Friday, October 01, 2010

The Long Overdue Series of Posts on Home Educating My Children part 5

Now What?

So now I have a newborn, a kindergartner, a first grader, a third grader, a fifth grader, a 7th grader, 9th grader and a newly returned 11th grader. What to do with everyone?

Here is the run down. The Elementary School Students all used MCP math books and Phonics books and I used Saxon math for the 7th and 9th graders. I did a nature study co-op for the Elementary students (included lots of art, as well), and Dr. Wyle's Physical Science for the 8th grader ( a co-op also with one other student). The history was being done by the other co-op parent, Medieval times with numerous resources. We used Easy Grammar, Wordly Wise and Editor in Chief for everyone at various levels. For the first and third graders we used Language of God for Little Folks, and a spelling program from CHC. The middle kids did MCP map books, as well. There was pretty much nothing left of the original Mother of Divine Grace curriculum I began with, but I used the same principles and theories, and still considered that as my inspiration. And my 9th grader was doing Seton Home School. The second time through for me would be better, and she was more of an autodidact, so she should be able to stay on track better. Or so I thought. It turns out she was rapidly getting behind, and would refuse to take my advise or assistance. By the end of what should have been the semester, she wasn't finished with the first quarter yet.

The kids were still in choir, so I had those rehearsals to get them to, as well as the newborn I was trying to soak up, and the gardening, that with 3 acres, must be tended to a little or nature wins. I had a variety of other obligations out side the home that were quickly becoming loathsome to me. Actually, everything was becoming loathsome to me at this point.

Meanwhile, I am trying to run a household. Shopping, cooking, keeping the cleaning schedule on track, laundry. One thing that did work quite well at this point was assigning each bedroom a laundry day. The eldest child in each room needed to get their room's laundry all the way finished on their day, with the help of the younger resident. I was the manager, and kept it all moving. The laundry did stay consistently managed, and I have to give credit to the boarding school for that idea. It still works to this day.

That leaves the newly returned 11th grader. I still avoided "brick and mortar" schools for various reasons, and tried the path the other home educating families I knew did for high school. He was enrolled in the local community college for two classes (after not getting into college algebra because of his low admittance test. My first wake up call). He was in a home school co-op Spanish class, a Christian speech and debate club, and Eastern Catholic Religion through Seton. I thought we had our bases covered, but the erratic schedule and not feeling he "belonged" anywhere was making my son miserable again. And his schedule was erratic. A time management nightmare for this particular 16 year old who needs regular, predictable and steady. Looking back I can not believe I thought that this would work. It shouldn't have been a surprise when this semester did not go well, but I was surprised and disappointed because it had worked for other families. This was again, a wake up call. Other people's solutions are not a universal, and every family, every child is very unique. This is why I home schooled, because I didn't want them to be in a classroom treated like everyone else. Without realizing it, I was doing that very thing by having my son do what worked for others, instead of taking his particular needs into consideration.

Again, my son asked to go to a "regular" school. So, after Christmas, during the semester break, I screwed up my courage and went to the local Catholic high school to see what we could do.

(Coming up: Shining Light on the Boogie Man in the Closet)


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