I wanted to have a wide variety of speakers last night and so we started off with two moms who were using Mother of Divine Grace and Seton curricula. The first mom was the mother of a very large family and MODG helped her to get it all done and still manage her babies and toddlers. The mom using Seton just liked how it was very methodical and helped her to feel as if all of the bases were covered. Both of these ladies did a great job presenting homeschooling high school and how it affected their families and how their children were thriving.
The next three moms were more eclectic in their approaches. Let's face it - there are a lot of good homeschooling products out there now and - certainly more than when some of us started 15 or more years ago! So one mom told of her experience flitting around to different curriculum packages and eventually writing her own religion syllabus. Her oldest two kids have graduated from high school and college.
The next mom talked about using the post-secondary option for her kids so that they could take college classes for free in high school and how she went about arranging all of that. She also talked about her youngest child who is a slower student and will be using a 5-year high school approach which I found very interesting because I will probably have to do the same thing for my daughter because of her reading issues.
Our last mom talked about how she designed her homeschool specifically for the needs of her children - one with a music and fine arts tract, one looking at the priesthood and a daughter who wanted a home economics approach.
By then - it was after 9 p.m. but I had one more speaker, a young man from our soccer club who had used College Plus! to get his accredited business degree in 2 years for around $13,000 and is now gainfully employed. When this young man came forward the dads in the group perked up and were very interested in everything he had to say. This young gentleman is the epitome of what we as homeschoolers are striving - a good Christian man, serious about his studies who has graduated from homeschool high school and college and is now working. And if anyone wonders if he is "socialized" - I guess I would point out that at 20 he was speaking to a group of 30 adults where the median age was probably around 45 and he was charming, clear and funny! Isn't that the epitome of socialization?
I think everyone had a good evening, we had a lot of shared information and I was able to get it recorded so that our members can look at it in the future.
A couple of interesting thoughts - we advertised the first meeting- an Introduction to Catholic Home Education in our diocesan newspaper and on Catholic radio. And while that was great for outreach, it only netted us eight people. The homeschool high school night in a private home was attended by closer to 20 people and it was advertised primarily on our homeschool e-mail, our Yahoo group and word of mouth. Still, I think even with the radio and newspaper we are getting our name out there.
We had men at the high school night, whereas no dads showed up for the Intro to Homeschooling meeting. That was curious.
This was a great night for support group which had been on the verge of extinction just two years ago. One of the moms there was from a different support group and she said she was so pleased to see how vibrant and alive our group was! Apparently her group started falling apart three years ago over the issue of whether or not to allow non-Catholic Christians into their group - which is pretty much the same issue that almost destroyed our group about seven years ago. So I told her to keep watching us because we're a little ahead of her in the recovery stage. And then as I was falling asleep last night I remembered that after all of us Catholic moms had talked, the star of the evening was a dynamic non-Catholic young college graduate. Oh the irony.