Hi, I have a fairly unique situation... my husband's job has him working out of Chicago for the next 1 - 1 1/2 years... after that, he will be coming back to work in SC again. (He is currently working towards building a client base in the SE area to support the opening of a satellite office here ASAP.) Anyways, my two girls, in 1st and 4th, are in public school and we all have been happy. Our area is fortunate to have fantastic public schools and I'm as involved as a parent can possibly be. That said; however, I've always been curious about homeschooling, as I just love spending time with my girls and our free time is never enough!
So, now we will be going to Chicago to be with my husband. We are already counting the days until we can come back! We are keeping our house & planning to rent it out, and will be staying at the house of my sister-in-law without any type of lease that would bind us as being legal residents in Chicago. I have come up with the idea that I want to homeschool the girls while we are gone for the following reasons: First off, I would love the flexibility that homeschooling would provide. Being so far away, I hate the idea of being "trapped" there by the constraints of the public school schedule. We'd love to be able to come back for special Girl Scouts events with our troop for instance, but since it is a 15 hour drive, coming home to SC would otherwise be limited to long school breaks or summer vacation - ugh! Also, I feel that with Chicago's wide range of cultural events, museums, activities, etc... it would be fantastic to have the time to take it all in, and that the experiences could also serve my girls on an educational level.
I consider myself pretty organized, and my girls are bright - my 4th grader is in an excelerated math program & the gifted program, and my 1st grader has been moved into the advanced reading & spelling group in her class. (Not to sound like a braggy parent, just to further explain our situation! )
So, I am thinking that the Option 3 homeschooling may be the right fit for us. I am excited to have this extra time with my girls and share all these experiences with them but I still have concerns. The first concern is that I am doing everything to maintain my status as a SC resident - I don't plan on getting a new IL state DL unless I have to, etc... Since we will still own our home here, does that allow me to gain membership with an option 3 group here? (For that reason, my daughters are able to maintain their memberships in their Girl Scout troops!) My thinking is that we will be coming back & forth relatively often and does it really make a difference whether we are physically in Charleston or Chicago as long as we are fulfilling the SC laws/rules for homeschooling?
So sorry for such a long post, (maybe I should have done a private message?) Anyway, this is where I am with it all now and we are "moving" soon - just after Thanksgiving - so not a lot of time to figure it all out! Also, any hints towards a curriculum that is easy to follow would be great. We are Christian, and very active at our church, but for the purposes of homeschooling, I'm really looking more to stay on track with the "common core" stuff so that should we decide to go back to public school upon our return, it will be as smooth a transition as possible.
I truly, truly appreciate your time in reading all of this and taking the time to give me your thoughts. It could be that I have overlooked some major piece of the puzzle as well! I really appreciate any guidance you can offer!
Thanks so much,