Friday, August 1, 2014
Our First Week of School 2014-15
This week got off to a bumpy but positive start.
I trained my Tutor / Helper - My oldest daughter Rose who will be administering school for her siblings until she leaves to move onto her college campus. After she moves, she volunteered to come over on the weekend to do Saturday and Sunday school for makeup days if I needed her.
The Schedule Evaluation:
Well this first week I sort of evaluate our schedule. How long it takes the kids to get through it, what obstacles we've met and a re-adjustment if needed.
Some things I noticed that I need to fix this week is making copies earlier than the day of. Because I didn't make copies of Tiger Lilly's Analytical Grammar Practice Sheets for her to work on, that didn't get done.
Tiger Lilly also needed some assistance with her Python curriculum. The actual Landry Academy online class doesn't start for 2 weeks but I wanted her to read ahead, get some practice in before class. I purchased the HeadFirst Python book (which she loves more than the book assigned by her Python teacher). I also realized she is very visual as a learner and had to go hunting on Youtube for Python Tutoral Playlist (I found one we both liked named Bucky's Python Tutorial).
The hurdles above were addressed on the first day and the rest of the week was smooth - sort of.
ADJUSTMENTS TO NEW CURRICULUM
The new curriculum items I added this school year are the following:
Landry Academy Online Class
Code Academy Python Online
Ktbyte.comhttps://www.ktbyte.com/ Java Online course
WriteGuide.com Online Writing Class
Youtube Videos by Bucky and Book Reading for Python
Art DVD Course (See The Light Art Curriculum)
San Diego Scribblers online Paragraph Writing Course
The above have added an extra challenge. I realized I really had to walk through these with the kids. Sitting with them through the lessons and explaining how to interact in those environments. Also, it was a challenge for me as some of the programs weren't as laid out or well explained on their websites so I had to email them about specifics.
Although Speed Racer has improved by leaps and bounds from last school year, we still have some way to go.
While his sister, Rose, has been administering school he has challenged her constantly. In small ways, but Rose is handling him well. I've been checking in on them and Rose demands I stay out of it, lol!
Also, Speed Racer is experiencing his first time on a organized Dance Team. He's having some struggles with obedience and not being the class clown.
Although, I'd like to pull him out, my husband insist that we work this through and make this a learning experience. Therefore, we did the following to address his behavior since its not consistent (he doesn't do this when we are present) but still not acceptable.
- Remind him of (3) Acts of Respect (a) Respect Your Teacher (b) Respect yourself (3) Respect Others prior to class
- Stay present and visible at his practices. *We noted all of his outburst or smart mouthing happened when we weren't there*
- Make a point to have an identified reward or consequence to his behavior. When he is not cooperating he will end his night doing the dishes and not playing video games.
This year we are WAY more relaxed. They don't have to do all their work at their desk unless they want to. I've also added a Tablet full of educational games that they can play during their 15 min break.
The Block Schedule is working fabulously!!!
Tiger Lilly is pretty independent now. I do make her accountable by checking her work daily (after my assistant Rose has). It's definitely a MUST DO when you have a child doing a curriculum without you.
Speed Racer has improved his independence and neatness with his work. Also, with his dance class.
School is done faster. Yep, the kids have figured out that procrastination means a longer day.
WORKING AND HOMESCHOOLING
I thought I'd throw this in for those parents that do both. This week I was willing to slide or shift coursework around in case my work schedule impacted school.
The challenge of childcare is a big one. So I put in notice with local homeschool groups seeking a homeschooled teen to tutor and fill in a few days a week for several hours. I've gotten some good responses.
Getting help from your spouse is a must. You must ask to receive. You must let them do things their way.
The tools for learning are mostly computer or DVD based. It allows me time to do other things, like cook dinner, clean, goof off. The kids do have their chores but the big cleaning day is Saturday.
Prepping meals ahead has been a lifesavor.
A secret about working and homeschooling - while at work, both my husband and I get a taste of freetime with lunch out with friends. I couldn't trade that for the world.
School ---- Can Happen Anywhere - Anytime you want! And this is the reason why I absolutely love homeschooling.
SURPRISE COMMENTS FROM STUDENTS
Speed Racer, "Gosh, now that my work is done, I am bored." O_o Wow!
Tiger Lilly, "I admit it. I'm a candy addict."