Our plans for the next school year are coming together and I’ve never been this confident before with homeschooling. I cannot sing higher praises of our new co-op. The people, the classes, the opportunity – they have all filled a big gap in our long-range education plan and I couldn’t be more grateful. I’m especially happy with the classes offered to middle and high school students. For the first time in our homeschooling journey, I can visualize what it might look like if we homeschool through 12th grade.
When we started homeschooling in 2011, I was flying blind. All I knew was that I wanted to manage what they were learning and the speed at which they were learning. I also wanted total flexibility with our schedule.
I had a Kindergartener and a second grader. Recess happened in costume. Those were the days.
As they progressed, so did their curriculum and level of difficulty, and so did my concern over whether or not I was cut out to handle their education without outside help. We joined a local co-op our second year, but my confidence did not increase. The co-op filled a hole for socialization, classroom cooperation, and the boys learning to be underneath other authority, but as far as core education was concerned, I didn’t love it.
So we left the co-op and took a break. We went a year without it, and though the boys still had plenty of socialization through sports, church, and neighborhood friends, I knew they needed something extra curriculum-wise that I could not provide. Though the new co-op was more expensive and farther away than I preferred to drive, I thought we could at least try it for a year and quit if it didn’t work out.
After the first week, I had a strong hunch that we’d made the right move. Sure enough, it’s proved to be exactly what we needed – both as a homeschooling family and as individuals. We have access to classes that I could not replicate at home, taught by degreed, experienced people. We have a board of directors who apply Christian values to the program but still see the wisdom and importance in teaching traditional science. The boys have made friends and I’ve been blessed with a position on staff teaching literature and creative writing next year.
As a big and unexpected bonus, the timing of their classes has allowed Chuck and I to have lunch together – without the boys – on a weekly basis. Friends, this has never happened before and it has been so nice.
I cannot say with 100 percent certainty that we’ll homeschool through 12th grade, but for the first time ever I feel like it’s doable, and that gives me confidence to keep moving forward.