Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Decisions Never End

We decided a few weeks ago to homeschool our daughter for at least Kindergarten, and then go with whatever works after that.  We've decided to be flexible so that things change according to how she learns and what we feel needs to happen.

However, I had a day filled with anxiety the other day when confronted with planning what we are going to do.

My husband works at the High School, and he was talking to one of the administrators that told him that by the age six, your child has to be enrolled in a program, not just signed in with the school district.  I lost it.

I had to research all the different programs here, worried that we were going to pick the wrong one, trying to figure out how we would incorporate the unschooling atmosphere with an official program, and trying not to lose my mind with worry about if we were doing the right thing.

After a few hours of this, one of my friends let me know this was wrong and all she had to have was registration with the school district.  Utah doesn't require any particular curriculum, so no programs are necessary, which helps a little bit.

Except that I'm back where I started.  Do I want to continue with unschooling, or should I register for an online program to monitor how well she is doing?  If I don't go with a program, will I fail at this?  If I do go with a program, will I fail at this?

I thought for sure that when we decided to homeschool that the rest would be easy.  This has definitely been a lesson in how parenting never ends, and the decisions are always there.

I question a lot of what I do as a parent, and when I don't feel something is working I change it accordingly.  This has shown me that I truly have no idea what I'm going to need to do, and either I need to prepare or just let things go.  The next few weeks will be telling to my personality and how we want to go forward.

Do any of you use a particular program for homeschooling, or do you go with the flow?  How does this work for your family?  Do you ever worry it isn't enough or it's too much?


Momma in Progress said... [Reply to comment]

We just started, so we may not be the best people to ask, but we are totally winging it. Right now, being overseas, it doesn't particularly matter what we do, because we don't need to consider any particular state guidelines. When we move this summer, the state we are moving to (Florida) basically says we need to 1. tell the school district (in writing) we are homeschooling, 2. keep a portfolio (they are very vague on what this has to include), and 3. take E to visit with the school psychologist once a year. Have you checked out www.hslda.org? Here's a link for Utah's "home school statute": http://www.hslda.org/laws/analysis/Utah.pdf (I just skimmed it, and it looks pretty hands off, actually.)

theCruzi3s said... [Reply to comment]

I use an oldfashionededucation.com and it's working really great for us. My daughter loves the stories and talking about it leads from one thing to another. I'm a great fan of literature-based education because you can go pretty much anywhere with it.. art, little plays, writing, crafts, and the list goes on.
Sometimes I do wonder if I'm doing enough. But I think all of us think that. Even the ones who aren't homeschooling. ;)

Anonymous said... [Reply to comment]

This is my first official year of homeschooling.
I started a 'curriculum' in September and have since thrown it out the window!
Our homeschool regimen is constantly evolving week to week, if not day to day.
I am beginning to embrace unschooling, it is hard for me as I am very particular. I ask my children what they want to learn about and that is what we work on.
I am now looking into the deschooling process..for me because that is where the issue lies.
Good luck to you on your homeschool journey, I look forward to following it!

Sheila said... [Reply to comment]

Seriously, I wouldn't worry. I was a first grade teacher and I honestly couldn't tell the difference between the kids who had been to kindergarten and those who hadn't. It's more of a way to warm up to school than to learn anything -- the kids learn all that stuff just as fast in first grade. And, if you'll believe what I've been reading (Better Late Than Early, and the writings of Peter Gray), they learn it even faster and better at seven or eight than they do at six.

Meanwhile, there are so many important things to learn at five: how to love learning, how to follow your passions, how to play. And your daughter will learn these fine without any curriculum!

Since the nationwide age for compulsory education is eight, and I believe that's what it is in our state (in some it is six), I plan to unschool till then. If even the government doesn't think my kid needs any particular thing before that age, I see no need to push anything!

Kayce Pearson said... [Reply to comment]

Momma, Utah is super hands off, which I love. And we're basically just winging it too haha. I love not having a structure, gives me much less stress to not worry about her learning.

Cruzi, I agree completely! Literature is like a gateway to another world, ours is very centered around that too. Lots of books and lots of reading in our house :)

EarthMama I love that idea! I have everything in different binders now (after reading your suggestion) and it is working out so well! We can pick what she wants to do, work on it for a bit, put it down, I just love it.

Sheila, thank you!! She picks things up so fast when I don't push her, I think that's truly what she needs. She would have a really hard time in kindergarten for that very reason I think.

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