Archive for category Homeschooling

Big Damn News

Wow. I don’t even fully know how to wrap my head around it. Actually, I can’t. I’ll probably be able to later, but after today, I am still in shock. I’ll get to today later.

Our daughter is 16 years old and starting her junior year. She has been homeschooled since the start. She is now officially a public school student.

She still won’t be attending a traditional school. As a matter of fact, for people who have always used mainstream schools, she will still seem like a homeschooler, but for somebody like me, who has been homeschooling for a very long time (and for the vast majority did so as a willful underground homeschooler), it is a big psychological difference. Filling out all those forms in triplicate and sitting there while office people were handing out detentions right and left almost made me explode in hives.

While it is possible to homeschool for free (especially if you put a massively massive amount of effort into rounding up free resources and scotch taping them together into a complete curriculum) it is much easier if you pour some money into it. Like with so much in life, money gives you quite a bit of access and freedom. Right now we are in a place where we are putting money into starting a new business, so the smart financial thing to do is at least check out the government funded option.

So, we looked at the charter schools that offer online schooling, and we found an interesting hybrid option, that seems fairly idealistically education focused (I think many of the major online players are highly financially motivated). I am hoping it will be a very good fit for her.

Tonight, we go attend our first parent night. The horrors.

Anyhow, today… Ugh, today. I… eew. Today, we went in to complete enrollment, and I was completely mentally unprepared for how dreadfully long it was going to take. While the curriculum she is using is online, it is tied to a real brick and mortar school. A LARGE brick and mortar school. We had already been in to speak with the people who run the online program, and had been given a few papers and told to take those and a set of papers to prove we are who we say we are, to the main school attendance office. It took a day to assemble all the “show me your papers” papers, and then we dutifully made our way to campus. We arrived and went to the attendance office with our stack of paper work, and had to wait over a half hour just for somebody to talk to us (People there for enrollment needed to take a red number ticket). From what I overheard, the dean of attendance had made the office staff send out “summons” to every student who had missed one period or more since the start of the school year. The office was being overrun with students who were being written detention slips. It was all very disturbing, because the staff member would say something like, “Were you here yesterday?” To which the teen would non-respond by standing there. The staff person would repeat themselves. The teen would slowly shift their weight from one leg to the other. The staff person would repeat themselves and the teen’s mouth would drop open and a noise like “uuuuuh” would come out. The staff member would ask yet again and the teen would mutter “no”. Then the staff would ask if they had a note for the absence, which would then start the painful process of getting that question answered. We watched this happen dozens of times. Ouch.

It was finally our turn to speak to somebody (yay red ticket 61) and they handed me a new giant stack of forms to fill out. WTF? Why not hand that to me when I arrived? I sat and filled out the forms, which took another 30 minutes, and then I turned those in, at which point they gave me a gold piece of paper with check boxes, and I was supposed to go from the attendance office to the special programs office. At that office, a person checked one of the boxes and signed my form. Then we were sent to the health office. At the health office a nurse came and removed 3 pieces of paper from our giant stack. Then she gave us a new piece of paper to take home and fill out. Then she tested the kid’s hearing and eyesight and weighed and measured her (she appears to have grown an inch in the past 6 months since her last doctor appointment… seriously?) and then she checked the little box on our gold piece of paper and sent us to the counseling office. We went to the counseling office to unlock our next achievement, and a woman with excellently applied eyeliner, and a complete disdain for us, sorted our stack of paper into separate smaller stacks and carefully stapled those together in some magical fashion. This allowed her to check off a box on our gold paper and send us on our way to the cafeteria, when we were thwarted by the ringing of a bell.

We had to leave campus and go have lunch because the lady guarding the cafeteria couldn’t check our gold sheet while handling feeding time at the zoo.

We went and ate some crappy fast food, and made our way back to campus and unlocked the lunch room achievement. We went on to the last level to discover that the boss monster had already left, and we’d have to complete a portion of our quest another day.

In the meantime, she did get some classes picked out, and supposedly we will soon have an email explaining her userID and login information, so she can go check out the interface.

I am very hopeful that this will work out well. Supposedly there are multiple teachers to interact with via email, chat and phone, so she can get help fairly rapidly, which, in theory should free up more of my time so that I can work and potentially earn more money. We are still negotiating a few of her previously earned high school credits because national standards and CA standards don’t quite align, so it looks like she is going to need to squeeze in an extra semester of world history. Also part of her previous math work won’t be credited as math, but they will give her elective credits for it. My only concern is that she is so easily exhausted as she is still feeling the brutal effects of mono, and we homeschooled year around, meaning that on any given day, her total work load was typically lighter because she was working less hours, but more days. We are letting her take 1 AP class, even though she still isn’t back to full health.

After spending several hours on campus, it appears that I hate high school even more now than I did when I was attending it as a student.

Now I need to go nap, or soak in Benadryl, or perhaps just drink a lot of alcohol. Maybe all three.


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Am I Twisted?

I took one look at this site and thought “Homeschooling craft/history projects!”

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My Homeschooling Experience – Part 2

“What about homeschooling? You know it’s not just for scary religious people any more.”
– Buffy Summers *

I addressed a bit of the why and the how we got started homeschooling in a previous post.
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My Homeschooling Experience – Part 1

On one of my local homeschooling lists the topic of “Why do YOU homeschool?” came up last week, with everybody happily sending out their uplifting touchy-feely and typically godly reasons for homeschooling. I would never respond on the list to such a thread, because, like most places in my life, I do not fit in. It isn’t that I particularly care about being even more the black sheep than I already am, I don’t. Our kid has to function in this community though, so I tend to keep my mouth shut a lot. That, and I don’t really care to waste my breath.
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ill-mannered post

I am subscribed to various groups that I don’t enjoy being subscribed to, but do need the occasional bits of useful information that happen to get posted. Recently a “discussion” about manners has broken out on one. I decided to torture myself and read it. I do not always treat myself very well.

This is a large group which meets in person regularly. I very rarely attend. The flurry of messages started because somebody posted a complaint about the general behavior of many of the children at a recent lunch. Behavior such as yelling, sitting on top of tables, making huge messes with no attempt at cleaning, and purposefully spilling water were listed. I was not there. I do not know what happened THIS time. I do know that part of the reason that I rarely attend such things is because I am anti-social, and part of the reason is because the behavior of many of the members and their children is totally unpleasant for me to be around. This leaves me inclined to believe the original poster’s overall impression of the level of manners on display. Other aspects of the original complaint did rub me the wrong way, not that anybody argued with her on those points.

The responses started.

Boys will be boys. Kids enjoying being kids. I am blessed by a special needs child who is loving and full of energy. Every child is different and not all are calm and quiet as apparently you are lucky enough to have. We work so hard and it is nice to spend time talking to adult friends and that distracts us from watching the kids, but we all know what that is like and should be understanding. We all have bad days sometimes so we should be supportive when the kids are having bad days. Well I know, having four kids, I can’t always keep an eye on all of them at once. If you think a child is behaving in an inappropriate or unsafe manner you should say something, we should all look out for each other. Sorry if I am not as perfect of a mother as you. Yes they are a bit excited and enthusiastic but they are overall so much better behaved than other kids I see.

On and on and fucking on.

The whole thing irritates the shit out of me. I can’t attend events which should be interesting and educational because they let their kids be so fucking noisy and distracting that it drowns out the point of being there. I can’t set foot in a restaurant during certain times. I am rarely able to stand taking my daughter to those kid oriented places. We order books online rather than making use of the library because that is cheaper than paying the attorney fees when I finally snap from the noise and rudeness and running around, not to mention the scribbled on books in the library.
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