Over the past two weeks we've made some decisions that will impact how we will do school this fall. Yes, we are still homeschooling but, I've done some chatting with a few friends about another option.
Connections Academy is a homeschool option that allows the parent to be the lead at home but the curriculum is planned and provided by the academy. Each family also has the opportunity to get a desktop computer to use along with a few other benefits as well. I've been busy over the past week gathering the required documentation and filling out the on-line application.
This was a slightly difficult decision for me because I was excited about the curriculum that I had picked out for the boys this fall and was looking forward to planning out our year as well as executing all of our activities. I also was concerned about losing the control, and therefore freedom, to plan our "year" and our weekly schedule. I was concerned that I would be tied into a regiment that would be difficult to follow. Darryl, on the other hand, loved this idea from the beginning because it is all planned out; grades are kept and testing is required each year. He viewed it as the perfect blend of both worlds - teaching at home but with everything else planned for us.
So, why the change? One main reason. The Cost. The cost is totally 100% free. Everything is provided from that computer to the textbooks and work books. Due to some unplanned financial things this year such as a root canal for Darryl, car repairs and more, I have been unable to put away the funds I had planned to purchase books for the fall and was starting to feel the "stress" of needing to get things ordered. I was praying about what we would do when I heard a commercial for the Academy and remembered two friends who used this option. I spent a few days asking them lots of questions via messages and they calmed every single concern I had and, on top of that, raved about the program, the teachers, and the overall layout.
What Now? I'm waiting for our paperwork to be approved and to hear that we got in - the academy takes a certain number of students each year so I'm hopeful that we will get in since we are applying fairly early for the fall. I'm 100% on board with this idea despite my initial concerns and am actually excited to NOT have to do all of the extensive planning for K-5 and 1st grade. I was also encouraged when Josh took the placement test for first grade and got 100% on the math portion and 96% on the Language Arts which proved to me (not that I needed it) that he is where he needs to be at this point. This commitment is for one year. We'll try it this year and see how it goes. If I don't love it; if the boys don't excel with it then we will evaluate what to do next year. Ultimalty though, we are still homeschooling - just using a different format.