Saturday, May 07, 2005

2 Questions

Ever since we started our homeschooling odyssey, I've been bombarded by the same 2 questions from friends and family. "How do you find the time?" and "Isn't homeschooling expensive?"

The answer to the first question is the reason I came up with the homeschooling idea to start with. I was spending ALL of my nonwork time dealing with the school and trying to catch Z up on his assignments; and he was STILL FAILING!! Since my husband, L, works nights and I work days, I was the one who was home when Z was. L tried to help on weekends, but it took more time bringing him up to speed on what was going on than it did for me to keep doing it by myself. My stress and frustration levels were horrid. Not a good thing for an old broad enduring perimenopause!! Our family life just plain SUCKED!! All of our lives revolved around getting Z through one more week of school.

Now my load is cut in half. L handles Z's schooling from 8 a.m.-noon and I handle the 2-6 p.m. shift. From noon-2 p.m., Z has lunch, unwinds, and does his household chores (something he never had time for before, so L and I were doing Z's chores too). Right now I'm in charge of setting up the curriculum, researching materials, and Math. L handles test writing, grading and English. We both contribute to Science and History. The most time consuming and frustrating part is keeping Z focused.(I'll discuss this at a later date) I was the one in charge of writing up a daily assignment list, but that's gonna change this weekend. We'll now have a weekly meeting and write down expectations for the week. (I'll let you know how this one works.)

As for the expense part: so far I've spent $60 for books, $7.95 for a new globe, $19.95 for a small cassette recorder to help Z with notetaking, and $7 for VCR tapes. This is pretty much all I expect to spend for the next couple of months. So far this has been less than the $35/month we were spending on school lunch! The rest of our materials come from the internet, our wonderful public library, the amazing educational channels on cable TV, everyday life, and the beautiful, but crazy, world around us. Every week I check the schedules of the educational channels and write up a list of shows to record. Some of the shows are relevant now, some will be used in the future when we get to a particular subject.

Homeschooling has come naturally to L and I, since most of the worthwhile things we know, we learned on our own. L was a self-taught professional musician for 10 years before we married. Now he's a self-taught computer whiz and keeps all of our friend's computers running smoothly. I pretty much self-taught myself through high school and college. I had a few good teachers, but not many. What I wouldn't have given for the internet and word processors when I was in school!!


At 5/08/2005 6:39 AM, Blogger Wandering Coyote said...

It sounds like a great set-up and that it's working well. I don't understand why people would assume that homeschooling would be expensive; it would almost seem to me to be a cheaper option considering all the add-on costs of school, like as you mentioned, lunches, and other fees necessary throughout the year. And of couse if you are committed to this, you WOULD have the time, as you've set your life up around it. Good for you!

At 5/08/2005 11:21 AM, Blogger SME said...

And of course you're saving money on laundry 'cause Z. doesn't change his shirts as often! Heehee. Don't feel bad, we have to forcibly remove Aaron's socks at the end of a week. Then they walk away by themselves and we can't find them.

At 5/08/2005 12:32 PM, Blogger tshsmom said...

Isn't it scary how much alike they are?
Don't forget, we also don't have to BUY as many clothes for him NOT to change!

At 5/11/2005 8:21 AM, Anonymous Sandy L said...

I flunked the first half of the fifth grade. It had nothing to do with TS, so far as I can tell--that was just starting. We had moved from Montana to Colorado, where schools were following California's lead on education "reform." They were teaching stuff I had already been taught in the fourth grade,so I just daydreamed. (Can you say "autistic?") Mother remembers talking with the teacher, who tried to assure her they had classees for kids like me, and that I would probably be able to learn a trade and live independently when I grew up. They arranged some testing to see how bad it was. The IQ test came out 145, so they concluded there must be some other problem. Well, she was right, I did learn a trade--sort of--and am able to support myself as a physician.

At 5/11/2005 2:08 PM, Blogger tshsmom said...

Good for you Sandy!! I LOVE success stories!


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