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.