Sunday, I spent about 3 hours working on Eli’s school lesson plan for the week, so I knew exactly how Monday was going to unfold….and it was spot on! Up until this point, school work took roughly 2 hours total each day and when I say school work, I really mean school review what I already know. Well, after talking with a couple other moms of first graders at different schools, I realized just how little Eli was doing with his virtual academy schooling. I guess I was naively under the impression that schools everywhere were in the same boat having to work hybrid schedules, accommodate virtual learners, and this was more or less going to be a lacking year for all kids. Nope. Just lacking for my kid. His friends are doing weekly spelling tests, math and reading assignments that get turned in and graded, projects on Johnny Appleseed, and writing assignments that are actually given feedback to – wait for it – IMPROVE writing skills! Imagine that! It was a crushing blow for me this weekend to realize just how lacking Eli’s schooling is right now. So, after laying in bed awake most of Saturday night envisioning Eli’s future as a circus performer because his mother failed him in first grade, I decided homeschool is undergoing a shake up this week and I am no longer sitting by waiting for our virtual school system to get their act together.
Which brings me to this morning….rainy Monday….when Eli took one look at his new school schedule and declared, “I quit” and stormed out of the room. Yep. I called that one on Sunday! Ha! In addition to the apps he has to do every day for virtual school (ones that teach him only how to make the best guess answer for dancing ladybugs to appear and not how to actually go about solving a math problem), I created a list of spelling words to work on throughout the week, and I’m utilizing this fantastic workbook by Scholastic that my aunt found for Eli at Costco. It covers 6 different subjects and the worksheets within the subjects are labeled for exactly the skill it targets – how to know if a word gets capitalized, sentence structure, punctuation, reading comprehension, inference in reading based on pictures, adding/subtracting, estimating, etc. Basically, the workbook covers all the skills a first grader needs to know. Perfecto! I added to Eli’s schedule a worksheet from each subject every day, so I know he is at least working on the skills he should be.
Poor little guy when he saw that schedule posted above his desk! Truthfully, it looked like a lot, I get that, but I tried explaining to him that some items on the list would take a few minutes to do and he could cross it off super fast. His morning school day turned into morning AND afternoon school day – like it should be – and we got through all but a couple of his assignments. We probably should have done those after dinner, but it just felt like a night for splashing in mud puddles instead 🙂
Wait ’til Eli sees I’m adding math “speed tests” to next weeks schedule!