Thursday, February 12, 2015

The Homeschool Post Part 1

Well, this is it. The post about how we switched Henry from public school to homeschool this past August. I'll summarize (I use this term lightly because I know I go on..) how it came about.

From the time I knew I was pregnant with Henry, I thought about homeschooling. I was homeschooled along with my three brothers until my dad became too ill to be the main breadwinner and my mom went back to work as a teacher. The oldest brother was a freshman in high school when he went back, the second an 8th grader, I was a 5th grader and my younger brother was in 3rd. I've never regretted my mom homeschooling me. It would have been a good decision even if the only benefit I had received was time with my dad before he passed away when I was only 12. I don't regret her decision to put us in school either. I had good and bad experience with both, though perhaps I don't remember many bad experiences with homeschool since I was younger and it's easier to remember the time I was in public school. The point is I'm not 'pro' public school or 'pro' homeschool and I had entertained both ideas before Henry reached school age.

When we were in Las Vegas Henry did preschool with my cousin and it was a good experience. I was also able to be there while he was doing school most of the time because it was in her home and I watched her new baby once he came in November.

Once it was time for us to start working on the kindergarten paper work I went back and forth. Johann was not at all in favor of homeschooling and we figured out we could get Henry into a school that had a K teacher my mom had worked with and said would be a great fit for him. So we enrolled him and overall, after a few bumps getting settled, K was a good experience. He did well 'academically' (I have to do that because, seriously? it's K...), socially, though I wasn't always a big fan of the boys he was most commonly with, and behaviorally. What I'm trying to get across is there was no huge, horrible thing that he did or was done to him in K that made us decide to switch. It was a-okay.

When first grade rolled around I was not really prepared at all. It could be because of the new family addition or maybe I was sad to have Henry go back. Either way, the first day came and when I walked into his classroom there was a sub, a guy I knew from high school. I'm sure he hasn't lost or damaged a kid but he was not exactly a pillar of responsibility or goodness in HS but, I know people can change. I found out from other parents and from the a parent letter that his teacher would be gone frequently because of special needs in her family and within the first two weeks it proved to be true because they had already watched about 3 movies and had a sub almost half the time. I knew I wouldn't be able to volunteer with Thea and Leo at home and I felt a huge disconnect between myself and Henry's teacher and school. I made an inquiry about switching him that didn't go anywhere and by the end of that second week I had word from a homeschool charter called Sky Mountain (I had checked in to it as a possibility) that there was room for Henry starting the next week.

I prayed and then coaxed Johann into just giving it a try. My fall-back was I couldn't possibly damage him irreparably in one school year this early on. Between that and learning we would get a portion of Henry's money to buy curriculum and pay for music lessons or sports, Johann agreed to try it out.

Henry had been on and off about the idea but 'luckily' one of his friends had decided it'd be funny to wipe his pb&j sandwich down the back of Henry's shirt that day. Henry got upset and told him he hated him and because of that he got in trouble along with the other kid. Literal 'hate' speech, I guess? He was still mad about the whole incident when I picked him up so he was actually happy to hear we were switching and that was his last day.

The next Tuesday we met with his Education Specialist and got all the papers signed and talked about ordering curriculum. And thus began our homeschool journey!


Bryan and Natalie said...

I think that's my biggest fear about public school: the other kids. But I just don't think I would be able to keep up with homeschooling. I'm not so adamant against it anymore though!

Maren said...

Can't wait to hear about how homeschool goes. Looks like you put a lot of thought and preparation into the switch. I think about doing it sometimes but we've still got 2.5 years to go.

Maren said...

Can't wait to hear about how homeschool goes. Looks like you put a lot of thought and preparation into the switch. I think about doing it sometimes but we've still got 2.5 years to go.