Summer has not been what I thought it would be.
Remember my list of summer goals? My list included 8 goals for the boys. We actively worked on two. Not exactly a good outcome. Here are the stories of success.
We have been swimming on a fairly regular basis. As of last summer, JT had little interest in getting his face wet, let alone swimming. I am proud to say he can now swim across the pool, jump off the ladder in the deep end, and doesn't mind the water in his face at all. EM is making some progress with comfort in the water, but still prefers to climb out of the pool and dry off on the towel every time he gets a drip of water on his face. Maybe next year?
We also continued our chess and science get-togethers with our friends. I have taught two science sessions, with two more planned before the end of summer. Our first was on electrical generation. The second focused on microscopes.
During the microscope lesson I discussed Anton Leeuwenhoek. I tried to emphasize that he was not a trained scientist. He sold drapes! Yet this man is considered by many to be the father of microbiology. How did this happen? He was curious. He acted on that curiosity. Then because he documented everything he learned he was able to share what he had discovered. The scientific method in action!
The next week I was having a very in depth discussion with a friend who also homeschools. She was questioning the best way to approach her family's education for this year. I asked, "Do we want our kids to learn to memorize what other people think they need to know or learn how to learn?" I brought up the story of Anton Leeuwenhoek and realized the backbone of what I want to teach them is to look and share.
Then yesterday I started to clean out my office and classroom....remember this from that other blog post?
"I will (remind me that I said this later, would you?) I WILL find ways to incorporate the ton of enrichment materials I have bought in the last 3 years into our daily classroom experiences."
I quickly became overwhelmed. How was I going to incorporate all of this great material into the substandard material I had to use?! How would I have time with all that tedious testing needing to be done?!
...and I started to formulate a plan.
This morning I called our IS and withdrew both of the boys from the cyber school.
I felt some panic, but it only lasted a few minutes because one of my traditional homeschooling friends was available to chat and tell me how much happier we'd be and how easy it really is to put a portfolio together, etc.
So here I am. No longer a cyberschooler. I need to put together our educational objectives that need to be submitted with an affidavit stating my intent to homeschool. There's a wonderful site all about PA homeschooling law called AskPauline.com It is full of useful links to regulations, requirements and examples of all the documentation you need. I think it's my new home away from home.
I will have to box up all the technology equipment the school provided. Bye, bye my beloved Bamboo. However, we can keep all of the books and school supplies. Some we will use and some can be sold off to buy a new computer for the classroom since ours has to ship out.
I am excited, scared, hopeful...I'm still not sure that this is the best possible option. It feels right. We can always go back. I'm ready to give it a go.
One more thing...I'm going to have to get a new blog name! :-)