Entries Tagged 'boys' ↓

Happy Birthday

Mark, you have no idea how proud you make me. You fight to prove yourself every day, I see you try. With your tenacity and energy I am excited to see what your future holds. You’re wicked smart and driven, alternately cheeky and sweet. Happy 6th birthday, Little Man, quit trying to grow so fast.

I Didn’t Shoot the Messenger

But I was sorely tempted.

If you hang out on Facebook, you probably already saw this.

My oldest is 7, he attends virtual charter school which is funded by the state of South Carolina’s public school system. Today I sent an email, through their obnoxious proprietary mail system, to the teacher to make sure everything was up to date and that we were we needed to be.

My kid isn’t a genius. He’s bright, he’s inquisitive, and can almost rival me in the stubborn department.

Last year my son started kindergarten and finished the 1st grade curriculum for phonics and math. They don’t let children complete more than one year in the other subjects: history, science, art, music, and PE.

That was fine, his favorite subjects are history and science and he’d do those all day long, if I facilitated it. Don’t worry, it’s not like I restrict learning activities after school is done for the day, I just don’t force them or do the ones provided by the school after our work is completed. Maybe that means I’m not “up to the task” or not cut out for this. Whatever. He’s ahead, he’s happy, we’re getting through. I think that means we’re doing ok.

What ticked me off is this. The response to my email was, “your son is progressing too quickly in math and will run out of lessons.” They won’t release the third grade curriculum for him until he is in the 2nd grade. She suggested instead of progressing, he should “play learning games.”

Our daily math lesson usually consists of handing him two assessments. If he makes a 100% he’s got the concept mastered. If he doesn’t we go over the lesson(s). ┬áSometimes we play a math game, he loves the games.

Is it crazy to want to reach a point where my child is challenged by the curriculum? I don’t really think that’s out of line.

What I’d like is to progress to a point where the lesson is actually needed, so he can learn how to learn. I was a lazy student, I didn’t get that skill until well into college. I relied on my ability to absorb the information from half-listening to my teachers. I coasted with good grades, without doing homework, until after graduation.

My husband? Same story.

What I hate is that each week we have to sit through a one hour online lesson geared toward where the 1st graders should be in the 1st grade curriculum. He’s bored, I’m bored, but we sit through it. I’m sure review is great, yada yada yada. (We also have the same deal for Language Arts, makes me want to stab myself in the eye with a pencil, but I plaster on a smile and redirect his attention to the computer screen every 25 seconds for 45 – 60 minutes)

As far as Language Arts, he’ll finish the 2nd grade program this year. We’ve reached a point where he has to work to remember the spelling words, but he gets them. His reading and comprehension are great. His grammar is good. I’m ok with this. He’s still developing the fine motor skills for good handwriting (and the patience to write is another story entirely, but we’re getting there). So I don’t push him in Language Arts, we’re moving at the expected pace.

Next year he’ll be labeled a 2nd grader, but take 3rd grade English and 3rd grade math.

I need the structure of a program like this one. Where there is a laid out curriculum and some oversight, it helps keep me on track. What I don’t like is this arbitrary crap preventing his progress.

The Boys’ Music Recital June ’10

Another family post.

Here is the video from the boys’ violin recital.

Mark’s Turn

I accidentally published this as a page yesterday.

Just another video for relatives. Mark’s been working hard on learning the violin, too. Last night were just goofing around and he wanted to make up a song to share. -We’ve been working on bowing and I’ve just been letting him have at it sometimes to get a better feel.

Definite points for creativity and enthusiasm.

Parenting Aside

I’ve read a lot of advice to parents and most of it has been utter crap, with the boys.

With Ellie the little magic tricks all seem to work. Want her to lower her voice, I simply have to whisper. If I say she needs to be gentle because something hurts, she gets very concerned and wants to give me a kiss.

The boys? It’s always been a matter of enforcing boundaries to keep them from running pell mell over everything, destroying themselves, the house, and people’s opinions in the process.

I was recently recognized in the grocery store as the lady from church with three kids. She was very kind, but I had to wonder how hard she had to work to not say the crazy lady from church with three kids.

Yes, I am procrastinating.

Happy Birthday Aidan

Happy birthday to you, my son. You bring a lot of laughter into our lives.

I’m thankful to watch you grow.

You could slow down just a little, Mr. Six Years and Four Foot Two.

Transparency note, this is a picture from the party we had for both boys; I have still to upload the ones from Mark’s birthday because he’s the neglected middle child and par for the course. (Kidding people, I’m just seriously behind).

Birthday Boys

Slow Down, Mark, Slow Down

Share photos on twitter with TwitpicI’ve got better ones, but he’s not letting me stay inside long enough to link up.

He had an appointment with the allergist today and I think things are going to get a lot better now that he’s on appropriate allergy medication. Wish the little guy luck. he won’t slow down for anything right now.

And It Has Begun

Ever since Aidan was a baby, I knew we would probably end up homeschooling. Private school is out of the question and my own public school experience left some things to be desired.

We are very lucky to have found the South Carolina Virtual Charter School. It’s a great cross between public and homeschooling. Aidan can move at his own pace through the curriculum that meets national standards. We are free to supplement and work under the guidance of a teacher. This program offers the accountability I need to maintain focus and drive and removed the the fear of choosing the wrong curriculum.

At this point, my only concern is trying to figure out how to fill the six hour a day attendance requirement until we catch up to his ability. Yesterday, with a huge chunk of time to fill and requirements completed I came up with an activity that blends several disciplines at any given time.

Yes, Aidan now has his own site. I resized and uploaded the pictures. We talked about what to say and I wrote down what he wanted to type. I underlined each letter that needed to be capitalized and he did all of the typing, including entering all of the captions.

Not too shabby for a first day of kindergarten, eh?

Summer Fun

Aidan has finally let us take off the training wheels.

Bike rider

I love that look of pure joy.

Happy splash

running man

Friday’s Violin Recital

Aidan has been working hard on Frere Jacque. We threw him for a loop when we finally found a 1/4 size violin for a good price. He loves the new violin, but is still getting used to the size difference.