Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The Carnival of Homeschooling - Changes

Welcome to the 319th Carnival of Homeschooling!

For our family, moving to Alaska brought on a great number of changes. Some changes we expected.

Like having to learn how to deal with -50 degree temperatures.

Or being entertained by new things we've never experienced.

But some of the changes weren't so expected or pleasant.

We were very spoiled living in North Carolina when it came to homeschool activities and opportunities. My boys were part of a Homeschool Football League. The kids were all in 4-H. We had a fantastic homeschool support group - one of several to choose from locally. They could go the the "Prom." There was literally nothing our kids couldn't do!

Then we moved here. And we had no idea just how good we had it.

We were told "Homeschooling is HUGE in Alaska!"

We were told wrong.

You would think there would be lots of homeschool opportunities in a state that has such freeing homeschool laws. Yet there are no sports, no homeschool support groups to speak of, no activities for homeschoolers. Nothing. There are a couple small groups that are geared more towards the younger set, but nothing my boys are interested in participating in.

We are currently in our second school year up here in Alaska. After thinking long and hard, and having endless discussions with the family...next year we are enrolling them in Public School.

Sort of.

Alaska has several programs that are sort of a "Mutated" form of homeschooling. A blending of traditional public school and home school.

I can still "homeschool" my boys, but they will be able to take part in extra-curricular activities in our local school. They could also take up to 2 classes at the school, and do all of the rest of their courses at home.

In addition, as long as I select curriculum from an "approved" list, I will actually be reimbursed form the cost of the curriculum, and even some other expenses as well.

I'm really not thrilled with this whole concept. As a parent who has purposedly chosen to homeschool for religious as well as educational purposes, I am not thrilled with this concept one stinking bit.

I just don't like that for the first time in our homeschool history, I will have someone looking over my shoulder. That makes me uneasy. But this particular program I have chosen has the least "oversight" and is as hands-off as it comes here.

It will mean lots of paperwork for me....but I'm ready to suck it up and drive on for the sake of my boys.

There comes a point when you have to do what you have to do. We have been here in Alaska for a year and a half. Our boys have pretty much NOTHING to do outside family activities. And though I think the whole "Socialization" issue is a joke most places, there does come a point where your kids really need to be able to get out and meet some friends, and have some activities outside the home. Especially when they are High School aged.

So all that said, we decided that since it will only be one school year, that it will be worth it. After this coming school year, we will be leaving Alaska. New opportunities will arise.

My mantra will be..."It's only one year. It's only one year. It's only one year. It's only one...."

Then the new season will dawn on our homeschool adventure.

And now on to the Carnival!

The first post today is from Jen. She discusses the importance of setting priorities and keeping some sort of order to our lives with realistic expectations. Homeschool and Life: How we get it done

At Home Spun Juggling, you can also see a reminder about keeping priorities straight, and making certain that our dedication to our schooling doesn't lead to the neglect of other important things, like our health. Home Spun comic strip #705

Over on "Waiting for Charlie" you can read about a Daisy group's Garden project. "Welcome to the Daisy Flower Garden - a Journey Review"

On Homeschool Bytes, you can read about a creative App that is for the youngsters learning to write. IWriteWords App Review – My 3-year-old loves it! You can also find out about a free online program for learning ASL Sign Language.

Speaking of technology, who would have thought that an iPod could help a child learn to read? Well that is just was this family discovered at A Life Supreme.

At Dewey's Treehouse, they are studying the amazing Underground Railroad.

At Home School vs. Public School, they are talking about history as well. Exploring History With Your Home School Student discusses different ways of looking at history.

At The Legacy of Home, you can read about The Importance of Home Economics Training.

Over on Eclectic Momma, you can read about her take on the difference between a "Reminder" and a "Resolution" at Reminders.

Lessons from the Homestead shares with you the great educational opportunities you can find in even the simplest of tasks, like Planting Seeds.

At Parent at the Helm, you can read about how once again, science confirms what loving parents already know. That a Mother’s Love Leads to Better Learning.

Holy Spirit-Led Homeschooling is sharing a great resource - a free eBook: 100-Indoor Activities for Kids. Perfect for when we are stuck indoors in the long winter!

At the Homeschool Co-op, you can learn about the benefits of a Montessori style education.

Homeschool Happymess is currently learning about Impressionistic Art in State of The Art: A Homeschool Studio.

Jimmie compares Homeschooling and Exercise at Jimmie's Collage.

The Thinking Mother shared a special moment she had with her son....one of those times where you child says something that makes your Heart Swell.

Homeschool Circus shares how Once a Month Cooking benefits their family.

Time4Learning is sharing something that our family knows a lot about. How your pets can be part of your schooling.

Of course, our pet is more of a paper-weight.

At Tea Time with Annie Kate, she discusses how the seasons can play a role with how your school "works."

The Homeschool Dad has a creative way of teaching his kiddos about the Presidents....by focusing on their birthdays!

Golden Grasses discusses how History is a story, or narrative, and so much more than just "evidence."

And thus ends this week's Carnival of Homeschooling!