Graded Assignments, Projects, Teacher Meetings…I think we’re finally getting it!!!- February 17th to March 21st, 2014

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Science Project- Learning about the phases of the moon.

So another month has gone by, and with that, more experiences to share about our home school journey. Forty-five days in, and nearly 200 logged school hours. Where did it all go???? So, here’s what we’ve achieved:

Our Daily Check Lists: Well, I’ve FINALLY gotten this down! In order to avoid confusion as to what assignments are to be done that day and where the offline information can be found, I’ve invested in ink and plenty of printer paper. Each of my children receives a checklist of what work to complete during the week. For my son, who struggles with staying focused and getting sidetracked from time to time, his is set up as a to-do list for each day (per his teacher). For my daughter, who had AP classes in the brick and mortar school, her checklist is set up as a to-do list for the week. Each subject has specific courses to be taken and she can do them at her leisure throughout the week. It’s cool how this works. They are responsible for managing their time (and I see to it that the work is done), but having their schedules set that way keeps them focused.  My son is working his list Monday thru Friday. My daughter has managed to complete all of her tasks by Thursday for the last two weeks, and be able to spend Fridays doing art.)

Every morning, or evening, depending on my schedule, I review their individual checklist and go online to print out the Student Study Guide for each course and any worksheets needed in order to complete the assignment. Each Study Guide has a layout on how students should do the work. Any books needed are listed as well as what pages they need to review. They are told when to go online to follow the online work, and when to log off and focus on worksheets. As the Learning Coach, my job is to make sure they do the worksheets and review them by using the Answer Key. If I see they don’t understand something, I send them back to review, or sit with them and go over the correct answers and try to help them understand exactly what the questions are asking for. A majority of the assignments have a Check Point or Assessment online which is scored by the computer. When they reach the end of a unit (just like they do with the text books) there is a prompt that lets me know a specific test is needed to be completed, then scored by me, and the grade entered into the computer.  How has that been working? Honestly, not bad, once I realized it had to be done! Now that I know when to look for them, I make sure they do them and that I impute the score. I can’t lie, there have been a few that have been missed, as well as missed practice sheets, but from what I’ve been told during teacher conferences, we’re doing pretty good for only being in the program for 45 days!

Class Projects: This has been tricky! The projects have been in Science and involved me going to the store or searching the house for miscellaneous items to use. That isn’t the hard part. The hard part has been scheduling the time to actually do the project. This is due to the amount of time it takes for my children to complete a class assignment. Unlike regular school, where the teacher must pay attention to the amount of time spent on a subject before moving on to the next, the kids can take as long as they need.  Sometimes, depending on the subject, work sheets attached, and amount of time it takes to learn, there have been some projects that have been postponed or not completed. Doing the project is not part of the grade, but for the purpose of doing hands on learning. Fun, of course, but when you’ve spent several hours trying to master a math assignment, and have three other subjects to be completed after spending three hours in online live classes…and well…time flies and before you know it, it’s dinner time. Yes…yet another thing to learn to work into the program. But I’m happy to say we got in at least one of the experiments this month!! (See attached photo)

Upcoming CRCT Testing and Field Trips: Just like brick and mortar schools, in the state of Georgia, all kids are required to take the CRCT test. A majority of the class work and online live classes over the past two weeks have been geared towards preparation for the test. After hours coaching has been set in place for the evenings and weekends where students can contact their teachers and seek extra help. Now to get my kids to actually participate! Sigh… We have signed up for a CRCT in-person review course that will be taking place this week and I am excited to take them there. For a few hours they will be able to associate with their teachers, classmates, and get a chance to get some practice in before taking the test after Spring Break. The CRCT exam will be given at a location which will be assigned in the next few days, and it will be my responsibility to have them there every day. Look for information about how this is handled in next month’s blog post.

And yes, we are going on our first field trip on Friday!! The Atlanta Botanical Gardens is going to be fun! I’m not sure how this is going to work out, other than the fact we’ll be meeting up there, but either way, we can’t wait! I’ll be sure to share information about that as well.

2014-2015 GCA Enrollment: March began enrollment into next year’s program. My oldest daughter, who will be starting her senior year, has requested to finish her school career in the home school program instead of continuing to attend her high school. I have signed her up, and pray she will be accepted. Fingers crossed!

Well, that’s all for now. Stay tuned for next month’s post.

 

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MJ

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