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I am an Air Force wife and mother of three precious gifts from God. I enjoy learning at home with my children, and the many adventures this life sends our way. So stop by often to visit, and check out what the Five Nomads are up to.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Homeschooling. . .I have options!

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!


  1. Welcome to the West! Homeschooling a very accepted practice our here. Even the schools make it easy. It has already been suggested that Desi could be home schooled 1/2 days. It would lessen their need to provide a full time para for her. She is very social, she would benefit from ALOT of school, being an only child. The schools in the part of the world work on thin budgets. They aren't the best. So alot of parents choose to home school.

  2. I bet they are offering this because they will get the state or federal education money just as if your kids went to school. When I was teaching in CA I found out that the schools only get money if the kid is actually there. That is why they had very strict policies for kids ditching class (to include fines equal to the state money lost because they wern't there). I'm so exicted for you. This sounds like a wonderful program.

  3. I was all in at the drama and Irish dance!! Now what do they have for one Bubbylicious boy?? You talk to enough people and they will root out the glitches for you!

  4. There are no "official" programs until kindergarten, but I'm sure there will be other families with preschoolers he can connect with when we are on-site for The General and Princess to take their classes. The program is housed at an old school, so there are several classrooms and also a playground outside. Lots of opportunities for a busy little boy. Worst case scenerio I can take school stuff and have that be his special school time with just Bubby and mommy.