Monday, January 28, 2008

This is it!

Well, tomorrow is it: I begin homeschooling.


I'm stilling working full-time, so Jacob will have to be very self-disciplined to make this work (no pun intended). In other words, I'll still be working 9 to 5 in the office while he's at home with the books, and this will continue for a week or two until I get not only DSL Internet at home later this week, but also get all the company's security measures in place so that I can work from my home computer. And my Fortune 500 company is really particular about security.

Fortunately over the past few years, when our kids have been home alone while George and I are at work, such as during winter break or some days in the summer, we have always given them a list of tasks to do, which they have to cross off the list over the day. So that's what I did on Thursday and Friday for Jacob because he was done with exams. I also left him a list of things to do when he gets home from school today since he won't have any homework. Teenaged boys need to stay busy to stay out of trouble.

I partially dread and am partially excited about this new venture. I dread the day-to-day tedium, especially of trying to work on top of "teaching," yet I'm excited over having control over his studies. The Wordly 3000 books seem to be great, just what he needs, but as I went through them last night, I realized that I could not find the answers to the exercises in the student book anywhere! I could figure them out and make educated guesses that are better than Jacob's guesses, but that seemed like too much work. Sure enough, I searched on the Internet and found that I had somehow omitted finding the answer keys to the student books, available for a mere $2.99. I hadn't ordered them; I had ordered the test booklets with answers. So now I have to wait until my answer keys for the exercise books arrive before I can begin using those vocabulary books.

One thing I read calmed my nerves a little: you can ease into homeschooling. You don't have to dive into all the subjects in depth right away. So I have decided to start with English (reading Lords of the Earth by Don Richardson), Global History (continue with the school textbook and assign questions from the book), and music. I'll add on the rest of the subjects - Biology, Geometry, Health, and Spanish - little by little.

Today, the first day of the new semester, Jacob went to school to say good-bye. He doesn't seem upset by this new venture, or even nostalgic about leaving school and his friends behind. One reason is that his "friends" are really just acquaintances. The one friend who is his lab partner also goes to our church and is in youth group with him. They will continue to talk on the phone often and see each other regularly. The others - they were just folks to chat with at the lunch table or to joke with in class, not anyone that he'd stay in touch with outside of school.

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What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal.”
— Albert Pike, Scottish Rite Freemason (1809-1891)