Thursday, August 16, 2012

new online school year

WARNING: the OLS / LMS will most likely go down with an extraordinary amount of traffic on Monday and Tuesday morning (27 Aug and 28 Aug). Please feel free to chill out, grab a latte and relax. No this school does not suck. No this is not the most frustrating thing to happen to your child. The worst thing to ever is when your child was intimidated and held prisoner in a toilet stall for 45 minutes in B&M, this is NOTHING.

EVERYTHING that you will need to teach your child was delivered in a box. Student Study guides are just that. They are a road map, a turn by turn directions like Google Maps. If you get to a point that it says go on line and you can not do that. PASS OVER and go to the next step. really. seriously. do it. you do not have to do every single part of every single lesson for your child to get an excellent quality education, each part, the books, the study guides, the OLS / LMS are all just pieces of the puzzle. You will find through out the year that there are going to be times that you do not EVER use a component, it does not make a good fit for your student. RELAX. move on. do not start chanting about how awful k12 is because they did not do this or that for you and yours. k12 is a VENDOR. they just sell a product like Amazon. Your school is just a supervisor, they make sure that the Texas Education Agency mandates are met, ULTIMATELY, you are going to have to crack the books, and teach the kids. It is okay, this is what you signed up for.

The first two weeks are for learning the ropes, you will not be penalized and you will not have to make 3% progress each week, learning curve is factored in. Relax. Chill. do not post how you are going to quit, this is a deal breaker, and 100 assorted other nasty-grams. MANY new students will require what is commonly referred to UNSCHOOLING. that is the period of time when they go from birds sitting in the nest with the mouth open ready for you to regurgitate knowledge from your mouth to them. that is all they have known for years. Resist the urge to get irritated. It will take awhile for them to go from passive receptors to active engaged learners, but it does happen. some take longer than others. but eventually they will come to you with solutions to OLS objectives, it is a beautiful day.

 INSTEAD: make a list of WHY you want to school at home. WHAT is your objective because ultimately that is what will be driving your direction, and that you will be measuring your success by, not if you had access to this online tool or that one. This is a whole lifestyle thing, it is not a program designed to cater to this special needs child, or that gifted child. it is designed for you to get from point A to point B. YES, some classes, the books are online only. I know. shhh. I know. but you have 10 other options to choose from during that two hour window. Learn now to adapt and overcome, you will thank me later.

When in doubt of what you should do, grab your novel, and read for lit. that is always going to be a default. *sigh* now as things settle down and we get all 4500 students situated, you must remember that you are not the only one. Do not be that person standing in line at the bank, the grocery store, or the red light totally self absorbed thinking that this is all about you. It is not all about you. It is all about your student. However, you will not help your student if you get all up in arms, flailing around like you do not know what you are doing. ALWAYS maintain your calm. You are the example now. you must be like the duck, calm on the surface and paddle like hell underneath. Knowing in advance that this is to be expected each time there is a huge run on the servers should serve to warn you that it is a known issue. It is a fact of life, we do not keep a 747 on stand by for every day use, we take turns with a nice DC10 and during holiday rushes, we chill the heck out.

To start preparing each week so that if this does occur during end of quarter, server maintenance, you will be better served if you log in after midnight on Sunday (big deadline for high school - LMS) and print out the WEEKLY VIEW of lessons for the week. I utilize post its in the books, Start Here and Stop Here helps my children know what to do for the week. Then if OLS / LMS is down we just keep working and even if it is up, we can block out groups of lessons without loosing our rhythm.

Now I know that you are going to say BUT MY SITUATION DIFFERENT. No it is not. BUT MY CHILD IS SPECIAL. No, not really, no more so than any one else's child. MY CHILD CAN NOT HANDLE < CHANGE>< DISAPPOINTMENT> Yes, they can. They get out of bed every single day, that is a change and a transition. They eat something different every day, that is change and they are just fine. YOU must be the household manager, you must teach your child that failure is not an option. They will succeed in school this year, you are there to support not enable them. You are there to model the behavior that is desired from them. Start by how you handle the upcoming challenges as you embark on something new.

 Veteran Parents. Regardless if it is your second or 12th year, it is going to be different. Accept it now. Learn to roll with it now. do not FREAK OUT HERE. You know better. I know you know better.

EVERYONE watch or rewatch every one of these videos.http://www.k12start.com/ I am not going to hold your hand and spoon feed your this when it is already done for you.

 Invest in Netflix, we all find that some times book learning is BORING, a video that covers the objects is most likely out there, I have found National Geographic to be an excellent resource when we are just burned out on books and OLS.

Finally, if you do not have a sense of humor, order one now from Amazon because this is going to be a long arduous year and I really do not want any sniveling and whining. You have to look for the good or your going to be eaten up and spite out like last weeks crepes if you do not know that. This too shall pass.

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