There was a time when I thought I had answers. I was extremely opinionated. That was my early days of homeschooling. Then the days passed, life happened, and I found myself the one searching for answers.
In the next several posts, I thought I would share some questions we have faced or are facing concerning schooling. I'm not sharing with any agenda in mind or to try to persuade anyone to do what we have done. Rather, I'm sharing because the schooling of our children is a personal but important decision that each family has to make. I want to encourage you to pray about the decisions you make concerning your children, and then trust God with the outcome.
A big question we faced five years ago was what to do about high school? I was buried in trying to keep up with my six younger students, and the thought of trying to create a high school transcript overwhelmed me. Although I had primarily handled schooling decisions, my husband decided that we would use a virtual public high school. I had my reservations. What about the liberal curriculum? Were we bringing the devil into our home as some homeschool advocates claimed? I was nervous.
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What was the result of our decision? Last year our oldest son graduated from IQ Academy here in our state. He was salutatorian of his class. He gave a God-centered speech to a crowd of several hundred. He was unashamed of who he was and who he believed in. (Ryan's speech.)
During his four years of high school, he learned many ideas that were not in line with the Bible. He often discussed these ideas at great length with us, and he debated them with his teachers and fellow students. One teacher in particular was an atheist. He had lengthy e-mail discussions with him, and it did not destroy his faith. Instead it strengthened it. He learned to give an answer to those who asked for a reason for the hope that was within him.
There was one aspect of our children's virtual education that I greatly appreciated as a parent. I had an observer account. I could read any and all of the curriculum. I could listen to class sessions. I could read the correspondence between my children and their teachers. I was informed. This is something that is not always easily accessible through the brick and mortar public schools.
We did encounter modern literature that was simply unacceptable for reading. Honestly, I was horrified at what they called literature. It was full of sex, foul language, and violence. However, every time the teachers allowed us to choose other books to read as a substitute. For instance my children were allowed to read Little Britches and Pride and Prejudice in place of the curriculum choices.
Our daughter will be a senior next year and will have completed all of her high school years at IQ Academy as well. She has a 4.0 GPA so far. Due to the flexibility of the online school schedule, she has been able to focus on other activities she loves. She uses her creativity to do extensive writing and to decorate cakes. The cake decorating is starting to produce an income for her that will help her attend college.
Overall, our experience with the virtual school has been positive, but we also know that what works for one family doesn't always work for another family. What works for one child, also does not necessarily work for another child. Oh, how well we know that, but that's a subject for another post.