Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The first day of the rest of our lives...

So today I started homeschooling Rebecca.

It feels kind of strange to say that.

Yesterday Rebecca came home from school completely miserable. When I saw her homework load I began to understand. Then I saw the completed and graded work that she brought home and understood completely.

One paper exemplified everything I hate about public school. The assignment was to write a descriptive paragraph about an earthquake using spelling words. She produced a beautiful paragraph. Sadly however, she did not underline the spelling words. The only comments on the paper were a check minus and a reminder to underline her spelling words.

It was depressing.

There were tears about pointless homework and I gently said, "We can start homeschooling now you know..."

After lots of discussion we agreed that we'd try it for a few days. I reached out to the homeschooling community searching for other families with 10 year girls who are obsessed with Warrior Kitties, Harry Potter and American Girl dolls and guess what? I received many emails from other families, welcoming us and inviting us to many events. Tomorrow Rebecca and I are going to a local playground where the homeschoolers meet. We are going to bring the dogs with us because nothing breaks the ice faster than two snorty little pugs.

Rebecca and I are both excited, but also nervous. This change is huge and while we have been talking about homeschooling for the past year, making the decision so suddenly feels very dramatic.

And I suppose it is.

The good news is that Rebecca can still attend field trips with her class and even go back to school for things like library or gym.

I think that Rebecca and I will start to feel more settled once she makes some friends and is able to start really enjoying the social aspects of homeschooling. For now Rebecca and I are going to ease into homeschooling. I need to find a math curriculum for her. Much of our work, at least in the short term will be reading and writing, and following our interests where they take us.

Lily? For now she's going to stay in school. She's happy and enjoying herself and the curriculum which is not yet dictated by standardized tests.

What has Sophie learned today? That if you roll around in a dead bird you will get a bath.

Happily Rebecca was home to wash the stinky dog! Homeschooling is paying off already!


Anonymous said...

Woo hoo! You jumped in. I am filled with admiration at your adaptability and your responsiveness as a mom!

XO Nina

TJIC said...

Well done!

I'm never going to send my kids to government schools.

mgster said...

If I could go back and relive my life, one of the main things I would do would be to home school my oldest child. His entire school life was plain miserable! I now know so many people who home school with splendid results. You are doing the right thing for your daughter. I'd say good luck, but you are not going to need it. You will be fine!

Kaight said...

Rock on mama!! Just have fun for now. You'll find your groove and be a fabulous homeschooling family before you know it.

Cheryl Duford said...

Way to go, Sara! I'm so excited for you and Rebecca. What a great new adventure you've embarked upon. I'm glad that Lily is still young enough to enjoy public school so you can ease in into homeschooling one child at a time.

Awesome awesome awesome!

Love, C

Lisa said...

You know I have one that I swear loves baths and will roll in poo to get one! lol
Home schooling sounds exciting! You two can take on this adventure together! YEAH! Have a great time at your meet tomorrow! Glad Sophie is all clean for the event!
Hugs, Lisa

Jo said...

I just found your very sweet blog today. Congratulations on your very big decision to homeschool. I have been homeschooling for over 10 years now, and will always cherish the extra time I have been able to spend with my kids...

Anonymous said...

Oh Boy! You will love every second of homeschooling! My daughter will be 16 on Saturday and I have always been affraid to keep her home....at the end of last year she threatened to "die" if I made her go back. She is home right now doing all she can to get the grades she has always wanted.
She seems happier, it's still early but I know, finally, I did what was best for her.
We look forward to your post regarding your day today!!
HUGS to both of you!!

PS I am a regualr but prefer to keep my name out of this post for my daughters sake.

Sullygirl2001 said...

I know that the suddenness in unnerving, but sometime those done (it what seems like haste) are the best decisions we make! Last year Danny was struggling in his school and came home complaining that his teacher was mean to him and I told him to straighten up and she won't be mean. A week later I was at school dealing with HSA things and in the office when the teacher DRAGGED my son in by his shirt collar (YES AY OLQOP!) to the principal.
I was then informed that my son was VERY poorly behaved and something HAD to be done. I kneeled down and told Danny to go back in and pack his desk, we were done here. I kept him home the rest of the week trying to figure out our next move (I debated military school) and ended up enrolling him at the local public school and he has done well (knock wood) so far.
I understand your frustration with the drive of starndarized testing, Dann already has 1 done the 2nd week of school...it's a joke how fast they push them in and he's only in 2nd grade!
Best of luck to you and Rebecca, I hope you enjoy your time and learn LOT od USEFUL things together. I know a family that home schools here and they are the BEST family I know so far!


Saguaro Chick said...

GOOD FOR YOU! Homeschooling was, and still is, an option for us as well for for my youngest. We decided that if this year continued like last year did (when I should have pulled him) then we would home school. So far so good this year, we have an excellent teacher who has been a total blessing, but if anything happens again for him like last year, and I mean ANYTHING, he is being homeschooled! I am so excited for you, you are going to be great, and Rebecca is going to be so much happier. I am often mortified about what goes on in public schools. Did you happen to hear what happened at a school this week in Prescott Valley! OMG!

Ginger said...

Good for you, Sara. I hope it works out for you and Rebecca. You have support, thats the main thing.
Cute what you wrote about Sophie getting a bath.

Julie said...

Now she can help you go junking! Mine is 3 and we've been grappling with this idea since before she was born. I applaud your wonderful Mother instincts. She will make you proud..otherwise she knows it's back to prison/school. And you can make her do blog projects.

Michael said...

Sara, I wish the the best with homeschooling. I'd consider doing the same, but it just isn't something I think we could handle. I know lots of people who do it successfully. Please keep us updated.