I never speak of what is going on behind the scenes here at Everyday Made Fresh, and I’d like to change that. From time to time I’d really like to just drop a post here and there to show you what our lives are like outside of the food and recipes, so that you can get to know us a bit better. I am taking that opportunity today, and talking all about homeschool; why we chose to, what we are doing, and how it’s going. This is a three part series since there are so many things to cover.
I’ll start with this, my girls have only known the public school. Kayla did go to preschool at a church, and there was that one time Kelsie was on the waiting list for the pre-k program at school, so I homeschooled her for 3 days until she got in, but other then that, all they have known is the public school system. We chose to homeschool Kelsie this year because of two reasons. One was in hopes that we would move out of state, and I hated to transfer her. We we moved when I was 7, I had to transfer, and I recall the struggle that I had, and didn’t want her to have to go through that. The other reason was I had placed her on the waiting list for the highly acclaimed charter school here in town, and again didn’t want her to have to transfer mid-semester. I had planned on getting her up to where the students at the charter school were, as opposed to coming in very behind.
What began as a temporary choice quickly became a permanent decision agreed upon by us. I have been a paraprofessional (fancy word for teacher’s aide) for 5 years at two different elementary schools and knew the ends and outs of the public school system fairly well. I worked inside a class room a few years, and outside of the classroom one-on-one and in group settings with students. I saw the struggle as the curriculum was changing, it was heartbreaking to watch some of these students being passed from grade to grade when they really didn’t need to be. I saw teachers teaching with their hands tied, because they were teaching for a test, and not for the academic success of the future of the students. Still I thought that my placing Kelsie in a charter school was for the best. Granted they still teach common core, I just thought perhaps they taught it differently. How else are all those schools graded A schools, and so few were failing.
Fast forward to a month or so ago when we were working on math, using the 5th grade math book that so many schools are using locally, as well as nationwide. We ran across a chart where multiplication was being reviewed, and I couldn’t for the life of me figure it out. I literally stopped teaching that day, called my husband, enlisted my sister-n-law and best friend, and searched the internet over a time or two for answers. Finally after thinking WAY outside the box I got it. They were using the number 3 as the X in a multiplication symbol. I was baffled. When Kayla came home that afternoon after school, I ask her and her boyfriend had they seen anything like it. Her boyfriend said “that’s that common core crap.” Ya don’t say?! Hmm. I brushed it off, because I flipped through and didn’t really see it anymore. I told Kelsie she wouldn’t need it EVER, and had her put X’s in all the places where the number 3 was representing to multiply. We thought that was over. It was not.
It happened again, this time I knew what to expect, but decided to send it a to a girl I went to school with who is pretty much a mathematician even though that isn’t in her job description, and she tutors math students regularly. She had never seen such. At that point my husband and I agreed that homeschool was the ideal choice for us because we didn’t want Kelsie learning something that was totally unrelatable to life ever. I ask Kelsie what she thought about homeschooling permanently and she loved the idea. So here we are.
When we first began I had the mindset of we have to do this just like they do at public school, because it was really all we both knew. It worked for all of 2 weeks, and then we were both in tears. We changed our ways, and have been tear free ever since. We are now homeschool more eclectically.
Stay tuned to A Change in Focus: Homeschool Part Two, What We are Doing.