Monday, January 10, 2011
H.O.P.E. & HOPE
Last week, I was able to go to a parent meeting about a program called, H.O.P.E., which is a Home Option Program for Education. As my husband and I sat down and looked at all, and I mean, ALL, the options for Kindergarten in our area, we were overwhelmed by all of the choices we had for Turbo. There were schools that were a good fit, and other that were not. There were schools that would cost money, and other that did not. We were bombarded with different "schools of thought", and it just seemed that we kept ending up back where we started: Homeschool. The only problem that we ran into was getting Turbo into an environment where there was a classroom setting. He is in AWANA, and that offered a good start, but what I was looking for was another adult, aka teacher, who was saying the same things I was saying in his academic life. That was, I wasn't the bad guy anymore, I had someone on my side :)
We had joined a few "co-ops" here and there, but none of them were giving us what my husband and I were looking for. Until H.O.P.E.
Beginning in August, Turbo will go to H.O.P.E. every Friday from 8 to 3 and will be in a Kindergarten class. It is as if he goes to Kindergarten only on Fridays. For "payment", I sign up to offer my time as there are many positions available. Hall monitor, lunch monitor, classroom helper, field trip coordinator...the list is pretty much endless. By paying a book deposit, which I will get back whenever I choose to leave the program, I can check out any of their curriculum that is available and use it for my own purpose at home to teach Turbo. My curriculum cost has been diminished significantly!
There are so many other wonderful things that H.O.P.E. offers that my husband and I feel so fortunate to live in an area where there are so many other homeschooling families and that the need was so great, for this to be a choice.
HOPE, has been given to us as we feel that homeschooling Turbo is the best thing for him right now. After his therapy and all of the hard work that we put into that, I couldn't stand seeing it "wasted" in a public school as he would get lost in the class of 28-30 other Kindergartners. I didn't feel it was his teacher's job to work with him, but it was mine. I was the one who went through therapy with him, not the teacher. But I also knew that I needed a break, we both needed a break from each other if this was going to be successful.
I have also begun focusing differently on school for him. My parents have so graciously offered us a room in their basement for me to transform into a schoolroom. It is a great space, and we love it there! Unfortunately for us, it is not a usable space at this time. Tank's morning nap is causing a glitch in our system. To get all 4 of us up and ready to leave by 7:30 so that we can get to their house for his nap by 8 is proving to be a hazard! IN EVERY WAY! Turbo is too excited to do school as he just wants to play, and now that Tank has tasted the goodness of Nana and Papa's house, taking a nap is proving to not be an option. In talking with my dad, the schoolroom is not in our season of school as of now, but the "playroom" is! Our little apartment is not big enough for life and play. But to have a space dedicated to play! OH! the joys of it! Especially in the winter time when going to play lands at fast foods or the malls aren't my cup of tea. First, because we don't have it in our budget to eat at the fast food place, (I know, we don't have to eat there, but try telling that to a 5-year-old who only has a few cuisines to choose from...) and play lands in the malls are a breeding ground when it is cold, rainy or not suitable for play outside. I swear, I walk away with one more kid each time...
I've been mulling through it, but I think it would be great for Tank, and Turbo too, to begin a playgroup there. Sure, it isn't a huge place to have friends over, but there is a TV, DVD/VCR, books, tables, pillows, crafts, train table, computer, toys, slides, cars to ride it, etc. that having another mommy over for tea/coffee while the kids play for a bit, seems much more enjoyable than doing life/play in our 900ish sq ft. apartment.
I really believe that our prayers have been heard, and HOPE has been given to our family as we enter into this season of schooling for both Tank and Turbo.