Tuesday, September 7, 2010

First Day of Virtual School

Today was the girls first day of "attending" the Virtual Public School through Connections Academy. This is a program that is brand new to Michigan and we are one of the first families to try the school here.

Almost awake, but not quite. The one drawback that is going to be difficult for us is that Michigan law requires that all public school students have an average of 6.1 hours of instruction per day based on a 180 day school year. The unfortunate thing is that this law doesn't take into account that it is much different sitting with your mom and sister at home than it is in a classroom with 25 or so other students. That means we have to start fairly early in the day so that we don't have to be doing school until dinner.

A neat work area. For the most part it still looked this neat at the end of the day too.

The computer is provided by the school along with text books, work books, lesson guides, and several other school supplies. They even sent a jump rope and yoga DVD for Physical Education. Yes, starting in 1st grade they are required to have Phys. Ed. every week.


Here' Jade all ready to start her day. She has been so excited to be able to participate in a school with a gifted program where she can work at her own pace. That pace was slow today. We are still learning how the system works and how to best manage our time.

Meg was especially excited to begin her day. Both girls were up at 7am and ready to start by 7:30am. It sure made me glad I was up early enough to get a cup or two of coffee in by then.

Meg's activities were the most involved. Here she is making things go with air. Not only did she blow on them with a straw, she made a paper fan. Then she showed her little brother how to do it. She loves to pass on what she learns to him. It's great to watch.

Here she is showing him how to sort plastic table ware. I think she was sorting according to function here. She also sorted by color, function and size.

And of course we had to have lunch. My children love to have meat and cheese plates for lunch. I had to force the fruit, but they ate it without too much complaining. How many school kids get mozzarella, Gouda and cheddar with their lunches? I bet it's not many. I know this plate looks sparse. Trust me it's more than it looks like and they had seconds.

Overall I was impressed with the first day. It was just challenging enough to keep Jade fully engaged all day. Her day took longer than expected. Mostly because she we haven't quite mastered the system yet. I think tomorrow will go much faster.

I did have to supplement Megs lessons a lot. She was done with everything is less than 4 hours. For tomorrow I have printed off some extra coloring pages and a craft that will go along with her Language Arts story. I'm hoping this will be a good time filler for us.

I'll keep you posted on how it goes as the year progresses.

4 comments:

Sunny said...

Hello Heidi, Isn't home-schooling just wonderful?? We home-schooled our last. A big plus for us was what we called "Practical Living". We could take one whole day, or do it in increments as part of each day. This was in addition to "book work". It was basically anything hands-on learning. Pick any subject. You can glean math, reading, reports, science, history from thiongs such as cooking (of course!) cleaning the house, car care (when they get older) animal husbandry, gardening, or any thing the child is interested in. We had such fun with this!and it should lengthen out your day

Chicken Momma said...

Sunny,
Thank you for the encouragement. Things have gone really well today. We are kind of in a middle ground between homeschooling and public school as it's a virtual public school that we do at home with online and phone assistance from the teachers.

Karen said...

Love this first day diary, Heidi! Jade looks so happy.

Clorie said...

Your kids are all growing way to fast. Jade looks so different! Super fun it looks like, with school in your pajamas!!! I remember those days! :)

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