Who I am...

Just more rambling from yet another homeschooling mom. I hope that I can honestly share my struggles and triumphs in this journey. I would love to inspire and encourage others, because if I can do it - so can you!!


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Starting COVA

Homeschooling has been a part of our lives ever since we first had kids. I knew I wanted to homeschool Ainsley from the time she was teeny. In California, the public school system we were in was one of the lowest rated systems in the state. Ainsley had always been very bright, and while I would not have minded a private school education for her, which is what I was blessed to receive, it was not within our financial means at the time. And I relished the idea of working together as a family and learning together. I thought of days where we would lay out in the field and study the bugs; days where we would bake pies and measure and chop together. It was all rather idyllic in my mind.

Needless to say, homeschooling wasn't always the bed of roses I dreamed it to be!

Ainsley was stubborn. I also had a 2 year old with some developmental issues rising to the surface just at the time we began Kindergarten with Ainsley. Oh, and an infant! Conditions were not ideal by any means. But we joined a wonderful support group, and every Friday she was in a Cottage school program. She learned, and we survived. We perhaps didn't study as many bugs in the fields as I would have liked, or bake many (if any!) pies. But we'd made it! The next year, Liberty was in the wonderful preschool program at the Cottage school, and Ainsley thoroughly enjoyed First Grade. We started to get the hang of homeschooling and fell into a good pattern. Ainsley's reading ability took off, and she was reading whatever she could get her hands onto.

And then we moved halfway through the year. To a new state. With no support. We were pretty far ahead of schedule with Ainsley in First Grade, so we sort of took schooling in stride for the last couple of months of First Grade. I figured I would find a group to be involved with in the fall, when I would have both a second grader and a Kindergartner. Unfortunately, I found groups in my area were too expensive, or didn't offer what I was missing from California. I also tend to be shy in new situations, and was having a difficult time finding a place I was comfortable.

The last two years of school, we have been going it completely on our own. And the girls have been learning and progressing well. But I really have missed those relationships with other homeschooling moms. We have been involved in sports, church, and the neighborhood, but it wasn't the same. This year, my best friend moved to Colorado and is choosing to homeschool her five children as well. Because it is her first year homeschooling, she decided to join the Colorado Virtual Academy (COVA). She encouraged me to take a look at all that is offered through COVA. I was impressed with the field trips, and resources available. I was also impressed with the curriculum. And it would save us money, which would allow the girls to take some more private lessons and be involved in other activities. It seemed like COVA just might allow us to have some of what we were missing from our days in California. It would also give us some accountability and academic support. I know the girls are learning, and I don't need the state telling me that they are on track, but the reassurance that they are progressing well is going to be an added benefit for both my husband and myself. I tend to be a box-checker type, and I like to make sure all my bases are covered. My husband would love to see actual report cards, as he is a natural planner and box-checker as well.

So we've gotten all registered. My girls took their assessment tests and placed right where I thought they should. This was also encouraging to me, that I was assessing their skills similarly. As an added benefit, my fourth grader will be able to do her State history work with other fourth graders. Since I am not from Colorado, I am looking forward to learning the state history right along with her! They will continue learning French, and taking Karate. I will probably add gymnastics and a music lesson to this years activities with the money we save by not purchasing curriculum. The only thing I am disappointed about is that my littlest missed their cut-off for Kindergarten by less than 2 weeks. So we will be doing K on our own, and then if we are still doing COVA next year, she will test into their first grade level, most likely.

So that is our experience with registering with a virtual academy. I know there are so many homeschoolers out there proclaiming the evils of virtual academies. But this is what I think we need right now. And I am looking forward to sharing our experience with COVA and K12.


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