The Pros and Cons

I’m a list maker, yes I am.

I make lists for everything.

Grocery shopping, Costco shopping, to do’s, thank you’s to write, projects to get done.

I like my lists.

I especially like making lists when I am debating about something.

Like when I took Mr. B out of school.

I didn’t know what else to do, but after a whole lotta prayer (and just as many tears), I was prompted to make a list.

A pro/con list to be specific.

I didn’t know what choices lay before me in the next year, but I figured that since I took him out of school in December, I could TOTALLY home-school him for the next few months. I mean, how hard would it be to teach ONE kindergartener for HALF a semester? Turns out, it was a hundred, no, a thousand times better than I ever thought it could have been. I was very happy with the decision I made because of all that prayer (and a little help from my pro/con list).

So here I am again, prayerfully trying to make more choices in my life that will directly and positively affect my children’s lives.

When I took Mr. B out of school, I simply enrolled him in K12 online public school, which was PERFECT. I had an online teacher, my whole lesson plan for the rest of the year was done, and I had aaaaalllllllll the material I needed to adequately teach my 6-year-old son.

Now, though, I’m back at my crossroads, and I have to make another decision.

Here’s where I am in my list making process:


  • We can have or start school whenever we need to, which is AWESOME if your husband switches shifts often like mine does.
  • We have an online teacher and online classes with other kids three days a week.
  • We get ALL our materials (books, workbooks, manipulatives, science materials, art supplies, musical instruments, and reading material) at no cost to us, as long as we are current taxpayers.
  • I learn about what my son is learning about, so I feel smarter (yay me!).
  • I’m directly involved in those little moments every day when he is learning something new and figures it out on his own. I’m a part of that “high-five” moment, and it totally draws us closer as a parent and child.
  • We can choose how deeply to delve into a specific topic, or we can skim over it. In science, he LOVED learning about matter and atoms, but wasn’t interested in clouds so we took a week learning about atoms and molecules, but talked about weather in one day.
  • We can take school with us and visit family, as long as they have a computer to log in with.
  • Oli-gater (2) gets to learn along with his big brother.
  • The history program is AMAZING!!!
  • FREEDOM. I can teach the lesson in a way that corresponds with our deep love and commitment to a Creator and a Savior. We can start class with a prayer and we are able to learn a scripture a week, and anything in history or even current events can be linked back to something spiritual. It’s my favorite part of home-schooling.



  • You can only use Firefox or Internet Explorer to access the online school, and you can ONLY use the outdated versions of these browsers. If you upgrade to Firefox 6, you won’t be able to view your lessons for the day. This is crap. I mean, does ANYONE still use IE? Slowest. Browser. Ever.
  • There are NO mobile devices that can access the online school (no iPhone, iPad, or smartphone can sign in).
  • We MUST spend 4 hours a day at the computer scrolling through lessons. PLUS, three times a week we have to log into what’s called “Study Island” in which Mr. B must listen to an automated voice ask questions and he has to click on the right answer. It looks and sounds  like a program from the 70’s. That’s a LOT of computer time for a 6 or 7 year old.
  • You have to log in attendance every day. If you forget or are out of town and can’t get to a computer but do your workbooks, it doesn’t count and you child is marked absent.
  • Their music program for first grade is the pits. The kinder music program was awesome, so it was hard to make this change.
  • We are AT LEAST an hour away from all group activities that K12 puts on, and there are a LOT of activities! This makes is so hard to get to know the kids that he’s talking to during the internet teacher time.
  • Since we are so isolated, we have to make a tremendous effort to get out and have fun with other kids. This also means traveling about 45 minutes to an hour to get together with friends. When we do this, we are gone most of the day and don’t get much work done, so every week we have to have make-up days to keep up with the class and what the lesson plan has outlined. This makes it even harder to have extra-curricular activities.
  • We can’t have “off” days. If my kid slept poorly the night before or is just having a bad day, or there are other issues in our home that need to be dealt with, I usually try to push through it and do all the work we can. This simply squashes the love of learning my son has acquired in the past few months. Argh.
  • There are a lot of tests. And a LOT of math. Mr. B is very good at math, so this isn’t really a problem for him, but I’ve gotten to the point that I just have him do the odd or even numbers because there is so much that is review that he totally grasped the first time.



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