July 28, 2008

Homeschooling

*Sorry-this is a little long!*


Cody will be home schooled for 4th grade instead of going to public school. This was not a decision that Josh and i took lightly. Josh has always been against homeschooling, and i have never been a fan of what appears to be social deprivation in home schooled children. Most of you probably know what i mean . . . the vast majority of home schooled children i have met all seem a little . . . well, weird. Needless to say, we both have/had reservations.

This last school year became too much for us. Cody complained almost the whole year that class was boring, easy, and that he wasn't learning anything new from 2nd grade. Almost everyday he was going to the library during recess to get a new book to read in class while he waited for classmates to finish their work. Inevitably, Cody would get bored reading everyday and would start talking to the other students in his pod-which led to him getting in trouble for being disruptive and not following class rules.

We had asked when Cody was in 2nd grade if he could be tested to see if he was capable of doing any advanced learning. We were basically ignored. We asked again when he was in 3rd grade-again, nothing. Then, towards the end of the school year, we got a letter from the school saying they wanted to test Cody for their advanced learning program they offer, TAG. We were excited and had Cody tested-we still don't know the results!

For 3rd grade, Cody was in an over-crowded class with a 6th grade Olive Oil look-a-like teacher that had stepped down to teach 3rd grade to help with the over-crowding. Unhappy with her teaching we asked for another teacher. We were told that couldn't happen. We weren't surprised to hear from other parents in the class that they had also tried to get their student transferred to another class and had the same response.

We have been so frustrated! The school year ended and Cody came home with his AIMS (Arizona's Instrument to Measure Standards) test results-and the school's AIMS results for the last 3 years. In the last 3 years, 3/4 subjects the school is tested on has dropped in their percentage of students passing. From 90% to 77% in math alone! And the school is still rated as "Highly Performing." Cody, tested better than the school and the district average for the year.

Josh and i talked to some parents who home schooled and we were really pleased with what we were hearing. So we looked into it and talked to Cody about the pros vs. cons. Cody really wanted to be home schooled. We told him to think it over for the week because it was a really big decision. A couple of days later he asked me, "Mom, how much longer do I have to think about it? I already know I want to do it." We began the paperwork the next day.

Cody was tested in Math and Language/Reading/Spelling (LRS) comprehension. His results placed him in 4th grade for Math and in 6th grade for LRS. The homeschooling program Cody will be in is placing him in 5th grade for LRS because it's against policy to have him skip 2 grades. But if, in a couple months, he isn't being challenged they will move him to the 6th grade LRS program.

Finally we have test result for something!! We had a feeling all along he wasn't being challenged enough-and this proved it. Educationally, I feel better and better about homeschooling.

But what about Socially? This is still a major concern of mine. We are hoping that with Martial Arts, Boy Scouts, Sports, and play dates that Cody will be fine. The online homeschooling program we have Cody in also arranges for it's students to have field trips together in the student's hometown.

And the added bonus - - - we get to see Cody more! He won't be gone 8-4 Monday-Friday anymore. And he won't have another hour of homework to do when he is home. We'll get to see him for more than breakfast, dinner, and his bedtime routine. He won't have to ride a bus with bullying students that use vulgar language - or have a bus driver that plays music about strippers. (Yes, i was shocked when a song came on the radio that i didn't think was appropriate for Cody to hear-when i changed the station he declared he Loved that song and began singing the words. It was a song that his "bus driver played everyday.")

With Josh's crazy work schedule we haven't really been able to leave town because he was seldom off on weekends. And now we can go places because Cody can do his work on-line. We will actually get Family Time! For those of you that really know us, this is something our family Rarely gets.

So we'll see. We are all hesitant and excited to try this out. If it doesn't work out we'll go back to public schooling. But if it does work . . . Cody will get the challenging environment he needs; and our family will get to be together more than twice a year.

5 comments from people we love:

Meredith said...

I can't wait to hear how it all goes!

Eric Rowley said...

I love that youre being so open minded with Codys education. I really hope it all works perfectly!

Jenni foo foo said...

I think it's awesome!

Gina said...

That's awesome!I knew he is special like all of you guys!
Let me know how he likes it!

Cherise Davies said...

holy cow! what a smartie!!!! :) sweet! well i hope it goes great too!
and yeah, school buses....my kids are NOT riding them. I heard more dirty conversations on the middle school bus than anywhere else Ever.