to do a great job. Where is the incentive to improve for the public school system, I wonder? Homeschoolers can barely get a tax break for the supplies they buy that work…but the public school system sinks millions of dollars into “guess-the-next-word” reading curriculum that even teachers scoff at.

Don’t get me wrong, I would never ask for government intervention or funding for my homeschool, but I would like to keep more of our family’s money from going into the sinkhole that is public education.

Now, I’m hearing about “nationalized preschool”. Are you kidding me? More taxes, more government education, more failure. What we really need is “nationalized parenting”. Parents who take an interest in their children and make sure they are prepared morally and academically for life. Government teachers are not parents; they are paid academic employees and asking them to also be mom, dad, counselor, pastor, and social worker is just too much. Some would say, what else are we to do???… Those same folks would say that talking about family values is polarizing. I say… you’ve talked about everything else, now try something that’s worked since the beginning of time… the truth. A family unit is the best place to raise children, encourage abstinence until marriage, and pray for those that you can’t reach. It has worked since Genesis, why not now?

curriculum, education, hampton roads, home education, homeschool testing, homeschool transition, homeschooler, homeschooling, new homeschooler, virginia, Worry

Scare Tactics and Intimidation

If you have had to remove your children from public school, you may find that you are being a victim of some pretty sinister scare tactics and intimidation. It has been my experience that the first thing you can do is not panic, and understand that very little information you obtain from the school system is actually true or accurate.

The school system may tell you that you cannot homeschool your child until the end of the school year. NOT TRUE! You can remove your child at any time during the school year to homeschool.

They(the public school system) may tell you that you can ONLY use an “approved” distance learning program to homeschool. NOT TRUE! You are free as a homeschooling parent to use ANY curriculum that you feel will benefit your child and your family.
According to §22.1-254.1 (A), You may teach at home if any one of the following conditions is met: if a parent (1) has a high school diploma; or (2) is a certified teacher*; or (3) provides a program of study or curriculum which may be delivered through a correspondence course or distance learning program or in any other manner; or (iv) provides evidence that he is able to provide an adequate education for the child. These four options are listed on the form entitled, “Notice of Intent to Provide Home Instruction.”

You may be told misinformation, such as, you cannot homeschool, or you must be an “approved homeschooler” if you have a GED. Not true! You are never “approved” by the school system. You simply “notify” them of your intent to homeschool and supply a list of the curriculum you intend to use. Also, if your spouse has a degree or a high school diploma you can file under your spouses educational credentials.

They may threaten you with truancy or that your child will fail if they are not returned to school. Your child cannot be accused of truancy as long as you have filed your notice of intent(NOI).
As far as failing, your child cannot fail a grade they withdraw from.

They may make ridiculous claims and attempt to make you jump through complicated hoops. At that point, turn in your NOI and cease communication. My suggestion to any homeschoolers that are switching to homeschooling from public school is to immediately join Homeschool Legal Defense or HSLDA, right now they are running a great promotion so it is free to join! Should you receive any threatening communication refer them to HSLDA immediately.

Finally, find a local support group of homeschoolers either via Yahoo groups or word-of-mouth and let them know what’s going on. Homeschoolers are a loving and helpful bunch; they will provide the necessary emotional and academic-advice support you will need to get past this.

Above all, do not allow yourself to feel alone, scared, or swallowed in self-pity, you have just made the most awesome, wonderful, life-changing decision of your life, now is not the time for sadness; it is time for jubilation!

curriculum, homeschooler, new homeschooler, Uncategorized, virginia, Worry

Transitional Anxiety

We Love To Worry!!
We Love To Worry!!

I’m in Virginia, and today it was an absolutely gorgeous day! My kids and I spent the day enjoying nature and each other. We took a break from homework and curriculum and seized the moment. I remember my first few months homeschooling. Oh, I would have never dared to stray from the many lesson plans I had charted for my kids. I had so much anxiety about making sure they passed the end of the year test; that they were as smart as the public and private school students; and that my relatives didn’t think I was just a slacker. I had to try and get to everything everyday. Oh, perfection is soooo exhausting. Nobody told me that sometimes all your children needed was your time, not your curriculum. I could have saved myself so much anxiety and many anxious moments. Since then my children have miraculously tested well above their grade levels. I cannot take the credit. I delight myself in the Lord, and he has given me the desires of my heart. More than anything, I have learned that anxiety and anxiousness are sure signs of my weak faith and have no bearing on God’s awesome ability to answer prayer even when I am less than deserving. Are you having a bit of transitional anxiety today? I challenge you to cast your cares to God and start enjoying your children and your family.

Blessings always,

Homeschool Newbie