Monday, April 11, 2011

To Homeschool or Not To Homeschool....

This is the question that has been bouncing back and forth in our heads for a while. I was homeschooled and I have always wanted to homeschool my kids b/c it was sooooo much fun! I didn't want my kids to get lost in the crowd of public school. I went to public school and private school before we homeschooled so I've experienced them all. Homeschooling was by far my favorite. Paul never has and has been a bit unsure about the whole thing. Not against it, just not sure about it either. So Sunday we talked and prayed and talked some more. We finally came up with a decision and the more research I've done the more excited I am about it.

We're going to do K12 SCVCS (South Carolina Virtual Charter School). Basically, it's like public school at home. In the state of South Carolina it is completely free. They send everything your child will need during the school year... even a laptop. I have no registered Collin for it. Here is the info I got on it today from talking to a mother who has been doing it for 3 years (I think) and the lady who answered the phone when I called them.

It follows public school schedule so basically, we won't do school year round. We will start on a certain date and finish on a certain date. We can adjust the holidays in between as we want -- when we take spring break and all that. I figured we'd revolve it around Paul's work schedule. =o) If he gets a holiday off then we'll take it. Everyone is given a homeroom teacher and is require to "meet" with him/her via the internet monthly. This teacher also plans monthly outings for all of her students. Sometimes she teaches classes online and if Collin is watching it then there are things he can click to "write" on the board or raise his hand. There's even a little chat room so he can answer questions if asked. Totally cool! It is fairly flexible though. The mom I talked to said her son is only taking Math like that this year and it's the first time she's done it. Most of the classes are very flexible. In Kindergarten he will take Math and English daily. History and Science only about 3 days a week and Art/Music only 1-2 times/week. He will also take PE which is whatever we decide to do. Or, another option is the block scheduling where Collin could do Math on Mondays, English on Tuesdays and so on. Whatever option we would rather do. He has to have 30 hrs a week put into school and 5 of those hours have to be extra stuff (can't remember what they called them) like projects, field trips or even trips to the library.

About 10-15% of his work will be done on the computer. The rest will be away from the comp. There is a zoo day coming up where I'll get to meet other students, parents, and teachers from this school. We think we may be going so I can meet them and talk to them. :)

They have free speech therapy (just like public school) and they use assessment tests. So, if Collin passes assessment tests with an 80% or better then he can go on to the next lesson so he could fly through the classes if he wanted to. On the other side of that, if he is struggling in math and rocking at everything else then he would work at that level. So... it has all the benefits of public school mixed with the benefits of home school. I love it! It's not as flexible as real homeschool b/c it's technically a charter school. We get transcripts and report cards as if he's in school. I just can't see anything negative about it. I think it's going to be awesome and I can't wait until August!!!! =o) Hopefully we'll be in a new house by then so we'll have somewhere to put all the school stuff. hehe!
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