Saturday, February 05, 2005

It's Saturday morning and none of us feel like moving today. K was sick yesterday with a fever so I picked her up from school early. Problem is that it was the night of the Valentine's Day dance she never stopped talking about. After much soul-searching and asking Mom for advice, I did let her go. Her fever had gone down and she felt ok and looked alright so I gave in and she had a really great time. Now her fever is raging and she'll probably sleep all day. Guilt.

J did a bit of work yesterday. A little math, a little science. Nothing that I feel is substantial, though. I know I will eventually get all the "school expectations" out of my system, but I guess not yet. I got my packet from the Dept of Ed. They acknowledged my letter of intent and registered J as a home schooled student. They sent a bunch of stuff including a form to send my IHIP on (which I'm not using - I made my own), forms for quartely reports (which I may use), the public school testing schedule (which I probably won't use since J gets too distracted with 30 other test-takers), and a homeschool group list for my area (which I thought was kinda nice to do). Nothing seems too difficult to manage, I guess. It's hard to feel comfortable, though, when big brother is watching your every move making sure you do things their way. I mean, I took J out of public school because it wasn't working for her. So why would they send a packet of stuff expecting me to do thing like the public schools??? Stuff like attendance records and hours per day?? Are they kidding? Oh well. Thank goodness I'm anal retentive about keeping good records or this would never work.

I spoke to the same guy a the D.O.E. twice already. I told him that's it, he's now my contact person. He's very nice. He even called to tell me they received my letter and to go over things with me and see if I had any questions. He's understanding and told me not to worry and go crazy so much about the IHIP and reports. And that it's all easier than it looks. Ok. Well, J needs a standardized test in 5th and 7th grades (or 4th, 6th, and 8th) and every year from 9th-12th. Ok. He also helped me a bit with my IHIP, so now that is done and ready to send. I think I am going to keep records mostly handwritten in a little notebook. I know there are many computer ways of doing it, but I won't keep up with it, I know it.

I think I've got a good handle on things around here. I made yet another schedule for myself (cleaning, errands, etc) to leave me more free time. I'm ready for our 2nd week!


Angie said...

I hope you don't mind that I stopped by but I followed the link on a friend's Live Journal and I find your experiences so far very interesting. Until recently I was working on my MA in education, fully intent on teaching high school English soon. That's taken a backseat for now because I was tired of hoop-jumping, but as a result I know a little about how children learn and how HORRIBLE those standardized tests really are. Your child is lucky because at least she won't be in the overly high-pressured environment in the weeks leading up to the tests -- when the teachers begin to freak out because their very livelihood is dependent on how their students do. And what sucks is that some kids just do NOT do well on standardized tests -- and they never will -- so their results reflect negatively on a teacher who couldn't have possibly made those kids perform better.

It's all about giving some politicians NUMBERS -- because God forbid they take the time to walk through a classroom and actually watch learning take place. Or pick up a grade book and see what the kids really ARE capable of. Or read some essays, review some projects, go to a science fair and see what kids can do when you teach them the scientific method and then let them loose to explore their world. All of that gets lost in the "no child left untested" world we live in now.

So, I was against homeshooling for a long time but I sincerely applaud you for taking your child out of that environment and giving her the kind of education that, believe me, probably 90% of teachers WISH they could give every student in their class.

It sounds like the CM method is a really good, well-rounded approach that requires initiative on J's part -- and will give her a solid love of learning that will serve her all her life. I plan to look into it more - and perhaps incorporate parts of it when I get my own classroom -- as much as the state will let me, that is.


NYCitymomx3 said...

Hi Angie. Thanks so much for your comments. I agree with you about the tests and the politicians. It's funny, a few years ago I was sure I would never homeschool. Never say never I guess. I appreciate your encouragement so much.