Thursday, November 5, 2009

Mid-Year Review

I had hoped to be further along in our year by now, but alas tis not so!   Although, to be the first full week of November and to be halfway through isn't bad.  I'm finding that being part of the TOS Crew has slowed our progress down considerably.  Not that I'm complaining!  The free products we're getting to review are wonderful (with the exception of a few here and there)!  And, it's helpful to see what other "things" are out there that I knew nothing about!  However, working all those lovely things into my schedule has knocked us off course somewhat.  Oh well.

As of right now, we're about 8 weeks into co-op.  To be truthful, I feel like it was a waste of $80.  We go every Friday of the month (except the first Friday) from 9am until 2:45pm.  Each child has 5 class periods, lunch and recess.  Lindsey, being in preschool has mostly "crafty" classes; but she's a VERY bright child for her age, and I'd really hoped she'd learn something other than finger painting and, oh say ALPHABET?  COUNTING?  (ok, she's reading short words and can do subtraction and addition problems in her head, but I know that's not the norm. Shouldn't there be some LEARNING??) I know, I know "it's good socialization skills".

Olivia has world geography, science, storytime, Around the World in 80 Games and, Contenders of the Faith.  Now I will say that she has learned about the continents and oceans in geography; and she did bring home some caterpillars from science class that did in fact turn into butterflies. Aside from geography, she can't tell me anything she's done all day as we drive home.

So, at this point, I'm thinking this is our first and last year at co-op.  Maybe when they are older and their classes are...well...EDUCATIONAL we'll try it again.  I think the $80 in registration and class fees would go nicely towards something more productive.

As far as curriculum, I'm pretty certain I'll be making some changes there next year as well.  We're currently using Abeka for the phonics, writing, spelling and math part of our day.   I've already purchased all the 2nd grade Abeka teachers materials and readers (used not new) at quite a savings.  But now that we're halfway through 1st grade and I've reviewed some other products...I'm just not sure we're staying the course.

Overall I'm really happy with Olivia and Lindsey thus far in the year.  Lindsey struggled with writing early on, mostly because of her tiny hands, but now she's doing great. Her natural gifting for math is overwhelming some days.   Olivia is moving more quickly through math concepts now, and is really excelling with Latin.

Things I see that need work are critical thinking skills for Olivia and Lindsey needs more challenging activities.  And for me, I need to be able to enjoy the trip more, instead of looking for the destination all the time!

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