Fuller at our recent Second Christmas dinner.
Today we started our second semester of school. I had been prepping Fuller the last few days to get him in the mindset that Monday we would be back to school.
I know I haven’t blogged much in general and even less about our homeschool efforts, which has saddened me a bit, but I know I need to get some things out there. If mainly to keep a record of it for our family memories, I shall blog about homeschooling!
Today marks our 91st day, so sayeth the attendance keeper I log Fuller’s hours into each school day. As I look back at the first semester of school, I keep being reminded of Melissa Wiley’s Tidal Homeschooling post. It is a post I read when Fuller was only two years old. We knew we wanted to homeschool Fuller but had no idea how it would play out. Funnily enough, I can see the tide moving in and out in our homeschool life.
We decided to go with the Georgia Cyber Academy because of a BIG selling point: FREE. It uses the K-12 curriculum (2011 resolution: learn to spell curriculum), with certain modifications for the Georgia standards. When we got our books I was a tad overwhelmed (which I shouldn’t have been since a friend of mine has five kids enrolled in GCA and she has many more books to keep track of and I saw those books many days before mine arrived… oh the boxes she had!). In the days leading up to our first day of school I was continually frustrated with lack of information on exactly how things should play out to actually start school in our home. And since K-12 and GCA rely heavily on online activities from school assemblies to online classroom sessions, I was annoyed at the amount of time I was supposed to be spending in these virtual meeting rooms listening to people repeat themselves over and over.
I just wanted to teach my son.
Fortunately, God has placed a friend in my life (the aforementioned mom with five boys, let’s call her Betsy because that’s her name) who was able to hold my hand and show me I was teaching my son. But because I had decided to sign up with GCA I was going to jump through a few hoops, but she also showed me it probably wasn’t as many as I originally thought. Once I figured out the required hoops to jump through and picking a few key phrases from the virtual
boredom board room meetings to rely on, we proceeded with our school year. (The three phrases: “No news is good news,” “Think of this as a buffet and just pick how you will use it to meet your child needs,” and finally, “You know your child.”)
The year started at such a high tide- with set start times, agendas, and checklists (and they were impressive checklists). But as we got more comfortable with the curriculum and what it meant to be a GCA family, I started to see the tide slip away, allowing us to be flexible with our start times, relaxing the amount of “haftas” and relishing in the knowledge Fuller was soaking up and spewing out.
The tide is high again. We started this morning with an incentive program to keep Fuller on track in the mornings. I made a list and we re-instituted “screen time” rules (since the holidays and the gift of a new TV kind of meant no rules on that topic). I have to reevaluate the hoops, but I am sure given a few weeks, the tide will start to roll out once more.