Friday, January 10, 2014

Highs and Lows

This week started on a high and has gone downhill since then! We'll start with the high. I had my fall homeschool review by the Board of Education. This year each family was assigned 2 reviewers and the reviews were moved to a different department within the Bd. of Ed. I really didn't know what to expect. Since we were told there were going to be 2 reviewers I recruited Jeremy to attend the review with me. Moral support. And someone to carry my increasingly heavy bag of books! The format of the reviews was changed entirely. Jeremy and I sat with 2 Vice Principals of elementary schools in the county. They started asking me for things and I had answers and evidence for everything. They asked what I do for spelling. I open to the Spelling label of Aliza's binder. They asked how I determine the list of words. I pulled out the 2nd grade Spelling book and explained the five day sequence of lesson. Their eyes sparkled and I knew I was good to go. After that they pushed aside the computers and said, "This is like a field trip. Talk us through everything and then we will fill in the form." They said things like, "This is so organized." "Look! There are date stamps on every page." "How long does it take you to organize this?" (20-30 minutes every single evening). "You really know this curriculum." (Thank you. I consider that my job!) "This is a rigorous curriculum." "You owe yourself a cup of coffee." "Do your children have homework too?" (haha.) "This is advanced for a 2nd grade reading textbook." "May I look at the kindergarten readers? I used to be a reading specialist and I'm curious." Then the weird moment at the end when the lady asks, "May I see a picture of your kindergartener?" And Jeremy pulls up a picture from my blog and I can't help myself, I say, "Yup, he's healthy, clean and happy!" Of course there's always more that they want. Pictures of the children in music and physical education activities. I just kindof smiled and looked at my piles of books and said, "You know, there are only so many hours in one day."

I was so pumped when I left. It's the review I've known I deserved, but wasn't sure I'd ever get. I felt like I'd won a competitive event. Yes, I do compete with the school system. I'm setting my children up to compete with publicly educated students when my children apply for college or jobs. I'm am striving to give my children a "traditional" education in an alternative environment. An environment that, from my experience and Jeremy's, is much more conducive to learning, self-esteem and confidence. This review told me that, from an educator perspective, I'm being successful.

Jeremy actually got sick during the night before the review (Monday). He pulled it together to look alive for an hour and after that he has been utterly miserable. He worked Tuesday and Wednesday and has been back in bed Thursday and Friday. Miserable for both of us! Anna had a fever on Wednesday. Aliza was just tired and complained of her head hurting. No one has eaten well. Josiah had a fever today. And I've had a most horrible cold. To top it all off, Jeremy and I had to reschedule a weekend away that we had planned for this weekend. 2 nights alone! At least it is rescheduled and not cancelled.

I'm pretty sure Jeremy is on the mend. Josiah was much more himself this evening. The girls seem back to normal. If I can just get a good nights sleep and a nap one day I think I'll feel a lot better! It's been a long week! As soon as Jeremy is up for conversation, I'm negotiating some time out of the house!

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