April 15, 2016

School Update

I can really tell that you're all on the edge of your seats regarding the school situation at the Wilson Household. Yup. I thought so.

So, today's your lucky day! It's been ages since we've talked homeschooling, or schooling in general around here but I'm ready to hash it all out for you,  therapy style. Thanks for not charging me an arm and a leg for this later.
Ransom's sticker chart victory! 

First off, starting in the new year we began homeschooling again in earnest. As in, we started having routine and structure in our home to some degree. I had taken off a few months as I had foreseen due to the holidays, a baby and then the craziness of Justice's sickness ( nope, hadn't foreseen that!) but we got back into it because lets be real here, I needed some structure to our days and so did Ransom, bless him. He takes after me in so many ways and is continually asking "what are we going to do today? What are we going to do after naps? What are we going to do tomorrow?!"
It's super annoying. But also basically my own mind mirrored back to me, so I can only blame my own genes on that one.

What we did kind of give up during these early days of getting back in the swing of things were my theme weeks. Instead I picked and chose things that we should work on and therefore covered particular "skills" I felt like he needed to learn. This is when I taught mostly math. Ransom covered subtracting and also counting by tens and all about two digit numbers. I filled in the "holes" with piano practice and lots and lots of reading.  Somehow I just didn't have the mental capacity to make this theme related to something like "birds" or "volcanos" or something! hahaha! ( "somehow" equals "I wasn't getting enough sleep")

Mixed in there we had some pretty rough weeks. I was pretty sure that I would be sending Ransom to public school next year.
These are the moments I love having all my kids at home...

As I've mentioned before, Brett and I have always maintained that we would revisit our kids schooling each year, for each child. We do not believe that our kid's educations are a package deal of 12 years neatly tied up in a bow. Well, at least not until God gives us some huge revelation that covers multiple years and multiple kids. Till then, we'll be rehashing our kids particular needs and our particular situation each year. Tiring indeed.
Eventually I'll have to start focusing more on this little one too....

And so that we're coming to the end of the year I'm starting to obsess about Ransom's schooling for next year. Obsess is a strong word. Let's use "think about constantly" instead. ;-)
Through prayer and the like we narrowed down our choices to the local elementary school down the block and homeschooling again.

I then would vacillate feelings wise from week to week regarding what I "felt" like was going to happen and how I might feel about said decision:
one week: Ransom is acting HORRIBLY, he clearly needs more stimulation than I can give him! Let's send him off to school! HOORAY!
next week: Ransom is happily playing with cars and math problems out in the sun, homeschooling is wonderful! I will be so sad if we have to send him to school next year! Boo!!

and so on....

As of now the pendulum has swung yet again and we're back to doing theme weeks ( Ransom has started picking the themes himself and that's been a LOT of fun! and a challenge for me!) So far we've done "The American Flag and other symbols", "Texas" and "Japan".
And I've called the elementary school MULTIPLE times leaving messages to try to set up a visit and NO ONE has called me back. I'm pretty annoyed. And wondering if that's my closed door?! And yet at the same time, I just can't seem to give it up completely without at least walking through the door of the place! Does that make sense?!
Learning all about Japanese Warriors: Samurai 

I'd love to hear your thoughts about your current schooling-whatever that may entail! Maybe you too vacillate from day to day?! I feel like its got to be pretty normal, right?! Right?!?!?!


Aunt Sheron said...

Abigail, when I homeschooled John, we used Calvert, which many missionaries and diplomats use. Everything you need for the year comes in a box at the beginning of the year. You decide the time frame your year is going to cover. You also need to add your own Biblical material as Calvert is secular. The material covers all subjects--from handwriting,science,reading,to history and math. John loved it and when he finally went to public school in 4th grade, he was considerably ahead of his class. Now Grace is her own person and was a different story. John asked to go to public school--I asked for Grace to go. She finished 1st grade with me but I could not take any more late night sessions or battles to have day classes. (She adapted well to public school.) Calvert started at around $400. a yr. back then but remember, that includes everything, books, lesson plans, pencils, paper, crafts, everything. Something to consider. Keep up the good work!

Renee from A Baker's Dozen said...

When I "walked through the door" of our local elementary school I was completely underwhelmed. Nothing about it called out to me...now my kids go there, they are happy and learning and I love the school. So there's m perspective.

Courtney said...

I can definitely relate to your see-sawing back and forth while trying to make an important decision for your family like this (particularly on the schooling issue!). I'd been considering homeschooling Jacob for about a year, as well (I think we may have had more than one conversation about it in SA?). I read multiple books on the topic of homeschooling, educated myself on the arguments for and against, researched ways to "socialize" while homeschooling, and so forth. I'd pretty much decided we were going to make it work once we arrived in Germany, and I'd even picked out my curriculum and gotten my husband on board. But, then... I took a good hard look at Jacob, our family, "our season", and my reason's why I wanted to homeschool, and I have been learning a very important lesson about trusting God ever since. In the end, I decided against homeschooling for a number of reasons, but not for ones you might expect. I'm actually thinking about writing a post about it. When making a decision like this, I've realized it isn't about what everyone else is doing or what the books say; it's about what's best for OUR child and OUR family, and too often I find myself trying to measure up to everyone else while ignoring the people that matter most: my husband and my children. As long as we make intentional, educated decisions for our family, looking to God and away from ourselves throughout the process, I believe we are free to do whatever we think is best. I don't believe there's a formula or a "right" answer. I believe we are given the freedom to choose our paths, and, as long as we submit to God and trust in His will, I believe He will bless the decisions we make. When we are stuck in situations like this where there may not be a clear answer as to which decision we should make, I think we should just pick one path with the best of intentions and trust God with the outcome. Does that make any sense? Hope your answer becomes clear soon! Miss you!