Monday, August 22, 2011

I have a 4th Grader and a 1st Grader now!!!

The final grades are in and the report cards are complete!  My kids have had a fantastic year and I am so proud of them!!!  Now we can relax and have fun for a couple of weeks!

We are looking forward to the new year starting and I'm busy getting all of my materials ordered.  Ebay has seen a lot of me lately, and I've been lucky and have won quite a few great deals and saved some money!  We are making a couple of changes, but the biggest is that we've decided to change our Math Curriculum from A Beka to Math U See.  I'm very excited about this because everyone raves about this curriculum so much!  If it is as good as everyone says, my kids will be doing calculus before they hit puberty!  LOL  Just kidding, but they should be more than ready for high school math!

Here are their final report cards!

3rd Grade
Subject 1st Q 2nd Q 3rd Q 4th Q FINAL
Math 96 95 97 94 96 A
Language Arts 100 98 97 100 99 A+
Reading 96 99 95 93 96 A
Handwriting 100 95 97 97 97 A
Spelling 105 95 99 100 100 A+
Social Studies 100 100 100 100 100 A+
Science 101 100 100 100 100 A+
Subject 1st Q 2nd Q 3rd Q 4th Q FINAL
Math 100 94 98 99 98 A+
Language Arts 99 95 98 100 98 A+
Reading 100 98 98 98 99 A+
Handwriting 97 93 93 93 94 A
Social Studies 100 100 100 100 100 A+
Science 100 100 100 100 100 A+

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

School Shootings, Supreme Court...Family Values

I was reading through some of Genna's new American History is written with a rather conservative view.  In the last chapter they discuss more recent history and they actually touch on the topic of prayer in public schools.  Obviously, this is an issue that I have a generally conservative view about.

They approached the topic by explaining that in some schools kids don't even say the Pledge of Allegiance anymore because of the words "Under God," which, by the way were added in 1954.  Well, they go on to explain how important Supreme Court Justices are to our great country's moral well-being.  And that much of the decline of family values relates back to the Supreme Court decision of the 1960's that ended Bible reading and prayer in public schools.  Since then more decisions have contributed to the moral decline.

I'll admit that I'm not a history lover but I am much more interested now that I'm 35 reading a 4th grade textbook.  LOL  No, seriously, my newly found interest has come as a parent who is concerned with the moral state of our society.

Locally, last week, teenagers were arrested for plotting a shooting/suicide on the first day of school.  It has really rocked our community to experience something like this so close to home, at a school where friends of nieces and nephews attend.  It is all so scary.  Why were things so bad for these kids?  And why did they have so little value for life?  This is happening quite frequently in recent years.  Why?  Is it the parents, the educators, or the counselors??  Or some combination?  Personally, as sad as I am for these parents, I also can't help but question whether they have parented with good moral values.  Thankfully, there was at least one other teenager who learned of the plot and notified police.

I'm thankful that I'm not currently sending my kids to school where they could end up in a situation like this without me there to at least attempt to protect them.  But I'm also scared.  No one should have to fear going to the place where they spend 36 weeks per year as a student or an employee.  And no parents should have to fear sending their child someplace that is supposed to be a "safe place."

Often you hear that these kids have been victimized (haven't heard anything about this local case).  And that is sad, too.  Why are kids lashing out at other kids?  Oh, let's see...I think we are back to parenting.  And, well, you know where I stand on that one.

This evening at the health club we were in a water aerobics class while Genna and Thomas were swimming.  They were swimming near us and in full view without getting in the way.  At one point Genna and another little girl were going to jump in the deeper end.  One of the ladies didn't want them to.  Therefore, she made up a rule that they were not allowed to because the life guards were not there.  LOL  Anyway, Genna had a less than sweet and respectful response.  She wasn't very ugly, but kinda huffed and rolled her eyes (she is good at this) after telling the lady that she promised it was okay.  I witnessed only her response.  I had no idea of what the rest of the conversation was until I talked with Genna later.  I made Genna march herself back over to the lady and apologize for being disrespectful in her response.  Then I discussed it at length when things were calmed down.  While I know that the lady was wrong, I also know that Genna's response was improper and explained some proper ways she could have responded.  That is called parenting.

I'm not praising myself.  I'd be praising myself if her response had been respectful!  :P  I'm just making the point that the little things matter.  I actually was given a few compliments on how I handled the situation and on how my kids behaved otherwise.  Helping with a younger child, equipment, etc.

Is that what is missing in society?  And does responsible parenting automatically instill strong moral values?  Almost seems like you can't have one without the other.  And, how much does our Supreme Court contribute?  Can they really make such a drastic impact?  

Only 8 Lessons to go!

Well, as all of the poor regular school kids head back to school, (;-) j/k) we are so close to finishing that we can taste it!  :)  The kids and I are excited for the break we will be taking from August 24th until September 13th.  And, the extra special treat is that Kevin is taking 2 weeks vacation so we can spend lots of quality family time together!

We've chosen a year round approach to school...several days a week all year with a few breaks for holidays, visits to grandparents, vacations, sick days, etc.  Basically...complete freedom.  LOVE IT!  And we will be finished well ahead of my originally planned finish date!  A total of 11 months to finish up.  But here is the cool part.  There are 170 lessons in the main curriculum we use (A Beka) and we will start our next school year at lesson 40 because we won't have to review the lessons that were lost over 12 weeks of summer vacation!  :)  So, if we plan properly, next year we'll be done a whole 2 months sooner, and be starting the next year before everyone even heads back to school.

Last week we went to The Home School Cottage in Slidell, LA and found some outstanding deals there.  Also picked up some extras for History and Science that I will adapt to accommodate Thomas as a first grader.  I still can't believe baby will be a first grader!  :(  And, while Genna has already been doing about half 4th grade work for a few months, now the 4th grade status is going to be official for her!  Time flies...and we have had fun.

I'm also picking up a new spelling curriculum for Thomas.  It is called "All About Spelling" and is only about $30, so even if your child is in Kindergarten or first grade it would be a great supplemental learning tool and would make for a fun and educational holiday or birthday gift.  It uses a multi-sensory teaching approach and comes with flash cards, magnets, etc.  It uses phonics, but also focuses on the rules of spelling.  Some of the rules were news to me!