Sunday, November 21, 2010

Starting Over

Here I am 2.5 years later. I came across my blog by accident, forgot I even started it but wishing I had continued with it. I don't know if I will but i wanted to try this again.

Where do I begin? Well we're in GA now, came here as a homeschooling family, loving it and starting new however things were not what we expected. The homeschooling community seemed so different and somewhat secluded than what we were used to in NY. In addition, we chose to live in a suburb community away from the city, 30 miles to be exact, away from everything it seemed. There were no free museums from what I found, a few free days but nothing like we had in NY. My girls didn't have any friends like they were used to. We tried to find our place here. The girls joined a homeschooling girls scout troop and there were park days....but it just wasn't enough. About 6 months into our life here I found out about a program called GVA, GA Virtual Academy. Basically School at Home....Books, manipulatives, and a computer is provided to students. Everything is laid out for you. No curriculum planning. It was great...or so I thought. Maybe a little too structured. Nala enjoyed it but Nina didn't like it. It was "fake school" to her. They missed the camaraderie between her NY friends. I just didn't know how to make it work, how to keep them busy, or how to give them the socialization that they craved and needed. That September 2009 I registered them at school....and it wasn't so bad. I worked a lot of overtime, had time for myself throughout the day, got some sleep, paid off some bills. The girls seemed to enjoy school, did well at their academics and enjoyed extra curricular activities such as ballet, tumbling and cooking classes.

Fast forward to May 2010, Nala, now 9 years old, said that she wanted to be homeschooled again. She was not being bullied or harassed at school. She wanted to continue the adventures we had our first year with amazing trips and easy days. I was surprised, excited, and scared. I was due with baby #4 in July and didn't know how i would homeschool her. In addition, my husband was back and forth between GA and NY for work so I didn't know what was going to happen. How could I homeschool just 1 child? What about my other 2 in school? Could I really go from no children at home to 4 at home? All of these questions however I decided to just start off with her and see where it went after that. We did GVA again which is now GCA--GA Cyber Academy. It was still very structured and was way more books this time around but it's a big help to me. After I work my 8 hr shift, I give Nala a list of things to do, maybe 2 hrs of stuff. She takes breaks in between by reading or having a snack. I take a 2 hr nap with my 4.5 month old son. When I get up we review her work and start new lessons. It may vary with me staying up for a little first and do a lesson or two and then going to sleep. Either way Nala works independently and does very well on her own.

Our experience isn't going quite how I wanted. I'm still having a problem with the socialization. We don't have money for activities right now. We did re join the group from 2 years ago but she still feels like a newbie and no one there is quite her age. I guess this is still a work in progress......we've done some trips but not like I want. I want more of the museums, art, history, and music that we were able to incorporate before. Have I once again made a mistake with this? Now my other 2 kids....I've brought up the topic of them coming home with us and they still want to be in school. They enjoy it. I've been thinking of what I can do. I have some ideas.

So with my husband finally home permanently and on my side, we have decided to bring the 2 girls in public school, Nina and Natasha home in January. We will have money for a few classes for them and are building a friendship with another homeschooling family their age.

I really think I can do this and I really want to make this work. Why blog? This is for me and my kids. To document our adventures in learning and to show them how much I love them.

Nala won 3rd place in her first Science Fair.
The Effects of Salt on the Temperature of Boiling Water.


Christin said...

Congrats to Nala on the science fair win!! And sorry so late :) I feel the same as you do most days - I want a homeschooling ADVENTURE. I want days out at museums and exploring the world around us. It's hard when things cost so much and the drive is 30+ minutes one way. I would say that the library is our most consistent "adventure", at least we can get out and explore books right? I live for free/homeschool days at any other venue.

Sha Bish said...

Thank you Christin! Thank you for the encouragement! We do utilize the library alot and thankfully the kids are ok with that. Ditto, I look for the free things to do as well.

~Leslie said...

It looks likes you've made a lot of changes in a little bit of time. I applaud you for your courage and strength!! Wish you all were a bit closer to the city, I co-lead a homeschool group, yet many of our active members are West of or Southwest of the City. You are definitely welcome to check us out, as things warm up we'll be 'out and about' the city more. Homeschooling is great, but can be lonely if you're not connected with others doing it as well. Take a look and let me know what you think!
It's nice to 'meet' you here. I'm trying to get back into blogging myself. :D

Sha Bish said...

Leslie, thank you for the support. I will check out your group.