Tuesday, September 8, 2009


I know I've been quiet recently. I don't quite recognize my life right now, so it's hard to write about it. My daughter has been gone to college for three weeks now; my second son is attending community college; my oldest son is graduated from college and is working at home. Lots of changes right there. And now, I've done something rather untypical for me.... enrolled two out of the three kids still homeschooling in the California Virtual Academy which is part of the K12 program.

I did the enrollment last week and we are still waiting for our materials to arrive. The effect this delay has had is that we are enjoying an unseasonal, tucked-away hiatus right in September. Usually we start our academics in mid to late August and by this time are just getting up to full steam. This fall, with everyone around us in the midst of school (public school starts early around here) we are in an interlude.

In the morning I am reading Lord of the Rings to Kieron and Paddy. This is wonderful. We are all enjoying it so much. Later, Kieron often makes cookies. This afternoon we went to the lake, spectacularly silent and peaceful, almost all the vacationers gone.

My feelings and thoughts are jumbled about the charter school thing. I don't think I could really articulate what went into the decision process. Bad sign, no? In some ways I think I just wanted the challenge and thought my kids could use that too. The past couple of years have been sort of doldrum years. My kids are growing into an age group where they don't need me for physical survival, and odd to say, homeschooling three wasn't really using up enough energy, not the way we do it. I was filling up the missing spaces by researching about education and so on, but it felt subtly wrong, like my kids and I were in different spaces and getting more different.

Kieron was increasingly drifting, though in a thoroughly amiable and decent way -- he is bright AND very phlegmatic, and my style was not energizing him. He needs something to interact with, and there is not all that much up here for him right at the moment. His situation is very different from that of his older siblings -- he is in a ghetto of two little brothers who are half his cognitive age and maturity level. While the oldest ones had each other, and the babies to amuse them, and their lives were quite full up here in the mountains, he is both lonely AND a sociable type learner. And his mom is tired and a bit bored and couldn't manage to pull out many energizing ideas or opportunities for him. So I was looking for something, SOMETHING to kickstart with, something that didn't cost very much money. The charter was the thing that kept coming up, and I mentioned it to Kevin, and he agreed, and Kieron also liked the idea of the science supplies and the computer ;-). I was also thinking that if we move or if our life changes in some other way this year, I'll need some way to have some continuity. So we're trying it for this year. We'll see.

I'm actually pretty hopeful and happy about the way it looks so far, but I'm sure we'll run into our challenges. Meanwhile, the Fellowship, and the peanut butter cookies, and the quiet lakeside and neighborhood, are giving us some unexpectedly nice September days.


  1. Now you make sense...but, since this was not one of the options we talked about this summer...you kind of threw me a fast one. Are you tempting me?

    The funny thing is: my kids could never do the K-12 thing...as they are too behind to keep up with any of the work.

    please pray for me...I feel like you (still...when will it go away?)...but have no where else to go...and I am too tired to do anything else.

    Only with God's grace, eh?

    Now, you need a new hobby! How does scrapbooking sound? ;)

    Actually...I have a plan for you..

    I have to talk to my friend this week....and then we should chat...when would be good for you? email me....

    blessings and prayer for the new changes, for a dear friend

  2. Hope the new school goes well for you and the boys Willa. And I hope that you'll feel a sense of peace soon after all of these changes in your life.

  3. I am assuming that K12 there is the same K12 here. Virginia just (a few weeks ago!) approved K12 as public school at home in VA. It's called the Virginia Virtual Academy. It is ironic because did you know their headquarters is right up the road from me????

    I enrolled Josh in the high school Earth Science as a private homeschooler. So far it looks fabulous. He too was thrilled about the science supplies and the computer!

    I think it sounds like it could be a fun year!

  4. Oh, Willa, I think it sounds like it could be a good thing for your family right now. Your research wasn't wasted if it helped you find the answer, even if it wasn't directly related. Your lesson plans helped me, for one, and I'm sure others, including all of the free resources online.

    Its just a year, right? And whether the year proves that this is the way to proceed, rejuvenates you into doing more things in your regular style, or just doesn't work out and you realize you want something different--it is still a good thing.

    Be sure to keep us posted about how you like it! Your insights into just about anything are bound to be interesting;)

  5. Faith, yes, it's the same K12 I'm sure. It's attractive, isn't it? The science will be a real positive for Kieron, I think. It was something he didn't have opportunity for before, and probably the only academic-related thing he truly loves atm. And the literature and history are quite nice too.

    Thanks Susan for the good wishes, let us pray for each other... Lindsay, your comments are perceptive. Some of the same things I was thinking. I will be posting. Maybe I will be able to post more now that I have it out.

    Chari, I mentioned it to you once or twice -- you probably wouldn't remember because it was so indirect. But I didn't bring it up for real because until last week I wasn't even considering it really. It's just so far off my usual options that I didn't know what language to use to explain. I'll email you, my friend.

  6. I think this is a brilliant plan, Willa. I can hear the peacefulness in your "voice" already. You're taking advantage of the best thing about "home" schooling - different means and different methods, according to place, time, kid, and developmental stage, within the context of a living, breathing family. The point is not to be a zealot devoted to a cause, but a mother devoted to the kids.

  7. We were commenting at the same time, Stephanie! LOL. Great, great point about working within the family circumstances, not just the ideology. You're so right that this has always been the main thing in my view (and my husband's as well), but I was having trouble putting it into words.

  8. I am so happy for you Willa. Honestly, Chari I feel like you this year. It is week one and I am tired already.. sort of like the ringmaster but too worn out!

    Sage words Stephanie! I am going to remember those...

    Hope everything goes well Willa, and look forward to hearing about it!


  9. Ok - this one threw me for a loop as well, but I thoroughly enjoyed reading your post and some of the reasons why you chose this option! I'm looking forward to reading further.

    It's a humbling decision, is it not? To let go...and accept that there might be...could be...probably will always be...a better way to address something with our children and their education. Action on that takes courage...no doubt from the Holy Spirit. With the best for our children always in mind, I could certainly see how a heart would come to rest in this option. I've no doubt there will be challenges, but in these, I pray you will find the temerity to find creative and workable solutions!

    All my prayers, Willa! God bless your sincere efforts!

  10. It sounds like you've made a decision that's the best for your family right now, so that you're *more* in tune with them. Still, I don't think that your kind of reading is ever really wasted!

    I feel a little strange about the number of "outside" classes my daughter has this year, too. But I'm still paying attention. It's just taking a slightly different form.

  11. Hi Willa!

    I've been gone, so I'm just now reading this post. I was struck by how well you love your children when I read it--individually as well as collectively. I hope this goes well for you!


I would love to hear your thoughts on this!