Homeschooling has been, for me, one of those things in life that you wish you could go back and do again - now that you know what you know. As I have said before, homeschooling was never a path I thought I'd ever walk.
Back in the eighties I knew a lady who home schooled her family. I thought she was odd to say the least. I had never heard of anyone doing such - and why would they - I wondered. Then I had a friend who had some difficulties with her child and the public school system. Her child had some learning disabilities and she brought her two daughters home to school. She was using a pre-packaged homeschool curriculum that I didn't even know existed. I was in training to be a certified teacher at the time and I looked rather askance at her venture. Around that same time (think eighties), another one of our friend's son had some issues with their school and she withdrew him to homeschool. This friend ended up using a the public school texts with teacher assignments provided her. (special case this doesn't normally happen)
So, imagine my surprise when my principal took me aside (back in the early nineties), after a "this is going nowhere" Teacher Support team meeting on my son, and told me to take Jbird home and school him myself. Now my principal was (and is not) a supporter of homeschooling, but she did love my kid and she knew (even as I was waking up and smelling the roses) that my child was going to perish in our school system. So home we went and here we are.
At the same time I was beginning my adventure into the great unknown -so were a couple of my younger friends. Where are we all today? Well, many of the people I know homeschool to a certain age (although at the beginning they swear they are going to go all the way through HS) and then place their children either in the public school system, a private school, or use the accredited homeschool options. Sometimes that is due to necessity (like Mom had to go back to work for some reason), for some it is due to the challenge of teaching/facillitating the HS curriculum, and some want to have their children graduate from a recognized accredited school in order to qualify for the Georgia Hope Scholarship. Which is a HUGE issue here in Georgia - believe me. If your child has maintained a "B" average in HS they practically get a free ride at the state public colleges and some nice help if they decide to attent private schools. There is also a Hope Grant which allows a free ride (plus a $300.00 book expenditure) to all the state tech schools. They also have an online tech class that offers a Sports Management/Recreation AA degree which looks promising - which would be covered by the Hope E-Learning Grant. I guess where there's a will there's a way. The key is finding the hopes - wishes - will of the child. Not there yet.
Today, homeschooling is a big thing and support groups, curriculum, and fine arts programs are all over the place (at least around here and Atlanta). Our friend J just got a full ride to Indiana U. Another young lady we know just got a dual type enrollment at Reinhardt College. These are kids who have home-schooled all the way through - like we are. Many of the colleges here in Georgia are finally becoming homeschool friendly. There is a growing outreach to students with ADHD and other disabilities as well.
Today we signed up for CFAF. Jbird did indeed join the Swing Choir. He will also be playing with their orchestra and be in an ensemble group. This means two performances - one in the winter and one in the spring, maybe some costumes (for the Swing Choir), a formal dance in the spring for graduation, pictures for a yearbook type thing, solo and ensemble competition, and the best part to him - he gets to learn dance steps.
Which all sounds rather daunting to the chauffeur - ummmm.... I mean me.