When we decided on a whole new vision for what our daily lives would look like, I had put together a curriculum plan that was full of free resources from around the internet.
As with anything, plans can change.
We have decided to join a public school charter school.
Yes, there is still testing involved.
No, we don't mind the testing.
It doesn't have any weight on the children and we don't use it as a measure of intelligence.
|Picture made with Pablo|
1. It's essentially the same as homeschooling on our own. We have the freedom to teach what we want, when we want, and how we want. We are lucky enough that we have an education specialist that goes along with what we do and records our work according to what the state requires.
2. We have access to activities. If it weren't for the government funding, we would not be able to enroll our children in enrichment classes...such as ballet, gymnastics, woodworking, horseback riding, piano...you get the idea. It's wonderful to be able to place our children in activities that they wouldn't be able to do otherwise because of the financial strain it would put on our family. Also, I believe in not over scheduling a child. If they were in public school I wouldn't put them in an outside activity because of all the homework that is required these days. Children need to be able to play, explore, and do the things that interest them...without being exhausted.
3. Accountability. Having a person, "educational specialist", that we meet with every 15-20 days helps keep *me* on track. It prevents too many fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants days...I understand this works for some people, but not for our family. She knows our educational philosophy, she knows my teaching style, and she knows my kids' learning styles. This allows her to make suggestions when I ask her what she would recommend.
4. We choose our own curriculum. Unfortunately, we can't buy Christian/sectarian materials with the funds, but other than that we can choose whatever works best for us. The scope of what we are able to buy is huge. We are currently waiting on a shipment of a full history curriculum that uses the Charlotte Mason method, an ant farm, a butterfly garden, paint, paint brushes, a large box of art supplies, logic games...etc.
5. We get A LOT of money to spend. Each year the charter school families get government education funds. It varies a tiny bit each year depending on that year's educational budget with the district. This year each family was allotted $2200 per enrolled child! We signed up during the 2nd semester so we got a little less than half of that amount. It was fun shopping for classes and items!
While a public school charter school isn't for every family, it works for ours.
What works for your family?
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