Friday, September 16, 2011

First full week of school

We have had an overall fantastic first full week of school, both on the public-schooled Kindergartner's end AND the home-schooled second grader's end. Oh, and on my end, too!

I'll start with Eloise.

Have I gushed enough on here about how much I love Eloise's teacher? Probably not. She is fantastic. I put my name in the hat to be "clan leader" which is the school's term for room parent. We'll see if I get picked! I think it would be really fun and get me as involved in the class as I would like to be.

Eloise has been working hard on her behavior in class. Some of the same stuff that came up in preschool, of course. Using her body to send a message instead of her words. But she is getting there.

One night Eloise told me about a girl she was having a hard time with. Apparently the girl called E names and also "told the teacher" on E. Well, of course, I get out of E that she had said something rude about the other girls hair (or rather, it was said, and taken, rudely, though it didn't sound like it was intended to be rude, but whatever) which, of course, brought on some retaliation. The next day E and this girl were good buddies. Ah, to have the ability to hold no hard feelings whatsoever!

Iris has had a decent start to homeschooling. Monday was a mostly at-home day. We followed my schedule pretty well, except that it took Iris about 3 times longer to do the math assignment than I had scheduled for. No biggie, we just scooted a few other things around. We decided to study gems and crystals and are going to try our hand at making a lapbook for each topic. On Wednesday I didn't sit with Iris at the table quite as much and it definitely caused Iris to completely lose her attention for the work she was supposed to be doing. Good lesson for me, I need to be very hands on. I also realized that I really don't need schedule reading/writing time because those are two things Iris does a great deal of on her own. It was almost like pulling teeth getting her to write and read on a schedule, which is not something I need to fight with her over.

Tuesday and Thursday Iris went to a homeschool program for a few hours. She reported that her lesson was "drawing curved and straight lines". I will have to ask the teacher about this. I know it's a whole different approach to learning, but, ah, curved and straight lines? Why? Iris did very much enjoy the classes, however, so I am quite happy about that.

Today I brought Iris to the community center so she could take an art class and a fashion design class. She loved both. And I loved getting to swim laps while she was in class!

The other thing I did this week is discover the Columbia Virtual Academy and enroll Iris. I haven't gotten past that point, though, as someone has to call me now to set everything up. CVA is an online public school in WA state and is therefor tuition-free. There was a lot about CVA that attracted me, the largest being that I don't have to really think as much about our curriculum this year. I think it might also help me keep Iris on track to slip back in to a traditional school for third grade without too many gaps in knowledge. I have read good things about CVA and it sounds perfect for what I am trying to do with Iris, but I am not going to get too excited about it until I hear from an enrollment advisor and see what it will actually end up being. Apparently you can even enroll part-time and do other homeschooling things at the same time, so that is perfect.

I was surprised to not run in to too many issues with Iris this week. She did throw a huge fit over her math work on Monday, it was a pretty tough lesson (the rest so far have been just fine). I had her take a break in her room and come back to the table when she was ready. That seemed to work out well. I also am trying to get her to slooooow down, be more thoughtful in her answers instead of just writing the first thing that comes to mind. She is also writing a lot of her numbers backwards, which is a little frustrating. I am trying to get her to correct the mistakes but I don't want to kill the whole lesson by harping over the way the numbers are written. We will keep working on it.

No pictures to share, our main laptop has a failed hard drive (and yes, it's pretty much all backed up! woo hoo!) so I have nothing to show on our crappy little netbook. Remember netbooks? Before ipads came out and made them completely obsolete? Our wireless router is also kaput, which means (gasp!) we have to be wired in to use the 'net. The upside is that it has kept me off the internet!


  1. Emma June still writes some of her letters and numbers backward too. I never know where the line is when she's got the answer right - praise the right answer and leave it be or praise the right answer and then negate the praise with "Oh, and your 5 is backward." I've been going for the latter but it still makes me feel weird.

  2. They have one of these Virtual Schools in almost every state now. Did they give you any trouble about enrolling late? I've been considering transferring my 13yo to a virtual school... but I'm torn. She *hates* her school, but it is supposed to be an amazingly good (charter) school and I wonder how much of it is just typical teenager-hating-school that would happen anywhere. Admittedly, though, most of her teachers have VERY thick accents (most are from Turkey), so that may be a huge added issue.


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