Thursday, March 15, 2007

just when I thought I knew what I was doing

Isn't that always how it is? Just when you think you know what you're doing and how you're going to be doing it for a while, someone throws a wrench in the works.

I'm big on chronology lately so I'll start with our morning. We've all been sleeping about an hour later than usual since the time change, gee I wonder why, lol, so our morning started late. I didn't get everyone fed and showered and dressed until about 11:30 so we went with "school lite" for the day. Cameron finished the workbook pages for this week's spelling. He's still having some trouble with a couple of the words. He's pronouncing hot as "hoot" and hook as "who-k." We'll see if he can spell them on Friday - even if he can't read them. ;)

The Writing & Spelling project in this lesson was to write directions for someone to follow to get to your house. He didn't quite get it. His version of directions was to just tell people our city and our street. So I tried to get him to draw a map. He drew a map of the US, lol. I guess he hasn't really looked at a street map? He knows how to read a trail map, but I guess we just don't use street maps too often. At least not on paper. I use Google Maps all the time. Anyway, I suddenly remembered an activity in TOPS Lentil Science where you make a topographical map out of lentils, so I decided to give that a try. We made a lentil map of our neighborhood and the park that we were going to go to that afternoon. We stacked up little paper cylinders and DUPLO slides to represent the park and an empty jar to represent our house. Suddenly Cameron started adding more houses, like Grandma C's and S5's, and more parks and each lentil represented a person in the place, lol. Anyway, we had a good time discussing NSEW direction and scale... we never did get around to giving directions, but we had fun. And that was school. Cassia continued on playing with the lentils (guess I'm going to have to put that job box back on the curriculum list!) and Cameron went back to his Zoobs. (Oh, a side not - we heard from the Zoob people and they are going to add one of Cameron's creations to their online gallery! We're so proud. I'll let you know when it's up.)

We were just about to leave for Park Day when the phone rings. It was my best friend from high school. We're trying to find time to get together at the end of the month, but are having quite the time coordinating! We're going to be in her area for 10 days and we can't find a time to meet! That's pretty bad when even your vacations are overscheduled, lol. (Which reminds me, ahem, MEESH, cye!)

We finally made it to the park, an hour late - and not because of the time change, lol - and it was so worth it! There were lots of our friends there, friends who don't usually come to this park day. The kids and I really had a great time. And my stalker was there. ;) Here is where my world was rocked. StalkerMom and I were having a really nice conversation about this and that and the other thing and I mention that I'm going at the homeschool thing on my own. It turns out that everyone else goes through this local charter school. I knew a lot of people did, but I didn't know that they all get $900 per student per year to spend on curriculum and supplies. And they get reimbursed for art and music classes. And they have horseback riding and karate. And I'm missing out on all these freebies because, basically, I'm being stubborn.

I don't want anyone to tell me how to run my little homeschool. I love the idea of us being a very exclusive private school. I love that what we do is my business and my business alone. I love that I can get a whole curriculum going based on a children's encyclopedia or two and a whole bunch of library books. I don't love that I can't really afford piano lessons. I'm dreading the future costs of Latin and Spanish. I'm wishing I could afford a really great art program and the supplies that go with it. It would be nice to be able to get full color reprints of some masterpieces, but I'm probably going to rely on internet viewing instead. It is a total DREAM to be able to give the children riding lessons. Hmmm. Decisions, decisions.

I've got a lot of people to start hounding. The few I've talked to so far say that the paperwork is minimal and lenient. They say that if you get the right coordinator, they will totally let you call the shots on your educational goals. But several people I know are not continuing with this school next year and I need to find out why. I tried to look at their website last night but a guest login won't allow you to see much - not sure if I like that. Anyone have any experience or advice about charter schools? Anyone?

PS, I'm just kidding about having a stalker. I think. ;)


~Mary~ 4boys4me said...

Wow - $900 would be very very tempting. I would definitely look into the details of the charter. My main problem would be if they wouldn't let use Christian curriculum.

Pixilated Mum said...

I know, I know. When we started homeschooling, some local moms told me about a charter school that did the same thing. Eagle View or Eagle something. Whatever. It was through a public school. The thing was, though, they wanted a PS "teacher" to come once every two weeks to check up on you.

So, because I'm totally not into that and like our independence, I said no to a TON of free classes. = -( No free ballet or PE or anything. Siiiiigh.

We do Kolbe Academy, a Catholic one, but it offers all the flexibility that I need and a lot of help with things. However, we don't get all the freebies of the public school.

I honestly was mad at myself (how silly is that?) for being so stubborn about not wanting any PS involvement. We could have more money for other stuff if we did use that school.

However, as you know, I preferred not to. Bye, bye, freebies. We just have to do cheapies through the local community centers.

G said...

I know which one you're talking about, I think, and I've heard a lot of good things about them. I like ours too but they don't give you the $$, just free access to tons of curriculum, and some free classes. I can ask around at work, etc. if you're interested.

Anonymous said...

Okay, you're starting to give me complex now! ;-) StalkerMom? I am sooooo not stalking you. I am interested to read your blog because you're one of the few people I know who blogs! Plus, you're talking about things that are near and dear to my heart: 4H, homeschooling. So I'm happy to take the blame for outing you (though, for the record, it was really Janine that tipped *me* off), but I sure as heck don't want you to think that I'm stalking you!

And as for Pathways Charter School, I agree, their website is terrible. Their old one was so nice and user friendly, but this year they tried something new and it's just awful. So pay no attention to the awful website... I should say something to them about it. And to address the Christian curriculum comment... Pathways does not allow Christian based curriculum to be purchased with their student budget money. But heck, you could buy your own curriculum and use Pathways' money for all sorts of other supplies and classes. Still seems like it could work to me.

Jenny said...

LOL!! I'm sorry, not meaning to give you a complex. I really was just teasing about the stalker thing. ;) You should realize by now that I have a warped sense of humor.

I've been talking to DH about the charter thing, we both believe it pretty much goes against why we want to homeschool in the first place. More on that later...