Middle School Wrap Up & Where We Go From Here
*This post is much longer than my normal. Thank you for hanging with me to the end.
It’s taken me about six weeks to write our middle school recap post. I’ve been struggling a little bit with our “next” concerning our son’s schooling. But I think I’ve finally come to a place of acceptance and am able to allow God to move us forward.
I can’t believe my youngest is about to be in high school. It really is surreal. We have only been homeschooling this one for two years, but I felt as if we were finally getting into a grove. Over the course of the last year we
- completed earth and physical science courses with a great online resource.
- got mid-way through a Pre-Algebra math course and got extra math help.
- got solid in grammar, spelling and vocabulary skills.
- got our feet wet with spanish.
- learned to enjoy art with the help of on line art courses.
- fell in love with the Bible.
We are very proud of what we’ve accomplished this year, but things will be changing for us as in just a few weeks.
When I first began homeschooling our oldest son five years ago, he was flunking out of high school in the 10th grade. With the help of a veteran homeschooling mom, we pulled him out of school and homeschooled him. While he was labeled as “lazy” by his teachers, we found a huge gap in his learning. After returning to the basics in Math and English and working very hard, He graduated with A’s and B’s just six months after his class as a homeschooled student.
Then there is a our second daughter, who we pulled out of school in the 7th grade, mostly due to fear. While I did my best to pick the right curriculum and resources to make learning fun, she fought me every step of the way. Most days were spent in arguments and in tears, and it was too much for this full-time working mama to handle. By the middle of 8th grade we had given up and took the rest of the year off. We put her back in public school her freshman year and she will graduate this coming June with very good grades.
Then there is our youngest son, who just completed the 8th grade as a homeschooler. While I had already decided we would homeschool him, at least during the middle school years, he asked to be homeschooled. We did fairly well, considering that I work full time. My husband helped monitor assignments and I gave our son lots of freedom to work within the structure we set. Even though it’s been a struggle at times, we finally got into a groove this year and I was looking forward to beginning his high school journey of homeschooling.
But the Lord is taking us on a different path, at least for now.
I am not “anti public school”. I’ve always been a working mom and my children (aside from the times mentioned above) have always been in pubic school. My oldest daughter successfully graduated public high school. She never was led astray and we always knew what was being taught. She took stands in her classroom, and is strong in her faith. I always promised my kids when I felt they were ready, they could return to public school if they desired and if we felt they were strong enough emotionally and spiritually. Oldest son never returned, youngest daughter couldn’t get there fast enough, and now youngest son “wants to try school so he can make more friends”.
I do not believe my son lacks social skills. He attended public school through the 6th grade, and is actively involved in church groups. So the idea of putting him back in school just so he can socialize is not reason enough. My husband, while supportive in my homeschooling efforts, was never 100% on board with it. I think he needs more convincing that our youngest learns better in a homeschooling environment. While I believe our son lacks the analytical and critical thinking skills, among other things, to be successful with public school curriculum, I have decided to do a “test run” next year.
We have enrolled our son in a public charter school for independent study. He will still be doing all of his work at home, but I will no longer be in charge of his curriculum. He will be held to public school standards, as well as testing. Our son is technically behind his middle school peers in both Math and English. Unless we can get him ready for Algebra by his Sophomore year, as well as writing concise papers and analyzing literature, we may very well be homeschooling again in another year. Although the charter school has adopted a lot of different ways of learning, I’m not sure it will meet the needs of our son, who is a mostly an auditory and visual learner.
While I believe homeschooling is still the best option for him, I am prepared to help our son to be successful in the coming year as he gets use to a much more rigorous schedule. We trust the direction the Lord is taking us. With all that is going on with my mom, perhaps He just wants to give me a little break.
I will still be writing about our schooling from time to time. We hope to incorporate some electives of our choosing and to continue with our Bible studies.
Thank you for reading and for your prayers or this next part of our journey!