Saturday, October 2, 2010


Have you seen THIS? The Zoku QuickPop Maker. Here's the Video (it does work, despite the comment to the contrary)

I think I know what Santa will be bringing us this year.....

Friday, October 1, 2010

Yes, I covet

I covet the Para P10-45. I covet a fence, so the kids can play out back without me next to them every minute.

And now, I covet Sarah's phone. Samsung Fascinate. Crap. I just killed my verizon contract, and was eligible for New every 2 on BOTH lines. Crap.

Who would have thought I'd be a Happy Home-schooler? Not me.... but it's true, I am.

Most of you know the drama we've gone through with our neighborhood school - a school we chose FIRST, then found the house (in our case, bought the lot and had it built, to be near the school). I won't re-hash all of that here, but suffice to say, my child's needs were not being met. She was bored, frustrated with waiting for the others to catch up, and generally being taught to accept less. Because apparently, not "rocking the boat" is more important than LEARNING, and excellence is a foreign concept.

SO, this year, we embarked on a home-school partnership. Specifically the k12 curriculum through Colorado Virtual Academy (COVA). I am the "learning coach", and the girls share a homeroom teacher (a LOVELY woman, who has helped us more in a matter of weeks, than the old school did in TWO YEARS). The curriculum is excellent, the lesson plans well written, and since we are public school, the girls will have transcripts, like any other school. We also have the same testing, etc. So I can compare apples to apples, when determining if this method is working.

The first day was scary. VERY bad. A combination of the OLS crashing ("On-Line School" - where we log in to see the daily plan, mark attendance, and correspond with the teacher, among other things), the kids not wanting summer to end, one child having never done "school" before, etc. Only the fact that the two preceding years were a COMPLETE disappointment kept me going that day. The next day was better. And so on.

We've had a couple of rough days, had a few that have made me wonder how I will be able to give them the education I am trying to, when they fight actually sitting down and getting the work done, etc. All along, though, I see great improvements:

  • My kids are actually LEARNING. I meant REALLY learning, not just sitting there filling in busy work that is beneath them, for the sake if classroom management.
  • I know what they did today; instead of trying to drag it out of them, I am right there, and see it all (I was putting in many hours each week volunteering in the classroom, but even MY efforts then had to be divided amongst other children).
  • I can then incorporate our daily activities into the lesson; when we drive somewhere, I hand MiniMe a map, and have her "navigate". When we pass road construction, we compare it to the methods used in ancient Rome.
  • My kids work at their own pace. Sometimes that means more time to complete a difficult task; more often than not, it means vaulting ahead. LittleBit will finish her Kindergarten Math before Christmas, and move on to First grade math. No egos here, no red tape, no one telling me I am abusing my kids by letting them move ahead, at THEIR pace....... because all COVA seems to want is what *I* want - to help my children learn and master each skill, then move on.
I overheard a conversation the other day, wherein a mother said, "I am not raising doctors and lawyers; they don't need to excel in math, just finish it". How sad for those children, that they already have 2 careers removed from their possibilities. Simply because their mother wanted to "get done with" the math, rather than go in depth and push them to conquer it. So lest you misunderstand, my children aren't rushing, they are simply moving at their own pace; and they are thriving. I saw MiniMe becoming bored, frustrated, and lazy at the old school. Never having to try hard at anything (because nothing was ever hard for her), she learned to dislike the WORK of it all.

Now, I see her reaching for more, learning to push herself, and taking delight in her sister's progress, as well. We still have ground to make up, with regards to changing her feelings about education, but we are getting there!

I may NOT be raising lawyers, I may NOT be raising doctors. But I am giving them the chance to become WHATEVER they want. The point is, it will be THEIR choice, not mine. And EVERY choice will still be available for THEM to make. BECAUSE MY JOB IS TO TEACH THEM, to push them, to ready them for the work it takes to achieve their dreams......

And giving them the wings to "get there".