Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Homeschool "Enrichment"

In most fifth grade classes here in Kansas, children begin their year determining if they will participate in beginning band, and if so, which instrument they will play.  Band was a great part of my childhood and I wanted my children to be offered the same opportunity if it was possible.

As it turned out, we were homeschooling when fifth grade rolled around.  I had met several other homeschooling families who utilized other public schools for many different resources, so we decided to check into our town's band program.  We aren't sorry we did!

The principal (and all of the staff) were courteous, helpful, and happy to have us.  We were the first homeschool family to be partially enrolled in the intermediate school, and we found their attitudes to be refreshing and interested.  At enrollment I paid a $20 fee and the principal himself gave my son a tour of the school.  We worked together with the secretary to create a safe system of drop-off and pick-up.

The band program itself was the big seller for us - there are three teachers who work with all the children in band from fifth grade clear through high school.  Should our son decide to continue with band, he will maintain a relationship with the same teachers as he continues to grow.  The high school band in our town has the largest amount of student participants compared to all other school activities.  The teaching is well structured and they managed to have four concerts for the fifth grade to showcase their talents.  Our son made several new friends and absolutely loves playing his horn.  He has written papers and journal entries about band and will be giving a presentation about being in band at our end-of-the-school-year party.

I am encouraging him to consider other extracurricular activities through the school.  He can join sports teams, academic clubs, and school organizations if he develops the interest or desire.

I also know that, one day, he is going to surpass my knowledge and abilities in mathematics.  There will be many choices for how he can continue his learning, like internet courses, tutoring, courses structured for homeschoolers, and homeschool group learning.  I will also consider partial enrollment if he is interested.  We have had a wonderful experience this year with band!

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