(I'm from Idaho, I get to use the word "howdy" in whatever manner I please. It is a birthright.)
Our little family has been schooling year round since we started school at home a year ago. I'm still really new to schooling at home, but I'm starting to get the hang of virtual schooling and wanted to share a little bit of what I have learned.
1. Some people will not acknowledge us as true homeschoolers. That makes me feel like we are uber on the edge of home education! (I may be a bit of a rebel on occasion.)
I use public school curriculum from a state sponsored public charter school that happens to come to my house through the internet and through the mail. My lovely state of Idaho sees me as a public schooling family and I get the feeling many homeschool families in my area see me as "cheating" since I don't make my own curriculum. I'm kind of straddling two worlds and it isn't always comfortable. But at the end of the day we do school at home and I add my own curriculum while still doing the state curriculum so I call my family and homeschool family and we're all happy with that label.
2. It is really nice to have curriculum handed to you. I am so in awe of homeschoolers who create their own curriculum. Even people who buy a "school in a box" set every year... wow. It takes a lot to find what to use for each family and even each kid! I won't lie, that overwhelms me. That is one main reason I like having a set curriculum that I can enrich from. I also really like the fact that it is free.
3. It is really nice to have a teacher who helps you. I feel completely capable of being in charge of my kiddo's education. However, I also really like having a teacher who is willing to look over my shoulder and pat me on the back or give me suggestions if I am not certain my kid is catching onto a subject. The teacher and the built in curriculum are currently my training wheels for my homeschool bike I'm on. They give me a great sense of security and sometimes a mama needs that while she is venturing down a new road.
4. I like state testing and knowing where my kids rate. Yes, I'm one of those annoying people. I also really dig gold stars on my forehead. You can laugh at (really with) me, shrug your shoulders at me or even not get me. But don't judge me. Different strokes...
Really though, the sense of pride I have when my kid does well on a test and I remember the difficulties we had on some of the areas and I KNOW we got through it together and we earned that scored, or even if the score isn't great but I can clearly see where we need to work together... I love it.
5. Time management can be a lot easier. Really it can. After the initial first few weeks and the "Aaaahhhhhh! I have a billion subjects to get through and I am freaked out!" subsides, I find real comfort in the routine of waking up, eating, doing school, eating more food, doing something fun with the kids, eating a snack... routine. Like a fuzzy pink slanket (I own one and I love it). The consistency comforts me.
Oh and here is a bonus reason:
I love feeling like my family is moving through the future of learning. Makes me feel all "Back to the Future" without the hair and the stonewashed jeans.
There it is!
**Have a question on virtual learning? Ask a Hippie!