Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Our K12 Journey

Well, here we are just over half way through the year.  We have been using the K12 curriculum this year as well as I have been reviewing items that we add in when we can. 

We have been moving right along. 
Here are my experiences so far.
It was a new style of schooling for all of us to get into.  The teacher prep time and the student work time took some getting used to.  Then getting into our routine was a whole other thing. It took us 3 months to get used to a routine. 

The support structure-  I have really enjoyed having the resources to go for help they have open classroom times you can go ask a question at.  They also have “class connect” sessions, these are live online sessions for certain subjects.  These are good, because they give me a break from having to teach every subject.  They are at scheduled times each week and those are often hard for us to comply to.  If you miss a class, you would need to make up that days work, so you remained “caught up”.  The next class will be  They are recorded also so you can make up at your own pace, however there is some amount of pressure to remain on the same lesson each day as the “class connects.” 

The outings and clubs- There are some outings, our area has an outing once a month.  We have done things like bowling, the water park, the food bank- donation and tour, a spelling bee, pumpkin patch, and the gingerbread house contest.  They have all been really fun and we have met many other families through these. Our state has also had some outings, such as the Nutcracker, the Capital, and a few other events at the aquarium and zoo etc.  We haven’t been able to attend any of those.  We live to far away.  There are also many online clubs. i.e., survival clubs, photography clubs, and many more.  These clubs are a webinar type fashion where you get to share your work and discuss things.  There are participants from all over the world in these clubs.  We haven’t participated in any of the online clubs yet.  The desire is there, the time  and commitment is not. 

The progress- There are progress goal to meet.  Each week you have to make 3% progress in your courses.  Sometimes this has been hard for us.  We took more time off over the holidays then the school allotted.  We also started later than their start date.  It felt like we were just playing catch up all year.  We also missed many of the beginning class connects due to our schooling schedule.  I have felt self pressure to meet the progress requirements and then I realized it was taking all the fun out of learning and my children were just trying to meet progress and not really learn.  I am sure they were feeling some pressure from me.  I have decided that I will not put so much pressure on myself in turn not putting so much pressure my children to meet progress.  It is much more important that they fully understand rather than they can just pass lessons assessments to make progress.

The curriculum- I have enjoyed some of the curriculum.  It is all taught from a public school (secular) standpoint.  I am going to divide each curriculum by grade level that I have experience with.  These will be done in a separate blog post.   Once the blog post for each grade is done, these will become clickable.
First Grade Curriculum
Fifth Grade Curriculum
Seventh Grade Curriculum

The parent involvement time- It widely differs with each of the grades in my experience.  For 7th grade, I am mostly needed to enter passwords so he can take assessments and answer any questions he has.  Also help him to understand things he is struggling in.  For 5th grade, I am needed to teach a few subjects and I also administer some assessments, i.e. Spelling tests, some history and art discussions.  Some things I do the lessons with her, such as science and the experiments to go along with them.  The 1st grade understandably requires more parental involvement time.  She needs my assistance in every subject.  She also has some worksheet type activities she can do on her own once I get her started.  She needs to read aloud every day and sometimes I let her read to someone other than me, if all their work is done and I am busy.

The school time- We spend about 5 hours on the curriculum a day.  I just shuffle myself between kids.  We do take a few breaks for rest, picking up, and lunch. 

Our favorite subjects through K12 in their words.
7th- Utah Studies- I like learning about where I live.
5th- Art- because it is easy to read and there are fun projects.
1st- Science- because there are lots of projects

Our least favorite subjects through K12

7th- Vocabulary- It is just too hard.  (they use vocabulary from Latin roots and he just struggles through this.)
5th- History- it is boring.  (They use a text book to teach.  We were using Story of The World before and it had projects to go with it. We also all learned together.)
1st- Math- I just don’t like it. 

As of now I have decided that we will finish out this year with K12 and next year we will go back to our eclectic selves.   
Stay tuned for more posts about our K12 experience.

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