Monday, August 16, 2010

You're Doing What?! - Part III of My Homeschooling Story

Can I confess that I've done more reading the past month than I have over the past year?  There is so much information to absorb in regards to homeschooling.  SO many resources!  I should consider it a blessing considering overflowing resources was not the case even 15-20 years ago.  But it is also very overwhelming.

I hear about recommended books and I go straight to the library website and put them on request.  I'm reading them as they come in.  It's been great.  Even if I don't homeschool forever, I am definitely enhancing my knowledge about parenting, my kids and ME.

But to sum it up, here is where I've landed for this school year.  My first grader will be using the Ohio Virtual Academy. It's an online charter (state-funded) school.  We are assigned a teacher who will provided assistance and direction when needed; however, I am responsible for her day-to-day learning of course!  As a 1st grader, my daughter will work about 20% online.  She will still take state-assessment tests at the end of the year.  All supplies & curriculum are included and sent to our home for free. (Free, although I've paid for it with taxes.  At least I'm getting my money's worth this year.)  A computer, printer, all school workbooks, literature, paints/brushes, music/instruments, science project stuff and more -- all packed up and shipped directly to us.  We received our "goodies" last week.  It seriously felt like Christmas!  All four Catons had so much fun opening the boxes.  So far, everything is well organized and easy to figure out.

It is different in several ways from traditional homeschooling.  It's very structured and I have to keep track of attendance & times working on subjects.  I think that will be the most tedious part that I'll have to get used to. She will be required to log an estimated 25 hours per week, along with anything else I want to supplement.  So, it's more flexible than public school but not as flexible as my own curriculum & our own timing.

We feel OHVA is a great start and a good fit for us this year.  I feel more sane knowing the curriculum is already set up and lessons are ready to go.  I like having the structure, especially as a newbie.  It's an appropriate time in our lives for the curriculum to be free.  It will allow my daughter to go at her own pace and have access to great learning tools.  I've heard wonderful things about the program from other families.

I'm open to other options in the future.  My youngest one will still be attending pre-school this fall.  Again my motto right now:  One year at a time.  One child at a time.

I'll keep you posted on our progress.  Thanks for tagging along on my journey!

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