Thursday, July 23, 2009

What Homeschool is looking like for the 09-10 year

It's finally mid July, and all of the homeschooling mommies who have been hibernating need to start waking up now and admit that another year is soon upon us.

Well, this is the first of many "finish lines" that we are going to cross in this big journey of homeschooling. We have only one year left in which to school this guy.

Our oldest, James, will be starting his senior year in highschool.
What his academics looks like:

Classes at Hallstrom:
English: Literary Lessons from Lord of the Rings
Science: Physics with Apologia
Econ/ Government:
Spanish II
Pre-Calc at RVCC

Extracurriculars: violin at Music Academy at Rockford College, and Robotics club
Other things to do: Take SAT, figure out college plans for next year

Joanna, 15, will be starting her 10th grade/ sophomore year in highschool.

Academics at Hallstrom:

Mythology (English/ history)
Sign Language I
Spanish II

Extra-curriculars: viola at Music Academy/ Rockford College, Robotics, Gavel club, ??Driver's Ed? (not sure about this)

Hudson, age 13, 8th grade. 5'9" and growing

Academics at Hallstrom:
Literature for boys
Ultimate Frisbee
Life Science

Extra Curriculars: Cello at Music Academy at Rockford College, Gavel club, .. eating..

Nathanael, age 11, 6th grade,

Academics at Hallstrom:
Beginning Drawing
Literature for boys
Ultimate Frisbee
Life Science

Extra Curriculars: cello at Music Academy,

Emily, age 4, pre-K/ K
Hallstrom activities:

Tiny Tot choir
God made the World and me too (preschool skills)
Big manners for little people
preschool art

School with Mommy:
Teach your child to read in 100 Easy lessons
counting on abacus
read-aloud books
Bible memory/ verses/ lessons
playing care bears..

So you may be wondering..

What is Hallstrom?

Hallstrom is fabulous Christian homeschool co-op that we attend that meets once a week. We sign up for classes, pay the teachers, and the kids do the work at home during the week. It is still homeschooling, but with a lot of support and accountability.

Do I actually TEACH my kids?

Sometimes I do, but most of the time I trouble-shoot. With Emily, I will be doing a lot of teaching, getting her ready for reading. It doesn't take all day to teach preschool, so it will probably be about 3 times a week.

Is James getting dual credit for his pre-calc class?

Yes, and hopefully this first college class will be a good experience for him.

Did I always homeschool this way?

No, not at all. When my kids were little, I taught them everything. I used to be really into KONOS and Charlotte Mason teaching. We did all of these crazy dress up things and nature journals. It was a blast. It's just been in the last couple of years that we've had them take their main academic classes through Hallstrom. The accountability, advanced instruction, and convenience won out over being Mary Poppins. After Emily was born is when we started utilizing outside of the home instruction more. I'm not sure why but I think it was because they gave me a free labotomy with my hysterectomy. Who knew that was part of the deal?

How much does it cost to homeschool this way?

For the classes my kids are taking at Hallstrom, it ends up being around $1,500.00 a semester for all of them. (does not include books) The RVC class is around $370.00. I consider it to be pretty cheap compared to private schools or DVD curricula, especially for 5 children!

Is it really necessary to have the four year old taking classes?

Absolutely not. If we were not already required to be out for the older kids, she probably would not be getting this many classes. As it is, she would be bored silly sitting there all day with nothing to do, and she appears to genuinely enjoy the instruction. (We are required to stay in the building with our kids while they take classes)

Do you think you'll homeschool all of your kids this way?

Well, so far, it has been a no-brainer decision to homeschool. They love it. I'm happy, and everything is going well. If we start to have difficulties, then we'll have to re-visit the issue. Yes, my kids DO enjoy homeschooling. I gave my oldest the choice of going to a regular school or another type of private school, and he said he really liked Hallstrom and homeschooling. I'm glad because it is a great lifestyle for both Mom and kids.

How is the co-op/ Hallstrom lifestyle different from when the other homeschooling methods?

The lifestyle is very different in a co-op. If you join a co-op, you have to submit to the schedule they have for you. You have to do the work they say to do. You have to welcome the other teachers to teach your children. If that sounds overwhelming, a co-op may not be for you.

Are you teaching at the co-op this Year?

No, not officially. Last year I taught two writing classes, which were so great. This year, I am an "after school club advisor" for the "young writer's guild". We have a group of students who would like to research getting their books published, so I am going to be the "token adult" for these brilliant kids. I am also contemplating doing an online tutoring called "Mother's writing helper" where students send me their writing, and I turn it around with corrections for a revision. They don't need to be involved with any outside co-ops to use this service, but I'm still working out the details. Do you think there would be any interest?

So, for my homeschooling friends out there, are you getting ready for the new year?


Ruby said...

Being in Australia we have our long Summer break in Dec/ January.
Your method is interesting. I have loved home schooling but I am struggling to keep up the motivation with my last two who have learning difficulties. How does your co-op work with classes for slower kids who are working below their age level?

Jena Webber said...


Unfortunately, we do not have learning disability accommodations in the co-op. If your children are having trouble reading, I recommend a Wilson Reading tutor. If you attended a co-op for non-academic classes (like sports or art) the kids won't feel behind. Many parents use outside resources for learning disabilities. Any of my readers have recommendations??

Mrs. Parunak said...

I love your online writing tutor idea. Writing and math are two of the "panic" subjects (ok, and science) that give moms tremors when they feel that they aren't all that good themselves. They wonder how in the world they'll teach their kids.

Unknown said...

I really like your web composing teacher concept. Composing as well as mathematics tend to be 2 from the "panic" topics (okay, as well as technology) giving mothers tremors once they believe these people are not everything great on their own. These people question exactly how on the planet they will train their own children.

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