Aaaand coronavirus in the local school district. My weekend just got super fun!
I heard WA is leading the country in Coronavirus. Do you think that is related to the anti-vaxx movement there?
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No, we just got the first case that was diagnosed and used the stupid assumption that it wasn't being community spread and we only had to worry about people coming back from China. We are a major gateway to Asia, though. There is a heavy Asian population here just simply because we are a major city on the West Coast and people traveled there over the holidays. There is also a lot of international business travel because we are also very tech-heavy. Pretty sure California will eventually catch up to us. I think we also ramped up testing efforts (University of Washington made their own kit and opened their lab because of the CDC backlog). If we had adequate testing, I think we would discover it's even more widespread than we think. Unfortunately, out here, it got into a nursing home where they are pretty much sitting ducks.
Regarding Minecraft, it's definitely better than a lot of games. But if my son doesn't shut up about it already I'm going to lose it.
Ahhh...great point about Seattle's strong connection to Asia. I forgot all about that.
Good point about Minecraft having an overly-obsessive component. I remember a few years ago I sat next to a kid on a plane with a MC t-shirt and I just mentioned I recognized the shirt (this was when MC was still pretty new) and the kid talked about it the whole trip even when we were walking down the jetway.
I am reading The Coddling of the American Mind and I am really digging it. It bothers me to go to a playground and see every parent hovering over their kid...protecting and apologizing at teh same time. Last week my boys were playing with a group of kids and there were more adults intervening and supervising than there were kids. It prevents them from learning soacial consequences.
Just today at the playground one parent kept reminding her kid to be nice to my kid. No, let them be a dick so my kid can decide not to play with your kid and your kid learns that if your a dick other kids won't play with you.
One of the biggest things about homeschooling is you have to do that social interaction play thing. If you protect them and mollycoddle them they end up like my brother who is not exactly the dream caretaker for my mom.
I do a lot of math lesson plans designed to teach team building skills for the same reason and often have back and forths that sound like, "Well what can you do to make sure X student carries his weight?" and it always ends up in "I can punch him in the face!" and we have to have conversations outside in the hall about appropriate responses. Accountability and ownership of issues is part of my grade plan. I know my lazy student and I know my "teachers pet" and I'm trying to get them to work cohesively because we all end up having to work in this or that type of environment.
Virtual schooling for K-6 is going to be a giant failure. I can already feel this in my bones. It might work well for the older kids, but it's absolutely going to drive a bunch of families crazy for the younger ones.
We're totally free-range parents. My kids learn 70% of life through just watching us and natural consequences. Every so often we need to throw in a logical consequence or two, but I just don't have time for lectures or hovering and intervening. I spent all of my time during Luke's baby to toddler years being hands-on and proactive because you have to with the little ones, but now? Just, nope. They're both old enough to learn through experience.
Also, can we talk about how many parents out there are absolutely appalled at having to be with their kids 24-7? I mean, I totally get the lack of child care and having to work and having to now provide more food (as if people didn't already feed their kids 3 meals a day...I guess...), but seriously, the people in my neighborhood are losing their **** at having to be with their kids.
That's the busy work I think Destiny was referring to. I have just made custom work sheet packages today of bell curve type parabola homework and finding points on the parabola type thing. Then there's a link to a video on Kahn Academy showing the work being done. Then I skype or facetime with the students with questions as a volunteer.
I'm not super stressed about Ethan and academics. Honestly, if he wasnt so immature I would say he could skip a grade. If we can get his ADHD somewhat under control, he is going to be an (unfortunately) evil genius. But I think I just got an email from the school district that basically says they cannot provide necessary services in this environment. God I hate public schools.
I feel like most of the work my daughter gets is busy work. She was actually able to work ahead and do several worksheets before they started releasing videos to explain them. Then they asked us not to do that. Whatever, sticking to a Monday-Friday schedule is not exactly working out in this environment. Instead I am having to do my work on weekends and evenings so I can sit with her. Like I said, if this continues into the fall, we are pulling her back to public school if I have to homeschool anyway.
Keep in mind that this is new for everyone and the absolute busiest time of the school year. Also, you have parents at all different levels of involvement: some could care less and some sit with their kids all day. Students are at different ability levels and within those ability levels you have a variety of different needs. It sounds like your son is a twice-exceptional student. I would reach out to the teacher and ask what standards they are working on and ask to do an independent study/project based learning that not only hits those standards but is also based on your children's interests. Maybe tie in a multimedia presentation on their learning and opinions. When I taught at a school for exceptional and twice-exceptional learners I did a lot of these type of assignments and I had great growth! I have a ton of resources. Let me know.
Honestly, the districts should put their efforts into keeping 8-12 on track and just give "suggested" work to the younger grades.
My district has an exceptionally high percentage of students on free/reduced lunch so a lot of our efforts are to provide breakfast and lunch to our families is our top priority. District coaches are trying to build an online curriculum, but I am not getting my hopes up. Building a one size fits all curriculum is next to impossible and doing something like I recommended requires a parent's involvement most of the time to be successful.
I'm pretty convinced that school won't be starting back up this year. So I'm preparing to start teaching Luke at home as well. He's only 4, but he's starting to crave more. I kinda have to piece together my own stuff for him as well. He has a good solid handle on his letters (both upper and lowercase and their sounds), numbers (can count to 100, and I think he can add within 1-5 "equals 3 equals 2 equals 5!!"), shapes (2d and 3d, "not the circle table, the trapezoid table!"), and colors (he's a little OCD about putting things in rainbow order actually). Most preschool and pre-k curricula work on the above. I want to start some basic phonics, CVC words, and a few sight words. I think he'll be reading in a few months. But he's not ready for most kinder curricula. He just doesn't have the attention span or expressive vocabulary/skills just yet. He also doesn't have proper pencil grip or control for writing, but every time he gets a hold of a writing utensil all he wants to do is write his name and spell colors (oh yeah, he can spell red, blue, yellow, and orange but he's hit or miss on purple and brown).
So I just put in a giant order (I have GOT TO STOP buying books from myself) for some new books that I think he'll be interested in and will help with some of these more advanced basic skills. And I get to scour the internet for more hands-on activities that, hopefully, he'll enjoy more than his brother did/does.
A lot of online teaching is being done on the fly. I am so glad I am certified in math up to calculus said no one ever as I help teach Algebra I to the kids in my charter school to help out. I am only getting about a 70% online return rate on work though. I find my kids do the earth science and social studies stuff more than the math assignments in my grade. I've been available more hours than school usually lasts to help with questions though. Right now is my quiet solo time as I sip coffee and go through some run throughs on math that I'm going to record me teaching for kids to watch. I'm hoping to push through and get them to my end year goal of doing some prealgebra type stuff before the end of the school year as it were.
I'm going to be super honest about preschool and kindergartners. They scare the bejebus out me. I can't offer much advice except to plod along and work with what works best and don't be afraid to tell the teachers that some things don't work. I've been asking probing questions of my parents and students. It's how I know the new set up for me writing on paper with a camera suspended on a lamp to show the work is much better than the white board I was using because the couldn't see it. This is all new to a lot of teachers and they need feedback as much as the kids do. But we're human so don't freak out if the teacher gets all sore about it. I think everyone's nerves are starting to fray.
And now on complaints about my second job. Those motherfers left their freaking brains at work. I am so tired of mothering people of businesses to be adults. Yes - your business is closed but you ordered your damn checks when you knew your business was closed and know when they were going to arrive and couldn't be bothered to show up on the scheduled day it was supposed to arrive and wait for it? And now your mad because your checks were returned because you couldn't be there.... GTFO. NO WAY.