Wednesday, August 20, 2014

YarnAlong

It's YarnAlong with Ginny at Small Things. Click the link to view what other bloggers are knitting and reading.






I knit two very long socks from Allegria, by Manos Del Uruguay. I am almost finished with fingerless mitts, knit with a German-brand yarn that I can't recall the name. These are for Amie. And you can see my beautiful Kismet yarn scarf, which still has a ways to go.

I finished The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer. It's about a group of teens that meet at an art camp in the 70s, then follows them through their lives.  I'm also reading I Want to be Left Behind:Finding Rapture On Earth,;; it had me at the title. And Burial Rites,which I haven't begun yet.

What are you reading and knitting?


Monday, August 18, 2014

School 2

Yes, it's true, two of my three girls are in public school this fall. Were you surprised?
And I think I may have told some of you that I was definitely going to homeschool Lauren, but, as you saw from the pictures, off she went on a school bus!

Ana is in the 8th grade and Lauren in the 4th grade at our local public schools.

Amie, however, is still being homeschooled.

We take each year as it comes and evaluate what is best for each girl, and this year we knew that it was time for Ana and Lauren to have teachers other than myself, and also be with other kids.

That said, it could change next year. Or mid-year. We'll see.

Last week was the first week of school in Botetourt County (yes, we started on August 12). It was a week of adjusting...we're still adjusting to the switch.

One of the biggest issues has been SOLS (Standards of Learning). In Virginia public schools, there is quite an emphasis on testing each student on each SOL, or learning objective, which are set in place by the Virginia Department of Education. These SOLS are the same for each grade level across the state. In the classroom, a lot of time is given to preparing students for these tests. Personally, I think it's debatable whether or not these tests produce good learning environments in the classroom, especially for the younger grades. I was happy to completely ignore the SOLS as a homeschooler. However, now we have to catch up on some of them, particularly in 8th grade Science and 4th grade Math...each girl is doing some extra work in those areas. We're getting there. I am so proud of their efforts and their very sincere desire to not fall behind. You go, girls!

Amie and I are still homeschooling! I am very happy to announce that Amie is a 6th grader at
Virginia Virtual Academy (click on the link to read more about it!) which uses the absolutely awesome K12 curriculum.

Why VAVA?

The Virginia Virtual Academy and K¹² give Virginia kids in grades K–6 the chance to learn in the ways that are right for them. VAVA offers:
  • The award-winning K¹² curriculum
  • Full-time, tuition-free online public school option
  • Support from state-certified teachers
  • An active, supportive school community
  • A range of extracurricular activities
  • A robust Advanced Learner Program
  • The only statewide virtual public school program to offer the complete K¹² experience for students in grades K–6

Amie is enrolled in the 6th grade in public school, yet learns from home using the K12 curriculum. It is tuition-free and all books and supplies are completely free. And she gets a Kindle. Yes, you read it correctly. She gets a free Kindle...in order to give her the resources for reading and more reading. And many students receive free computers, especially if there is more than one child enrolled.

And let me get on my soap box, while I have your attention. EVERY PARENT in Virginia with a child in Kindergarten through 6th grade should be aware of this opportunity for online public school at home through the Virginia Virtual Academy. I have to say the Botetourt County Public Schools do nothing to educate parents on this option. There are probably a few reasons for this, which I'm not going to go into, but I'm pretty sure those reasons are in the interest of the school system, its teachers and its budget instead of the interests of parents and children who might benefit from learning at home, completely free of charge,  from an online public school.

So I'm doing my best to publicize it.

NOW....I would like to show you pictures from Amie's first day of school, today, at Virginia Virtual Academy...her lovely model of an art gallery, as an assignment in Intermediate Art:











Can you guess which picture is the Mona Lisa, which is a starry night picture (I can't remember the title) by Van Gogh, and which is General Washington crossing the Delaware?

 Thanks for stopping by and getting caught up with us. Comments, please!

Saturday, August 16, 2014