It’s official! I’ve sent a certified letter of withdrawal to the school, and joined the Texas Home School Coalition.
I know I didn’t have to do that. Texas is homeschool-friendly and there is no requirement to join an organization or have one represent you. However, one of the reasons I withdrew my son from his middle school was the Principal’s out-of-control and consistently-irrational behavior. That being the case, there’s no telling how she might respond to John’s withdrawal. As a member of THSC, I am entitled to pro bono legal representation, should it come to that.
I’m not expecting the worst, but I’m prepared for it.
Classes begin tomorrow. John and I are so excited! I’ve spent the past couple of weeks reviewing various sources and building our Curriculum Library. Besides all the online sources I have listed, we will use books, worksheets, DVD’s and anything else that strikes our fancy as we go. Of course, we’ll only use a few sources at a time, and pick and choose as we go. I just like having it all there in one place for the sake of convenience. It will also be useful for showing that I do have a curriculum if I’m ever faced with having to prove it. The Lessons page will show that I’m pursuing it in a bona fide manner.
Selena has been a huge source of support from the beginning of this. She lives in Texas and homeschools her son, too. She wrote to me today with some advice that really hit home and rang so true. With Selena’s permission, I would like to share it with you:
One of the biggest things I had to learn was to NOT try to duplicate what has been done in public schools. I was unconsciously still thinking that their way was the standard. I pulled my son out of the public school system, but turned around and unintentionally pulled the school system into our home. I became overwhelmed and put unnecessary stress on the both of us. I want to encourage you that you were the one to be your son’s first and primary teacher. You taught your son how to walk, talk and go potty, and you are more than capable of providing the best opportunities for your son! You go, girl!
When I read that, I breathed a sigh of relief.
I have been so worried about not doing this right because I’ve been measuring myself by the public school standards.
But this is our school! We will meet the basic requirements of teaching reading, spelling, grammar, math and good citizenship. As long as we do that, it’s up to us how, when and where it all takes place, and anything we add to our curriculum is completely up to us and at our discretion. That’s going to the really fun part!
We will follow a schedule that works for us, and study the things that we’re interested in. I’ll post daily lesson plans on my homeschooling blog for anyone who is interested. We plan to study some interesting material that we’re both very excited about.
I mentioned in my last post that I’d found what I think will be the perfect science curriculum for us. I also mentioned that I would probably use an article from BBC History to begin our study of The American Revolution. Since then, I have found another source that I think is fantastic! It’s called Liberty! The American Revolution. I found the lesson outline at PBS Teachers and it’s designed to go along with the six part video series bearing the same title. Mike found all six episodes on Google Video and sent me the links, so I don’t even have to buy the DVD’s.
That should keep our history class rolling for quite some time! I’m really looking forward to that and the science lessons we have planned. I feel like I’m going back to school myself, and in a way, I guess I am.