Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Because We're Crazy . . .

I have really big news but I am scared to put it out there for fear of offending someone and for fear of judgement.  Nonetheless, it needs to be told because you are going to find out anyway. 

1 - 2 - 3 . . .

We are becoming a homeschooling family.

That's right!  As of September 7, 2011, the School of Shenanigans will be fully operational with a whomping two students. 


Did she finally snap and send one of her wee ones off to live with the wolves?

Or is she just really bad in math?  See, she isn't even fit to home school!

Tee hee!

Through much discussion, thought and prayer (oh, and many nights of me waking Mr. Level-Headed up with "do you think we're crazy?" to which he always replies: "Yes, we are, but that doesn't change the fact it is a good decision"), we decided that, for the moment, homeschooling is the best option for our boys, and we feel Zoe should complete her french immersion program at MacDonald Consolidated with enrichment at home in Language Arts. 

What made us take this plunge?

I feel a back story coming on . . .

I have always wanted to home school my kids.  When Zoe was little, I did a lot of research on the topic and thought it was the ideal situation for our family, but I hadn't completed my own education. I was only two years into my own degree and this weighed heavily upon me.  I had the strong impression that if I didn't get my degree then Zoe wouldn't either.  As her mother, I needed to be a good example and show her how important it is for women to receive an education, and so I went back to school.  When it was time for Zoe to go to school, we found Touchstone Community School, an amazing independent school with an intense hands-on curriculum and direct parental involvement.  It was like homeschooling, but only better because I could finish my own degree and Zoe would have a great bunch of kids to learn with.   Even better, was the fact that, back when we started, tuition was very low.  During Zoe's time at Touchstone, I discovered that I loved teaching so I decided to complete my second degree in Education.  It all worked out perfectly!  As tuition increased and the number of children I had at the school increased, I was hired on as a full-time teacher at the school.  My kids were getting a fantastic education, and I was there at the school with them.  In fact, I taught Zoe for two of those years, and it was wonderful!  Unfortunately, it wasn't so wonderful for our home life.  I was exhausted and stressed out all the time because teaching such a vigorous curriculum to a multi-aged, multi-levelled class takes a lot out of a person, especially a mother of three young kids with a self-employed husband who works all the time.  Elliot, who is our family's barometer for how we are functioning, was a mess.  He wasn't sleeping and he was throwing gargantuan tantrums on a daily basis.  It wasn't good, and that is when we bid our beloved school farewell and opened a new chapter in our life here on the Kingston Peninsula with me at home and the kids at public school.

Are you still with me?

For the past two years, my kids have been in public school, and have I resigned myself to the fact that, although the curriculum is less-than desirable, they have made some great friends, they are safe, and they are happy.  Most importantly, with me at home, our home life has taken a 360' turn for the best, and we are having fun again.

This summer, however, I started to become uneasy about sending Elliot, in particular, back into the public school system.  For those of you unfamiliar with New Brunswick education, Elliot is going into grade five, which means he is entering a mandatory intensive french program, where half of the school year is taught entirely in french, and I am strongly opposed to this.  Don't get me wrong, although, I understand the importance of french instruction in our bilingual province, I don't understand why a system that is already offering a sub-standard English program, which is reflected time and time again in our poor provincial test scores, thinks they can offer a top-notch multi-language program.  INSANITY!  I refuse to allow my son, who has a reading disability, who struggles with reading, writing, and fluency, to be their guinea pig!  And so, we took the plunge.

The form has been sent, the curriculum has been ordered, and we are excited!   

What have I gotten myself into?

Tee hee!


  1. I hear you Krista! Good for you!! We`re taking the same plunge, but for different reasons. I think all schools in my area are substandard and am happy about going south. Once Alex has caught up I figure private school down there will be the way to go. Elizabeth is behind compared to down in the Bahamas also. They start preschool at 3! I wish you every luck and I know you will do great!!!

  2. I think you're very brave (in a good way) Webster clan. Lucky, lucky kids, you have. no judging - just rooting for you!

  3. Yay! I'm so excited for you! Homeschooling is a bit like teaching at Touchstone - multi-level, exciting curriculum, treating students as individuals, but without the stress. :) I know, I don't have kids, but I've been helping a friend homeschool her 3 this summer (long story why school in the summer this year) and LOVE it! One of the best things is the extra time - we start "school" casually once everyone is awake and ready and are done by lunch, leaving the afternoon for special projects or field tips or just running around with the dog! :) What an exciting time for you and the boys! Enjoy!