Monday, July 08, 2013
Where we are after 14 years of homeschooling
Our oldest daughter has completed her first year of community college as a full time student. She began attending community college part time the second half of her junior year in Cate Academy under the concurrent enrollment option (which is free).
Daughter #1 hasn’t really settled on a major yet. She began as an Interior Design major, but branched out into a wide variety of classes, including criminal law. We jokingly say that she is going to be the “fashion police.”
One of our biggest surprises is that our math challenged daughter has gotten A’s in college math classes (Intermediate Algebra and Geometry) and is planning on taking more math classes. This is the kid who in the 4th grade couldn’t get 100 simple addition problems right to save her life. She took two years to complete the Saxon Algebra I book and two years to complete the Saxon Algebra II book. We are pleased to see that slow and steady actually does win the race.
Our second daughter has completed her junior year of high school. She passed the CHSPE easily and got A's in the two classes she took at the community college last semester. This kid has already picked a major and has planned out next year’s community college classes so that she will have many of the core classes for her major completed even before she applies to the program at a 4 year college next year.
She also struggled with math but got a respectable math score on the ACT and SAT. She also tested out of much of the college math requirements. As much as I would love her to try more advanced math, her major does not require it. She needs only to take Statistics to complete her college math credits, which she plans to do next semester at the community college with the concurrent enrollment.
We don't advertise that she has already passed the CHSPE or she would have to pay tuition at the community college. We don't produce that documentation until she needs it to start college as a full time student in the fall of 2014.
Our youngest daughter will be beginning the 8th grade (homeschool) in the fall. She is the only child we’ve had thus far who was on track to take Algebra in the 8th grade. I tried with the other kids, but they just weren't ready. This is the kid who taught herself to read on Starfall.com.
Since her older sisters were such late readers (somewhere between 3rd – 5th grade), it never occurred to me to even try to teach her to read earlier. She was ready before I thought to invest any serious effort. We ended up with a few Explode the Code books that she never needed. This is also the kid that can spell which is something that no one else in the family does easily.
Academically, this child is the most advanced for her age. This is also the kids that I have done the least for. By the time she came around, my time was stretched between 3 children. Just about the time she started school, her younger brother with special needs joined our family. I have no explanation of why she has done so well other than this is also the kid who did all the occupational therapy routines with her younger brother to encourage him along. And, she had the secondary exposure to all her older siblings' activities.
When she was a young, I would work one on one with one of the older children while the other child "played with the baby." Then the older girls would switch places. I did spend some one on one time with our youngest, but it was proportionally much less than the two older girls.
Our youngest child (Baby Bop) and only son thus far, has finished is first year of “homeschooling” which to outsiders looked a lot like playing in the back yard. I focused on speech (he has a significant speech delay), brain development through movement and literacy through listening to books on tape.
We have a tutor that comes in once a week to spend an hour with him doing whatever she wants. She has a BS in engineering and an MA in Occupational therapy, and has an incredible sense of what he needs. By school standards we are behind, but since 2 out of 3 of my other kids developed on their own schedule, I haven’t worried too much about it.
Baby Bop is progressing and his neurodevelopmental issues are fading with time. I plan to be a bit more structured next year, but I am more concerned with basic brain development than I am with artificial academic mile posts that he will hit when his brain in ready.
And that is what our 14th year old homeschooling looks like.