Tuesday, September 1, 2009

2 hour phone conference with the homeroom teacher. My frustrations include, but are not limited too:

overall general academic processes
the online introduction program is designed to teach the basic concept of each subject and add that subject into our program in a cascading process. Which is IDEAL and completely logical, that completely contradicts the daily and weekly lesson plan that is in the first screen that you see each day. That pushes you with a full load of math, English, science, literature, reading, social studies every day as well as the elective classes of art / music & pe / health. This leaves the parent with a sense of anxiety and fear of falling behind. This stress is further acerbated with the heavy admonishment in the parent handbook, the online tutorials, and the weekly live eluminate discussions about the heavy consequences of FAP's.

So the parent starts a process of teaching to the test in order to cut corners, just to keep up. Establishing up a very bad habit that completely contradicts the whole point of leaving public school and going to charter school program. This issue needs to be addressed with a pre-school-year online teaching program to better utilize those weeks we had the curriculum and were excited. SLOWLY breaking into the program rather than waiting until the first day of school and then BOMBARDING with assessment exams, ONLINE lessons, as well as daily basic academics.

ALSO someone in designing the interface really needs to look at a "WEEK AT A GLANCE" organizer so that as learning coaches, we can PRINT OUT a "WEEK AT GLANCE" for organizing. Printing out the MATERIALS list is the current best solution, but that about 15 pages and grouped by subject instead of by day of the week, which is not necessarily a bad thing, but it has too many extraneous items. I should be able to access it like a database, and customize my report like you would any civilized database interactive resources.

note to self: can you download the database for 3rd grade homework schedule, and 'SEE' what is coming up in 4 months and PLAN field trips to take advantage of that or are you limited to opening and perusing each book the tactile way?

music program is a dead bore, we are switching to Wii music program.

We are exploring the issue that the previous teacher administered the reading assessment and while magnus was developmentally delayed in two of the four areas, he has to fail in three areas to be considered at risk and in need of additional assistance. To me if you fail in ONE area, you need ADDITIONAL assistance to avoid FAILURE. If I were to take my car in and while the radio was good, the seatbelts were good, but the turn signals and the brakes failed, wouldn't that be a hazard on the road? I do not see why school feel that they can cut costs by setting a ceiling of services based on 75% instead of 25% or 50% failure. Serious issue of bean counters here.

Finally we are exploring the behavior modification aspects to increase Magnus motivation each day. Yes some of this is just change in procedure and adapting to a new program and testing the limits to see what will be tolerated and what will not. But it is an issue that needs to be addressed. Taking 12 hours to complete 6 hours of work disrespects my time and is unacceptable.
yesterday we got caught up on Math, but today we are seriously behind in Reading and Spelling, looks like we naturally do 'chunking' or feast and famine as I have known it all my life. Also probably not a good habit.

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