Thursday, February 19, 2009


Our oldest both got their grades last week, from their first semester of high school here, and both did very well. We were especially thrilled with Bantam18's A in Algebra!! Math is his toughest subject.

For Blondechick16, it was essentially her first report card ever, and we were all delighted with it! She pointed out to us, "I got better grades than most of my friends who've been in school their whole lives!" She says it's not that she's so much smarter; she can't understand why they just don't bother to turn in assignments.

And I have to say, we have been a bit disappointed that she's not being challenged more. That is the one comment I've heard consistently from other homeschoolers who have put their kids in public high school, both locally and back in Illinois. But she does love her teachers and she's enjoying her classes and the learning process, so we're glad about that.

This week is the final week of a new-to-me Wisconsin thing called "open enrollment." It's a period when you can apply to go to other schools besides your local one, whether it's the cross-town high school, a charter school, or an online school. Since I may be working part-time as the area coordinator of the theater group we are helping to start, I am trying, this week, to think through the options I'd like to have for the three who are currently homeschooled. (We then have until June to finalize our decisions.)

I am certain that B13 will be home another year. He will be an 8th grader, and I am glad he has one more year before he starts high school. He thinks he wants to go to the same charter school that BC16 attends. However, he tells me that he really likes his homeschooled friends, and he notices that an advantage to being homeschooled is that he avoids the social drama that he sees BC16 getting caught up in. (I can't very well put those stories on my blog, but it's true!)

In order to prepare him for high school--and to try out an option that part of me hopes we might consider for high school as well--I've been looking at virtual schools. Here in Wisconsin there are quite a few. All are public online schools and therefore all are free, all have certified teachers that grade your child's work and answer his questions, and all provide a free laptop and all curriculum that is needed. Such a deal, eh?

I've spent a good bit of time looking at sample lessons for 8th grade, 5th grade and 1st grade, and I've quickly concluded that I don't think I want to try this with all three kids next year. In the younger grades it requires more parental involvement than in the older grades, and with adding a part-time job to my schedule, I think I'd better rely on my tried-and-true methods and resources rather than experimenting.

But for Bantam13, I am most intrigued by iQ Academy, an option for middle school and high school which is designed for students to work relatively independently. The curriculum looks the most engaging; it's less textbook-centered and more computer-centered, with multi-media to reinforce learning. I think it will push B13 while still giving him control over his schedule: for example, he can choose whether he wants to do all his history for the week in one day, or spread it out. I think he'll like reporting to an online teacher rather than Mom and getting more grades and feedback.

For B10 and Chicklet6, I haven't completely ruled out the idea of putting one of them in school--more likely B10, the slippery fish. (Who gets away every time...Mom makes an assignment!) But recently, an incident with him reminded us of why we like to avoid the public school it's a question of spiritual training as well as academics. He really wants to start a band instrument, so I may be talking to the local elementary school about getting him into that program, at least.

This afternoon, I'm hosting 4 moms of 7th grade homeschooled boys (and their kids) so that we can talk about getting those boys together more often, perhaps for some schmeducational pursuits...

So it's time to CLEAN!


Anonymous said...

My goddaughter lives in WI, and she needed to pull out of "regular" public school due to her health problems. She has been enrolled in iQ for 2 (or 3?) years now, and has thrived in it and really enjoyed school.

Praying for you as you make all these decisions.

Jen in Seattle

Anonymous said...

Wonderful that B18 has an A in algebra!!!! Pianomum

At A Hen's Pace said...


Thanks so much for passing on that success story--how encouraging!!