Sunday, September 09, 2012

New school year.

So, we decided to go the online school route for The Boy. I am also doing it with The Girl as well. We decided on this way to go because The Boy wasn't  progressing academically like we wanted him to, like the believe he should have been able to. He ended second grade about 3 or 4 months behind the average second grader. He ended third grade closer to a year behind. He also got glasses which I've noticed have helped him read better. I don't think his teacher had the time or maybe she didn't have the planning skills to help him with his learning. I don't know for sure, but when I talked to her she appeared to think he was a trouble maker, a rule breaker, and that he was of lower ability in academics. I realise that he has problems with authority and with rules he feels are unfair. We decided to go this way because he has a teacher that we can talk to if we need to, they send us all the books and materials for all of their classes. Everything from art supplies to text books. We did have to get some normal school supplies, like pencils and crayons.

So anyway, we enrolled The Boy and The Girl in Connections Academy. He is going to redo third grade and she is starting Kindergarten. The first week started September 4th. The first week was interesting, busy, and a learning experience for all of us. Both grades need a lot of input from the "learning coach" (me). Luckily The Girl likes to get things done quickly, with only small breaks. While The Boy prefers to spread things out more over the day. He likes to have longer breaks between his classes, sometimes if the classes are shorter or quicker he will do two or even three before he wants a long break. So this works out well for all of us. They each like to listen to what the other is doing, I think The Girl will be picking up more of The Boy's stuff than he will pick up from hers.

The boy has a lot of writing to do, which is a source of frustration for him. He really hates writing. I'm going to start him on cursive writing, because I've heard that for some kids with similar problems with hand control as he has cursive is easier and more importantly faster than print. So we will see how that works. We have a handwriting book that includes cursive, it came with the books from his school. So, we will see. He is doing pretty well with the reading part of language arts. So far math has been pretty easy. He is understanding the social studies, science and art. Only math and art don't have much writing so he's not getting frustrated with those classes. Everything else has writing to do so it's more frustrating. I've let him dictate some things to me, he seems to do well and to understand more when I'm doing the writing. We will see how the cursive writing will do as he learns more of it.

I think this will be a good segue to traditional home schooling. I would really like to do that. We would be doing a unit studies kind of schooling. We could study spiders because The Girl is interested in spiders. We could study the Norse gods and epic stories, because we watched "The Avengers" and they were curious about the story between Loki and Thor. We could eat at a Mexican restaurant and then learn about the culture of Mexico. Or many other things that interest us. I have "What your child needs to know in Third Grade" and "What your child needs to know in Kindergarten" I can get books for each grade from here on so that we can make sure we hit all the things they will need, mainly in math and history. Just in case they decide to go back to public school later.

The reason The Girl's Mom choose to go this was, is because we can do school whenever we want to. Since she works evenings, dropping The Girl off here at 1PM and picking her up at 12 AM, we can tailor our school timing so they can have some time together before The Girl needs to go to bed. If The Girl went to public school, she would have to go to sleep here before her Mom got home, and they would have to figure out how to get her to school in the morning. I think this is giving them the best of both worlds.