Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Our Fall Plan

At last, I finally know what our plan for the fall is! I know, it's months before fall will be here...But we've been considering this program since we moved to Hawaii, and never had enough details to make a firm decision. Now, all the pieces are in place and we've decided..
The state of Hawaii pays for parents to homeschool their children through 2 different programs. The first is the nationwide K-12 program.I've looked at that program, but it's not for us. At least not until high school, when I may reconsider... It's an online program, and there are set books for each class. Cookie cutter learning, which will not work for Crumpet. Or me.
The second option is called the Myron B. Thompson Academy. This is a charter school which mixes homeschooling with some classroom learning. I finally got to attend an orientation last week, and I'm excited about it!
The program gives parents $1500 to use toward books and extracurricular activities. There is a list of acceptable textbooks, and I was concerned that the curriculum I've been leaning toward wouldn't be on there. However, it's a huge list, and everything I was hoping to use is there! My books total about $400, which leaves a lot for outside activities. For extracurriculars, we are hoping to get Crumpet into swim lessons, and he is talking about going back to karate... We'll see how that pans out.
I was concerned about the grade level they would choose for Crumpet. He just turned 5, so technically, he should be starting kindergarten. However, we've been slowly working through our McRuffy kindergarten curriculum, and I didn't want to do it again! Yesterday, we met his teacher and she 'tested' him - he placed out of kindergarten, so we'll be moving ahead into first grade! She was excellent with my shy little boy. They talked for a while, and he enjoyed showing off his knowledge for her, once he got going. Then she let him play with Legos while she and I talked about how the school year works.
She holds 4 classes a month at the school, each related to a different subject. We will be required to attend 2 per month, but we can go to all of them if we choose. I was nervous about having to leave Crumpet, but she told me I could stay for the classes if necessary. After seeing him warm up so quickly to her, I'm hoping to be able to leave after the first couple of classes. There are usually 8 to 10 kids per class, which is nice and small. The kids will be kindergartners and first graders, which is good because he'll be in with kids his age, and those a tiny bit older.
There are also frequent field trips to science labs scattered around the island, and those sound like fun!
It was interesting to see how willing Crumpet was to write for his new teacher. He refuses for me. That is one of the reasons I'm looking forward to being part of this program. It will be lovely to have support from a teacher. She will be there for questions and suggestions anytime. We have to turn in a portfolio of our work 4 times a year, to be sure that we are on track. That doesn't bother me. It will be good help to keep me on a schedule!
I know we've had some trouble with Crumpet in classrooms before, but I'm hoping he will have matured a bit by fall and will be ready for this. I really do think this sounds like the perfect program for us! Just one more reason I am NOT leaving Hawaii... ;)


  1. VERY JEALOUS! I would LOVE to find a program like that for us! I have another friend who is participating in a program similar to this in Colorado this fall. Hope it works out as wonderfully for you and Sam!

  2. Curious which curriculum you are using.

  3. Whoa, this sounds like the best of all worlds. I wonder if something like this exists in California. Not that it matters for me right now - I don't think we would be able to homeschool Anna for very many reasons. I am glad that you found such a great solution, and I am also impressed that Hawaii actually gives you money for books and activities.

  4. Sounds like a wonderful fit! Good luck to you and Crumpet - and how exciting that everything you wanted to use was on their list. YAY!

  5. Wow! This sounds like an awesome program. We're in an ALE (that's what they call such programs in Washington State) also. We only get $400, but can take up to 10 classes/week. My son loves the classes. I just learned of a program like yours that is offered here, but my son wants his classes. I'd rather more field trips and spontaneity, but it is all about meeting our children's needs, isn't it? Sigh.... Hopefully, my youngest won't want to go the same route.

  6. I read about the academy in Island Family...I love how they are offering a different schooling option!

  7. Wow wow wow wow wow. Seriously that is SO COOL. Illinois is a very friend HS state, so I am happy for that. But, I would love to have a program option like you do. I hope you love it as much as it sounds like you will! What a blessing!

  8. I love CA but I wouldn't mind homeschooling in Hawaii!!! Sounds delightful!