Master J is enrolled with OAC this year. There were a few reasons for this decision… but it wasn’t one made lightly. I believe we shoulda/coulda/woulda done this last year but, but, but…
For some time now I have wanted to simply be his mum! I have, at times, found it difficult to be stern enough with him to get his academic work done and yet a few moments later be the one to whom he turns for a heart-to-heart chat. Relationships comes first in our home yet the logistics of me being his primary educator were working against that. Now I am free to support him, encourage him, guide him, listen to him without nagging, setting deadlines or being the hard task master (or is that mistress?).
I want him to be accountable to someone else for his academics. This is an important step in him taking responsibility for his own education. Deadlines are set by his class teacher and he has to meet them. There’s no excuses if he doesn’t meet them. All too often I have let him off the hook because we’ve had an exceptionally busy week or other life happenings. But deadlines are a part of living in this world! Just because I, as a SAHM, don’t have too many deadlines doesn’t mean that he won’t. He isn’t always going to be 15 and at home. He will be a man. In charge of his own own family and life. I don’t want my weakness (lack of consistency) to be his downfall.
I desired to see his horizons broadened without going to school. In a perfect world I’m sure we could have facilitated that without the need for OAC but we don’t live in a perfect world, regardless of how idyllic the homeschooling life appears. For a large part of the time I am without a car or my health hasn’t been good or we’ve been moving…
I had to let go and seriously consider what are the needs of this child. How can I best meet the needs of this young man? As much as I love his company and having him home this is not about me – it’s about him.
So, how does this OAC thing work? We are finally starting to settle into a routine where he knows how to use the online system and the phone system and has all his books in order. Again, it was me who had the most difficulty with this as I have to find activities to do that are quiet while he is on the phone attending his class. Classes are held over the phone. He calls the number and is connected to his classroom where he attends the lesson with the other students. Sometimes a lesson takes 30min and other times it can take an hour. Many/most times he will be on the phone listening and talking whilst also studying from his online textbook. Other times he will attending the lesson on the phone whilst also logged into the virtual classroom. The classroom has a whiteboard and chat facility and is very similar to a real-time classroom setting. Some kids muck up. Some kids talk. Some kids doodle. Some kids work. So far, he is enjoying it.
Monday – Maths and SOSE
Tuesday – Health/PLP
Wednesday – German and Science and IT
Thursday – English
During the rest of the day he works on completing assignments and studying.