Friday, August 29, 2008

The first day of school

Was great! It was actually on Monday, so I guess the first week of school was great too. It still seems a little unreal to me as the local public schools don't start until next Thursday. I still feel a bit nervous about that although every time this summer I considered sending my kids back to the local public school, my stomach turned in knots. That's right, we are homeschooling! Except technically we aren't. Clear as mud? lol. Here in CA they have public charter schools that focus on parent-led independent study programs. I call it a hybrid school. Hybrids are cool, you know. Basically, my kids are enrolled in a public school that lets me choose the curriculum, teach at home (or wherever) and the state still finances my kids' education. Check out our school here. "Wait a minute," some of you are thinking. Homeschool kids are weird. A friend of mine and I had this discussion. Where I grew up, the homeschooled kids were from the ultra-conservative families. The ones who didn't watch TV. They challenged each other to go a year without eating sugar. The ones whose families actually had family scripture study every day as opposed to the rest of us who only knew we were supposed to. My friend, on the other hand, had homeschoolers in her area who were known as those who rebelled against society, the hippies, the ones who probably are in trouble with the IRS and the DEA. I obviously don't fit into either of those categories. I'm making up a new category, and I think I have plenty of company. The homeschoolers who just want a better education for their kids. I don't want to shield my kids from the world, I want to introduce them to the best parts of it. Instead of coloring in a badly photocopied worksheet about pond habitats, I want to take them to a pond and let them see, hear, touch and smell it. I want them to be allowed to mix their paint colors just to see what happens. I want to help them learn at their individual levels, to love learning so much that they make it a part of their everyday lives, not just something they do for a certain amount of time each day. I want to watch them grow, discover and understand. I am excited about the support we have received for our decision. Family, friends, neighbors have all been in favor of our leap into the unknown. I had been bracing myself for critisim and preparing my defense. I was ready to be the weird homeschooling family. Maybe I'm not as much as a rebel against society as I thought I was. But, then again, we did have family scripture study every morning this week.

8 comments:

Elise said...

I want to take them to a pond and let them see, hear, touch and smell it.

Whew!! I was expecting taste it...We will start homeschooling Tuesday. I am excited and nervous about it. I would say about 80% of my friends homeschool so it seems the norm around here.
Hope it goes well for you!!
Elise

sweetpea said...

I think it's wonderful Tamlynn--and what a cool program! I haven't heard anything like this before, and I will be eager to hear how it goes this year!

mindyluwho said...

Welcome to the world of homeschooling! I think we're in the same camp as are most of the homeschoolers I know. We officially start next week. Good luck!

Amy said...

I'm glad you are finding something that works for your kids. Parenting is tough enough w/o people critiquing every choice we make.

smart mama said...

LOL- you'll od great- coming from a wierdo here-- half of making the jump last year was due to my own stigma against it-- I am sure we'll be joining you again soon!

Michal said...

you'll love it! and you have a great attitude about it. yes, you are a little crazy--i think that's a prerequisite! i think one great thing for me about our decision to homeschool was letting go of caring about what other people thought of us. we were prayerful about our decision and and felt very strongly about it, so we decided not to care about the criticism, the well-meaning concerns, and the whispers behind our backs. and we haven't regretted it.
by the way, i think that scripture study is actually easier when you homeschool! wanna go off sugar now?:)

Tamlynn said...

Go off sugar? ;P Not me. In fact I'm off to make a batch of my favorite oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. I have to reserve enough to take to the homeless shelter in the morning, but the rest are mine.

Well, I guess I did promise the kids they could have some for breakfast. lol.

Sarah H said...

Good for you! You are super-mom, I swear! Thanks for telling me about Bekah's baby, we don't really keep in touch, but we do exchange Christmas cards every year.