Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Homeschool ramble

Today I join Claire in a mammoth homeschool project. She purchased an excellent series of lectures for high school science, and now she's taking notes on all the DVD's and forming questions. I may help some with this process. However, today, I will be Claire's data entry person. She's using my library card, her husband's, and her children's to consolidate Knox County Public Library's children's science collection. I will be finding and typing in several hundred book titles and having them sent to our branch. Next week, Claire and I will spend hours with those books, choosing which ones will best supplement concepts in the videos.

Why in the world should we go to all this trouble? Wouldn't sending our children to middle or high school do the trick? It might, but here are some reasons I'll homeschool next year.

1. My oldest son went to an excellent elementary school for kindergarten and first grade. His teachers, who were incredibly gifted and created love of learning in their classrooms, asked me to "practice" reading and math with Peace at home. Though he went to a great school for hours a day, honestly, I ended up being the one to teach him essential phonics and math facts for a few hours after school. After two years, I picked up on the trend, and so did he. Peace asked in the spring of his first grade year, "Mom I'm inside all day, and then I have to come home and study. When do I get to be outside? It's so pretty out there. Can't we homeschool?"
I realized quickly that when it came to the big and important skills, I would have to tutor my average son all through school. Teachers simply don't have time to keep up with all educational components of every single child. So why not let the nature boy study outside at home?

2. Secondly, the public school system in my county generally graduates student like mine (not incredibly academically self-motivated boys) to junior college if they go to college at all. I can motivate and tailor for college prep much more effectively as teacher than as tutor.

3. Private school is too expensive, especially for four children and one family income. I already struggle with relational parenting under normal everyday stress, so what would adding the responsibility of a job do to my family?

4. There are boxed curriculums out there, but so far, I've found them all boring. Why not make learning interesting? We'll do boring only if we can't figure out something better.

5. High school DVD courses are very expensive. We're talking between $500-$1,000 per course per year.

6. Who loves and cares about the success of my children more than Buck and I?

So, Claire and I will pour ourselves into weeks of science work to create something worthy and simple to implement for the coming school year. Wish us luck.


Kat said...

That sounds like an interesting project. Your local librarians will either:
A: Love you because you send their circulation statistics through the roof, which makes them look good, OR
B: Hate you because you are creating a lot of clerical work for them.
I would be interested in knowing which reaction you get!
BTW, you might be able to pare down the list of books you actually need to see by checking the copyright dates. Science books more that 5-6 years old, I wouldn't even bother looking at. Unless they are "hard science", like math.

unquenchableworshipper said...

Don't worry honey, I'll do my part.

I will sacrifice and take the boys to Pirates of the Carribean.

I know, I know.. you can thank me later.

truevyne said...

Dear Kat,
So far, the library has been helpful. Thanks for the tip!

Jana said...

This sounds like an unreal amount of work to me. I homeschool, and I've never heard of someone going to that much trouble. I'm assuming that you've done research on the different science curriculum that are out there - all put together, and many NOT AT ALL boring. I'm curious as to why none of them met your fancy. What are your expectations of a year of science?

Jana said...

I accidently posted before I was done. Have you looked at Sonlight Curriculum? In my opinion, it's far from boring. For some, it may be too expensive. However, a lot of people purchase just the Instructor's Guides and then get the other books from the library wherever possible.

Also, have you heard of the Charlotte Mason method? Far from boring. And a joy to teach.

Whatever you end up using, I'm sure you'll have a truly rewarding year! At the very LEAST, your relationship with your children will be blessed!

Kate said...

Hi there! #5 sums it up for me most of all. I have some cirric. questions for you. I'll have to email you in a bit to pick your brain (if and when you have time). I am trying hard to move away from boxed cirric. and need something more challenging for my two older ones. I do know of A Beka's DVD's - I think each individual course is 370 for 7th grade and up. That's what they told me on the phone last week. It's just not well advertised! OK... I'll email you later. :)