Monthly Archives: February 2012

So frusterated!

I was just beginning to feel confident I had the major part of next year figured out when I got a letter from CVA in my inbox today that says order to survive with the recent and proposed legislation the school is going to be making some changes.  Some BIG changes in my opinion.  First of all instead of basically being able to choose whatever curriculum we as parents thought was best for our kids we are going to be limited to a selection of pre-approved options.  Now I’m sure they’ll choose some good programs, and hopefully some options for different kinds of learners in each subject, but I have doubts that some of what I want to use will be on the menu since they are from smaller or lesser known publishers.  That isn’t a huge deal breaker for me since I actually planned to buy most or all of the books myself.  The line that caught me was “Community-based Instructor (CBI) services, if offered at all…”  What?!  CBI’s are the fine arts and PE classes.  There is actually a bill (SHB 2209) presented that eliminates PE from even being an option for ALE students (and it appears to disqualify consumable student material as well- art supplies, science materials, workbooks???).  Seriously.  And if it is revised or fails and they can offer PE courses it will be like the rest, from a pre-approved list so the options are similar in all areas.  I have no idea what kinds of things that list would include, but admittedly something is better than nothing.  Yes, I could come up with something on my own.  It’s not likely to be the same caliber that a professional could offer, and certainly not as interesting or motivating (I am just not that kind of athletic person).  And some things are just done better in a group- kids games are one of those.  Yes, I could pay for them to attend karate, swimming or YMCA homeschool-specific classes (and may end up doing that) but that’s not going to be easy on the budget.  So much for thinking it was all going to be smooth sailing.

Now don’t get me wrong.  I totally understand why CVA is needing to streamline things to make it easier on staff and meet their own budget.  And that they can’t do anything about what the State of Washington declares to be legal.  The hard part is that I JUST found out what they could do for me, a nearly perfect situation and suddenly I see it floating away.

Oh, and on top of that (yes, there’s more!) it appears that our home school district is not willing to share.  When I first contacted CVA they said we could do dual-enrollment so she could continue her on-campus classes at HCA and still take advantage of what CVA could offer.  Cool, right?  Apparently we live in one of the exception areas.  Because there are exceptions to every rule.  Grr.  I do NOT understand why Evergreen would rather completely lose a student rather than share.  At all.

All in all it’s been a very frustrating week.

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Because I love planning

It’s that time of year again, Girl Scout cookies!  Oh, wait, not that.  Well I am eating Samoas as I type this, but what I really meant was it’s planning season.  And I’m one of those crazy people who loves planning, researching, revising etc so I’ve been full swing into it for the last month.   In the last post you can see I was starting to pull ideas together for next year, but of course that plan has already had some modifications.  So here’s where we currently sit (in case anyone actually cares):

Math- Math Mammoth .pdf version has already been purchased and downloaded.

Grammar, Vocabulary, Writing and Poetry- Found an awesome deal on the full set of MCT Island level books used, $40 from a friend!

Spelling- A used copy of Spelling Power is on it’s way.  Another can’t be beat find, $10- shipped!

Reading- I am going to find some great books and write comprehension questions based on Bloom’s Taxonomy of Educational Objectives.  I know it sounds like so much fun and you’re all terribly jealous.  So writing the questions may not be the highlight, but they’ll be real thinking questions- not “What is Gilderoy Lockhart’s favorite color?”.  (Yeah, we’re reading Chamber of Secrets right now)  I am open to suggestions of great books.  Right now possibilities are Boxcar Children, Narnia, and A Little Princess.

Science- I have really been eyeballing REAL Science Odyssey Earth and Space.  This is one of those subjects I plan to have Lars tag along with and I’m not sure what format would be best.  There is a .pdf which would probably be best if I buy it myself.  However there may be another option for this.*

History- We will be using Story of the World 2 with the Activity Guide and I just haven’t gotten around to picking it up yet.  Possibly the same alternate option* as science.  Hmmm.

Well that covers all the basics and brings us to our big OPTION.  Columbia Virtual Academy.  We are currently in the process of enrolling Brooklyn for the rest of this school year, part-time to keep our homeschooler status.  Just to test it out 🙂  One of the things they can do for us is purchase curriculum materials, the catch being that we have to report in weekly and do a monthly progress summary for the subjects they provide.  So I have to decide if following their schedule, reporting in, and having to return materials at the end of the year is worth it.  Because I really kind of like being able to keep stuff and can get cranky about other people telling me when to do things.  Last year we started August 1st and that worked well for us.  We will most definitely sign up with them for 2 other major benefits though- fine arts/PE classes and end of the year testing.  I had been stressing a little over what we were going to do for end of the year testing when Brooklyn turns 8 and it is required.  Now we have an easy answer.  You might also remember that Brooklyn is taking a very fun swim/gym class for homeschoolers at the YMCA.  Unfortunately it sounds like that part of HCA is going to be discontinued 😦  We are hoping maybe they’ll still offer something she likes since she does enjoy the classes she takes on campus.  HCA also doesn’t offer to cover part of piano lessons anymore, and CVA will.  Bonus points to them.

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