Yesterday, I submitted the paperwork with the county superintendent and the school my kid attends letting them know I’m going to homeschool my youngest this year. It wasn’t an easy decision to come to. I’d been bouncing back and forth on the issue since November when it became clear he might not be a good fit for a formal school setting. I think he’ll thrive better in a one-to-one learning environment. My other three will still be going to school. This was their choice, and they benefit from being there, especially my deaf kid who is at a school that helps with transitioning deaf and blind people to the work place.
I don’t know if anyone’s heard of Abecka, but that’s the one I picked because it has an accredited homeschool program. I picked the accredited program option for two reasons. One, if he ends up going to school next year, the transition will be smoother since the core subjects he took was from an accredited program. Two, if we’ll continue homeschooling through high school, the program comes with a diploma that will be recognized by the military. My kid is considering going into the the military after he graduates.
The program has video streaming where the teachers give the lessons, and it comes with all the course work already created for me. This will cut down on the amount of time I have to spend on planning out the homeschool activities. That’s how I’m going to be able to keep writing. I did take some education courses in college after getting my bachelor’s degree in Psychology, so I’m familiar with creating lesson plans and such, but I’d rather use that time writing. The way I see it, this program is designed to take half the burden off the shoulder of the homeschooling parent, and I see no reason not to take the help.
I told the other kids they’re stuck taking the bus to school and taking the bus home to free up more of my time during the day. I want to do everything I can to max out the writing time I’ll have available. I don’t know yet what the schedule will look like, but my plan is to write from 7:30-11am with 15 minute breaks along the way. (When you live out of town, the kids are gone longer than the kids who can walk home. In my case, the kids get picked up by the bus at 7:10 and don’t get back until 4.) I don’t know if I’ll be able to cram four books into this like I was planning, but I know I can do three comfortably because that’s what I’m used to doing in that time frame during the school year.
Thankfully, my kid is going into the 8th grade, so he doesn’t need me to watch him all the time like he did when he was a little guy. He can do more independent work in the mornings if he wants, but it sounds like we can get the lessons he needs done from 11:30-4. If not, I’ll adjust accordingly, and though he might not like the idea, we do have weekends and holidays.
I’m actually looking forward to this. When I first looked into homeschooling back in November, I was in a panic because it seemed so overwhelming. But the more I got adjusted the idea and started telling myself that I could do it, I found myself pressing through the fear. Now I’m excited about it. I’ve already planned out the Art and Music main lesson that will last for an entire semester to complete. I just need to break these down into weekly plans.
One of the things Montana requires for homeschool education is Career Education, and since he wants to write a story, I figured we’d go through the process of publishing a book. We’ll go through doing a first draft, second draft, and (since he’s new to writing) a third draft. He’ll learn the basics of editing. Then we’ll go over the proofing process. After that, we’ll look at making a cover, picking out stock images, fonts for the name and title, coming up with the description, formatting the book in Word, converting to pdf, and then creating the paperback. Don’t worry. This won’t be put up for sale. It’s only for personal use.
There’s a site called The Book Patch that lets people publish books for commercial and personal use. I know Lulu does, too, but I find The Book Patch more user friendly. I’ve used The Book Patch a couple of times, and the quality of their books is excellent. I like them better than what Amazon produces, to be honest. Though, because I have someone out there who is copycatting my paperbacks, I have to have my books published directly through them. Amazon listens better if they can see the book in your dashboard. I use The Book Patch copies for my bookshelf and keep it unlisted to the public.