Tannis's excellent post about our decision to not send the girls off to school this fall. She's pretty much said it all, but I needed an excuse to post this ridiculously gorgeous photo of Ella sitting at her desk, eagerly digging into her new math book (or was until I interrupted her with the camera, that is).
Maybe the only thing to add is a quick account of our experience on Friday. I brought both girls in to the home learners program so the teacher could test them -- getting them to read to her, do some quick worksheets, some math exercises -- so she could see what level they should be working at. Then she put together a package of customized curriculum (textbooks, activity books, etc) for each of them, mostly ignoring their age and expected grade level in the process.
This means Ivy will be studying novels she would have been reading anyway for fun, rather than the usual Grade 2 readers. And Ella won't have to sit through months of ABCs when she can already read perfectly well. Maybe this wouldn't be a big deal for everyone, but for me and Tannis it's HUGE. We both remember being bored in school and never feeling like we really learned anything new, developing bad habits and losing our love of learning over time.
Anyway, I love the program so far. It's publicly funded through the school district, the materials look decent, the kids can go to class one day a week, they've got fun field trips, we get funding to spend on outside lessons and materials, and we love having them at home with us during the day. No more fights in the morning over getting up too early, lunch contents, impossible clothing decisions, lost papers, missing books...never mind the constant driving. I know this kind of learning wouldn't be for everyone, but for families like us who can and want to do it, it's a dream.