Tuesday, August 19, 2008

What To Do, What To Do???

As I've mentioned in the past (here and here), we have struggled with whether or not to continue homeschooling here in Doha. In the end, we decided that we would enroll the kids in an online school for this year and attempt to move them into a traditional school next year.

Well, there's a snag. (Isn't there always?)

After trying to get information to enroll the kids in said online school, things started to seem a little fishy. Curious, I did a little more research and didn't like what I saw. The "school" is owned by a woman who has a history of lawsuits and who also has many other schools which she runs - all offering the exact same curriculum, but under many different names and price schemes. Like 20 different names. After reading through some parent reviews, I was concerned enough to decide (at 2 am last night) that this wasn't where I wanted to put my children.

Which leaves me in a dilemma. School should be starting in a week or two and I have no curriculum. I mean, I could work for a little bit (a month or so) with what we have.

I'm not finding any other online school that I like. Most offer a set curriculum for each grade level (as opposed to letting the parent design the coursework). Some seem to be too easy for what my kids have been doing. Others are just too darn expensive.

I investigated returning to using Sonlight, which we have used successfully for the past four years. But I still have concerns over whether it's what is best for my kids now (the last year or two have found me begging them to read their books). On top of that, to ship the books here to Qatar the charges would be close to $400!!!!

So now I'm spending the morning with a knot in my stomach and a cloud over my head. If anyone has any great ideas, let me know. I'm open to just about anything at this point.


Karen said...

Well, I have no great ideas but I will continue to pray that you come up with some! All I know about homeschooling would fit in a thimble. (No, not really. We do sell homeschooling material where I work and I do have access to a catalog and a hotline and Helen. Who is our resident homeschool expert. But I'm not sure any of that will help.)


...and I'm glad you are back!

Pennie said...

I know that there are a lot of online high school options available these days, and they are free because it's still considered public education. Are you looking for schools that are based in Jordan, or schools all over the globe that might fit your criteria? I know your children are still young, but maybe there is an elementary online school that offers their curriculum for free like they do here.

Mylinda said...

Well, something like this happened to me a couple years ago. Nicky took his sweet time deciding if the girls were going to school or not, so I didn't buy any curriculum until he decided...which was the middle of August, just before public school started! By then, I had no money to buy anything! Arg! So, while I saved money to buy curriculum and started deciding what to buy, we basically did unit studies and free stuff from the internet. I bought a membership to EdHelper.com and used spelling and vocabulary from their site. I used last year's math book that I hadn't finished and just kept going. We did a unit study on Lewis and Clark and read the book, "The Captain's Dog", while doing map skills, culture studies and online research. I also had them reading their own choice of book, on their own for reading skills. (I read the Lewis and Clark book to them aloud.) There are tons of free things online. You've been hsing long enough to know how to put a curriculum together. It doesn't have to be perfect and it doesn't have to last all year long. Use it for the interum until you can choose/buy what you want. Remember: Homeschooling is school OUTSIDE THE BOX. Have fun! Email me if you want more suggestions or have questions. :-)

Nancy M. said...

Good luck! My only suggestion is to pray about it some more. I "unschool", so I don't usually have something set in stone.

Erica said...

I don't have any ideas re: online classes, but if you do decide to order books, you're welcome to use our APO address.


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