Saturday, September 12, 2009

movin' on up to the east side (well, kent, anyway)

When, in the course of family events, it becomes necessary for a homeschooling family to dissolve the scholastic bonds which have connected them with one another, and to assume, among the other taxpayers of the school district, the separate and equal station to which the laws of compulsory education in Washington State and our Sovereign God (to whom every parent answers) entitle them, a decent respect to my three faithful blog readers requires that I should declare the causes that impelled us, a completely homeschooling family for eight years, to make this decision.

........ahhh, I'm too tired to keep going in Declaration Style.

The previous year of homeschooling/virtual schooling was extremely clarifying for us as a family. The lessons I learned are as follows, in no particular order:
1) The Washington Virtual Academy has blossomed from being a family supportive alternative learning experience to full-blown bureaucracy and top-heavy management; unhelpful, inefficient office staff; and progress-based education rather than mastery-based education (which runs contrary to their parent company, k12).
2) Columbia Virtual Academy is much more relaxed - I set the learning goals, and I can use k12 at the pace I choose to. I am not demoted to being called a "learning coach" as in the other virtual academy. I do all the teaching work - why should I be just a "coach"? It's nitpicky, I know, but it's a subtle undermining of my authority.
3) I spent too much time sorting out sorties, sending the boxers back to their respective corners, and putting myself in time out, rather than actual teaching.
4) Testosterone is a powerful thing.
5) Our church is small. Boys are few. My son has no Christian friends his age. Friendly neighbor kids, but definitely "pre-Christian," if you will.

So back in June, we explored the options for putting D. into school. Seventh grade seemed like a logical time to make a switch, if one were to be made. He is now attending a Christian school in Kent, associated with a church whose pastor is a friend of A's from college.

Get this: D's class? All boys, except for one girl. School uniforms, check. Homework every night, check. Four different teachers to learn to relate to. Papers to try to organize and keep track of. Lessons to learn outside of home. I'm loving it.

I am not loving the (early) morning commute on 167. But that too has its benefits... I can listen to some really good, thought-provoking Bible teaching on the way home in the car.

I am loving having one kid to teach (using k12, enrolled in Columbia Virtual Academy). This way there's only two fallen creatures and their attendant sin problems to deal with, instead of three. :) We're on top, on track, and getting things done.

So we are now half-homeschooling, half-schooling.

I'm exhausted, but it's just fatigue, not stress. I'm excited because of all the possibilities that have just opened up for everyone in my family. I'm grateful for the Lord's provision for D's school tuition; for S's school fund that pays for TYC and violin lessons, and for the general fun time of life that my halflings are now entering into.

But it's after 10 p.m. - I'm about to turn into a pumpkin. Bedtime is 9:30 or 10 because the day starts at 6 am now. I know, I know, welcome back to the real world, right? :)