Saturday, August 28, 2010

How our first week went

It was crappy! Everything I hate about public schools was brought home to me this week. We had a couple of decent days but not successful days.

First, I'm having an identity crisis of sorts. It should not bother me so much, and is not really about public schools, but I want to get it out. I made the decision to enroll the kids with the support of the hubby. We needed free curriculum and we could not be picky at the time. We have been independent homeschoolers from the beginning, and I am resenting the title of public school at home. I'm not sure why, but I even feel a small sense of shame that we turned to "the system." Silly I know, but I wonder if I will tell my old homeschool buddies that we are no longer really homeschoolers...technically that is.

My biggest complaint. I thought we were going to have flexibility. It's one of the things that appealed to me when I read the website. They have examples on the web page of children who are athletes who appreciate the flexibility that public school at home provides. Well I say bull! You are given the option to set your child's schedule. BUT, they have added extra "classes," and requirements that take up a lot of time. Mostly, they have to do with TAKS classes. I don't mind the kids having to prepare for the state testing since it is new to them, but these two extra classes interfere with real learning time. We seem not to have time anymore for our extra classes like French and Spanish. Also, I resent the amount of time it takes to work on one subject. The way the daily assignments are designed....I have a hard time believing a public school teacher could present and finish the material in an hour. I'm hoping that once we get the hard copies of the kids books that this might help with the time issues. So I'm willing to be patient with this.

The curriculum. It's dry, I expected this, but thought that with my many years of homeschooling I could find a way to make it appeal to the kids. To be fair, there are extra activities the kids could do to make it more interesting, but then there is the time factor. We would be on each subject for more than an hour. I can't slow things down either, because if we do not check off a subject and do the daily assignments then it shows them to have overdue work. sigh.

I resent that I am called the "learning coach," and someone else gets to grade the my kids work. I'm the one who is REALLY the teacher. Not only that, but most of the quizzes and tests have less than 10 questions. I feel it is not showing if they know the material because of this.

My kids are complaining too. For the first time EVER in our homeschooling adventures my kids said they hated school. That was a bad day for me. My kids are the type that would get up early and review their material because they found it so exciting. They are usually highly motivated in their school work. Now, I wake them up to grumpy "is is a school day again?"

With all this said, I'm willing to give it a chance. Even though our circumstances have changes and we don't *have* to do this...I think we should at least try. I've never been a quitter and do not want to set a bad example. I am however going to try and approach it a different way. I used to teach at a private preschool and taught the four year old class and the transitional kindergarten class. I had to use the school curriculum and make it my own. I know how to teach, and I know how to make things interesting. That is my plan for the coming weeks. I am going to sit down tonight and go over the material the kids will be working, and how I can make it work to fit the kids learning style while still meeting the schools expectations.

Hoping to make this work!


  1. This is my goal for next week too. Each night I'm going to go over the next day's lessons in full and pick out the stuff I think will be the best fit for each kid and that will be the most fun and enriching. I did that a bit on Friday and I think it worked out a lot better.

    I hate to say it but the textbooks don't exactly make it all come to life! :) I don't mind them. My kids don't think they are boring, per se. But I'm not sure they'll make a big difference for you guys. I hope they do though!

  2. Nicki, we've been reading the online textbook. We like the math version since their in an interactive way to check to see if you have learned the material. We mainly need them to cut down on our time. It takes a while for the online books to load, and we are always accidentally jumping ahead and losing our place. We are hoping the hard copy books cut down on that wasted time.

  3. SO glad I found your site!

    We know we are going to homeschool or send our kids to the private school here (if it "meets our standards).

    The public school corp here chopped elementary kids down to only ONE recess! Yes, that does include Kindergarten! That kind of cinched the no public school deal for us -- but now we have NO idea what to do! Only one year to figure it out, too! EEK!

    Anyhoo -- I'll be following along now. Thanks!