Saturday, August 1, 2009

The one where I muse on the upcoming school year…

The new year for me always starts inAugust. Not on Jan 1, not on Yom Kippur, but in August. Why? Because I have almost always either been in school, teaching school, or had kids in school, OR like this upcoming year a combination of all three.
First my school plans this year. I will continue to teach parenting classes. Starting August 31st I have a Monday class and a Friday class, both two year old classes. In addition, I will teach a babywearing class once a quarter, AND I am piloting a program by teaching a class called “Parents in leadership.” It is basically a way to organize all of the volunteers, but it will require at least 6 hours a month from me. Not only will I be teaching come Fall, but I will also be a student. I will finish up my level two credential by going to classes on Saturdays, about once a month.
Next the plans for my kids. I am a HUGE believer in the fact that there is no one size fits all approach to education. So I take each child and plan out their educational year. So I would not call myself a homeschooler, or a public schooler. I make decisions on a case by case basis.
Boy#1 will be starting his senior year. He will be attending the local community college on TTh and F, taking Spelling, Basic Math and Auto Mechanics. On MW I will be doing his instruction, with me he will be studying; grammar, GED Social Studies and GED Science. I will also be using Seton Home Study School to teach him study skills and to reinforce the other subjects. As we go along I may buy a curriculum for Social Studies and Science, but I haven’t decided yet. We will start the home subjects next week, and the college courses start August 18.
The girl will be starting 7th grade. She will be attending the Gifted and Talented program at our local public school middle school. She attended this school last year. The coursework she will be doing that all students in grade 7 do is: PE, Exploratory (which is cycling through different electives), Earth Science, and US History. Her gifted program puts her in Honors English, Advanced Chorus and Pre-Algebra. If you count that comes to 7 classes. Most middle schoolers have 6. She has chosen to go to school an hour early each day in order to do 7 classes. School starts for her August 24.
Boy #2 will be starting 5th grade. He will be attending the same class and program he has since third grade. He is in a special day class with the designation “ED” (emotionally disabled). The class has only 5-6 students, a teacher, two aides and a therapist. In addition to regular academics they work on social skills, behavior and managing emotions. The plan is for him to leave the class and join a typical 5th grade for math and maybe science. Hopefully this works out, because he is doing wonderfully academically, making the honor roll last year.
Boy#3 is of the age to start kinder, by Ca standards you have to be 5 by Dec 2. BUT since his birthday is the end of Sept we have decided to wait one more year. He will go 9am to noon 5 days a week to the same school I teach at, but a different class. His class is called TEAM, because it is basically three teachers, three classrooms and 40 or so students all teaming together to create this amazing child led envirnment. The school is modeled after Bev Bos’ school in No-Cal. The idea is that when children are free to explore a rich envirnment they will find what they need to develop and do that. So far it is working, his social skills, his self control, his listening skills and the like are growing. I hope this year he’ll learn a little more fine motor / writing will improve. I’m not sure if he is still not holding a pencil correctly or writing any letters, at what point I will try to instruct him on those things. I do plan on sending him to public school kinder, so he does eventually need to know.
So I would love comments and input.

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