The last few weeks have been jammed packed with activities…from study sessions, field trips, and the most dreaded test of the year….How did we do?
CRCT….the most dreaded test of any child who goes to school in Georgia…
One thing I appreciated about the GCA was all of the work they put into preparing our students for the test. Between live online CRCT review classes in all subjects, there were afterhours and weekend tutoring programs put together for Math. There were plenty of opportunities for students to seek the help needed to succeed. One I especially liked was going to a face-to-face practice session which allowed students to sit down and go through practice packets with teachers and other students. Our location was in Stockbridge, a twenty minute ride from where we live. We had a chance to meet one of my children’s teachers, which was great since before we’d only spoken on the phone. While my kids went to work, I had the pleasure of meeting other parents and swap ‘war stories’ of what it was like working with our kids in a home school environment. I was also directed to local GCA grade level and Region level pages in which to connect with other families on Facebook.
Feeling better about the test, we were ready to move on to the next thing…our first GCA field trip to the Atlanta Botanical Gardens!
Well, it didn’t happen, lol. Car trouble had us sticking close to home instead of making the forty-five minute trip to downtown Atlanta. One of the benefits of home schooling is the ability to put together your own field trips without missing a payment deadline or having to rush through exhibits in order to get back to school before the end of the day. To fill in the need for a Science trip, I took my kids to the Newman Wetlands (this also counted as Health and P.E. after all that walking!). It was a place we’ve visited before, but it had been a few years. And would you believe it was an even better experience this time around?
The Newman Wetlands Center in Clayton County lives up to its name. It is 32-acres of wetland trails going around the water and into the woods. Talk about natural sightseeing! Everything from bird watching to snake watching, water fowl and beavers….it’s here! This was our first time going during the weekday, so we had a chance to visit the Welcome Center. Inside we learned about the area’s natural inhabitants. Our favorite part? The indoor bee hive! Think of it as an ant farm, but for bees. The tall glass enclosed hive lets you see first-hand what happens in the hive and there’s no fear of getting stung. Outside, we walked trails winding around and thru the wetland and explored new areas recently opened up that lead into the woods. It was not only a great exercise; we educated ourselves on the flora and fauna of the area with the many posted signs explaining the various trees and flowers. The most breathtaking part was during our walk in the woods where we came across a family of deer laying in the shade. There were was nothing to separate us! We were quiet and respectful of their space as we took pictures. After a while, they ignored us. For my daughters, the highlight of the day was finding a family of turtles sunning themselves on sunken tree branches. If you like nature and can handle bees and possible snake sittings…lol, this is for you! Oh yeah, and it’s FREE!
**Tip: Wear comfortable clothing and tennis shoes. If going in the summer, be sure to use mosquito repellent (your near water), hat (even though a majority of the time you’re walking under shade trees), shades, and a bottle of water. Don’t forget your camera so you can take videos and pictures of the wildlife you run into! But most of all, enjoy the outdoors!**
The Dreaded CRCT…
I don’t know who dreads the test more…the students or the parents!
Taking the state standardized test outside of the normal confines of a brick and mortar school was a new experience. My kids liked the difference and at times said they didn’t feel like it was actual test time. Learning Coaches (parents) are given a time, date, and location for the test. It is our responsibility to make sure our kids arrive on time, get signed in, and picked up when the test over. Failure to take the test will get you put out of the program, period. Well, I had my kids there every day, on time! Middle school didn’t report to take the text until 1 p.m. and were done by 4 p.m. They appreciated not having to get up early, rush to eat, catch the bus, and deal with the distractions of other classmates before and during test time. It was a lot less stressful for them.
My kids also had the chance to make friends again, and I once again found myself swapping war stories. The biggest issues faced with daughters in the sixth grade?
- The overwhelming desire to have music blasting during school hours
- Failure to get out of bed more than five minutes before 8:30 a.m. class times
- The desire to continue wearing pajamas and head scares all day
- The unending need to find something to eat/drink/or snack on throughout the day
LOL!!! Glad to know I am not alone, because the music thing just started in the last three weeks. Being that our household is one of creativity and music is always happening, (my husband has a studio downstairs), it’s hard to tell them no. My only rule is no music during live class time. If I see them not working and spending more time on the playlist, it goes off.
So, what’s next?
Wrapping up the school year with Final Exams in all subjects as well as assessments for Reading and Math. After that, it’s whatever is left in the last four weeks of school.
**If you’re in Region 3-B (Clayton, Henry, Fayette, South Fulton) check out these places to connect with other Learning Coaches and families on Facebook and in person! (Wish I’d known about these when we first started! But we’ll be there next school year!!!!**
GCA grade ___ (Fill in the grade of your student)
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