Charter schools are popping up all over the place. You may have seen one and wondered what makes it any different from a regular school? Charter schools are free, public schools for TK-12th grade that are not associated with a school district. They are funded by and accountable to the government entity (state, county, or district) that granted them their charter (a contract written by a legislative power granting specific rights and privileges to an organization.) All it has to do to keep its doors open is uphold the academic, financial, and organizational promises it made when it was granted its charter. These independently run schools are great options for someone who doesn’t want to send their student their assigned local school, wants smaller class sizes, or prefers the various teaching styles not available in regular public schools.
Our charter school offers a wonderful home study program. I can’t imagine trying to do this without all the amazing help they have given us! Some of the benefits we’ve received include:
- Monthly meetings: Our Educational Facilitator (sort of like a school counselor) helps me plan each month ahead of time by putting together a checklist of what I plan to teach and helps me come up with ideas when I’m not sure which direction to go in next. I know this isn’t preferable for some people, but her knowledge and support have been SO helpful and I appreciate the fact that she respects my position as a teacher and mom and goes along with all the random subjects we choose to study! Although I don’t use tests with my children yet, I’ve appreciated our EF doing assessments with my daughter because it’s a huge confidence boost for her and proves to me how much she really is learning from home.
- Free Curriculumand educational materials: We have access to a resource center full of a variety of curriculums and almost any educational materials you can imagine. Books, games, puzzles, manipulatives, globes, posters, microscopes, you name it. And the best part- I get to look through everything before we commit. Also, there’s no limit to how many consumable items (items that don’t need to be returned, like workbooks) that we can take home. If my daughter moves beyond her grade level in a certain subject or we realize that it’s just not a good fit for her, we can simply walk in and choose a better option without having to purchase another curriculum. We also get to borrow books and games until the end of the school year. We love the library, but this definitely beats their three week rental period and late fees!
- Funds: In addition to free curriculum and educational materials, we are allotted a certain amount of EU’s, or $$$, that can be spent on authorized vendors. Some of our options include swimming lessons, rock climbing, tai kwon do, pottery, music lessons, dance classes, horseback riding, art supplies, tutoring, and even monthly subscription boxes like Tinker Crates and Raddish Kids. My kids (and my wallet) have LOVED this!
- Field Trips: Kids like to get together with other kids! I happen to work in a daycare that I can take mine to, but many don’t have that opportunity. Field trips provide you the opportunity to take the kids out, maybe make some new friends, and learn something while you’re at it. Some of ours have included The LA County Fair, Medieval Times, a huge multischool event with the Anaheim Ducks, concerts, and museums.
- Events: While there are outside events out there for homeschoolers, our charter school makes it very easy to get the kids involved in talent shows, science and art fairs, and school dances.
While the support our charter offers us is definitely appreciated, the main advantage is obviously a financial one! Charter schools do such a wonderful job of making sure you have everything you need to teach your children all the subjects of life.
Here’s what we got from our last Amazon order of the year. Yes, we really like art supplies!! This will definitely keep us going until the beginning of next year. Yay! If you’re interested, links to the items we ordered are listed below.
If you’re interested in ordering any of the above items, please use the links provided so I can receive a small payment from Amazon at no extra cost to you! Thank you so much for your support. 🙂