Monday, January 18, 2010

Liam's journey to independence...YIKES!

Why did I choose to Homeschool? I get this question all the time, as if I could answer it in one easy sentence. I never know what to say. Sometimes I'll feel the need to clarify that I have nothing against the public school system. Olentangy schools are great...right? Other times I will simply say "It was a hard decision that we didn't come to easily." That's the truth. One thing I know for sure, is that I can NOT answer this question in a two minute chat standing in the grocery aisle. You better have a pot of coffee brewing and sit back and relax.

One of my concerns with our decision is making sure other moms know that I don't feel superior for homeschooling. Most days I feel like I am nuts for doing this. All I know is that this feels right for me. I would get a pit in my stomach every morning as I watched Liam ride away on the bus. On the first day of 2nd grade he left and I didn't even know what his teacher looked liked! I was sending him to strangers and that didn't feel good to me.

I could be damaging my children beyond repair, I don't know. But this is our journey, you all must make yours.

With that said, I am updating this blog to document a new beginning. This week, Liam will start online school at Connections Academy.

I am really struggling with this because he is essentially enrolled in a public school. Isn't this what I was trying to avoid? I thought I wanted the freedom to study at our own pace, be it fast or slow, and dive into topics that interest us. I don't want to be tied down to a curriculum that mandates what we are studying. I don't like standardized tests. I don't like having my hands tied!!! So why am I doing this?

Over Christmas break I got a call from a different online school letting us know that they still had room for enrollment. I don't remember giving this school my phone number! How did they know to call me? How did they know I was considering this option? Hmmmm......I took it as a sign. We'll give this a try.

I think I will be able to balance our desire to "go with the flow" and still meet the requirements of the school. I watch other families that use online schools and they seem to be relaxed and not on a specific schedule. This will be good for Liam as well. It comes as no surprise that he sometimes "resists" my instruction and help. What does Mom know anyway? Right? Just don't say that to Gramps, Liam, or he will regret those 5 years of Engineering school he paid for!!
So we will give this a try for the remainder of the school year and then reevaluate again for the Fall. I may want to throw in the towel after a few weeks but I am committed to this for Liam. He seems excited and eager to get started, although I still think he is mostly excited about the computer he's getting. Hey..whatever works.