Saturday, May 2, 2009

Homeschool, Cyberschool and College, OH MY!

I'm going to admit that lately I feel like I've bitten off more then I can chew.
After having Maggie and going through so much stress with her care. I decided to do something for myself, anything. Its one of my many weaknesses doing things for myself. I have always been this way, caring for others then thinking of myself last.
I was 18 years old when my mother was ill with cancer. On top of that I had two younger brothers that were seven and five at the time too. My mother had finally divorced my evil stepfather( literally, he was) and so it was me who was left to care for my mom who's health was failing by the day. She had breast cancer but it was an agressive kind. Sometimes I like to think though that if she were alive today she'd still be here. Anyways, in that time I cared for everyone. I was the oldest so that was my job. So here I had an opportunity arise where I could finally do something for myself. Maggie's health has stabilized to the point that I could do something for myself and yet here I am feeling like I shouldn't have.

I have the job of being mom first, next the wife, then I'm teacher and I homeschool my oldest on my own and PA is not a homeschool friendly state. The requirements are unreal, making me wish I lived in Texas or Alaska where you are free to homeschool your children without all the laborious paperwork that we do in PA. We are required to report to the school district with notorized paperwork and a list of objectives that are set for the year. After that you feel free, free that is until you hit this time of the year. When your child has to have standardized testing( required in 3,5,and 8 if you homeschool on your own), then you have to find someone to do an evaluation. This requires finding a teacher , psychologist or someone who is allowed by law. They all don't advertise so you have to go by word of mouth.That's not all, oh no, that is not all. You have to bring a handmade portfolio that has your child's work in it that shows improvement throughout the year. Which is tough because well we started in January. There has been some improvement but Marilyn still has a ways to go. We are maybe half way through her studies if best and I am finding I need to switch curriculum for reading because what we are using is just not working really well right now but its almost June so I can't. I have to make this porfolio like a scrap book with all the different subjects, math , reading , writing, science , history, art, phys ed, art and music and fire saftey . I'll admit phys ed is not something we did much of this year. We just didn't have the money and the weather was terrible this winter. So I'll just need to resort to taking pictures of her riding her bike , jump roping , etc. For art, well other then arts and crafts not much art appreciation going on around here. This subject is not one of my fortes and let me tell you right now of all subjects to start with college its none other then art and culture... ugh.

Then on to Katie and Hannah. They are both in different cyberschools. Requiring different tests and paperwork. Katie's curriculum requires us to do lesson test ever 20 lessons. Not fun. We are just plowing through them and that's all I'm going to say. After this year she will be homeschooled. Hannah's cyberschool requires three different pieces of work each month. It could be writing , math , history, or any other combination. Plus we are getting by with school work with doing the least amount possible. I'll admit though I really do like the K12 curriculum. Its very thorough and well put together. It can be time consuming though.

Then there is me. I had to start college now in my life. I feel like I'm going crazy and insane. I haven't been in school for 14yrs and education really has changed ALOT since I was last in school. I'm taking courses where they assume you know this stuff. For instance writing. I had always thought I was good with writing. Well, I'm learning I'm not really. I never had to write different types of papers such as expository or persuasive essays while in school. It was more , write a paper on what you just learned when I was in school. I never had much art. I went to several schools going up and art either consisted of arts and crafts , drawing or no art at all. I did play music in high school but never took any music appreaciation type classes or anything like that. I just was blessed I could play music by ear because I could never read music either.
College started off great for me. I enjoyed it at first. Now its become another stressor in my life that I just really don't need. Yet at the same time I do need and want my teaching degree. I have to manage being a full time mom , a full time wife , a full time at home teacher , and a full time student. My husband helps as much as he can and is my biggest cheerleader to make me keep going.
I find myself dwindling between regular mom stress, post tramatic stress from the birth of Maggie and now college stress/. It wouldn't be so bad if I didn't have to pay for school. But I want to make sure I am making good grades. I just can't seem to get this old brain to learn the things I need.
Don't get me wrong , I'm still going to work through college. Just I feel like I've bitten off more then I can chew.

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