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Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Time?! Who's Got Time to Homeschool?!

Last fall, Tom started fourth grade. He was in a county program: a special autism support classroom based in a school where there happened to be enough space available. Fortunately, the classroom was in a perfectly nice school, not too far away... his teacher was very pleasant... and Tom continued to stagnate academically.

Were we ready to make the leap to homeschooling?

In theory, we should have been the perfect family to take on homeschooling. Both of us have educational experience. Neither of us have office jobs: I freelance, and Peter (up until a year and a half ago) was a professor working just three days a week outside of our home. So... why not homeschool?!

So far as we were concerned, there was just no way... no time... and we already felt overwhelmed. What with Tom's therapies, a second child, parents with their own needs, a house to run, and - oh yeah - a living to be made, we just couldn't see our way clear to taking on homeschool. Especially with all those onerous Pennsylvania rules and regs. I mean really, if you still have to jump through all the same hoops, why bother?!

So we decided to stick it out for another year, and we kept fighting for a better educational program. I actually purchased a math curriculum (Touchmath)and handed it to Tommy's teacher. We brought in hands-on science activities for the class. He still didn't really move forward, but at least the curriculum was appropriate!

Meanwhile, I kept learning more about homeschooling, and thinking harder and harder about how much easier Tom's education would be if I could just take my marbles and go home! But homeschooling in Pennsylvania... what a project!

But wait - maybe there was a way out! Maybe we could move to a homeschool-friendlier state. A state where we both had emotional connections. A state where we could continue to make a living. A state where we could live just minutes from the beach. A state like oh, say, Massachusetts - and a beach in oh, say, Cape Cod...

We started planning.

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