Saturday, August 02, 2008

Karen Who?

I'm back from my hiatus. Calm down. You know you weren't just waiting for my next epistle to get on with your lives! I'm not even going to try to recap the past two months - just bits here and there. I have decided to use Flylady's 15-minute method to write. Her theory is that you can do anything for 15 minutes and so I have set my timer. Maybe I'll be more consistent now. Or not.

Jerry has been in Delaware a lot lately so the boys and I have been hanging out. Well, Tom's been working and going places with Sam, so Andy and I have been hanging out!

I have made changes to Andy's homeschooling for next year and we are excited about it. I wanted to do something different for him for the high school years, since those are what really counts as far as transcripts go. I also was really getting unhappy with the Board of Education reviews. The whole point of homeschooling is to teach differently according to the individual child. If I wanted him to follow a public school model he would still be there! I was butting heads a little more often with the reviewers as I really didn't feel like I had the freedom I wanted as far as subjects and what to teach within those subjects.

I did a LOT of research (partially the reason why I haven't written in FOREVER) and finally decided on Conowingo-Rising Sun Christian School. When you homeschool in our state you are given two choices - either let the local Board of Education review your curriculum and progress, or go under what is called an "umbrella" school - an independent institution who will review your curriculum and handle things with the state for you. With Tom we went under the umbrella of the church we were attending at the time because they were accredited to do that, but since we weren't attending there anymore with Andy, I just went with the Board of Education. The reason I think we'll be happy with Conowingo is because although they have credit requirements just like any other high school, what you teach within those credit requirements is strictly up to the parent. For instance, he needs three math credits to graduate. He can choose which math he would like - business math, geometry, or he can even use his math knowledge in cooking skills to count for credit. The same is true with all of the subjects. And the best part is that life experiences can count towards credits. Helping people or doing things for them (as long as it's not for pay) counts towards the Bible credits (it is, after all, a Christian school). I keep track of his credit hours earned and once a year I am reviewed by a reviewer from their school. This way Andy gets to learn what he wants, when he wants, and in what order he wants. I think it makes a lot more sense to study what he actually is interested in and that he may use in his future career. How often do YOU use Algebra II in your day to day life? I thought so.

Once Andy has completed his credit requirements he is issued a diploma from Conowingo. They have a graduation ceremony each spring for students meeting their credit requirements. The diploma is an actual, for really high school diploma that is accepted anywhere, plus they keep his records and will provide transcripts to any future colleges he may apply to. There is no set age for graduation; just when your credit requirements are met. Since the culinary schools Andy has looked into accept students as young as 16, he is thinking about trying to finish by then, but I won't push him to do that. Now, on the other hand I don't think Conowingo will take kindly to a 28-year-old student, either!

Well my timer just went off so I think I'll go. More later in the next 15-minute increment!

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