Changing Adventure

October 30th 2010

Two weeks ago we made the decision to take on a new adventure.  At the time we were unaware of an amazing option we had for this adventure that we have now discovered and are excited to undertake.  Our new adventure was home schooling, our changing adventure is virtual schooling, public school at home through a virtual charter school.  The program is amazing.  If any of you have heard of the K12 curriculum that is what it is based on.  For kids like Bryan this is great, because it lets them work on their level, grow at their pace, and never holds them back because of the rest of the class.

Bryan will still be home but Nevada Virtual Schools provides all the lesson plans and all the supplies.  Whatever he needs to do a unit they will send him.  Like a public school he will be assigned a teacher who will track his progress and put together the lesson plans that best meet his needs.  We will both have contact with that teacher throughout the year  His work will take about 4-5 hours any given day, with approximately 25% of that being online.  For us, this not only allows him to work at his advanced level, but takes the pressure off of me to keep up with him in planning and teaching.  I will still play a very active role in his schooling, but I will be able to use their tools to help me in the process.

So this new adventure we have been undertaking for 2 weeks is now changing, but we believe it is only another step in the right direction for Bryan.  When I told Bryan “you will be able to learn at your pace without waiting for anyone” he reacted with excitement.  Waiting was a consistent problem for him in public school, and even this last two weeks he has had to wait on me since he moved through things faster then I anticipated.  So the prospect of not waiting on anyone to learn and move on must be exciting for him.

In The Books

October 23rd 2010

The first week of our new adventure is in the books, literally.  We have completed one week of home school, and the student told a neighbor he loved his new teacher.  That would be Mrs. Porter, and no that is not my mother in law.  It took me a couple of days to get use to being called Mrs. Porter because no one calls me that, even the youth at church.  Not only does the student love his new teacher, the teacher loves her new student and is loving this adventure.

I have learned this week that my student can learn one particular subject faster then I had planned on.  This is a great problem to have, but it made Mrs. Porter have to print more worksheets then she thought she would.  I also learned that I can be up and ready to teach at 10:00am every day, which is a great accomplishment for me.  Mrs. Porter discovered that her memory can be a problem, but that the internet will make up for that most of the time.  The student learned that Mrs. Porter likes hands on learning for subjects like science since we did an experiment nearly every day.  In the end, now that the first week is in the books, we have learned that you don’t need a stack of text books to do school.  What you need is a student who excited to learn, and a teacher who is willing to feed that excitement.  If every week goes this well, please Lord, school will be a huge success.

For those of you who follow me on twitter, and are friends with me on face book, you already know this.  Starting on Monday we will be home schooling Bryan.  All of the history behind our decision is not important, the only thing that is significant is that we are convinced that this is the best way to ensure his educational needs are met.  All of the details will be set into place over the next week or two, in the meantime we will work with what we have available to us and figure out a schedule that works.

This is only sort of a new adventure because Bryan was home schooled in kindergarten.  Once that year was over we made the decision that putting him in school would be best.  The primary reason was my health, at that point I was still having 3-6 seizures a day and had not yet had my surgery.  Now, though I am still having an occasional seizure, my life is not nearly as disrupted by it.  Will it be perfect? Will it come easy?  NO.  What we do know is that with one student being taught by one teacher he will be the focus and he will be taught what he needs and based on where he is.  This is a new adventure because teaching addition and subtraction is much different then teaching decimals, fractions, American history and science.  For me this will be an adventure in memory, for Bryan it will sometimes be an adventure in patience.  Regardless of all of that we have a wonderful principle.  Mr. Porter will be the principle at this school, and yes being married to the teacher Mrs. Porter will have it’s advantages and disadvantages, but in the end we know the student will benefit from it.

The paperwork has already been filed, so Monday we will officially de-enroll Bryan from school, he will clean out his desk, and this new adventure will begin.  With the Lord’s wisdom and guidance we take this on.