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The Rancho Commons
Note to self: no whining, no slacking
I have a lot to tell you...
School, namely public school, is no longer on our plate.

We have made the leap to homeschooling and we are not looking back. We've talked about it for several years now, each time managing to talk ourselves out of it. But this year, we stuck it out and made the brave choice, certainly the difficult choice, and hopefully the intelligent choice, which we believe it to be. It helps to remember that Josh (age 8, going into 3rd grade) and Evan (age 12, going into 7th) are both well ahead of the curve. We did some diagnostic testing and found Josh easily scored well enough to do 4th grade language arts and Evan easily scored well enough to do 8th grade level work in both language arts and math. In short, public school was dragging along for them... we can do better than that. And, we're going to, starting with the official opening day of our homeschoo, the Academy of Better Learning, on September 3rd.

North Carolina's homeschooling laws are pretty wide open so what we do is up to us. We can even "Unschool" if we choose to, but we are sticking with a full, pre-purchased curricullum, at least for this first year, so we don't "lose our way" so to speak. Feel free to speak your mind on this, let me know how you feel about it. But, just to warn you up front, my views on education are more radical than most, and I'm not likely to change my plans based on your opinions, or those of "professional educators" either. I feel strongly this is the right thing to do, and the best time to start is now.

We went this week and disenrolled our sons from their respective public schools, we had already gotten our "orange card" from the Department of Non-Public Education acknowledging our intent to homeschool. IT'S ON!!

Oh, and Tuesday, we had our first venture out with homeschoolers and went bowling! Allie and I hadn't bowled since the late 80's. And you could tell it. We used the "bumpers" they put up so the balls won't go in the gutters as much as the boys did. We had the best time! I mean, I can't wait to go back. They do it monthly. I have joined several homeschooler Yahoo Groups and I get e-mails every day with great suggestions and ideas, as well as a variety of activities to choose from. NC is supposedly one of the best states for homeschooling and I believe it.

Wish us luck!
8 aspirations -{}- aspire with me
funny_face74 From: funny_face74 Date: August 23rd, 2007 01:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
good luck!!!

this is something that i have been considering for a little over a year now. i'm not pleased with joey's middle school experience so far(the teachers and staff have been horrible) and rach starts 6th grade this year. if her experience is like joey's was, i'll probably pull them both. rachel's best friends grandma has been asking me to look into it so that i can home school her as well.

so, we'll see. i'm really looking forward to reading about your experiences. :)
aspiring2live From: aspiring2live Date: August 30th, 2007 01:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
I hope it's going to be a great experience for all of us! We'll see. I'll be sure to post stuff about it. Really!
funny_face74 From: funny_face74 Date: September 10th, 2007 04:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
hey there. :)

where did you purchase the curriculum? do you use any online sources?

i'm very very seriously considering pulling joey out of his public school. i would love any advice you can give me.

aspiring2live From: aspiring2live Date: September 10th, 2007 09:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hey April!

We got ours at http://www.learningthings.com/

Now, there are LOTS of options, many of which are Christian, as was the one we got, so shop around. Even if you don't purchase there, that website is a great place to view the different curricula. Click on the links on the right side of that homepage to browse by type of curricula, for example. And there are also free "resource" links on getting started in homeschooling.

What I've found to be VERY helpful to us is finding and joining a local group of homeschoolers, many of these are available as Yahoo Groups. They alert us to field trips, skating, and bowling trips, etc. There are LOTS of activities provided by these groups: band, dance, karate, chess club, computer club, football, soccer... pretty much anything a public school system would provide.

Try doing some Yahoo Groups searches for "homeschooling" and your state, county, region, etc. Also, do the same kinds of searches in Google. You wlll be surprised how much is out there!

You can get curricula in paper back booklets, computer programs, online schooling, etc. There are lots of options so you can choose what works best for your kid.

That should get you started. Let me know if I can help!
acey From: acey Date: August 23rd, 2007 01:50 pm (UTC) (Link)
I wish you great success. I hope Josh and Evan flourish. Our friends have home-schooled their 5 kids and done a great job. Home-schooling seems to be big here in WA too.

Now their kids are older (11-16) they also attend a Charter School a few days a week. From what I understand, it's a collection of home-schooled kids, guided by parents.
aspiring2live From: aspiring2live Date: August 30th, 2007 02:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
We're excited about it. Here we go!
gillian16 From: gillian16 Date: August 23rd, 2007 11:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
My sister home schools both of her kids and is a huge supporter of it. If you have any questions or would just like an excellent support system, I would be happy to pass on her email/blog info.
aspiring2live From: aspiring2live Date: August 30th, 2007 02:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
Sure! I'm happy and open to learning whatever I can from whomever. Pass it on.

8 aspirations -{}- aspire with me