Thursday, August 11, 2011

I Am Fired Up Now

We went to the materials display that A Beka Book had yesterday. We went through the third grade language arts material and compared it to the second grade material.  It will be a much better choice for G than the second grade material.  I know she must still work a lot on her language skills for good sentence structure which is part of the second grade material but the book overall was not going to be a challenge.  She is ready to move on otherwise.

Jeff Sullivan is the rep in Missouri and we hopped across to South County St. Louis so we could discuss it with him and look over the material.  The rep that serves Illinois is not nearly as knowledgeable or kind-hearted like Jeff.  We met him only once before and liked him right away but he remembered us and much about our needs. Still, we went to the local guy when it was time to make our purchase. Turns out that the South St. Louis location was an easier and equal drive for us. So for now on I do not want to make any purchases without Jeff getting the financial credit and reward for a job well done.

Back to subject matter:  Jeff really did a great job of showing us why we should go third grade for all the language art subjects if we felt the Language book was too simplified for G.  Oh yes, we really had to think on that one indeed.  Third grade spelling?  How can I do that when I failed so badly at conducting even first grade spelling?  I MUST add that after looking at the second grade spelling I am not worried about it at all, it was all so similar again.  So we developed a plan that would use the third grade language material for all of her Language Arts but will incorporate some of the second grade spelling into the lesson as a "review".  We had her read the middle of the first reader as well of third grade and it was a perfect fit.

K made a decision and  purchased the items needed.  Seeing that she had already purchased all she thought she would need it was an added and unplanned expense, so she bought the first two readers and get purchase the others in several months.  I am indeed feeling fired up today!  It excites me to see that although G and F's parents tend to want a set curriculum they are able to see that modifications must be made to meet the needs of the students. They knew that but as the other teacher in the room I was afraid that they would stick to the set program since it is so well put together for you.  Now I am going through and putting all the lesson plans into one fine tuned plan for each child to meet their needs.  The lesson plan books that are provided are guiding me every step of the way but lesson itself is specific to each child's needs. 

I know that Jeff's comfortable, gentle guidance helped K to feel comfortable about her choices.

THEN there is G!!!  So we get to the car and I tell her that I am just not sure what grade she is in anymore.  So we will call it second-third grade.  As we told her that her math would be second grade but her language would be third grade she seemed happy to hear it.  I loved the toothless smile (fronts are missing) as she heard that I know she wants to learn new things and be challenged rather than do the same old thing over and over.  She told me "as long as it is not too hard"  then giggled and said "every time I am afraid that it will be too hard I find out that it was not so hard but fun".  YES YES YES  I love to hear that she still finds learning FUN.  I think if K would not have made that choice we might have lost that. 

We plan to begin on August 29th this year.  We have the co-op field trips that we will participate in on the calendar and await the announcement of the co-op enrichment program called Master's Lyceum. Tonight is the first co-op gathering of the new "school year".  One of G's girl scout friends is apparently going to be home schooled this year too and the family will be attending the meeting. 

As it goes, I am off to complete the remainder of F's lesson plans for the first 8 weeks.