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K12/Virtual Academy Fall 2009 - Page 8

post #141 of 279
Well yesterday Melissa threw me for a loop. She's in K phonics, we were set to do unit 6 lesson 3 (that would be /kw/ if your familiar) So I decided that I was goig to teach a bit more than just the sound with her a while back, when we do a blend I set up my tiles with all the spellings that sound can have and when I say a word I touch that spelling. So, I put p the QU tile in front of her and she instantly said the sound without hesitating. We did the weekly wrap-up instead, lesson 4 was just review for her that she didn't need. lol So today I thought I'd try something different. I set up our file with 2 lessons in it, and if she can say right off those sounds then we'll pull out starfall for phonics (I count one hour at starfall as half phonics and half technology) and we'll do a little ETC and/or Hooked On Phonics. I'd like to start the units with the PhonicsWorks readers next week, so we're going to book it through the next two units and see what happens.

But in math she's rocking, I still can't believe that she's grasping addition so quickly.

Oh I have a little decision I need help making. Melissa wants to take violin lessons ($15/mo for rental and $460/semester for suzuki lessons) AND cheer classes ($26/mo plus whatever for clothes and shoes, recitals and such are extra) We can't afford both, so we told her to pick one. She won't pick one. Which do we choose? She's an athletic child, and she loved cheer clinic last spring that the HS cheerleaders did for the elementary kids when she was in ps. She still talks about how much fun it was and how she wants to join the cheer squad if they will let her when she's old enough (by then we'll go independent hsing so that she can join if we don't go with ps instead, we're only committing to elementary school for now) But on the flip side, I'm a professional classical musician (obviously not pursuing a professional career right now though, but I am keeping my skills sharp with new music regularly, I'm working on "Flight of the Bumblebee" now lol) and she's been around music her entire life (as have her sisters) and sees playing as a natural extension of expressing yourself and sharing yourself with others. She sees music like I do, as a lifestyle that is wonderful and perfect. As a result of this, she wants to learn an instrument to gain an inside glimpse of this life instead of just being an outsider looking in, to experience that place that I go to daily when I practice. See my problem? They are both things that she's passionate about. The violin would cover my music requirement for her, the cheer wouldn't cover anything really because we covered PE with soccer for fall and spring seasons both. Lydia will meet her music requirements (set by me, ohva doesn't require music in K) by doing ballet since it is so dependent on great music. I want to help Melissa follow her passions, but we can't afford to do both. Would you do just cheer until spring semester starts and then do violin maybe? The violin classes she'll do are offered through Denison University (its about 10min from my house) and she'll have a 30min individual lesson once a week plus a group lesson every other week, plus opportunities for recitals. We would get her the best beginner's violin we can afford, because if she's serious she'll want a good instrument from the start (and if she's not serious, well its a rental to ownership program that we'd be following for $15/mo lol)

And Lydia is presenting her own set of fun for me with teaching. I only had to stop and fully teach a lesson just yesterday. We hit that tally marks lesson. She kinda got it, so we'll work on it a little every day until she does have it. But today I have 3 lessons pulled for her, we're going to do the sheet from her textbook for each lesson and then the assessments. She really likes the math textbook pages, that's the only reason I'm doing them with her. And as far as I'm concerned, if she does 3 or 4 lessons a day in math like this, then at least she'll have proof that she knows the material since I'm keeping all her sheets as we finish them (I tear out all of the day's sheets from the student pages for each subject, as we finish them I put them into a file folder labeled with the child's first initial and the month so that I have a resord of all we did in a given month)
post #142 of 279
Have you asked about scholarships?
post #143 of 279
"Rynna's post made me think of the most difficult history lesson I ever did with DD in k12's 1st grade history. It was in the section with Bible stories, and it was the one revolving around the events leading up to the Biblical Exodus. Maybe for kids raised Jewish or Christian, it would be a familiar and not traumatic story, but we're not either. I think 6 year olds are a little young to be learning about Pharaohs slaughtering babies and god following up with his own round of slaughter and I wasn't really prepared to deal with follow up questions about why the Israelites hated the Pharaoh for killing people but loved their god for doing the same thing. There were lots of tears associated with that lesson. To be fair, I should have thought it through because I know the story, but I thought it was a little much for 6 year olds."

Oh, dude. We are Jewish and my kids attend a kiddie seder every year that celebrates this horrible story complete with songs and props, but I can only imagine how it would affect a child who hadn't heard it right along (and in my house, we present it more as a cultural myth than as an historical event - WTF is K12 thinking, teaching the exodus as history?).

It's funny that these two things came up in this thread this week - we live in the Bible Belt, and there was a huge whinefest on the K mailing list of our charter school about how violent and gory the fairy tales are, and all the time I'm thinking "how many of you are conservative Christians? Don't your kids hear far worse stuff in Sunday School - presented as historical fact, no less?" Eventually I lost control and sent out an email to that effect - though much more politely framed.

My view is, humans have a looooooooong cultural tradition of doing violent things. If I want my kids to have a classical education, they had better learn to read about violence without 1) getting all worked up or 2) thinking that what ancient kings and generals did is acceptable behavior for 21st-century schoolchildren. Thus far, it is going OK.

... and thanks for letting me know that Phonics and LA are linked! We will have to step it up in LA, for sure. We're almost through the first semester of Phonics, and it's STILL review. How did this kid retain so much from my desultory presentation of Hooked on Phonics?
post #144 of 279
Smithie, apparently, my dd could already read when we started k12, and I had no idea . Everytime I tried to do a lesson that I thought would be new to her she'd kind of roll her eyes and say "Yeah, I know that. When are you going to teach me to read?" She didn't know she could read either, because she thought reading was being able to read big books without pictures like dh, ds1, and I were doing .

As for teaching Bibkle stories in History - I don't have a huge problem with it. They present a lot of myths from different cultures in their history program - along with Jewish stories, they teach Greek and Roman myths, Hindu and Budhist stories, American folk tales/mythology, etc. I think Exodus was particularly troubling because of the talk of killing babies, you know? And dd is all about babies! Anyhow, it is sort of presented as a cultural myth by k12, but difficulties arise from teaching it that way when there are people who take it as truth.
post #145 of 279
Well the honeymoon is over, dd has flat out refused to sit down and do school work the past 2 days. There's ALWAYS an excuse, namely the 3 yr old so the 3 yr old will be spending the day at daycare tomorrow and dd will be spending at least 3 hours doing school work, if I had the stomach for the fight I'd make her do school 8-3 like the other kids to catch up. She's finished 3rd grade math and wants to move on to 4th but she hasn't memorized her multiplication and so the teacher marked it as not done and wants it memorized and I strongly agree with it but she's ran into a problem and suddenly "its to hard". I paid for Timez Attack and she's done fantastic until she hit the 3's and she's just not a flash card kinda girl and more a video game type. All I know is I'm about to pull my hair out! Math is her favorite subject and for her to suddenly put the brakes on everything over this is frustrating.
post #146 of 279
Thread Starter 
kittie - Hmm, you do have a conundrum. I guess I would lean more towards the music, simply because I've never been a 'cheer' kind of girl. Cheer would be a more social event for her, vs. the music being more solitary right? Do you think that the social element of cheer could be something that would be good for her? Which do you think lays the best foundation for a lifelong interest? Or does that matter, in the end, at this age? Hmmm....

satori - Do you think she just needs a few days 'off' to gather herself before she jumps back in?? Not having had a kid that old yet, I don't know for sure. Hope tomorrow sorts it out for you both.

We didn't get much done today, what with company coming (again!). Tomorrow will try to double up some of our work so we don't lose ground too much. Phonics went a bit better today -- I'm not sure yet whether it's 'too easy,' or 'too different from how she's thought before.' We'll see how it goes.

I got an email from someone who's relatively local and also has a kid in K with k12. She'd like to meet up I guess. Hmmm. So, will send her a reply and then take it from there.
post #147 of 279
It is a bit of a hmmmmm thing. DH has already flat out said that we can only afford one, and that it will be a stretch right now for us. I personally would rather she do the violin, and dh thinks that we need to make her pick one instead of both. But the chances of her picking one at only 6 1/2 are pretty slim so I need to decide for her. I'm starting to think that maybe we'll just keep plugging with piano (not an instrument I'm strong in but I can play enough to teach a beginner how to casually play a little) and do violin next year, just do soccer for PE and call it good since soccer is paid for completely already lol And yes the university does have a scholorship program, but we'd have to apply now to get a chance at one for NEXT year. Its that competitive, I think this is the only place to do Suzuki lessons in this area (heck I didn't even know there were suzuki teachers til I posted on our local hs group asking lol) We're just going to pray about it and see what comes of it, if He wants her to take violin than He will make our budget work so that it can happen.
post #148 of 279
Thread Starter 
Dibbles tests .... anyone's K kid done this yet?

Our virtual teacher told us she's administering them in the next few weeks, and that it will help us/her know whether Ina is really struggling in phonics, or if she's perhaps goofing around with them because she's bored (I'm leaning more and more in this direction).

Any idea how they are (dibbles) and whether they seemed to reliably show abilities?
post #149 of 279
I've never heard of th Dibbles test (does it say something about me that it sounds obscene? )

Google gives me this, though http://theteacherscafe.com/Reading/D...Assessment.php

oh, and I guess it's only one b, which somehow makes it seem less obscene
post #150 of 279
Thread Starter 
Hey, all, how has the week ended for everyone (or has it )?

Ina seems to be applying herself a bit more to phonics. The teacher had suggested looking for items which start with the /sound/ we are doing that day (like /d/ or whatever), so I have started to do that. Today it was a can of Olives and a toy Dog. But I think it helps. Ina would wave the appropriate item when I used that /sound/ and it worked much better, I think, than the "rub your tummy when you hear /m/" guidance we'd been following per the teacher's manual.

I went and looked at our progress tab .... Wyoming VA is supposed to be through for the year May 28th. We got our boxes o'stuff a week late, and then had company for several days shortly thereafter. That said, we're not doing *that* badly. Math and History are both set to be completed June 1st - Phonics isn't due to be completed 'til mid-June, but looking at the progress tracking has helped me get a better handle on where I need to keep working 'ahead' on things (that is, where I need to sometimes double-up on lessons or do extras on the weekend)....

My plan right now, is to try to slip at least one extra phonics lesson into the week itself every week; and to do 2 phonics lessons on the weekend as well. Throw in a few random LA or Science or etc. on the weekends, too, and I think we'll be caught up within a month or so without too much stress on anyone. Which would be nice .... I expected dh to be more stressed about 'keeping up' on this, but he's really much more relaxed about it than me ("We'll catch up some other day, let's go to this instead today.").

If I end up grooving ahead enough that I end up finishing early, I won't worry too much (do Unit Studies and just submit the time to them) - I don't know that I want to work ahead into the next grade level up, unless Ina really starts to cruise in one area or another.

So, tomorrow, we're going up the mountain with our company, and bringing an art lesson I found which doesn't require any online time, and some LA stuff to work ahead on, etc., to work on in the car and at the cabin. I think I'll be able to get through 4 lessons in the vehicle en route there and back, and at the cabin itself, without it seeming like much work at all for Ina. It will be fun to do schoolwork sitting outside under the trees at the picnic table.

My only other thought today as we were doing the kindergarten Australia lesson for History, was -- we definitely take longer than they say on the history and science stuff! But that is because we google the sound a kookaburra bird makes, and looked up all the Aussie foods described in the book (what is a pavlova? etc.). It was a lot of fun, but I know it added at least fifteen minutes to our lesson, and I don't mind - I suspect she'll remember more about this lesson, as a result.

ETA: Thanks, eclipse, for the Dibles link. And I agree with you about the name. It looks like it might work pretty well to get where a kid is really at, in terms of assessing. I guess the teacher will do an eluminate session with her and talk her through it on the phone? The local K did this a week ago, our hairdresser told me, and apparently most of the kids really struggled since it was all computer-based and they didn't know how to use the mouse etc.
post #151 of 279
Hi, I haven't posted in years but we've been home schooling for a few years now. I realized my 3rd grade daughter has IOWA testing this week and I REALLY don't have time to take her. I'm a full-time college student myself and with 3 other children, I really feel like "forgetting" to take her to the standardized testing. Am I bad for feeling like this? I find it annoying and doesn't reflect anything about what we are learning.
Tomorrow we are visiting the Natural Museum, we are getting ready to learn and study about Yellowstone and visit it. I use K12 to help me stay focused on making sure my kids have reading and math everyday and we love it. I am just dreading dealing with the testing and don't want to do it.
post #152 of 279
Happy monday folks lol

Next week I take in Lydia for her KRA-L assessment, which is when we'll likely be told that she needs first grade materials in math and maybe she'll be moved up to first grade totally (which I wouldn't mind her doing 1st grade for all subjects except phonics and lang arts, then she'd be doing all her lessons with Melissa and it would make my life a LOT easier if they decide to grade skip her) We're just flying through K math right now, I'm pulling 3-6 lessons at a time and she's doing the assessments with no trouble. In fact, I think I need to check my math folder for her and see what I have ready, I may need to pull more pages for her.

And sometime I think its next month? Melissa has to go do some testing. We're right where we need to be with her I think, so I'm not going to worry about her since we've already made the change in phonics and lang. arts with her that we needed to make. I really don't want to take her for testing but I know she needs it so that we can be sure she's in the right level for stuff. Today she starts subtraction in her math, she really did well with the addition unit so I expect her to do well with subtraction also. Today we also start violin lessons, I'm going to teach her myself for a little while until we find a teacher that we mesh with and can afford lessons with. I found a guy about 25min away that has potential, the little girls can visit MIL during Melissa's lessons and he does travel so I bet he'd be willing to come here instead for a slightly higher fee (to cover gas)

Nahhh you can't tell I have a little AD/HD by the way I post things................ lol Thank goodness for OHVA or I'd never get lessons done with the kids this year.
post #153 of 279
James had one session of the Dibles over Elluminate - his teacher chunks it into three sessions over the first three monthly conferences, I think. It was easy, the only issue was that he had a little problem hearing her clearly over the phone (by the time she did our conference, she had switched to using the phone for the voice aspect because so many kids couldn't understand her voice through Elluminate).
post #154 of 279
I really like K12 so far. I am pleasantly surprised! The first week we spent working out the kinks, and I spent most of my time figuring out what he likes and what he doesn't like.

He loves science. All of it.

He loves history, except the repetition. He gets the concept early on, and once he does, he wants to move on quickly. For instance, he learned the 7 continents but he wouldn't want to spend more than a day or two on it, because if I would ask him the next day what the continents were, he'd look at me like "mom, I thought I told you yesterday?" So are trying Unit study, so we lump the whole history unit into two days. Same with science.

He loves language arts, simple because he loves being read to!

He loves handwriting, but when he's done, he's done. He loves the wet/dry/try on the chalkboard and he likes practicing his handwriting a few times in the book...but 10 times? No way. I suppose that once he shows he can write it, it will be sufficient instead of making him sit there and write the same letter over and over.

Math and Phonics: we haven't hit our "wall" yet, we've just been assessing through it all so far. I'm not sure what he'll think of math and phonics lessons when we get there though.

We've been in two weeks and still haven't been assigned our official teacher yet. So we are really working alone, which is nice most days but if I have a question, there is no one to help me!

So far, K12 works out really well for us though!
post #155 of 279
YAY Finally!! My husband taught a science lesson yesterday and the boy mastered it!! YAY!!!

It seems when I teach a science lesson, because I don't really have a 'scientific mind' I can't easily expand the lesson on the fly, like he can. So he took advantage of a rainy Sunday to teach some Science, and today we'll get to skip it and do History.

I don't like that History is optional!! I'm sure I've said that though. I just LOVE History so much. We do Math every morning, Language Arts after that, and then our 3rd lesson after lunch. We have only done all 4 lessons in one day twice, as that seems to take us 6 hours, and I get absolutely nothing else done
post #156 of 279
Originally Posted by kittie313 View Post
Happy monday folks lol

Next week I take in Lydia for her KRA-L assessment, which is when we'll likely be told that she needs first grade materials in math and maybe she'll be moved up to first grade totally (which I wouldn't mind her doing 1st grade for all subjects except phonics and lang arts, then she'd be doing all her lessons with Melissa and it would make my life a LOT easier if they decide to grade skip her) We're just flying through K math right now, I'm pulling 3-6 lessons at a time and she's doing the assessments with no trouble. In fact, I think I need to check my math folder for her and see what I have ready, I may need to pull more pages for her.
They would just move her to 1st grade math, to consider a grade skip she would need to be advanced in both LA and math.
post #157 of 279
Originally Posted by kittie313 View Post
Happy monday folks lol

Next week I take in Lydia for her KRA-L assessment, which is when we'll likely be told that she needs first grade materials in math and maybe she'll be moved up to first grade totally (which I wouldn't mind her doing 1st grade for all subjects except phonics and lang arts, then she'd be doing all her lessons with Melissa and it would make my life a LOT easier if they decide to grade skip her) We're just flying through K math right now, I'm pulling 3-6 lessons at a time and she's doing the assessments with no trouble. In fact, I think I need to check my math folder for her and see what I have ready, I may need to pull more pages for her.
We did the KRA-L at the start of the month. Our teacher told us that it was the first stop assessment for LA/phonics. Just so you know, it appears to be a LA only test, standing for "Kindergarten Readiness Assessment – Literacy". Maybe they'll add a math portion for you, not sure but it seemed very similar to phonics assessments that come with the k12 program.

We had our conference with our teacher last week which I posted about above if you want more info. She told me then that she doesn't get the kra-l results until everyone has completed them, then they go to her in one big lump. In the meantime she said we had to assess to the wall in phonics for DD and she will compare where we ended up with the kra-l tests. It's put us ahead in phonics though but on time for LA. Since they are combined we'd have to double up on LA because our teacher is reluctant to go up a grade level in one w/o the other.

For math she said to assess to 90% done and then she'll send the 1st grade curriculum. We are stopped at 87% right now. If our DD didn't love the math assessments I'd be a pretty frustrated. I feel fortunate that she enjoys them so much, though our teacher did tell me we didn't really have to do them all if I was sure DD was confident in the materials. I assumed at the time that someone would be asking for them for 'proof' of completion but our teacher said 'not at all'.

So much of k12 really seems to be based on the teacher!
post #158 of 279
Thread Starter 
Well, it looks like the Dibels tests are going to be this week. Teacher will do them during our regularly scheduled calls with her.

The problem - we are out of state, working on a laptop, it doesn't have eluminate on it, and the speakers are not that good (sometimes very quiet). So I'm not sure that it would work that well for us, while we're here.

I've emailed her back to remind her we're out of town and see whether she wants to reschedule for next week, or try to make it work this week. I had told her to just go ahead with our regular weekly call, since we're still doing school this week (much to Ina's chagrin until we actually sit down to DO them and then she loves them again).

Phonics- went really poorly when we did her first assessment. She just intentionally chooses to match words who don't start with the same sounds (or end with the same sounds). I'm sure it's intentional, she acts like she's teasing when she does it. It's really frustrating. Anyway, teacher suggested that we just do assessments and don't teach any phonics at all, and see if just doing it as an assessment, she's more willing to focus and participate effectively (I do suspect she feels like this is so easy she's just joking around with it at this point). So we'll see how that goes. We're not doing phonics this week though, while we're traveling; decompress and start fresh next week I think.
post #159 of 279
Well, yesterday Melissa finished unit 7 of phonics K. We're just playing it by ear, doing the lessons in each unit that I think she needs after reading the lesson plan for her (I don't just do the title of the lessons, I scan the entire lesson before I decide) She's aceraging 2 lessons each unit before the assessment, and is doing well so far so I'm happy. We're having a lot of success with her in this area, so I'm not going to change how I'm doing it for now. I can't wait until we get to the unit that starts the readers, THAT will be the test of how she's doing with her phonics.

Lydia hit a wall in math when we came to tally marks lol We're doing just one lesson at a time right now to help her with that, and she's almost got it down so I'm thinking that we may be able to move on now. I really am enjoying this, being able to set my pace for her in a way that works best for all of us.

I ended up adding ETC daily for Melissa to her phonics, she's needing the reinforcement. She's also doing some coin counting workbooks, I discovered that she can't tell a dime from a quarter. The only coin she knows is a penny, and she couldn't tell me how much a penny was worth before I started her with the coin workbooks. I'm going to assume that I knew she had this issue with money because I went digging through my workbooks collection on Monday to see if I could find a workbook that would have some money pages, and I found FOUR workbooks dedicated to counting money. Darn memory lapses, if I had remembered that I had those books because she had this issue I would have started her with them over the summer.

Is it a bad thing that I HATE teaching the science? I literally dread it every day, and I've put off this lesson we are at now for a week and a half now (the one that has us melting popsicles) I don't know why I hate science so much, I loved it as a kid and I was darn good at science too.

And we decided that for now, I'm teaching Melissa violin basics until we find a private teacher that we can afford, or get the money saved up for spring semester at the university for Suzuki lessons there. I found a teacher near MILs apartment that does Suzuki and he will travel too, so I need to call him up today. If I remember that is..................
post #160 of 279
I'd love to find a music teacher for my kids. *sigh* Unfortunately, that's not likely to happen.

Teaching BooBah is a real trip for me. I'm actually really enjoying it, and so is she. Bella, too; Both girls implore me to do schoolwork with them each night before they go to bed... and it's not just a stall tactic either, they get really upset at all hours when I won't sit down with them, no matter what else we're doing. BooBah had her first AIMS screening yesterday (it's similar to DIBELS) and according to Mike it went well, but she needs more practice (neither of these was as surprising to me as the fact that Mike was willing to take her ). I got the results from Bean's reading Scantron, which suggest that his reading level is much higher than his language arts placement (this, too, I knew) and that if LA was primarily literature and/or reading at this level, he'd be better placed in a higher grade. What his teacher will hear is that she shouldn't be terribly surprised if Bean completes LA3 at the same ridiculous clip as he did LA K, 1, and 2. He probably won't move quite *that* quickly, but I anticipate completing everything but the spelling very quickly and then spending more time on that (because it's really the most difficult part of language arts for him-- that, and putting pencil to paper). Right now, the school is looking for a therapist to evaluate his fine motor skills, so we're still waiting on that.

All in all, things are going pretty well.... we're just crazy busy. It's been a good thing, though. We're having fun.

Bean had his first Cub Scout Pack Meeting last night. He had a blast. BooBah's been begging me to get back on the Girl Scout council about finding a troop for her. I'm working on it. In any case, Bean has had to explain ad nauseum that he is in fact a Tiger Cub despite the fact that he's in second grade (second graders are generally Wolf Cubs). I keep reminding him just to say that he's six, which will probably help matters... at least until he turns seven in November.
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