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It’s been a crazy few weeks for us around here.  Getting back in the swing of school after a looooooooong and fun summer has been quite the adjustment.  Ealier bed times (2:00 a.m. instead of 4:00 am)  **big laugh:  HA**, earlier rise times (10:00 a.m. instead of noon), and heavier workloads (my oldest is now a high schooler) has indeed made for some mixed up, crazy days!

We are actually doing something new this year with our daughter who is experiencing her first year of “high shcool”. *i know, i know, i’m not old enough for that*  Instead of the traditional homeschooling we’ve always done – with me as teacher, we have chosen to enroll her in a correspondence academy where she has actual “teachers” and classmates.  How does this work in a homeschooling environmnet?  Well, glad you asked.  *smiles*  Here in Florida there is a fully accredited Christian school that allows students to enroll and come under their watchful care yet still do their work at home via streaming video.  The students login online and “attend” class with a teacher and room full of students.  The video streaming is monitored by the school to ensure the kids are really “tuning in”.  Quizzes and tests are still administered by me but are now mailed to the school for record keeping and issuance of grades.  This creates the opportunity for kids to get “credits” and college prep for when they graduate and it enables them to receive an actual diploma without have to settle for the G.E.D.

Why did we decide to go this route?  *good question*

Two reasons:  1.  Better college prep.  2.  Graduation/diploma advantage.

Although there is certainly NOTHING wrong with taking the G.E.D., we do not want our kids to miss out of the “fun” things of high school such as that little piece of paper  **called a diploma** and GRADUATION.  Some homeschooling families have their own little form of a graduation ceremony for the kids, which is all well and good, but for us, we want our kids to get to experience the thrill of walking across the stage in front of a huge crowd of cheering fans *okay, a bit melodramatic* to be rewarded for their hard work and achievements through the years.  *yes, contrary to public opinion homeschoolers really DO work hard*

Secondly, we want our children to be well prepared for the college classroom.  *yes, i know our son does NOT intend on going to college, but we are in heavy intercession over that!*  Growing up a homeschooler, thinking of heading off to a classroom with an actual professor *i’ve tried to term myself that, but they ain’t buyin’ it* can be intimidating.  My daughter’s biggest concern has been whether or not she’ll know how to take good notes during a lecture in order to study for exams.  Having to stream videos online listening to a lecture is giving her good practice!

The biggest adjustment of all this has been the “time” it takes each day.  Homeschooling students can do their lessons AND homework in about 3 to 3 1/2 hours a day.  Why??  Because there is no wasted time and fluffy filler like there is in a classroom.  Now my daughter is having to sit through 6 45-minute classes like any other public or private school child.  *Ugh*  There is soooooooooo much wasted time in that!!!!  (They go over all the homework and repeat things and do silly exercises, etc. etc. etc. just to fill the day.)  Add on to that the homework,  *sounds funny since all her work is “home” work…LOL* and her days are pretty bogged down.  This is a big adjustment to say the least.

Although I am glad we have enrolled our daughter in the academy, I am saddened by it as well.  I have always been her teacher – always – not just in life, but in school too, and it has been hard releasing her this year to someone else’s care.  *tears*  Although I still monitor her and oversee her work, there is something very different about not sitting with her teaching her important parts of history and science and MATH.  *big big smile – i LOVE math*

Well, I still have two more years with my son.  *big smile*  He won’t be starting high school for two years, sooooooooo I at least have a little more time of being “teacher”.  I have truly enjoyed every moment of educating my children, not just in school, but in life!  Not sure what kind of grade they would give me as a teacher, but as students I give them an A+.

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