Tuesday, January 18, 2011

School Switch

We're making a big switch in our homeschooling. At least for Joe. As of today, we are re-registering him in public school - but he'll still be homeschooled. He will be a student at Nevada Virtual Academy, using K12 curriculum.

What motivated the switch: 1) I had pared down Joe's daily lessons, eliminating parts of his curriculum that were overly dry, in my opinion. He was left with less than two hours of schoolwork a day. He needed more work and more challenge and I couldn't pull that out of his current curriculum (or create it myself) without expending loads of energy I don't have.

2) My concerns about "compartmentalizing" faith, schoolwork, friend time, sports, and other activities - which drove me to choose a Catholic curriculum initially - were unfounded. As Kevin and I have talked about this, we realize that since we live out our faith and try to follow Jesus every day, there is no way that faith could be relegated to a separate compartment. Our faith permeates everything we do, and I am no longer concerned that it will be removed from other parts of our lives.

3) Community. We have none. Even the Catholic families who homeschool in our very same neighborhood do things so differently and have such varying life circumstances that we rarely get together. We are also part of a vibrant Catholic homeschool group, but, sadly, most of the families in the group are on the other side of town. We can enjoy occasional get-togethers, but I'm not seeing friendships grow between my children and theirs. There is too much distance and not enough time. Admittedly, I have hopes and expectations that we will develop some community through this "school" and it will help me feel less isolated.

With everything that I've recently learned about Classical education, Kevin initially pointed out that this seems a step away from my ideal. Yes, but it isn't any further than we already were. And thanks to the learning I've done, I've been able to implement new principles in our school day - principles which won't evaporate when we start this new school. This might be an on-ramp to eventually enrolling in a school like the Catholic Liberal Arts Academy - but let's see how an online school works a little closer to home first.

There is the worry (for a home-birthin', home-schoolin', home-cookin' kind of a gal) that I am selling out. I may be. Certainly it will be odd to have report cards and standardized tests become a part of our lives again. But there is hope in change, and this change comes with much prayer and the wisdom God has given me.
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