In a homeschooling house full of 7 kids & 3 guniea pigs....there is never a dull moment! A lot of people show genuine concern for us and want to know how we are doing, as the road we've left behind was not a pleasant one. So, here I am, to tell some of our stories...share some of our days...and open up a part of our world to you! Come join us on our journey so you won't miss the moments that take our breath away!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Eagle's new curriculum arrived!!!

In an effort to always do what is truly best for my children, I have made the decision to make a curriculum change this late in the year.  While I have always loved the k12 curriculum, it was just no longer working for Eagle.  He struggled with it last year and we kept trucking along...this year has been really hard for him.  He has either been too bored by a subject, not challenged enough or too rushed to learn a concept.  The curriculum which we have always used is very fast paced and I just don't see him retaining enough of the material to make me happy.  I thought about struggling through the rest of this year, then making a switch next year, but in all fairness I felt that by doing that, he would almost be losing this year. 

As you may know, I have become an extreme Calvert lover, since using Calvert for the first time with Macaw this year.  I have seen such an amazing difference with this curriculum and we have had so much fun with it!  I've watched Macaw succeed in a way I know would not have been possible with the other curriculum we have always used.  Immediately, I wanted to use this curriculum for Eagle, but at the time it was not a feasable option for us.

Finally faced with the opportunity to get the Calvert I so badly wanted, I've decided to make the switch!  This decision did not take much thought, but I did make the decision with some level of hesitance.  Calvert would not allow him to start at the second semester as we originally thought and getting the paperwork and school records in order proved as quite a challenge!  I also later learned that Calvert is very heavy with writing composition (something that Eagle is not very strong in, although this is one of the things I felt he was lacking in our current curriculum).  I was warned that starting in 4th grade (next year for him), all students in Calvert have to take a 4th grade placement test and many students start 4th grade at the 3rd grade Calvert level.  Even students who just completed Calvert 3 have to repeat that year in the curriculum if they do not pass the 4th grade placement test.  This doesn't cause them to be "held back" a year, as they still progress by grade.  That was the decision maker for me!  I felt that if he was going to be starting next year with Calvert 3 anyways, then it would definately be more beneficial for him to start with Calvert 3 now while he is still in 3rd grade.  My hope is that this will enable him the skills that he needs to progress to Calvert 4 next year.  Even though he is starting this late in the year, with careful planning and lots of hard work, he could still progress right on schedule!  He does have an entire year to complete the Curriculum, though we plan to be finished by the end of August and even if we don't progress as planned, he will still advance to 4th grade when we do complete it (even if by some chance he doesn't pass the 4th grade placement test for Calvert). 

We were so excited when his materials arrived and just by browsing over all his new things I am so confident that I've made the right choice!  I can't wait to get started! 
Our materials finally arrive!

All organized and ready to go!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

The Path I've Laid....

It is a true blessing to have the ability, patience, compassion, dedication, and the willingness to make the many sacrifices it takes to be successful in homeschooling!  Any homeschooler knows the negativity and social stigma we all deal with by schooling our children at home, but it is extremely unfortunate that my children have had to endure such horrific treatments from members of their own family!  It has often been told to them by certain people that they wish they would go to "real school" and that I was doing nothing but harming them by keeping them at home both socially and academically.  I take great offense in anyone trying to convince my children into thinking that I do nothing other than what is truly best for them.  I have always done what is best for my children, as no matter what, THEY have ALWAYS come first!  I will forever be thankful...and I will always wish and hope as well!

Well, our hard work has paid off!  The private school that we were hoping Cardinal would get accepted to made the decision to accept her within minutes of receiving her portfolio.  They were very impressed with her academic background and her state test scores and we received her acceptance letter the very next day.  In order to get into this school you have to have an outstanding academic record, acceptable state test scores and students must prove that they have the ability to thrive as a student at the school.  The price of this school does not come cheap!  The tuition is $9,830 per year.  We are very fortunate that she qualifies for a $5,000 scholarship to put towards her yearly tuition. 

My children are very blessed to have the opportunity to have an education tailored specifically for them and to have the one on one attention that they each get being schooled at home.  In mid 2007 we went through some very traumatic times...Hawk suffered his head injury, my mother began fighting for her life after her near fatal heart attack and at the time Cardinal was harboring the most horrific secret any child should ever have to bear.  In January of 2008 our lives took a drastic turn...we were forced to leave our home and move into a rape and abuse shelter during which time I delivered my 6th baby and attended the indictment of my husband.  Shortly after we moved in with my parents and suffered through 10 months of court appearances, meetings, counseling, etc.  During these two years, I had the amazing ability to ensure that my children did not suffer academically!  While in the shelter, we left and returned home to attend school everyday for 3 weeks.  We would never of had to leave our home, had we not been forced out by the other person who owned the home and by being forced out our only option was to go into the shelter in order to obtain affordable housing.  Had my children not been homeschooled during that time, they would have had to be withdrawn from their current school and enrolled in the school district in which we were residing..then once we moved out of the shelter we would have had to withdrawal and re-enroll in yet another school.  No child would have been as successful for those two traumatic years as my children were.  No matter what we were going through or how difficult it was, we had the flexibility and the ability to cater to what needed to be done.  They did not "lose" a single year in their education during those two years and not one person could ever convince me that same success would have been possible if they were not homeschooled.

I have prepared them for "the real word" with a world class curriculum and I've always supplemented that curriculum with things that my children have had a direct interest in (all while having their future goals in sight). 

Cardinal was so proud of her accomplishment, she made a phone call to tell someone of her acceptance to the school she so badly hoped she would get into.  As always, this person was asking detailed questions about our personal financial business (things that should absolutely not be discussed outside of our home).  This person asked how we would pay for her tuition.  Cardinal answered the question the best she could (not having a full understanding of the situation herself, as this is not her concern and should not be discussed with a child anyways...I hate that people outside of our immediate family put me in a position to have to explain inappropriate financial business to my children should NEVER have to worry about MY finances).  This persons reply to Cardinal's explanation was "It's a good thing because otherwise you would be "screwed" and not ever be able to go to school"! 

Wow...I mean just WOW!!!!

I am a mother that goes beyond the ends of the earth for my children!!!! 
I know that,
anyone who sees me parent my children knows that, people in our homeschooling community know that, anyone who has heard about me knows that....ANYONE who as ever met me "KNOWS THAT" and
my children know that!

My children are "who" they are because of "me".  They would NOT be where they are if it was not for me!  I take full credit for where my children are today and I am very proud of my accomplishments and what I have been able to do with them.  I am so proud of the path that I have laid for them.