Wednesday, September 10, 2008


So this catalogue showed up at my door yesterday. I swear I have no clue how it got there. It had my name and address on it and everything...hmm. Strange. I've been looking at it ever since it arrived. And growing downright giddy with excitement. (Okay maybe part of the giddiness has to do with Ikea, but the catalogue is exciting too.)

Yes friends, I'm revisiting the "H" word. And thinking-about-possibly-considering...crossing over to the dark side. Ever since I found out there's a school (through Aurora's PUBLIC school system with sites all over Colorado), where kids go one full-day per week and are home the rest. (You can even check out curriculum for free.) And ever since my daughter started reading, and I realized how darn fun it is to be walking alongside her during this journey.

I'm in utter disbelief that I'm even thinking-about-possibly-considering this. I USED to want to teach my children at home. (You know, back when I only had one.) But I always said IDEALLY they could GO to school part-time, and be home part-time. Because I knew for sure I didn't want them JUST at home. I want them to learn to respect someone else's (a teacher's) authority, get to wear a backpack, and have something away from Mom and Dad that is all their own. Some independence. Opportunities to give out Valentine's Day cards and eat lunch with their friends. And to pick out a lunchbox for goodness sakes!

WELL, some of that could be alleviated with this one-day-per-week program. Plus the public school system would still be getting government funding for my kids being there, which is a value for me. Once I'm feeling better I plan to go check out our (excellent) neighborhood public school and then this Denver Options program. I also am attempting to estimate what the cost would be. Where we could cut corners. (Library, anyone?)

I'm not sure what we'll end up doing...Honestly if we DO decide to homeschool, I'll be a little sad my kids aren't in PUBLIC school. Then I wonder if I'm even cut out for this. I WILL say that I'm not one of those moms eagerly anticipating having my kids out of the house all day, every day. (Well, not usually.) I love that Anna helps me make breakfast in the morning, and that we all eat lunch together. I LIKE having company at the grocery store and on errands, even though it makes them harder.

So...the question of the day is (aside from the obvious is-she-losing-her-mind), if you homeschool, what curriculum do you use, and why?


Kate said...

Haven't had to cross that bridge yet but when my mom homeschooled us she used sonlight curriculum and as far as i remember, it was great! :)

JaneeNoel said...

agggh. . . you sound just like me. I've had this little battle raging in my mind for the last year or so. Part of me feels like I SHOULD homeschool and the other part feels like that's the last thing in the world I would want. I'll be interested to hear what sense you make of the whole thing. I have heard great things about Sonlight- it is definitely one we will check out if we decide to go that route.

Hauswife said...

Too funny. I battled the idea for a year or so before finally giving in. I use mostly Abeka because I'm completely insane. :P It's pretty hard-core, but I chose it because I'm paranoid that my kids won't get enough challenging material and I want them to be able to go to an Ivy League if they wish. I know that's completely neurotic, but there you go.

Jacquelyn said...

A few suggestions: seek out the homeschool groups in your area and meet up with the mothers that know what Denver has to offer. Also, there are tons of homeschool websites out there that sell homeschool materials for CHEAP! When I was home schooled my mom used Calvert which we found academically satisfying while having a bit more of a classical perspective. She is now home schooling my niece and using the same curriculum. Good luck. As long as you do your research and plug into some good support groups there is no limit to what you can teach your children!! Good luck!

Chris said...

We use a public charter school for homeschooling and we use curriculum from all over the place. I don't like to be tied into one thing.

As someone who sent her kids to public school and who works there, let me assure you they will miss nothing. They will miss out on a great expereince if they do go.

I wish I had homeschooled all mine from the beginning!

Good luck with your decision.

wendy said...

Delurking to say that we homeschool using Sonlight and love it!!!

(I am the adoptive mom to 7--3 of whom are Ethiopian. My blog is password protected, but if you're interested, you can email me and I'll give you the password: eightgumdrops AT yahoo DOT com.)

darci said...

teehee..oh I went back and forth alot, too..eventually ended up on the 'dark side' lol! :)
we use Sonlight for the 'core'
math-u-see for, well, math
Learning Lang. ARts thru Literature
and seperate French, art, etc.
We LOVE's alot of cuddling up on the couch and reading together. I also REALLY like it because it's a Christian curriculum, but it's not a 'blinders on' type of program..I want my kids to know what is real and 'out there' learn everything, but learn how to screen it all thru God's word, and learn how to be good decision makers, people of strong faith-not get to adulthood and be blindsided by the different beliefs and theories, kwim? Good luck-we prayed ALOT over the course of about 2.5 years before we chose, so I can relate. darci

Lara said...

So, I'm not responding appropriatly at all, but i just had so say that I LOVE going to the grocery store all by myself. When I get to do that it's such a treat and i come back feeling so refreshed and happy. =)
Don't get me wrong, I adore my kids, but i enjoy my rare time away.

Brianna Heldt said...

loving all of your comments!

darci, i also am getting that vibe from sonlight that it's not a "blinders on" type of program--and i love that! i've loved reading their articles and really like their philosophy on things. i feel the same, i want my kids to know what's out there. (part of why i LIKE the idea of public school.)

lara, heehee, the grocery store is such a chore for me, and when i go by myself i just miss my kids and husband and hate that i'm spending time away from home grocery shopping! (plus, the kids get pretty darn excited about the free cookies at king soopers. lame name for a grocery store, but you can't argue with free cookies...:) )

Tamara said...

Brianna, if you want an extensive chat on curriculum, catch me on instant messenger one day. Sonlight is AWESOME. Even if you only use it for family reading time, the young grades only take about 30 minutes. As for everything else, I am pretty eclectic but use Well Trained Mind as my guide.

I did really enjoy using a charter school last year because it was mostly free curriculm (they won't buy religious based stuff, so I bought Sonlight on my own) and best of all, it had built in friends. I am kind of on my own here in Las Vegas and the only group I have found wants to do park 4pm in 110 degree heat. Some hardcore homeschoolers are really against charters, but I say to each their own.

The library....I tried that....with TWO small kids I found it extremely hard to choose the books I need, they didn't have what I wanted when I wanted and they were a little (sometimes a lot) dirty. Then, remembering to turn them in....I hit 50 dollars in fines and my husband took my card away from me and told me to just go buy books.

I LOVE books, and my dad used to send us huge boxes of books. SO I think I kind of became a book-snob and I like to own my books, not give them back and NOT have someone elses germs on them... though the germ-a-phob thing didn't start till I had kids.

So I have LOTS of books, we nearly have our own little library. I don't spend money on my hair or clothes (yes I still have my orange Greyhound sweats from highschool!) just so we have the money for books.

Oh and as for the final decision, you can always use this year to test the waters on if you are cut out for this. Pick up a few things and do 30 minutes of pre-school every day. A work book, some reading and some crafts would be more than enough.

Oh and finally I want to plug Shiller Math. It encorporates ALL learning styles and was actually designed for homeschooling. I like it because my kids are different learners and I don't feel like one will struggle or I have to buy 2 different programs.

Anonymous said...

OK, first of all, IKEA?? Are you frickin kidding me?? We still can't even get a Target in SLO!
OK, now about homeschooling... don't do it just because you "should" do it. It will not go well for you or the kids. But that being said, if you miss your kids while you're at the Soopers, you are a prime candidate for homeschooling. :)I'm constantly amazed at what Tyler and TJ are picking up from listening to what Katie and I are doing. And now that I'm trying a homeschool pre-school curriculum with TJ, I see that Abby is picking up on things, too. She toddles around saying "AA, apple, AA, apple"- brilliant, I tell you.
Just curious- when they go to school one full day, is that to a regular public school? How would that work?
At any rate, it's never too soon to start praying about this. I have a very strong feeling that your kids won't miss out on anything with awesome parents like you guys.

BJ said...

Hey, if we had a one day a week option around here, I'd probably be taking advantage of it! I'm jealous! :D I've looked at Sonlight, and like the looks of most of it, but we used ACE, Math-U-See, Considering God's Creation, Galloping the Globe, Rod & Staff Preschool, Barry Stebbing's art instruction, French, etc,'s pretty fluid around here - if we don't like it or something's not working for one of my kids, we just try something else. It's great that you are considering this, but if you don't, don't let anyone make you feel bad. Do what you need to do for your family.

cathy said...

Our neighborhood school is the one where a homeschool group attends for our district. I have to tell you that all we "full time" public schoolers resent the homeschoolers because we DON'T get to count the students for more resources in our school. Yes, they pay the taxes and have every right to be there, but not every school district has figured out how to make it work in a fair and equitable way for everyone. For example, we don't get any extra Technology staff in our building (we have 2 librarians that do everything with the library and computers) and they are also responsible to help the homeschool kids in the computer labs, etc. despite the fact that it is more kids for them outside of their already packed jobs. Also, the homeschoolers really keep to themselves--don't eat with "my" kids, don't have recess with "my" kids, don't even walk through the building. They stay on one end and keep to themselves. I guess I would feel more amicable toward the homeschool group if they would integrate with us more, but they really prefer to keep to themselves. So we public school parents don't understand why they're in our building.

I, personally, think homeschooling is fantastic if that is the right choice for your family. I have no beef with homeschooling. But as a parent who is 100% pro public school, I am just giving you my perspective. Thanks for listening.

Brianna Heldt said...

penny, thanks for the sweet comment! this school is considered a public school, is part of aurora public school district (big suburb outside of denver), but meets at several of its own sites throughout the metro area. SO, it doesn't meet at our neighborhood school. (the denver one meets at a church actually.) do you have any curriculum you really love??

cathy, thanks for sharing your perspective. i'm sorry you've had a bad experience with homeschoolers. i think it's probably hard for kids who don't know each other or spend the day together to integrate. as for us, the school district DOES get money for these kids, and they don't meet at the public schools, they have their own site. i'm in no way thinking of homeschooling to shelter my kids or keep them from public school. i'm a big public school supporter too. ideally my child could do school 2 full days per week and be home the other 2. okay this comment is getting really long. i think maybe i need to just do a post clarifying why i'm thinking about considering doing this! :)

Brianna Heldt said...

okay i swear i know how to do math. let me rewrite that sentence: "ideally my kids could do school 2 full days per week and be home the other 3."

hmmm, maybe i'm NOT qualified to do this homeschooling thing....

Lesley said...

We homeschooled for a few years and I enjoyed it as did my kids. When they went into school,( I homeschooled my oldest daughter up to G6) they were all above average and put into top streams academically, so I was relieved that homeschooling wasn't holding them back etc etc. We used Sonlight..loved the global perspective and the literature based curriculum. However, as a Canadian, we had to build our own lessons up for the couple of years when Sonlight focuses heavily on American history etc. I used Math u see and again, we all found that excellent.
I love the philosphy of h/s too, but "regular" school in the community has been great too.
Definitly a personal choice, so do it if you really want to and ignore everyone's "advice" :)

Karleen said...

Love SL, also check out Winter Promise. It is like SL, but a tad better. :) I used SL for 3 years years. 3 of my kids are in PS now, (bio 11, ET 10 and 7) and LOVING it.....I am left with my bio 9 year old. We also have a district program where he can attend a day a week, and we can get curriculum for free.

Good luck deciding!! I loved home-schooling my little ones. :)

Angela said...



and We LOVE our HS group... that you are going to yesterday. that quick. c'mon sister. I'm so spankin' excited!!!!


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