Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Back to Bob

Our homeschool table, given to us by a dear Ghana mom!

Oh, the best laid plans....

I posted a few weeks ago about the EPIC decision we had made for our kids--to them to go to an on-site Charter school. That post is HERE. Well it appears that we may have a case of us counting our chicks before they hatched. I had no idea at the time that there was any opposition to the "learning resource center" idea, but in fact, the state had big problems with it.

Our school's charter describes a home-based virtual schooling program, not a site-based virtual schooling program. The state seems to have an issue with a "virtual" school bringing kids and teachers together in the same learning environment each day. If we do that, it's a school-school. Ho hum. No big deal for our family (since we were already excited to be home-based) but I think it's a total lose for the working families in our state that would like their kids to take part in a program like this, but can't because they have to be at work. This would have solved that problem for them. In the end, the state is so scared that someone might do something to pull students out of their public schools!

It's back to Bob Jones University Press for our kids--and we are totally fine with that! I'm trying to get back into the frame of mind that I won't have 5 hours of quiet each day after all, and that instead of the juggling act that is my day getting easier, we'll be adding a few more things to the mix (named Kendi and Bright's school). We were blessed with the awesome table above last year, and this year we'll be setting up for four students (each with their own laptop thanks to the school)!

The way BJU is set up is that there will be a teacher teaching each lesson to them (via streaming video). After the lesson is taught, they do whatever assigned work they need to do for that lesson. If they need help, mom is here. In addition, with the charter school we've chosen, we'll have as much one on one involvement from an OK certified teacher as we wish.

Oh how I am praying that BJU is the right way to go. It's so hard to find one program to fit 4 children, but we really desire our kids to do the same program as much as is possible, and we also desire our kids to stick with the same program until graduation. So far we've done 3 different things in 3 years of homeschooling! I've heard from several BJU moms who have taken their kids all the way through with good results, so I'm trusting, and praying, and praying, and praying!

Anybody need 4 really cutsie brand new lunch boxes from Target? How about 4 brand new backpacks? Yeah...we won't need those after all. =-)




Mama D.'s Dozen 11:49 PM  

So sorry that it didn't work out. I was a bit concerned after hearing your description, because it sounded too good to be true. :( WA State has just pulled out the rug under a lot of similar programs.

A couple of Words of Wisdom from a long-time homeschooling mama (21+ years of educating my 12 children at home, with at least 9 years left for my youngest).

#1 Do not worry about "having all of the kids using the same program". Each of your children are individuals, with different needs, different giftings, and different challenges. You may end up with 4 different programs for 4 different children, and that can be a GOOD thing.

#2 Do not worry about "using the same program until they graduate". Oh. My. No. New programs are coming out all the time. And, again, each of your children are individuals with individual needs. Find what they need THIS YEAR, and don't worry about next year ... or 8-12 years from now.

#3 Take ONE YEAR at a time. That is really ALL that you need to plan for. Be flexible. The JOY of homeschooling is being able to do today what needs to be done today ... and not worrying about next month or next year.

Hoping that you all can find JOY in the New Plan.

Laurel :)

Jenny 6:34 AM  

I will be interested to see what you think of BJU for the kids! I have another year before I start hsing kindy with my oldest, but I'm a curriculum junkie and a little obsessed with selecting what I want to use. BJU pre cursive is on my short list of handwriting possibilities.

A. Gillispie 9:40 PM  

Yeah, it did seem too good to be true. They are still discussing with the state about whether they sites will be open this year, but I couldn't stand to wait until the last minute to know what we'd be doing. We were happy to homeschool again, so it was an easy choice.

Laurel, I don't worry about the kids all being in the same program, but I do hope we can find one that will suit all of their needs. I don't get to be the homeschooling mom I would ideally be, because I'm working full time at home. I can't coordinate four program for four kids. I don't have the time to teach it. It's not ideal, but it's better than our public school option. =-)

I do feel a personal conviction that we need to hope we can get a program that will take us through the long haul. We have done 3 different things in 3 years, and I worry that has left my kids with holes in their learning (because one system does history/math/language one way and another system does it a totally different way). It takes a lot of courage for my husband to trust homeschooling our kids. It's way "out there" to him! He expects me to make sure they are hitting all of their required concepts in line with the state recommendations. Much harder to do (at least for me) when we are changing programs every year!

It may be that we end up changing again and again. I won't settle for something that doesn't work for my kids (obviously), but I do hope that we find the consistency that I think our family would flourish with! =-)

A. Gillispie 9:41 PM  

Jenny, one thing to look into is whether you prefer a spiral learning system or a traditional system. BJU is more traditional, whereas Abeka is a spiral learning system. We had a very poor experience with the spiral thing in our public schools, so for our family we sought out a more traditional system and that was the biggest factor in choosing BJU over Abeka.