Monday, January 27, 2014

January 2014 Review

My oldest didn't return to school after the Christmas break.  I wrote a withdrawal letter, sent it certified mail, and submitted my application for home study.  I have an email saying they received my application.  I do not have an email from them accepting my application yet.  It's possible that my kid is a truant at this point.

The reasons for not waiting till the end of the year?  There were many, but it ultimately boiled down to knowing I wouldn't send him back there for fourth grade, so what was the point to continuing?  I don't think six weeks is enough time to really give the school a fair assessment, so I'll resist a full-blown report on the experience, but it may or may not include words like "prison" and "busywork" and possibly some swears.

I started a new routine with my oldest, where I write out all his language arts and math work for the week - what needs done on what days, what pages need done in what books, what lessons he needs to do on the computer, as well as five books to read and quiz on at BookAdventures.com.  We're four weeks in now, and I'm still really liking the new system.  He's responding well to it, and it's easy for my husband to peek at the sheet and help him get some things done, if needed.  I want to test run it some more before I post details, but so far, so good.

My goal for the month was to get both kids' language arts and math work done every day.  I'm significantly less stressed than I was prior to sending my oldest to school and less stressed than when he was in school (waking up everyone at 6:30 to sit in the carpool lane for 20 minutes every day, oh, I don't miss it at all).  Baby steps.  We'll master this routine and then add in a steady dose of science and social studies.

My friend and I have also started a secular homeschool group, meeting at the Unitarian Universalist Church once a week.  So far, it's just our kids, but I've learned about other groups that went from 15 kids their first year to 40+ kids the next year.  So, who knows where it might lead.  I'm in no rush for it to grow too fast too soon.  The church building and grounds are a nice change of pace from home - a little break in the week for everyone.  We debated about whether or not to include "secular" in the group name - it might turn some people away - but we ultimately decided that if someone was offended by the word "secular," then they probably wouldn't be a good match for the group anyways.  Besides, I've accused other groups of not calling themselves what they actually are (saying they're inclusive and welcoming, when what they really are is legalistic Christians who really only want to include other legalistic Christians or secular people who keep their opinions to themselves).  So, we are what we are.  We're secular homeschoolers.

Reassessing a lot of things lately.  Where I want to put my time and effort. What is important and what is not.

So, for sanity, January is language arts and math every day.  The secular group hangs out every Thursday with no set agenda.  These are great things as they are.

mind·ful: ˈmīndfəl/ adjective/ conscious or aware of something

3 comments:

  1. If you decide you want to grow the new group a little bit, don't hesitate to share it with us at SHS and we can add it to our resource list of secular/inclusive support groups (http://www.secularhomeschool.com/content/203-secular-homeschool-support-groups-state/) Just use the contact form on the site if you decide to share. Best of luck with it!!

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    1. I went through the "Contact Us" to see about being included. I'm in no hurry to rush its growth, but getting enough kids for a decent game of kickball would be great :)

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  2. Wonderful news! I'm glad to see you are writing again. I had thought to contact you about possibly submitting material for this site but was unsure whether you were going to continue on with it. I love the idea of getting them self-motivated thru weekly schedules. I know even as an adult I like to see just how much work I have ahead of me.

    And interestingly enough, I just started a secular homeschool group about a month ago. Myself and two other families broke from the extremely religious group we were a part of to form our own. It felt so fake attending the other co-op, but we don't have a lot to choose from in our area.

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