This year we’re doing something different in the homeschool. We’ve signed the kids up with a local charter school that supports homeschoolers. Basically, we still teach the children at home, but we have teachers checking in with us once a week to track our progress.
I know this is a controversial decision, and that some homeschoolers are completely against charter school. However, charter school is working wonderfully for us this year. Why? I’d be glad to tell you!
Support Where I’m Weak
Overall, I think I’m a pretty effective teacher for my children. After all, I’ve been teaching them since they were babies. Nobody, save for God, knows my kids better than I do. However, there are a couple of areas where I’m weak. Writing is one of them.
I know you’re scratching your heads, as I write blog posts for a living. But blogging is an informal type of writing. (Note that I started the previous sentence with a conjunction…a big no-no). I can write, but I have no idea how to teach it effectively. It’s nice to be able to consult with a teacher about strategies to teach my children writing.
As a teacher who consults with several other homeschooling family, our Education Specialist also has experience with a wide array of curriculum. Just today she suggested something for Bug that I hadn’t thought to use. She’s also suggested books that are good for a reluctant 9 year old boy reader. I’m grateful for the help.
Last year was a crazy year for us. We were working hard to bring Boo into our family, and that necessitated several out of town trips. Our school year got derailed. While it’s certainly OK to have years like that, it’s not OK if it happens all the time.
Sometimes I have a hard time with organization, and blips that come up in life tend to throw me into a tizzy. But this year, I know I need to meet with my ES once a week, and I need to show her that we did a week’s worth of work. There’s nothing like a little accountability to keep me on track. I thrive on accountability.
Stargirl is a very gifted musician. She’s never met an instrument that she doesn’t like, and she loves to sing. But music lessons are expensive, and in our case, unaffordable.
Fortunately Stargirl has been able to participate in our local middle school band, even though she’s a homeschooler. But as an 8th grader who is almost certainly going to be a music major, she was longing to do more.
Since our charter school offers onsite classes on Fridays, Stargirl is able to take piano, violin, and choir. The instructor is top-notch. There is no way Stargirl would have this kind of opportunity outside the charter school.
Bug is also benefitting from the onsite classes. He’s taking beginning woods and piano. I never thought I’d see the day where he’d take a music class, but he’s really enjoying piano.
Is charter school for everyone? Of course not! Neither is homeschool, public school, or Christian school. I’ve always been a fan of choosing the education that fits the child best. In our case, we used public school for several years and homeschooled on our own for a couple of years. We’re finding that this particular charter school is a great fit for us, and that’s why we chose it this year.