Well, I was out and about to meet more homeschoolers the other night. This time it was an informational meeting for Olympia Regional Learning Academy (ORLA). Here's the 411. This program is for homeschoolers K-12. Basically you sign up, and they offer FREE classes in core and enrichment areas. The classes are taught by certified teachers or community experts. They also provide you a budget for homeschooling supplies. The only thing you have to do in return is have a learning plan on file with them. So far, this learning plan does not look very intimidating. Basically I would just have to tell them what I plan to teach for the year. I can also change my plan as the year goes along. There are no work samples and no mandatory testing. I do have to stay on site for any children under the age of 12 to provide supervision.
Now let me tell you about the classes they offer. They look like so much fun. I saw lots of cool art, drama, dance, science, etc. . . The General would have such a great time in some drama or art courses, and Princess would LOVE Irish Dance. However, I'm still investigating, looking for the hidden glitch. After our experience with the charter school in DC I am very reluctant to give up my autonomy.
As I am talking with homeschoolers here I am amazed at the support the school districts provide homeschoolers. You can take your homeschooled children to the local school, and take part in any of the classes they offer. Can you believe it? So you, as the parent choose what you want for your child. As I said before I'm still looking for the hidden catch.
Now, IF all of this is true, I am just so excited. Can you imagine how much fun we will have? How wonderful to have classes for the kiddos. Classes that I don't have to plan, organize & teach. We would be able to meet lots of other homeschool families. I'm trying not to get overly excited.
Two of the ladies I met had been doing the program for a couple of years, and they love it. They were so welcoming and kind. One even gave me her number.
So wish me luck as I continue to dig around for resources for our next school year. I'm going to continue to talk with people about ORLA, and also check in to the neighborhood school. ORLA really sounds fabulous, but it would be about a 25 minute commute, while the neighborhood school would be only 5-10 minutes. BUT, ORLA is all homeschoolers, so my kiddos may have more in common with them. At the neighborhood school they might be outsiders just coming in for a class here and there.
This is appears to be the most homeschool friendly place we've ever lived. Have any of you ever homeschooled here? Or do you know anyone who has lived here? If so, I'd love to hear your experiences. So far it looks very promising!