I stopped blogging over here when things began going downhilll---fast!
The program we were in was a charter school, a 'public school' that provides all the curriculum & computer. You must meet quarterly w/ a 'real teacher' & have parent-teacher conferences. The curriculum itself was nice. I loved it.
The problems began when my then kindergartner was not moving as the expected pace. The school claims to allow children to move @ thier own pace...but this was obviously NOT the case. I became more & more stressed out over checking off the boxes than what S was really learning.
My grandmother died in June of 2006, she was 91 years old & it was expected. It seemed the teacher did not understand my children's need to grieve & what a shock this was to our family system, it was their first real death in the family & grandma had been in the hospital since Feb. 2006, so we were taking time to visit her ect. This contributed to our 'falling behind' within the academic schedule.
Then my mother became terminally ill in Aug. 2006. We started the school year a bit behind already & that completley threw us off. I tried to keep on track as much as possible, to keep a semblance of normalcy within our home, w/ my mother's, their grandmother's, death looming in the near future. We actually got quite a bit of schoolwork done in those 1st few months, @ my mom's house. It was a mere distraction for the serious stress @ hand & to come.
Then my mom died, sooner than we expected. My children needed to grieve. Yet...the pressure was STILL there. School was NOT fun or enjoyable in any way shape or form. They were heartbroken & those little boxes were still looming over us, needing to be checked.
I wanted to SIT & snuggle & read books or do nothing, w/ my kids. They needed me. I needed them & we missed mom/grandma. I did NOT want to spend a minimum of 4-5 hours a day doing 'lessons'. Lessons that seemed so UNimportant @ that time when your heart is hurting.
My children needed comfort NOT phonics. They needed affection. I disenrolled S...finally. I felt relief & freedom. Freedom to pursue what WE were interested in. Freedom to debrief ourselves from the stress & pressure.
I left my oldest in the program because he could handle it better & he'd be moving on to highschool next year anyway. (that is another blog) He was able to be involved in a few extra-curriculur activites that would not have happened had we not been in this program. He met other students around his age & they participated in a Lego League, going on to win numerous prizes in this nationally recognized challenge. They also participated in a state recognized science challenge & won more prizes. Those were some of the major highlights of the school year for him & for our family. I am grateful for that.
I knew when we signed on that there would be 'trade-off's. I would be trading off my complete control & freedom of my children's education to be accountable to someone else, to have someone else tell me how to do it ect. I knew that.
I had lost faith in myself & my ability to educate how my child needed. I knew my littles. I knew what they needed & what they were struggling w/. I don't regret using that program. I am glad that I finally realized when it was enough & not continue to torture ourselves.
I am excited to go back to my 'roots'. lol No preplanned curriculum in a box for us. We now enjoy regular trips to the library, checking out as many books as we can carry. We are making 'books' about fascinating subjects. I am now relying on my own research abilities to find resources. There are tons of free resources online for printables & lots of exciting things.
I am looking forward to the upcoming months...cause yes, we do 'school' during summer! :D
And I plan on updating much more frequently now that I am 'free'. ;-)