Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Something strange happened here recently.  I got this feeling like it was okay to put Evan in school.  It's that charter school that I had all the boys enrolled in originally for this year, until I felt differently from the spirit, and felt I was supposed to homeschool again.

I had not thought at all about the charter school since we decided against it, but happened to hear randomly that they still had openings for first grade, and just kinda felt like Evan was not getting as much attention at home (his work is done so fast compared to his brothers) and he might enjoy school.  Turns out he got in on the second to last day before they closed admissions.  Did this happen for a reason?  I mean, it's not like he was suffering at home- after he was finished with work he'd play and read to Leia and that is great! But I asked him if he'd like to go to school, and he was okay with trying it.  After all, he said, Dallas went to first grade too!  Good memory Evan!  He has been very happy and brave about it.

I am having mixed feelings though.  All the driving, plus they do so much homework!  Almost 1 1/2 hours for first grade!  I was told it would be 10 minutes.  I just sent a note to his teacher today saying "Wassup?"

Evan is on grade level or ahead in everything they are doing, so I'm not loving all this work.  They use the RIGS program for spelling which teaches the phonetic sounds and symbols, and he has to use the funny lines and numbers over the letters of his spelling words.  Like the number 3 over a "y" means it's the third sound a "y" can make.  The symbols are part of his spelling test.  No matter if he spelled the word right- if it is missing the 4 over they "u" or the "e" is not underlined, then it is marked wrong.  I strongly believe in phonics and we do them at home to a point, so Evan has been picking it up quickly, but this seems a bit over the top.  My kids are great spellers and we never needed all that.

Each night he has 5-15 words he has to write out multiple times, and a test on all of them at the end of the week.  It starts to be not fun, like all his time once he finally gets home is doing school work.  He's so tired he can't do it all, and I have to wake him up early, so it's making this mama a bit angry.   I miss him all day, and then when he's here, I have to make him work.  But he likes school a lot, and in case I'm being a sappy mom, I'll try to hang in there a bit more, and give these programs and this school a chance.

I kinda planned on putting the three of them there next year- the older boys will be all caught up on their math, and I feel like it will be a good time.  With Evan already in the school, S and D are pretty much guaranteed a spot, whereas if not, we'd rely on a drawing for open spaces.  So Evan is like the pioneer.  The one who goes before and opens the way for others.

And what's up with me, always choosing to put one kid in school during a pregnant/new baby year?  Boy I'm so smart.  As if homeschooling isn't enough, now I get to drive and worry about another school, just like when Dallas was in first grade and I had Leia and was homeschooling Sam and Evan.  All I can say, is that I'm trying the best I can to do what is right for each one of my children, and pray every night that it will work out.  Even if 'working out', means I give it until Christmas break and then take him out. 

The school does have amazing teachers and it is an education I believe in, if not so much the spelling. Pretty much everyone from church goes there, and a huge amount of friends from my homeschool group, and tons of families we know from soccer, and that's nice.  And all the other mom's (I mean ALL of them) talk about the amazing things their kids are learning in the older grades, and how school has never been like this for them before.  Their kids come home excited to talk about what they've learned.  They read the Declaration of Independence, and the Iliad and the Odyssey, and recite poetry and are really challenged in math.  And they have teachers who haven't all been in the "system".  The are fresh out of Hillsdale college, many of them, and fluent in Greek and Latin and are bright and enthusiastic.  They picked terrific teachers, and I am loving that!

It does have a dirt yard- nothing special, but it's just starting, and it will grow.   On the first two days I took Evan and stayed with him for the flag ceremony which they do every morning along with a song and recitation by a student, and just cried.  I don't know if it was taking my baby to school, or seeing all the kids pledge allegiance to the flag and sing, but it got to me.  I'm such a sap. 

Evan's last full homeschool day's work.  After he wrote and spelled numbers I asked him to write three sentences about what he would do at his new school.  He will eat at his desk, play at the park, and learn Latin.  All true, except there's no park.
Now I've got to go make my other two work at least as hard as Evan.  They did just finish a half a year of math last week, and are on track to finish years worth by Christmas!  And, Sam it seems is as smart as Dallas in a lot of things, and Dallas is doing terrific piano!  I am very proud of them all!


Sarah said...

It's hard being a mom and following the guidance of the Spirit when something else fits more with what we want. If it is any consolation, Josh and Carly are doing about the same amount of homework, give or take. Both of them bombed out on their progress reports - so great school, maybe. Same problems for us that have always existed, no warnings or notes of concern from teachers, and a whole lot of heartache for mom and dad. There are no 'perfect' solutions, so just trust and keep going. :)

Also, if I had room in the car we'd stick you in the carpool group...anyone else around you doing EVCA? Carpooling makes it easier for me to accept the experiment.

Karisa said...

Thanks so much Sarah. Yes, I just started a couple days ago carpooling with Chantelle (who also just started) and Anna Weaver who wanted to switch out of her carpool. I asked about your carpool early on, but found out it was full already. I hope we all make it through- I was talking to some moms that I know from various places and their kids were crushed to find out they were not doing well after progress reports went out. I don't want them to have to lower their standards, but it's so different from normal schools that it's really a hard adjustment and kind of sink or swim.