Monday, May 06, 2013

The Harsh Realities of Living Out a Dream

Last week I told you that we signed some papers and slid that commitment through the slot at the post office.  Those papers were to enroll five of our six kids into Progressive Discover-e, a cyber school that my friend Ann Cook is the principal of who has grown this dream of hers from a seed into the successful government-funded, provincially recognized home-education resource it is today.  We are pretty excited about it.

Ann's dream is allowing us to walk into one of ours...home-educating all of our kids.  But, you say, you only enrolled 5.  Yes, that is true, the jury is still out on number 6 because we and that child are still discerning the best form of education for this next year.  We do that every year.  We don't go into a new school year without going through that process.  We go before the Lord with each child and ask Him what the plan is.  As they get older they join in on that process.

For those of you not familiar with a cyber school...well, I'm not either, we haven't done this before, but I will try to explain it as it has been explained to me, or you can go visit their website and it will probably tell you more...the link is HERE.  The majority of the classes will be online with real teachers at the other end who mark and assign their work.  Art and Phys Ed are my responsibility - we log the hours and activities and submit those.  My job is to supervise their work, their job is to do the work!

I am pretty thrilled with this for a few reasons...
1.  It isn't costing me anything.  The school is government funded.
2.  I don't need to worry about counting credits for my high school students, they will make sure they've got everything they need to graduate according to our provincial guidelines.
3.  I don't need to go through the headache of choosing curriculum...even though it's kind of fun..but not really.
4.  I am not doing the marking, sometimes it is hard to be objective.
5.  There is someone else besides me holding them accountable.
6.  It's a Christian school, so I do not need to be concerned about content that could prove to be objectionable.

And then there are the harsh realities:
1.  My kids will be home all the time (I love them but sometimes it is really nice to see the yellow school bus, especially Monday mornings)
2.  I will have to plan for three meals a day for the whole fam, not just two.  The four of us that have been home this year have a pretty mellow thing going on at lunch longer.
3.  I will have to be disciplined about making a schedule and keeping it - they will each need time online and off, piano lessons, the art and phys ed time logging, etc.  Yes discipline - it could fit in the four-letter word category, but it doesn't.  Do you think maybe God knew this was coming down the pipe when He gave me the 'phrase' for the year, Grace-full Discipline?  I will definitely need a cup full of grace every day!
4.  There will be a togetherness-attitude that will need to be conquered.
5.  There will be lots of bumps to iron out as we learn this new rhythm.
6.  I will need to learn to say no and be kind to myself about things that I think I should be doing but won't have the energy for.
7.  There will be people who don't understand why we would do this to ourselves, like it's a punishment or something...we don't see it that way.
8.  There will be people who will be mad at us for taking our kids out of the school.  Our decision is NOT a reflection of our school.
9.  Some people will get us to try and feel guilty that we're doing this...not sure why this happens, but it has.
10. My kids who have not homeschooled before are going to be in for a shock...they will have to work, contrary to popular thought.
11.  My kids will have MORE chores to do not less.  Not sure who that will be harder on.
12.  It's not going to be easy.
13.  It WILL be alot of work.
14.  We will not enjoy every day.
15.  There will be days when I question my sanity.
16.  There will be days when I will want to send them all away.

And for those who are wondering:
1.  No, we don't hate our public school, in fact, we love our school!  There are great teachers and we have a very positive relationship with them.
2.  No, this doesn't mean we are moving.
3.  No, we may not do this for the rest of our I said before we take it one year at a time.
4.  No, we are not crazy - well, that might be debatable!!


Kim said...

It sounds like there is much to love about this plan, Lani. Certainly there will be hurdles-many of which you mention-but overall the benefits outweigh the difficulties.

Amy Tilson said...

Excellent! Interested to watch how it unfolds.

Beloved said...

This is exciting, and such a great learning experience to observe up close.It's clear this year will be full of blessings. Breathe, pray, and have the time of your life.
Peace and good to your entire brood.

jenni ho-huan said...

i must say i wish my society allows this level of flexibility. we have mandatory national level exams at 12 and then, once you leave the system; it's really hard to get back in. So we are still struggling to decide! lift a prayer for me (a believer) and my hubs (a not fully convinced).
we have long school hours. including travel time, my 13 year old is away from home twice a week for 13 hours! crazy right?