This Semesters Classes

This semester in school Kenzie classes are as follows

  • English I: Literature & Composition
  • Physical Education I
  • Latin I
  • Geometry
  • Biology
  • Digital Video Editing & Production
  • Skills for Health II

Outside of school we are also exploring a few other topics history, philosophy, and astronomy are all areas where Kenzie has shown an interest.

Currently we are exploring a few philosophy books, the philosophy of the Matrix and the philosophy of Star Wars. We recently watched a documentary on the dark ages as well as a documentary about evolution. Astronomy will be covered by having Kenzie keep an astrological journal. Each night he’ll be going outside and keeping track of how many stars he can see (not the number but a general idea either a lot, a little or medium) as well as what phase the moon is in and which constellations he can see. We are also going to explore planetary sciences.

I’m very much looking forward to this year.

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Forgotten History?

Today I was shocked to discover that My 16 yr old was never made to memorize the Preamble to the Constitution. In fact when I rattled of the first line he couldn’t even tell me what it was from. I find that to be very sad. The constitution is a very important part of our history and the preamble is a very powerful statement as to why this country was founded. How can our children, essentially our future hope to better our society if they can’t look too and learn from the lessons of the past? I’m proud to say that my child will be memorizing the preamble and analyzing it.

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Public School sheesh

The more news articles I read about about incidents in public schools, The happier I become that my son is no longer attending a regular public school. Anymore it just seems like it’s the faculty against the kids. The thing that really gets me is how schools seem to think the practically own the kids. I recently read an article about some kids who were suspended from school for pictures they put on myspace. I don’t know about any one else but as a parent I would have been fuming had my childs school tried to pull this.

Granted everyone should have an education, but I really don’t think that regular school is the way to go for everyone, and as long as the system continues to go downhill, and be at war with our kids less of them are going to be happy and/or succeed at school. As a parent I never really liked the idea of sending my kids off to complete strangers for 8 hours a day, having them become lost in the in crowd of the ever increasing size of classrooms. How can one teacher manage to help each student on any kind of personal level with they have a new set of 30-40 kids every hour to deal with? How is it that some kids excel at school while others stumble the whole time and it’s always just a bit late whenever somebody takes notice and tries to do anything, at that point the child is already lost.

Having no other option for the longest time, my son did attend public school. Always it seemed like the same cycle every year; he would start the year great, then half way through his grades would collapse. My son is now a student at an online public high school. He takes his classes on the internet, a few times a week he has “Live Sessions” where the students and teachers interact through whiteboard. The rest of the time he takes his classes through the schools website. Working on assignments/projects at his own pace. If he’s really into science, he doesn’t have to just stop working because the bell rang, so he can move on the next class. He just keeps on working on it, until he’s done. He’s teachers call him (yes on the phone) and discuss his grades or a current assignment, or even just to see how he’s doing. His counselor calls on a regular basis to give encouragement and to make sure he’s happy in his classes. He can still play sports through his local school, and this school regularly organizes pizza parties, outings and school events. He will have a prom, as well as a regular graduation just like all the other students in public school.

As a parent the upsides to his attending this school for me have been, the ability pin point struggling points early on, so that we can face them together. The fact that both myself and my husband can be very involved in his learning experience. If he’s reading about economics, we can have a discussion about it, and know what he’s being taught. If he’s really into art class, we can decided well let’s take the day off today and head to a museum. He can then write up a report on the trip and that counts towards his grade. The biggest concern most people seem to have when they find out about his schooling has been “well what about His social Life” and to be honest he has a great social life. Most of his friends already attended different schools then him anyway, and if I remember correctly school isn’t supposed to be about having a social life. The last time my son attended public school, I clearly remember the handbook stating kids can not hold hands, kiss or even hug for that matter. Kenzie doesn’t have any less of a social life then any of his other friends who do attend regular school. He still goes to the mall, the movies, the skating rink and other places just like other kids. The only difference is that I know he’s actually learning something and getting an education that is sticking with him. His first semester just ended and we asked him if he wanted to stay in this school or return to regular school, without so much as a pause he quickly replied “I want to stay in this school”, and when we asked him why he said “because here it seems like the teachers actually care”.

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Advice from a parent or Things I’ve learned along the way

Communicate with your children, I don’t mean wait until they are twelve or thirteen years old to start having conversations with them. Communication starts early & children will appreciate this. My oldest is going on sixteen and I have always been open with him on various subjects.

When he was six or seven years old he asked me how babies we’re made. I told him the basic facts of sex. Nothing extreme and I didn’t mention that some people have sex simply for pleasure. I told him the cold hard biological facts. This was fine, it quashed his curiosity for a few more years and answered his question. It also let him know that He could talk to me about anything.

Fast forward a few years to when he’s fourteen years old. At fourteen my son was(and still is) very much into girls. But I knew their we’re things about sex he didn’t understand. I remember all too well what it was like at fourteen, all your friends are talking about it, and some of them are even doing it. I as parent who wants her child to be aware, decided it was time to have a talk again.

I sat down with him and we discussed things such as the consequences of having a sexual relationship, the good the bad and the ugly. Everything was laid out on the table from sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy to oral sex and masturbation.

Some parent’s might ask

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School Starts Soon..

You may remember that my Son is going to be attending High School online. Well today he received his Laptop & Printer, He was quite happy to have it as his computer went down a while ago, with a bad processor. They are Both from Dell. The Laptop (I can’t recall which make it is offhand) Has Windows Xp Professional On it which he’ll need for school as it has programs installed on it which he’ll use. The Printer also came with a stock of Ink. I Set up the wireless internet connection for him and Now he can access his Myspace and Youtube (A Must have in the world of a 15 yr old…lol). He’s really excited about starting school, I’m excited for him. He has an orientation on the 29th classes start the following week.

With our Rent paid for 2 months and most of the bills finally caught up we had a bit of reprieve financially. We have begun to look at ways to save money in long run. One idea we came up with is this: My current computer has a t.v. tuner and runs vista fine, so we thought what if we canceled our cable for now, since you can watch most t.v. shows online anyway. After looking around I found THIS COMPUTER, so we decided that we would get it and take my computer out to the living room and connect it to the t.v. For watching movies, and t.v. shows online.

The Systemax is a pretty good deal in my opinion and should run Ubuntu quite well. I’m sure in the future I’ll be updating the video card, maybe add a bit of storage. But it should be perfect for my uses. The only game I play is Guild Wars, and I know that will run fine on it.

Anyway this plan will save us about $100 a month so that should help out some.

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Online High School For My Son

Currently My son is in 8th grade. When we first moved to our current home, we had 2 choices on the middle school we could send him too. One which is in our district and a second which is outside of our district. We choose the out of district school, due to it basically being a better school. They provide school bus transportation and all has been well for the past 2 years.

Next year he’ll be in high school, and due too limited space we we’re unable to get him into the high school of the same district. So I began looking for alternatives, as the district we live in (well just happen to fall just shy of the wrong side of the district border), isn’t the greatest school. What I discovered was the Insight School of Washington. It’s online public high school, and there is no tuition for us to pay. They also provide each student with a laptop and printer. The school has a HUGE course catalogue, and allow my husband and I to be very involved in his education, something I really like. He’ll have a learning team which consists of His teachers, counselor and an imentor. An imentor is a person that both parents and student can go to with questions, suggestions and basically works with the entire family. He will attend classroom sessions online but he’ll also have other assignments which he’ll do on his own time. The school set’s up field trips and gatherings for the students and they also have student clubs, as well as dances (so yes there is a prom), and a graduation ceremony. Students are still eligible for extra-curricular activities in the home school district, so my boy can still do football and wrestling.

I think the biggest question most people have about an online school is “what about the social aspect of going to school??” well in my opinion, traditional school is great for younger children. Younger children definitely need to experience the kind of environment that traditional school provides socially. My Son has plenty of friends with whom he already doesn’t go to the same school with. Some he met here in our apartment complex, others he’s met in places like the mall, or skating rink(a favorite Friday night hangout). I believe at this point in his life it would be a good time to begin focusing on teaching him some self-reliance and self-motivating skills. He is 15, and next year he’ll be old enough to get a job, I’m sure he’ll make more friends that way as well. But as I said there are plenty of ways for him to be social with his schoolmates they provide Lot’s of opportunity for student interaction.

He’s very excited about attending his new high school, heck I’m excited for him. I wish they would have had this kind of program when I was in school, chances are if they had I would have graduated.

If anyone is interested you can see an overview of how the classes work, by going HERE

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Kenzie’s First Day

Well Kenzie Started His new school today and he seems have really liked it. Seems we didn’t miss out on wrestling either as this school’s wrestling program doesn’t begin until the end of January, so he’ll be able to wrestle after all. He’s also going to go out for football next year. There is online grade access but I’ll have to call the school and get a pin number and password so I can access it. At this school there is a foreign language sampler class he takes also where he’ll be learning about spanish for now. There will be other Lanquages too though we’re not sure what they are yet.

The Other day Kenzie said he had something he wanted to talk to us about, and it turns out he’s been thinking about adoption for a while, as he asked Mark to adopt him. It caught us both off gaurd but Mark was happy about it, and I suppose after the holiday’s we’re going to check on it and see what all that will entail. It seems things are going quit well in our little family and we couldn’t be happier about it. We love having Kenzie here and are glad that he’s so happy to be here.

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Multiply my blues

Kenzie is having a pretty hard time with math, we

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Kenzie

This week Kenzie Learned 6 new words, because it was his first week we did miss a day or two however here are this weeks words.

  • Rotisserie
  • Genre
  • Specific
  • Paraphrase
  • Incinerate
  • Hycinth

UPDATE: On his Quiz Kenzie Spelled all but Genre Correctly But he did get all the definitions right. I

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