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Monday, July 26, 2010

Time To Focus

On the next school year! Already!!!!!

School starts August 11th, just 2 weeks and 2 days away. :)
Gone are the end of school ditties, "No more pencils no more books....", and onto the Beginning of School Ditties "Mom has such a lovely smile!"

I must have looked at the wrong month on the calendar... not unusual for me lately.
I was planning to start August 14, which I just figured out by turning the page, is a Saturday. I don't think that would go over so well. :) So August 11th, it is.

So what are we doing different this year????
We are going to computerized schedules and weekly manila folders instead of notebooks.
I like doing things this way, it is more efficient.
I staple the schedule to the manila folder, they put their assignments into the folder and turn it in on Friday. Papers are graded and the folder is filed with all the work checked off. I used to do this with the guys and it worked great.

We are doing Learning Language Arts Through Literature... a whole reading, vocabulary and grammar program.

We are doing Saxon Math, with the Dive CD's. (yea, a computer explanation program)

We are doing Abeka History and Science, we will dive in and add to it as we go.

I am going to continue to encourage Russian with Rosetta Stone. Sarah says she would much rather learn Spanish. LOL

I am considering changing the guest room into a school room. It gets the best light in the house, and it would take all those desks, chalk boards, bulletin boards, hand writing strips and projects out of the living room! If I'm going to do it, I have 2 weeks to get it done.
I am also hoping to get a copier/printer/scanner..... We'll see. My birthday is coming up... :)
I am excited about the year starting. I hope they are too! After all, it is rather hot outside. They have been reading all summer and I am happy that they love to read.

We will have to take our end of vacation zoo trip sometime next week. It will be sad to not have Kate and Lillian with us. :(

Soooo CHEERS! Here's to a Great 2010-2011 School year! :)

9 comments:

Hevel said...

I keep wondering when the idea of starting school so early in the summer became popular in the States. I mean school pretty much starts the week of September 1 in 90% of Europe. And in Israel. Which will be funny this year: a week of school, that 3 days off for Rosh Hashanah...

Anyway, I love this time of the year, too. Especially the uniform shopping. :)

Do you do any countdown till school activities with the girls?

:)De said...

I still have a few things to pick up for school this year, but really I was blessed to find great curriculum deals early in the year.

My kids and I pray often for a home that will allow us to have a school room. Using the living room has worked well for us as I use desk that can be folded and put away on the weekends, but I must say, setting up and breaking down gets old fast.

We also start on the 11th! I pray for a blessed year for you all.

Peace

Mike and Christie said...

Hevel, I don't know, but summer school has always been around as long as I could remember.

We need to school as much as we do, because of dr. appts. and catching up with language.

Our girls do really well with structure and so do I, so it seems to be a comfort around here to get started.

De,
The verdict on the school room is still out. We can't fold our desks up, so we always have a school room staring at me. :)
I am hoping to convince Mike that it is a wise idea. :)

So we'll start on the same day! Great!
Happy Schooling.

We will be going to the zoo one more time, and also our family ritual is to watch "How I Spent My Summer Vacation". :)

Chiara Elena said...

May I ask why did you decided to homeschool all of your kids? (in Italy you are not allowed, unless the kid is very sick, or unsuitable for school life) Do they like it? have they ever asked to go to a regular school? Do they have to take official tests at school at the end of the year? My biggest concern will be they don't get to socialize with other kids enough, but maybe I think that because I have no siblings and almost no relatives (they have tons instead). I loved school and Holidays only if other kids were involved in it!

Mike and Christie said...

Sure Chiara....

Things are much different in America in regards to Home Education. There are MANY who do for various reasons.

We started home schooling in 1992. The reason: We had 4 sons, with all varying needs that we not being met.
Yes, they each had Individual Education Plans, and we met with school officials on a regular basis, but we did not feel the school took seriously, education.
That sounds funny, it being a school who's purpose is to educate. But that was our experience.

Son #1- dyslexia. I taught him to read at home. Could not get the school to help with math until it was 4th grade.

Son #2= Cerebral Palsy and Brain Damage due to Brain Injury. Full days of being tormented by children who made fun of him. Teachers who would not teach him, and they finally said, "He cannot learn." EXACT QUOTE..."We do not believe he will ever learn to read, write or do math!" He was going into 5th GRADE! He was so down emotionally, from those saying he couldn't and kids making fun of him, he was nearly suicidal.

Son #3 was gifted. He was not allowed to read Tolkein in 3rd grade beause it was on the wrong side of the library. He was not challenged at all. Bored to tears.

Son#4- He was dyslexic. He was not reading in 2nd grade. The teacher accused us of not reading with him and only watching TV. We didn't even HAVE a TV. LOL

It was quite apparent we were not cut out for Public School. We were also not cut out for private school because they only take those ahead, not behind.

So our only alternative was Home Education. It was something I said I wouldn't do, and here I was faced with it.
The year before we did, I went to work in the Local Jr. High as an aide in the Special Ed department where 3 of my children would have wound up.... I was HORRIFIED at what I saw. Kids who were not being challenged, teachers who didn't care, and an administration who didn't really care.
I listened as a student for the very first time asked a question in class. It was about George Washington's daughter who had epilipsy.
He asked, "what is epilipsy".
SHe said, "It is when you swallow your tongue."
He said, "what happens if you do that?"
She said, "You die, why don't you try it?"
He never asked another question, and I know his parents never knew what she said to him.

How many kids do you think in that room had epilipsy? Our own son has a seizure disorder because of brain damage.

If that is socialization, we want none of it.

continued

Mike and Christie said...

So, we decided to no longer be a part of the school system. Our son not only learned to read, write and do math, he graduated from University and is a High School Special Education teacher.

Our son who couldn't read in 2nd grade, is an Accountant and just passed all 4 CPA exams on his first try.

Our son who was gifted, is still gifted and in Seminary.

Our oldest son, is a musician and has not pursued anything but his music, but he has done well.

Out of the 4, our oldest son, doesn't like the idea of home education. He would have preferred public school.

Our other sons chose to stay in home education. Two plan to home school their own kids and one plans to send his son to private school.

When the girls came, they were behind of course in varying degrees, and with the handicaps on top of it, I was not about to take a child who already had abandonment issues and place them in the hands of the government school.

One year they asked about school and I considered putting them in, and even talked with the principal. I was not impressed. So I asked the girls, "what do you want that a school would offer."
They said, "We want to raise our hands and have desks."
So we raise our hands and have desks. LOL

They have not asked to go to school and like the idea of starting college in high school to get ahead.

I think they girls would be fine in school, but frankly, I don't want to experiment on them. :)

In America because there are so many homeschoolers, we have activities we do with others. Fridays all year there is soccer and library. They are involved in a reading group/youth group that meets and will be starting another reading/ youth group through our church.
HTey are friends with all sorts of kids both homeschooled and otherwise.
If you look at statistics on where America is compared to the rest of the world in regards to education, you will understand more of why we do what we do.

There are many added beneifits too.
The girls get to be together and learn from each other, and we have much more time to guide them.

We love what we do, and the sense of family it brings to 3 little girls who had no family to speak of before. :)

Mike and Christie said...

One more thought.... :)

I went to public school and I survived. I really am not in contact with hardly anybody I went to school with... most likely because people move so much in America. It is different in Europe. People just don't move like here.

But something I have noticed about my boys:
They still have the same friends and many close friends who also were in their homeschool group.
Some of them have married each other and it has been fun to see all of them as adults, still close, like when they were young.

I have seen some precious young families start, and they are all very supportive of each other.

It is a very nice thing to see. It is also nice because we know them well, because we also know their parents.
It is very much like a LARGE family.

Hevel said...

We are going to home school Noa for a part of the next school year: I want her to be fluent in English before throwing her in a Hebrew language environment.

I like the fact that in Israel - much like in Hungary - you stay with the same group of kids through your school career. When Craig moved up to junior high last year, quite a few of his classmates moved with him, and they will be together with their present class through junior and senior high (the school has both divisions). Many of them will be going into the army together when they turn 18 (not Craig, he is 2 years younger than his classmates).

There is a sense of community and unity that I never experienced in my American school years, but very much enjoyed during my 3 years in Hungary. Like we did, Craig's class is staying with the same class master for the three years, and he is adoring this teacher. Most of his other teachers will stay the same through the years as well. There is continuity from year to year, another thing that the American schools I attended couldn't offer, but a home school/group setting would.

Mike and Christie said...

I love how multi lingual ya'll are Hevel!
I like the idea you express about having teacher and students staying together. That would be really nice if they did it here.
One of the problems we ran into with SN kids was that there were new kids every year, and therefore the kid that is different gets made fun of all over again, and the teacher has to get used to all the issues all over again. If he had stayed with the same teacher and same students, I bet they would have known him so much better and been able to meet his needs.
It was a no brainer, mostly for us at home.
The teasing was just so over the top and the school refused to stop it. Very sad commentary.
I will not put my girls through the same thing.
There is NO WAY an adult could have handled what he put up with for all those years. I still carry guilt about him going to school every single day to face the evil he faced. :(

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