Sep 6, 2013

Adventures with Ahrens begins "Ahrens Academy."

We woke up very early for our first day of Ahrens Academy (home school).  Early was 7: a.m!  Eeks.  I was awoken in the middle of the night by someone insisting on having a conversation, and had already gone to bed late as I was still working on pre-planning.  I was pooped!  I quickly began by rolling out of bed and greeting my students.  They were ready to begin.  That meant, it was time to move and find a smile to slap on my groggy self.  (A smile comes in the form of "leaded" coffee x's TWO.)  We had all eaten, and I felt the caffeine reach my brain, and I realized that I had choices to go over with my migits/students.

They chose a library book to read for half an hour in the chair and half.  I read with both children snuggled up next to me.  Even Brody stuck his head in my lap.  It felt nice.  What felt even more nice was the fact that I realized that my teeth and hair were not brushed prior to me coming downstairs, but Shay worked her fingers through my hair on the side she was sitting on, and luckily, at one in the afternoon, half my head has been finger brushed, and I finally had a second to spare and brush my teeth- after.lunch.  Better late than never!

After reading, it was time for the core curriculum that is an online education program we settled on.  I was VERY pleased with it, other than Shay's computer had some issues, but for the most part, she worked independently for her entire program.  That was really how she worked when I home schooled her two years ago, on this program.  I still go back into the parent portal and view what she did and how she did. I walked in on her learning about recycling, amphibians and reptiles, and other interesting topics during her lessons.  Charlie's lessons were excellent, and actually, the math carried over exactly the same as the work he brought home this week.  It was expanded form of numbers, and had many different applications for ones, tens, hundreds, and even the thousand's placement.  I was impressed.  He had a working knowledge of this concept, and I am eager to see how he does with future concepts that he might not have been exposed to.  In order to not run through my printer ink, I opted to hand write out the worksheet that came with the math lesson today.  For Shay's science worksheet, we talked it out, instead of printing the worksheet.  (Printer ink is more expensive than the Pope's ring.  True story.)  Most subjects take half an hour to complete, with the quiz.  Social Studies was much quicker.  However, we have way more to do than just our core subjects.  We do a lot of reading in our house.  Plus, I work on speech therapy homework with Chaz, line work for Shay's play, review religion, etc.  We did not do speech or religion today.  It was our first day, and we took one break for snacks and chilling for about forty-five minutes, mid-morning.  Shay wanted to email her class about her day, and how much she missed them.  I promised we would, and that is part of what we did during break.  Chaz worked on gymnastics, and Shay colored.  After we finished our work, it was lunch and Shay had to work on her journal entry.  I allowed Charlie to trace my writing for today.  I will be doing journal a little different in the beginning- using it as a handwriting lesson first, and later, he will instructed to use the journal on a topic.   Shay has been writing for two years now, and her handwriting is exquisite, with minor tweaking needed.  She has considerable spelling errors, but that will be more developmental than anything.  I will work on correcting misspelled words, in the form of correction to the journal.

As far as I am concerned, I believe today was a success!  I think the computer glitches made for a longer morning for Shay, and sitting next to Chaz seemed to help.  Next week, I think the computer side of things should run more smoothly, as they learn to navigate the program.  I will be able to add more, in less time, once we start "flowing" better.  Once Charlie begins to read to himself, I believe it will be a huge help to all of us.  I got tons of emails, texts, and a few calls, wishing us good luck today, and I loved the virtual support of each and every one of you!  Thank you, thank you, thank you.  We are in the honeymoon period, and I hope that as we leave this stage, they appreciate that my motives are for them, and their success.  Shay has had the option to stay in school this year, and she made the decision to home school.  If she wants to go back to public school next year, and if Charlie is not ready due to academic needs, she will be welcome to.  At this point, she is happy at home.  That is not to say that she does not miss her teacher or friends.

I took tons of pictures to share with you guys the sights of the morning.  Enjoy!

This free service on our Roku is on the free Pandora channel.  This is streaming classical music for studying.  It was beautiful.  Let me not forget to mention.. the "Paparazzi" song by some quartet during lunch really took my by surprise.  For the most part, it was true, classical music that gently wafted through the home as we did our studies.  

Shay at work.

Chazman at work.  

More work.  Notice that our school has a uniform?  Our board of education is really open with interpretation of the dress code.  Any form of pajama is acceptable as the school uniform.  

This was inspirational.  It took about three minutes.  Wait for it.  Charlie got to pick his drawing for his folder, as well.  

Aristocats for Chazman!

Each child has their own folder, their own journal, plus there is one religion folder, and Charlie has a speech folder.  As soon as the school system speech therapist is able to, we will arrange speech therapy at the school.  

Lesson time!

Lunch time!  

Shay's journal entry was about the "Katie Kazoo" book series she loves.  That is what we read from, this morning.  

Here was what actually happened. 

This is the lesson for the day.  We achieved a great deal of what was on the schedule.  Not in order, or for the exact amount of times for each event.  

Blocking out his tight-whities, but this was his choice for free reading- Lego magazines.  

Shay just decided to glitter glue color in a coloring book.  

Time for running lines with Shay and a shower before we drop her off at rehearsal tonight.  Chaz and I are headed to the YMCA pool while she is in rehearsal.  

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