Monday, November 12, 2012

Chix n Dumplings

original recipe

One 6 qt dutch oven

Simmer 1 whole chicken or 4 BSCB in 1 quart of water
1 lb Carrots 5:00 pm
1 Onion
1 head Bok Choy
1 lb BSCB Chicken
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup whole milk
2 eggs
2 cups master mix (bisquick / krusteaz / pancake mix)
Lets Eat! 7:00 pm

Monday, November 5, 2012

Monday, October 29, 2012

Brewer from Tennessee

Brewer: Time to Fix Multi-Million Dollar Cyber School Mistake

Senate Candidate Says Education Should Focus on Student Achievement, Not Corporate Profit Margins

Apparently, you have not done your homework. This is our fourth year of Virtual Academy with k12.

Every August 84 lbs of books come UPS for each individual student. Those books include the same books from Harcourt / McMillan/McGrawHill that all the other school children use as reference that have been approved by Teacher Education Agency.

The assignments are just a real as any other course taught in a brick and mortar setting, the daily exams are just as real and the number of standardized tests are four times a year not just annually.

A significantly more rigorous program with a teacher pupil ratio of closer to 1 to 2 rather that at the local school with a teacher pupil ratio of 1 to 30 is easily identifiable by the scores.

There will be a significant deviation of the overall performance due to the disproportionate number of special needs population that were not getting their needs met at the local brick and mortar school and would have done poorly on standardized tests. That should not be the only indicator of progress in either school setting.

Many students are thriving in a more private one on one setting where the student can talk to a certified teacher via skype for an hour if need be when there is a question and not feel rushed by the clock, or intimidated by the rest of the class for being unable to comprehend something that is below grade level.

There may not be a high quality research, but I am confident that while three of my adult children were graduated from the 12th grade without the ability to complete 8th grade algebra, 10th grade English, and one that can only spell her name, but she got a diploma. Now I am paying for that same education at the college level since it was not taught by the certified teachers that had a building and books. Apparently, the lights were on, but no body was home.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Spirit of the lesson

when I started schooling at home, I was a frazzled mess that I was doing it wrong. that my kids would be permanently scarred for life that either they would not learn anything or worse that they not learn the right way.

a veteran of 20 years and 8 kids told me this at her last child's 12th grade graduation. "I QUIT EVERY SINGLE DAY I TAUGHT.  I wanted to turn it over to someone who had more patience. someone that was more qualified. someone that was trained. anyone but me. I knew I was not cut out for it. I knew that I was not effective at it. I just knew that I was messing it up. The next morning, I would wake up, and it was a fresh start, a do over, and I would try again."

Personally, I thought about that throughout that evening and many times since. I just knew that eventually we would run out of review material and I would have to teach. eventually the kids would figure out that I had no idea what I was doing. eventually the school / state would figure out that we were not doing it by the book, and I would have some explaining to do. My only saving grace is that I find that teaching / finding resources that teach to the spirit of the lesson rather than the letter of the law is how we do this.  if the objective is Texas independence, I can find something on the history channel in youtube that teaches it. if they watch it and can orally answer the questions in the assessment, we are good. we move on. everything in the curriculum is a suggestion, not the 10 commandments. If you can find another way, to cover the topic, GO FOR IT.

So each day we get up, we drink our coffee, we look at our kids, we tell them, failure is not an option. We cherry pick what we can from where we can, when we can.  The finally result is not how we get from A to B, but that we finished what we started. That we kept our children safe. Now do not assume that means that we have to be drone like teachers. I scream at my kids. sometimes I scream that they are brilliant and pissing it all away. sometimes  I scream that they are morons and that they need to freaking quit screwing around. and sometimes I scream because the science experiment has gone terribly wrong and I am afraid, truly afraid that we may not survive. sadly, in each situation, they do not take me seriously, they know that I we are not going to quit, we are not going to fail, and that it is going to eventually all be okay. Family is where you can say anything and it does not matter because they do not listen to you anyways.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Drink the Koolaid

Dear Mrs. Xxxxxxxx

    You may already know this, but in case Erik has neglected to tell you, I am assigning him to detention for one hour this Friday, April 22nd.  The reason is as follows:

    Erik consistently defied me.  During class he contradicted me numerous times when I insisted that the length of one kilometer was greater than that of one mile.  Every other student in class accepted my lesson without argument, but your son refused to believe what I told him, offering such rebuttals as, "You're lying to the class," and commanding other students to challenge my curriculum.

    Although he was correct, Erik's actions show a blatant disregard for authority, and a complete lack of respect for his school.  In the future, Erik would be better off simply accepting my teachings without resistance.

    Please see to it that your son understands this.


Sunday, October 14, 2012

Study Island

A question came up about study island. how many blue ribbons does we need to be on target. it is complicated:
log in to study island and count how many topics to be passed = 23 - 28 depending on grade and subject
calculate how many weeks until the exams = safe to say all by around 4/1/13 or 27th week of the school year if you are not sure.
now subtracting out 1 blue ribbon for each week between then and now... (we are embarking on week 8) we have 20 weeks left to finish up the difference between where you ARE and were you NEED to be.
sounds like an algebra problem?
If you have 28 topics (6th grade math) and we are in week 8 of school, you have 20 weeks left to complete your ribbons. If you have 1, you need to get to work, if you have 8, then you are in line with 1 per week as recommended, if you have something in between, pick up the pace.
6th Math: 7 blue ribbons (week 30 testing)
6th Reading: 2 blue ribbons (week 30 testing)
7th Math: 5 blue ribbons  (week 31 testing)
7th Reading: 4 blue ribbons  (week 31 testing)
7th Writing: 5 blue ribbons  (week 28 testing)

Study Island


Saturday, October 13, 2012

more free curriculum
Classifying Critters
Scientists have a special system to keep track of plants and animals.
Cool Science for Curious Kids
Fun and interactive site to help kids appreciate science.
MHSchool: McGraw-Hill Mathematics


Sunday, October 7, 2012

Thursday, October 4, 2012

N.A.S.A. Field Trip - 7th grade





tired camper

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Happy Birthday

we had enough computers, but not enough minecraft accounts

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Grammar fun & Science help


7th grade literature

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Age Appropriate BMI

BMI Calculator for Child and Teen   

 Information Entered

 Age: 12 years 11 months
 Birth Date: Sept 29, 1999                  Height: 5 feet 7 inch
 Date of Measurement: Sept 02, 2012                  Weight: 114–1/2 lbs  

Based on the height and weight entered, the BMI is 17.9 , placing the BMI-for-age at the 41th percentile for boys aged 12 years 11 months. This child has a healthy weight.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

7th Grade Reading List

The Hobbit Treasure Island Julius Caesar A Christmas Carol The Iliad and the Odyssey 0740 -----The Martian Chronicles__by Ray Bradbury 0740 -----Walk Two Moons__by Sharon Creech 0750 -----The Outsiders__by S.E. Hinton 0760 -----The Bronze Bow__by Elizabeth George Speare 0770 -----The Book of Three__by Alexander, Lloyd 0770 -----The Sign of the Beaver__by Speare, Elizabeth G. 0770 -----Tuck Everlasting__by Babbitt, Natalie 0770 -----War Comes to Willy Freeman__by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier 0840 -----Johnny Tremain__by Esther Forbes 0860 -----The Cay__by Theodore Taylor 0860 -----The Fellowship of the Ring__by J.R.R. Tolkien 0870 -----Dragonwings__by Laurence Yep 0880 -----Jacob Have I Loved__by Katherine Patterson 0910 -----Old Yeller 0920 -----Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry 0920 -----The Dark Is Rising 0940 -----The Lion, the Witch, and the...__by Lewis, C.S. 0950 -----Bud, Not Buddy 0990 -----Anne of Green Gables__by Montgomery, Lucy Maud 0990 -----The Door in the Wall__by de Angeli, Marguerite 1000 -----Island of the Blue Dolphins 1010 -----Ben and Me__by Lawson, Robert 1030 -----20,000 Leagues Under the Sea__by Jules Verne 1090 -----The Hound of the Baskervilles__by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle 1100 -----Across Five Aprils 1170 -----Catherine, Called Birdy 1170 -----The War of the Worlds 1260 -----The Swiss Family Robinson 1320 -----The Incredible Journey

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Socialization, Certification, Truancy Monitors at HEB

We all know that there are a lot of misconceptions about homeschoolers, and, while most of those tend to be centered around the kids, there are a lot of misconceptions about homeschool moms (and dads), as well. I’m often surprised to hear some of the things that people who don’t homeschool think about homeschooling parents. I guess I shouldn’t be. I used to be a public school mom (for two years) and I imagine that I thought some of these things, too, though it’s been so long that I really can’t recall for sure.

Anyway, I’d like to make some school at home mom confessions (at least, as relates to this school at home mom). Oh, and the title just sounded fun. No negative implications intended there at all. Some of my best friends and favorite relatives are public school parents.

1. We do not have superhuman patience. I can’t tell you the number of people who say to me, “I couldn’t school at home ; I don’t have enough patience” or some variation thereof. Let me tell you, my name and patience rarely occur in the same sentence unless someone is saying, “Kat has no patience.”

I have told people, “I know that schooling at home isn’t for everyone and I’m not suggesting that you should school at home , but if you’re going to give me an excuse, you’ll have to come up with a better one than that because if I have enough patience to school at home, anybody does!”

When we first began schooling at home, I told the neighbors, “If you come home from work one afternoon and there is yellow police tape around the house, you’ll know that one of us [the kids or I] ran out of patience.” So far, we’ve all survived, but seriously? I’ve done homework with my oldest when they were in public school. So far, my worst day of homeschooling hasn’t been any worse than my worst night of homework.

2. We don’t homeschool because it gives us the warm fuzzies. There are probably almost as many reasons to school at home as there are homeschoolers, but I don’t know of anyone who does this just because it makes them feel good because, you know what? Some days, it does not feel good. Some days involve tears, whining, yelling…before breakfast…and not necessarily from the kids. Which leads me to confession number three…

3. Some days, we watch with envy as that yellow school bus drives by. We don’t do this because it’s easy or a cop-out. Some days, schooling at home is just hard. Some of us have been known to threaten to send our kids to public school (my kids can tell you exactly how far we live from the public school because I’ve mentioned it a time or two).

Some of us have spent more time than we’d care to admit daydreaming about what we might do if our kids were in school all day. And, there are some days when it takes every ounce of will power not to chase down that school bus. However, when push comes to shove, we know there is nothing else we’d rather do than school our kids at home.

4. We don’t think our kids are better or smarter than yours. Most of us are average moms and dads with average kids who have their areas of strength and their areas of weakness — academically and personally — just like yours. We have our hopes and fears, doubts and insecurities just like you do. Do some homeschool parents have gifted kids? Absolutely! Do some homeschool parents have kids whom the parents think are gifted, but in reality, not so much? Yes. Do some public school parents have gifted kids? Yep. Do some public school parents have kids whom the parents think are gifted, but in reality, not so much? I think you see where this is going. We all — public, private, or homeschool parents — think our kids are pretty special. That doesn’t mean that we, the homeschool parents, think our kids are better than those not educated at home.

5. Our decision to homeschool is not a personal commentary on your decision not to. Contrary to popular belief, we do not think that homeschooling is for everyone. We don’t think that you’re a bad parent or that you don’t care about your kids as much as we care about ours because you don’t homeschool them. We see educational choices as yet another personal parenting choice and we realize that you are making the choices that you see as best for your family, just as we are.

6. Our decision to homeschool is not a personal commentary on the jobs of public school teachers. Many of us do have a beef with the public school system as a whole (I don’t think that is exclusive to homeschoolers). Although we may see the system as flawed, this observation does not typically extend to individual teachers. Most of us realize that the majority of teachers are good people, doing a good job with a whole lot expected of them for pitifully low compensation based on the time and effort their jobs require.

7. We realize that there are homeschooling families who probably should not be schooling at home. However, this is true in every area of life. There are public and private school teachers who have no business in the classroom. There are parents who have no business having kids.

We, who are so often judged, try not to judge others and we definitely do not want to our rights as parents restricted because of a few sensationalized cases. The majority of parents who school at home are doing so honestly and with integrity, raising kids who are just as ready for life after homeschool as any other kid is for life after graduation.

8. Just because we’re Christian doesn’t mean that we are “religioushomeschoolers.” There are a huge percentage of us who, while we are people of faith, would not necessarily say that we are schooling at home for religious reasons. Being able to share our faith with our kids and looking at our studies with a Christian worldview is a huge benefit of schooling at home, but many of us would not consider it the singular reason we school at home, and personally I pointedly choose non secular specifically.

9. We don’t do this to shelter, over-protect, or isolate our children. People who don’t school at home often don’t realize what is available to kids schooled at home. Our area offers band, soccer, baseball, football, tennis, track, volleyball, prom, monthly socials, graduation, graduation banquet, year book, co-ops and classes, and so much more. These kids are not sitting at home by themselves every day. They’re out with other kids enough to experience their fair share mean kids, bullies, and, for the older kids, teen-aged angst.

And, look how many of us have more kids than the national 2.5 average! Seriously, if you have siblings, you know that there’s no one better to help you practice interpersonal and conflict resolution skills than siblings.

10. We don’t do this to annoy you. We school at home because we feel that it’s the best choice for our families. We don’t ask you to think it’s the best choice for your family. We did not wake up one morning and flip a coin to decide on this lifestyle. We prayed about it, researched it, and talked about it long before deciding that schooling at home was the right choice for our family.

We do not come to your blogs or corner you at the soccer game to tell you how bad we think your decision to send your kids to public school is because we don’t care – not in the negative “don’t care” way, but in the “that’s your family’s decision and we respect that” way. You are doing what you feel is right for your kids and that’s exactly what you’re supposed to do. It’s what we’re doing, too.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

new online school year

WARNING: the OLS / LMS will most likely go down with an extraordinary amount of traffic on Monday and Tuesday morning (27 Aug and 28 Aug). Please feel free to chill out, grab a latte and relax. No this school does not suck. No this is not the most frustrating thing to happen to your child. The worst thing to ever is when your child was intimidated and held prisoner in a toilet stall for 45 minutes in B&M, this is NOTHING.

EVERYTHING that you will need to teach your child was delivered in a box. Student Study guides are just that. They are a road map, a turn by turn directions like Google Maps. If you get to a point that it says go on line and you can not do that. PASS OVER and go to the next step. really. seriously. do it. you do not have to do every single part of every single lesson for your child to get an excellent quality education, each part, the books, the study guides, the OLS / LMS are all just pieces of the puzzle. You will find through out the year that there are going to be times that you do not EVER use a component, it does not make a good fit for your student. RELAX. move on. do not start chanting about how awful k12 is because they did not do this or that for you and yours. k12 is a VENDOR. they just sell a product like Amazon. Your school is just a supervisor, they make sure that the Texas Education Agency mandates are met, ULTIMATELY, you are going to have to crack the books, and teach the kids. It is okay, this is what you signed up for.

The first two weeks are for learning the ropes, you will not be penalized and you will not have to make 3% progress each week, learning curve is factored in. Relax. Chill. do not post how you are going to quit, this is a deal breaker, and 100 assorted other nasty-grams. MANY new students will require what is commonly referred to UNSCHOOLING. that is the period of time when they go from birds sitting in the nest with the mouth open ready for you to regurgitate knowledge from your mouth to them. that is all they have known for years. Resist the urge to get irritated. It will take awhile for them to go from passive receptors to active engaged learners, but it does happen. some take longer than others. but eventually they will come to you with solutions to OLS objectives, it is a beautiful day.

INSTEAD: make a list of WHY you want to school at home. WHAT is your objective because ultimately that is what will be driving your direction, and that you will be measuring your success by, not if you had access to this online tool or that one. This is a whole lifestyle thing, it is not a program designed to cater to this special needs child, or that gifted child. it is designed for you to get from point A to point B. YES, some classes, the books are online only. I know. shhh. I know. but you have 10 other options to choose from during that two hour window. Learn now to adapt and overcome, you will thank me later.

When in doubt of what you should do, grab your novel, and read for lit. that is always going to be a default. *sigh* now as things settle down and we get all 4500 students situated, you must remember that you are not the only one. Do not be that person standing in line at the bank, the grocery store, or the red light totally self absorbed thinking that this is all about you. It is not all about you. It is all about your student. However, you will not help your student if you get all up in arms, flailing around like you do not know what you are doing. ALWAYS maintain your calm. You are the example now. you must be like the duck, calm on the surface and paddle like hell underneath. Knowing in advance that this is to be expected each time there is a huge run on the servers should serve to warn you that it is a known issue. It is a fact of life, we do not keep a 747 on stand by for every day use, we take turns with a nice DC10 and during holiday rushes, we chill the heck out.

To start preparing each week so that if this does occur during end of quarter, server maintenance, you will be better served if you log in after midnight on Sunday (big deadline for high school - LMS) and print out the WEEKLY VIEW of lessons for the week. I utilize post its in the books, Start Here and Stop Here helps my children know what to do for the week. Then if OLS / LMS is down we just keep working and even if it is up, we can block out groups of lessons without loosing our rhythm.

Now I know that you are going to say BUT MY SITUATION DIFFERENT. No it is not. BUT MY CHILD IS SPECIAL. No, not really, no more so than any one else's child. MY CHILD CAN NOT HANDLE < CHANGE>< DISAPPOINTMENT> Yes, they can. They get out of bed every single day, that is a change and a transition. They eat something different every day, that is change and they are just fine. YOU must be the household manager, you must teach your child that failure is not an option. They will succeed in school this year, you are there to support not enable them. You are there to model the behavior that is desired from them. Start by how you handle the upcoming challenges as you embark on something new.

Veteran Parents. Regardless if it is your second or 12th year, it is going to be different. Accept it now. Learn to roll with it now. do not FREAK OUT HERE. You know better. I know you know better.

EVERYONE watch or rewatch every one of these videos. I am not going to hold your hand and spoon feed your this when it is already done for you.

Invest in Netflix, we all find that some times book learning is BORING, a video that covers the objects is most likely out there, I have found National Geographic to be an excellent resource when we are just burned out on books and OLS.

Finally, if you do not have a sense of humor, order one now from Amazon because this is going to be a long arduous year and I really do not want any sniveling and whining. You have to look for the good or your going to be eaten up and spite out like last weeks crepes if you do not know that. This too shall pass.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Monday, August 13, 2012

science begins at home

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Hobbit Unit Study

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Kat's POG

Texas statute requires all public schools offer a minimum of one-hundred-eighty (180) days of instruction. Additionally, TXVA requires an average of 6 hours of instructional time per day. For a student to receive credit,

This means that you can DO school work WHEN EVER, WHERE EVER, HOWEVER you want. you can do it in the kitchen, in the backyard, at the beach, on a boat, with a goat, on a chair, in your lare. you can go on a field trip, take a family trip, you can do it standing on your head. HOWEVER. The state PREFERS that you enter the attendance M-F, so humor them by 'BANKING' your hours and entering them on those days and everyone is HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY.

Attendance is COMPLICATED.  If you want the ISP reimbursement check each Semester, then you must get 6 hours a day / 30 hours a week. FINE. how?

ROUND UP: well say you complete an assessment, without the Lesson, I call it Credit By Examination. it takes you 10 minutes. the 'default' time could be 20 minutes (spelling) or 50 minutes (social studies) or 1 hour (Science) take the default.

UNLESS: it is a really difficult and it takes you 2 hours and 17 minutes and even then, you are about to give up and quit. take the full time spent and mark it and then crack a beer. There will be days like this.

REASONABLENESS: you could very well do 12 hours of school in a day, we have been to NASA or the MUSEUM OF NATURAL SCIENCE and we have done A LOT. but if you log in 12 hours of school they are not going to look fondly on it, so 

BANK YOUR HOURS. I have a daily limit of 8 hours. if I have more hours than that to 'spend' I find a day that was 'lean' and only say 4 hours, and I account for them there.

TIME TRAVEL. once you enter in your attendance, you can edit it all day long, but at midnight, like the  pumpkin, it is final. HOWEVER only for those courses that you had at least a minute. If you never entered in any attendance for that course for that day, you can always to back and add some at a later date. Why is this important? Remember that P.E. has to be 3 hours a week, well if you are going to the Grand Canyon, you can easily get three months worth in a week, BANK your hours, and make sure by the end of the semester that you had 1620 MINUTES or 27 hours or in the end, it will not be a neat and tidy in a package with a bow. I like bows. Bows mean that I do not have to justify anything.

Attendance is mandatory at all TXVA testing events. Parents must ensure that students participate in all required state and local testing.

1 time a year, 4 hours, on location

3 times a year, 4 hours, at home - ACHIEVEMENT SERIES
ADAPTIVE, they keep going until you get 5 wrong in a row


4 times a year, 4 hours, at home - STUDY ISLAND
OPEN BOOK, Collaborate, Do Your Best

36 times a year, 30 minutes, at home - STUDY ISLAND
OPEN BOOK, Collaborate, Do Your Best

K12 Online Assessments
daily, 5 minutes, at home
OPEN BOOK, Collaborate, Do Your Best

STAAR PREP: take the released tests  a month in advance to get familiar with the format and the style of testing:

Benchmark tests are administered throughout the school year to track students' progress. Benchmarks are designed to ascertain if students are reaching academic goals and if areas of the students' curriculum need special attention. 

The first set are at the beginning of the year, the second are before Christmas break, this is an indicator of what is the forecast for STAAR, the third and final are in May to see what progress has been made for the whole year.

Work Samples and Assessments are not grade critical, they are demonstration that the students are doing the work, so Open Book IMO is perfectly acceptable.  This teaching method is called you are evaluated on understanding rather than recall and memorization.

TXVA issues formal report cards every nine weeks. The final report card will be issued in July. The final grade in each content subject, English/Language Arts, Mathematics, Social Studies,
and Science, is determined by OLS progress from each reporting period, participation in all required school assessments, attendance to Class Connects, and work samples. If students do not participate in the assessments, they may not receive credit for the course, and promotion to the next grade level may be impacted.


Many people see 'AT YOUR OWN PACE' and think, oh, well we have all year long to get done. that is still within the parameters that IF YOU WANT TO COMPLETE a GRADE in a school YEAR. There is an inherent pace that you do have to at least maintain.  So yes, you can go at your own pace, but that does not mean 1% per week for 36 weeks, see how that is not going to work for you? So how many weeks and how much progress? well we have 36 weeks to complete at least 90% to complete the course with an "A".  now your favorite process MATH:
90% divided by 36 weeks = 2.5 % HOWEVER... how you budget that over the year is up to you but the hard cold fact is that you have to do a minimum pace or your looking at multiple years to complete the grade.

My own schedule is based on what works for my kids, we do not want to have to do lessons on weeks that we have STAAR exams or Benchmarks because those are so mind numbingly draining.

PE is the only course that has a minimum time requirement.

Here is where the 3 hours a week or 27 hours a quarter must be accounted for. It really does not matter what you do for P.E. the course lessons are SUGGESTIONS.

If your student is a professional athlete, whatever training they are doing, count it towards P.E. If they are in Soccer, Swim Team, or simply working on a Swimming, Hiking, or Biking Merit Badge, count that work towards the attendance for P.E.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Pearls from the Mom

the littles ones have naps. the big ones have core studies. the little ones have arts and crafts, the big ones can too. the little ones have PBS, the big ones have the rest of core, the little ones have P.E. the big ones do too. ebb and flow people, ebb and flow

however, if you are k12, you are still going to have to deal with all the 'schooling' aspects. So it is an eclectic mix in the end.

For instance, we do all k12 assessments open book and if the kids ask a question, I will answer it or if I do not know off the top of my head, they can google the answer.

we do not 'do' all of k12, I go in and mark it done, sometimes I have to answer an assessment for my child, but I use it as a guide not the holy grail.

with Magnus we deschooled for MONTHS and with Erik we deschooled. It was actually a shorter process for Erik in school longer than it was for Magnus, who was in school less time, but the trauma for Magnus was significantly more deeply disturbing. overall we do totally need to also look at the mindset of what we are overcoming. for them part of the problem was that the kids truly expected me as the teacher to spoon feed the curriculum rather than let them explore on their own.

"do not push so hard the first couple of weeks that you fall into bed exhausted at 4:10pm" relax, the first two weeks are supposed to be online learning, and you do not have to make 3% progress."

"write down now WHY you are doing this. at the end of 9 weeks when you are mentally exhausted and ready to give up, pull that out and see if it is still valid."

this is not just a change of location, but a whole lifestyle of education and family. you do not have to be perfect, you can pick one area that you feel really needs to be addressed and work on that this year. set measurable goals and see how they progress over the year.

no spazzing allowed. ;-) I can only speak for 3-8 school model here in Texas, but so far from everyone I have talked to in the last 4 years this is pretty universal.

1) you CAN do all your work off line. you have a box of books, and those
are to be utilized off line if you want. for instance this month, we do not officially start until 27 August. so we are just reading the books, and filling in the work in the Student Guides.

2) there are 5 -15 question assessments online, you and your child can log in, answer those questions orally, and that marks your progress, which is what is evaluated by your Virtual School as mastery.

3) as Learning Coach, YOU will mark attendance, this can be done every day at once, or throughout the day as you work on each topic. I usually keep a post it and write down time for each lesson.

4) attendance is one of those complicated things, if you only spend 10 minutes to complete something, you enter in the default amount of time for that lesson (could be 20 minutes (spelling) or 50 minutes (health) or 1 hour (science) HOWEVER if it takes you 2 hours and 17 minutes to get a particularly hard concept done, record the whole amount, so which ever is MORE for attendance.

5) your computer is not going to stay logged in for 6.5 hours, the children will not be 'educated' for the whole time in OLS, many things require going off line and reading or working in a work book or completing an assignment.

6) you will need to schedule your Class Connects in your personal calendar so that you do not miss those, attend them all at first to see which ones add value to your day, and which ones do not. if there are conflicts, catch the recordings.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

How many courses?

[1] PreAlgebra / Geometry
[2] Science
[3] Grammar, Usage & Mehanics
[4] Vocabulary - Greek and Latin
[5] Composition
[6] Literature
[7] Geography
[8] Social Studies
[9] World History
[10] Civics - Ethics
[11] Art History
[12] Norwegian language and Social History
[13] Health
[14] P.E.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Permanent Record

When you enrolled your child in public school, you assumed that they would issue the grades, take care of the attendance, and keep your records for you. What if you actually wanted those records later to prove that your child was educated. What if you could not get those permanent records. What if a Judge said: "the school records ... subpoenaed ... were "none of his (expletive) business." So here is my advice: make your own Permanent file.
each year has a sheet protector, in each sheet protector are the following:
courses and grades for the school year
detailed attendance for each course and summary total for the year
any standardized test scores
keep each year organized and together for continuity

also, keep any writing samples with scores
eventually you will want to keep your own

OfficialHigh School Transcript