So I woke up yesterday and realized, OMG, we’re breaking the law!
I confess: we’ve been homeschooling illegally… for Two Whole Weeks.
Keeping up with records to meet your state’s requirements can become a seldom-done chore.
I totally forgot to do my year-end written narrative which is required in Ohio as a way to verify that we, in fact, did something resembling the three R’s (the Rhumba, wRestling on the couch and Re-runs of Rat Race don’t count).
Usually I hire a girlfriend, Lisa, who is a certified teacher to look over our work from the previous year. In my case, that means I write a two-page summary of each child’s journey in learning, add some “work samples” from my files and then chat over tea about how cute her oldest son has gotten in the last year.
She checks everything out, signs forms that certify us as homeschoolers and I then mail those to the school board.
But not this year. I forgot completely about it. And we have already started our Fall Routine, and suddenly I woke up this week with night terrors imagining educational troops beating down our doors with rulers and overhead projectors while they dragged my X Box game-playing boys from the living room as they cried, “Wait! I’ll be there in a minute. I just have to beat the next level!”
At night I worried, “what happens when a records requirement is violated?”
I woke up with the sweats and I haven’t even hit menopause yet! To calm me down, Lisa reminded me that I keep a homeschooling blog (not accessible to the general public). I did it last year for myself. With a business, grad school and five kids going ten directions, I was concerned that I’d not only forget all the cool stuff that we do all year, but that maybe we weren’t doing very much cool stuff after all, and that the reruns of Friends and MTV’s Made had actually taken over our formerly interesting lives.
Truth is, though, I did keep the blog (about twice a month I’d write what we’d been up to) and it turns out that lo, all my hand-wringing about whether or not we were actually “doing” anything was a waste of my energy. We had a great year! Busy, interesting, read lots of terrific books, did copywork and dictation, worked on science-y projects, skiied, watched movies, visited museums and the zoo and more.
Lisa spent the next little while reading about the books we read, the conversations we had, the math facts we tested and learned, the history we explored and more in just a couple hours. And I sat at home finishing registrations.
It reminded me again how important it is to write things down, to honor what you do so that you won’t forget it. And it helps to have a place that can hold those thoughts longer than you can, since though I’m not there yet, I am actually on that slippery slope to menopause and my brain works a lot like my spaghetti strainer these days.
Try it; you’ll like it. Get a blog and jot down the stuff you do this year.
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