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#1 of 10 Old 05-17-2009, 09:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Okay, my daughter is 5 and will turn 6 just days before ps starts here. She attended K at ps and it was very stressful to her; we have decided going into full day first grade at PS is not the best option for her. We've found a PS umbrella program that (miraculously!) lets the parent be primary educator (at home) and decide what materials the $2000 allotted to each child in our district will be spent on-- ie: they give you 2K a year (in thirds) to spend on learning materials for your child!

So this program sounds like the best of both worlds, but here is my dilemma--
although she scored 100% on her K exit assessment, I honestly do not believe that she truly KNOWS and UNDERSTANDS the material, she just happens to be a good "hoop jumper" and is very smart/dramatic, can "fake" her way thru the system without really concretely understanding the task she has just completed. My mom voice inside says that we need to go back to basics and work with those until they are understood.

So I fear that if I go with the district option, they will push us to push her into 1st grade (which I feel is a big root of the problem, we didn't know it would be better to wait a year before K and now are seeing confidence, behaviour etc. problems because of that).

I would like to re-Kindergarten a half day at home without the pressure of mastering the 1st grade standards this year. On the other hand, I know we will be doing 1st grade work (and probably staying right on target for "standards" without even really trying) because that is where she's at academically--- the issue is not academics, more just that she's not in the developmental place to be in a traditional 1st grade program.

Anyways, the district-give-you-$-for-HS program does require that you log hours and participate in standardized testing (which I abhor even tho I think she would handle them fine). From the website (google mesa valley vision if interested):

"720 logged hours between July 1 and May 31 each school year.....
The only part-time option available is for kindergarteners. Kindergarteners are only required to log half the hours (360) and they receive half the funding for their Individualized Learning Plan ($1,000)."

So.....those of you who have logged hours, jumped through the state hoops of daily scheduling, etc., how difficult is it really to log 720 hours? We will probably be doing that much just by living a learning lifestyle, right? (leaning toward year round Waldorfish unschooling here).

I just don't want to enroll her in 1st grade (even tho she's "on level" for G1) and then feel like we have all this academic pressure, she's five, you know?! On the other hand, I know the district will not hold a kid back in K when they are acing through the hoop jumping dance.

I could just not enroll her at all (she will still be under the age for compulsory schooling by just a few days) and design our own k/1 no pressure shoe string program......however; there are a lot of good things about the district HSer program (loads of tutors in myriad of subjects, the costs go to the school not the family, likeminded hser community, etc.).

So I don't know, I just feel like I have to fight to keep my kid from being academ-ified (that can't be a real word) before she's ready. She's still in toddler mode in many ways, and I just don't want to rush her thru her precious childhood by requiring intellectual work that is not yet developmentally appropriate.

Anyways, sorry, long and rambling, but I would appreciate feedback. Thanks!

Happy and in love with my family!
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#2 of 10 Old 05-17-2009, 10:16 PM
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what state are you in?? (if you mentioned that, i missed it. sorry).

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#3 of 10 Old 05-17-2009, 10:17 PM
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Don't fret over her knowing ALL of kindergarten. Go with the first grade stuff. SOOOOO much is review anyways, and now since you are at home you will go at HER pace and do more review if needed.


Mom to three very active girls Anna (14), Kayla (11), Maya (8). 
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#4 of 10 Old 05-17-2009, 10:52 PM - Thread Starter
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We are in Colorado, USA. I am thrilled at the district's support of HS in my county; I just found out about this program and feel like I won the lottery!

You're probably right about just going for first grade! I know she can handle the "work". I'm a little nervous tho . . . this is my first round with HSing and worrying about public school standards, testing, logging hours, oh my!

I would feel a little better about the standard testing and such if we were a year "behind" on paper tho we would still do 1st gr. work. I guess that's a little sneaky? I just don't want to have to rush her because of the PS arbitrary grade sequencing.

Also, I want to do year round, and what with logging the hours Sept thru June---I just need to visualize how we can "unschool" the district school program.

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#5 of 10 Old 05-18-2009, 04:40 AM
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I wouldn't worry very much about any pushing from mesa valley; if you find you don't like it, if the cost to you for having access to that money are too high (I am pretty sure they would be too high for me, but I'm not you) you can quit and move on. From what I can tell from their website, I don't think calling them a "district school program" is accurate- it's run by a private non-profit corporation, and while they have a partnership with the district, they appear to be very separate.

It seems to me it would be a really good idea to find some families currently enrolled in the program and ask how it goes.

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and DD2, 11/2004
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#6 of 10 Old 05-18-2009, 06:56 AM
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You CAN still opt out of standardized testing- even in PS. They don't like to tell you that info, because it directly affects their funding Just FYI. Just because you are techincally in G1 does not mean that you may ONLY do 1st grade stuff- like if kiddo is behind in science, then you spend some time "catching up" and maybe is ahead in math- you would not want her to go back and re-do stuff just because it's 1st grade appropriate? Right? Charter schools (what this is) and home schooling have the beauty of being talored to each child, and where they are in each individual area of the learning process!

I would suggest you get the parent/student handbook and reading that so that you have a better understanding of what to expect and maybe ask to talk to some of the guidance counselors- because they are MORE than willing to help you achieve the very best for your family Congrats on finding something that will, hopefully, work for your family!!!

Married to Michael and Mother of Jake 9, Jillianne 7, Jensen 5, Jacen 4. I've got severe osteoporosis, a fractured hip and chronic pain-so please be patient with me! Pagan,Crocheter,Reader,Homeschooler- that's me in a nutshell.

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#7 of 10 Old 05-18-2009, 09:44 AM
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I don't know that I would worry about not having mastered the material; I think a lot of it at that age is about exposure, not mastery. A friend of mine who teaches 1st grade said that the first quarter is all about review. Add to that the fact that she's likely to grasp the material SO much better with you as her primary teacher/tutor in a one-on-one setting, and I think she's likely to do just fine. If you're comfortable with the district guidelines, the financial deal sounds great!

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#8 of 10 Old 05-18-2009, 12:29 PM
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And don't worry about the hours. So much of life is "educational". Read to her, play games, talk about the sky, go to the zoo,,, it's all learning.

fambedsingle1.gifSingle mom to Rain (1/93) , grad student, and world traveler earth.gif


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#9 of 10 Old 05-18-2009, 12:55 PM
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In Colorado, you must have that contact time, but it doesn't need to be logged in great detail if you are homeschooling on your own. If the state wants to see your records, they have to give you notice and you can simply check the days off on a calendar. I don't know anyone who has been questioned by the state. As far as standardized testing goes, you can forgo that and get a certified teacher to conduct an "evaluation". The kids don't even realize that they're being evaluated and you've met your criteria for the state. Colorado really does make it easy to homeschool. Just submit your letter to the school board and do your evals in odd years starting in 3rd grade.
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#10 of 10 Old 05-18-2009, 02:40 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone so much for the feedback! Have to run for now ;*

Happy and in love with my family!
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