Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Sunday, September 19, 2010
He came to my desk with a quivering lip,
the lesson was done.
“Have you a new sheet for me, dear teacher?
I’ve spoiled this one.”
I took his sheet, all soiled and blotted
and gave him a new one all unspotted.
And into his tired heart I cried,
“Do better now, my child.”
I went came to the throne with a trembling heart;
the day was done.
“Have you a new day for me, dear Master?
I’ve spoiled this one.”
He took my day, all soiled and blotted
and gave me a new one all unspotted.
And into my tired heart he cried,
“Do better now, my child.”
Author anonymous, “A New Leaf,” James G. Lawson, compiler, The Best Loved Religious Poems (Grand Rapids: Fleming H. Revell, 1961).
Friday, September 17, 2010
Not in vain, the tedious toil, On an unresponsive soil,
Travail, tears in secret shed, Over hopes that lay as dead.
All in vain, thy faint heart cries. Not in vain, thy Lord replies:
Nothing is to good to be; Then believe, believe to see.
Did thy labor turn to dust? Suff’ring – did it eat like rust
Till the blade that once was keen, As a blunted tool is seen?
Dust and rust thy life’s reward? Slay the thought; believe thy Lord!
When thy soul is in distress, Think upon His faithfulness.
Though there be not fig nor vine, In thy stall there be no kine,
Flock be cut off from the fold, Not a single lamb be told,
And thy olive berry fall Yielding no sweet oil at all,
Pulse-seed wither in the pod – Still do thou rejoice in God.
But consider, was it vain, All the travail on the plain?
For the bud is on the bough; It is green where thou didst plow.
Listen, tramp of little feet, Call of little lambs that bleat;
Hearken to it. Verily, Nothing is too good to be.
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
I was given the opportunity to review Pyramath math cards. I just love these cards. They come with directions but when do I ever follow those? Honestly it is hard to know where to begin. Basically it is a card deck (not with the regular number of cards) and you add, subtract, multiply or divide to make a pyramid and turn over cards as you would for solitaire. They are highly visual colorful cards.
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Sunday, September 12, 2010
Friday, September 10, 2010
We are going to continue to improve the site and add more features. We will be offering a Spanish version as well as including much more content. Captioning is something that we will be considering also. With so much happening during the initial phase, I am unable to provide an accurate timeline. We will be giving the topic serious consideration.
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
- Words of Affirmation
- Quality Time
- Receiving Gifts
- Acts of Service
- Physical Touch
Monday, September 6, 2010
Friday, September 3, 2010
- Feedback on how you are doing. You can do your work at any time. There is a teacher (actual person) there to help your student on a 24 hour feedback loop via 'email' in the classroom. This is not quite accurate if you want to do more than one assignment. In the beginning of the class we received 24 hour feedback. Later on in took longer and if we did more than one assignment only one was graded per day. Sometimes it did take longer than 24 hours.
- There is audio instruction for the visually impaired but you will need help from another person to take the quizzes as they are not audio given. Or, if you can read the pages via various technologies for the visually impaired, you should be fine with the quizzes. (Hopefully I stated all this right- we don't deal with visual impairments here so I don't know the lingo but I did like that there was audio.)
- If you have a lot of children this might prove useful to help take some of the burden off of teaching things yourself. In addition, in the higher grades it might prove beneficial to have the aid of an actual teacher help you figure out if what your child is doing is 'correct.'
- The audio portion was excellent in following the written text and very clear. Andrew, a cochlear implant user since 1 year old, was able to clearly hear the audio even with the dishwasher and washing machine going.
- Andrew does not do well with grades and percentages. If he gets less than 100% he gets very upset. We have found this with two other programs that we use. This is a graded program. Some folks love this. (Thus the "difficulties for US" title.)
- This particular program does not use very many videos; however, they are not closed captioned. All of the material was also available in written form on the same page but not 'captioned.' If you need captioning you will want to contact them first to see how many videos they may have in the program you are considering (either time4writing or time4learning.) I am speaking ONLY of the grammar lesson of Time4Writing. I do not know the details of the others but this is a question I would ask if it is important for you.
- Andrew still needs direct 1:1 and so while he found this program 'interesting' and it was easy to use, I still had to be there to guide him or he would have ended up on a gaming site in about 60 seconds. It was interesting but not THAT interesting. It was still 'work' to him. (Kind of like I go to look for something on the internet and end up on Facebook...not that I do that or anything..)
- If you wanted your child to be able to do this independently they will need to know how to grab text and cut and paste it into the work area and also change text to italics. They gave options such as 'type answer into box' instead of copying and pasting. On some of the pages, I would print out the exercise and have him do it on paper. On other ones, I would do the typing for him online. Some of the assignments I just corrected them because I wasn't going to retype the whole thing online since he did it on paper. The actual teacher then grades this work. With a bit of instruction Andrew could probably do this but I didn't see the need to address that at this point. We do so much of our work orally with me giving immediate feedback that the teacher was a bit redundant, but this could be very helpful for those in a large family whose child was an independent worker. These options (computer) are available earlier in the academic career than some of the other online and cd rom 'school' options which generally start in later elementary. These can start at kindergarten or first grade.
- I felt that some of the beginning grammar lessons were not 'beginner.' When talking about adjectives (in the beginning course), they gave a quiz to identify adjectives. One example was "This pizza has peperoni." Andrew told me that "THIS" was not an adjetive and that it was a pronoun. I did write the teacher on Time4Writing and heard back very quickly. She indicated that "this, that these and those" are demonstrative adjectives. I looked it up (ie: googled it) and sure enough they are. Still, this is quite hard for a beginner (K-1 st grade) and I ended up asking quite a few adults who didn't know the answer. If you were brand new to grammar you might need additional helps. Others I spoke to doing this review thought that the lessons were too easy. (See banner at top to go to the link for more reviews.)
- I disagreed with the teacher in more than one instance as to the answer on written exercises and quizzes. Her explanations did not convince me I was wrong, and this was beginning grammar. I will admit that I did some of the exercises (written and quizzes) myself because I did not feel it would work for Andrew but still wanted to 'trial' the program to give it a fair evaluation. My informal survey on Facebook (very scientific) of who was right ended up in my favor. To be honest, I don't mind disagreements, but you can't 'argue' with the teacher in this instance and for what it's worth, I don't know if I 'trust' the grades given. This is probably the same as in any program online though. One of the other reasons I like homeschooling is that Andrew can give me an answer that might not agree with mine but if the explanation is reasonable I can count it as right OR give further explanation as to why I am correct.
- You are only allowed to do one graded assignment a day. This is one of the biggest reasons we love homeschooling; flexibility. I get why they do this. They have to when dealing with many kids papers to grade but for our school it would not work.
Thursday, September 2, 2010
- Hearing impaired elementary school: It became apparent that Andrew was much higher in 'skill' for any of the academics in this program. Although we struggle with some of the same subjects now that we did then, I felt he would be extremely bored in this environment. I wanted co-operative type of education and this program seemed restrictive. The HI elementary program has since moved districts. Our old preschool teacher is going to teach kindergarten next year...bummer. I am guessing it is better now.
- Autism classroom: In one classroom I visited, I was left alone with another parent with the students. The para had left for an early lunch and one of the kids became a 'runner.' The teacher went to catch him..and there we were. In another classroom the kids were on the floor licking toys. (Andrew does lick toys but this is not what I would 'show' as my best day to people.)
- "Inclusion": Forgive me while I laugh. I visited a classroom with an autistic child "Billy." It was Billy's birthday and the teacher said while I was there, "everyone tell Billy happy birthday." She then said, "see, he's included." In another classroom there was direct instruction going on. The autistic girl had an aid sitting next to her. The person giving the tour said, "you'd never know she was autistic if she didn't have the aid." NO one was doing anything in the classroom..how could you tell? She was also on the wrong page while the teacher was talking and the aid was not helping in any way. I always thought one polished their shoes for a 'tour'..and if this was their BEST..I was concerned.