Friday, March 25, 2011


I am so excited... I can hardly contain myself!

I'm also so proud of Kid I am kind of crying.

So this is a good thing to read if you are contemplating homeschooling. (or if you're a skeptic)

Especially, if you are contemplating it because your child isn't "doing well" in a school setting.

Okay... I can't even take the time to write this out... you'll have to watch this: (It's straight up amazing!)

(I don't know why it is out of focus!...)


Public school had her in remedial reading. Although she demonstrated reading comprehension above her grade level (3rd grade)... because she missed a 1st grade word during testing she was put into the lowest level she had completed successfully (Kindergarten).

Public school also had her placed in remedial math. Not because she had ever done ONE SINGLE math problem incorrectly... no... because she didn't take her timed math test quickly enough. A kid who up until that point has never taken a test, let alone a timed test, information they had been made well aware of.

So how is a kid placed in kindergarten level math and reading ever able to demonstrate their true abilities when they are only ever given remedial work to do?

Why would it be surprising that this same child sat at her desk bored and distracted by classmates rather than doing her work... which was... not challenging and therefore NOT engaging?

By the time we were made privy of the full extent of her learning deficits it was 3 months into the school year (which highlights another problem... doesn't it?).

This teacher flat out didn't believe Kid was capable of being in a higher level of academics and implied she was... well... not mentally capable of performing on par with her peers.


I'm not going to lie... that shook us up quite a bit.

Maybe she is behind? Maybe she has some kind of learning disability?

I was worried. Really.

When I took her out to homeschool I didn't even know where to start.

I put her in 1st grade math. And in 14 weeks she has finished over 144 lessons. She's finished all of the 1st grade books in a little over 3 months.

I was proud of that... and happy that we'll be starting with 2nd grade now and maybe... maybe... we'll catch up to grade level!

Then I got next year's curriculum in the mail and saw the AWESOME 3rd grade math program. I actually stayed up late one night doing the sample assignments. I was disappointed that Kid is behind in math and when we start 3rd grade we'd have to use something else until she caught up. I was really upset because I knew this computer game style of learning would really engage her. I wanted her to see it, to see if I was right about her liking it, and to give her something to work towards.

And PEOPLE she completed Lesson 51 (so a good 3 months into 3rd grade curriculum) with no problem. And loved it. And begged me to order it right away.

But she had never had any 2nd grade level math instruction. I was worried it might be a fluke and there might be more challenging topics that would frustrate her. But she loved it so much, so we took the placement test just to see. She slammed it.

I was so beaten down that even though we plowed through with the 1st grade math, I never sat down to think... hmm... maybe we're plowing through because it's too easy.

So this girl, who had been placed in remedial math in 2nd grade, after 14 weeks at home... and NO 2nd grade math instruction... is more than capable of doing 3rd grade math. Never had seen fractions or multiplication... and was able to do it on the spot. What?!!!

Oh, but that is not all.

When we started this curriculum we did a reading placement test. I was worried because she had been a delayed reader and because her teacher had her at a competent Kindergarten level reader. We took the placement test and it gave us Level 2 intermediate. I was thrilled! She wasn't delayed she was a competent 2nd grade reader.

I don't know why I never thought anything of the fact that in 14 weeks of doing our homeschool curriculum she has done the entire years worth of reading.

My one complaint about our curriculum is that they didn't give us enough reading.

I'm sure you're catching on to where this is going.

But I had had it beaten into me that she was DELAYED.

Then the new catalogue came out and they have re-labeled everything, because they found parents confused and assuming level 2 = 2nd grade. It doesn't. She had been reading 3rd grade intermediate readers this whole time! And flying through them.

So, with the math success under our belt, I thought... hmm... maybe she's flying through the readers because they aren't challenging?

We took the reading placement again this morning.

Care to guess what grade reading level she is at now, after 14 weeks of homeschooling?



So, there you have it.

If children aren't given the opportunity to demonstrate their academic abilities... how can they?

And also... speed... is NOT the sole judge of mastery.

If it were...

Mr F...

would be living on the streets.

And, so, I think it is important for people to know this.

That some kids (smart kids, even) are getting left behind in the mainstream school system.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Done Deed

I don't know how all of this has come across... but I want to be clear that this has been a HEARTBREAKING decision for us (for me in particular).

After last night's incident we felt we needed to proceed with haste.

The Humane Society had space and Mr F called to tell me that we needed to rush her over there before they closed.

Kid and I sobbed the entire way there.

And all through the intake process.

Then we went to see the cats.

Kid stopped crying.

I looked like I had just buried one of my children.

Or like I had the most raging case of double conjunctivitis ever seen in a human.

Then I proceeded to sob the entire way home.

And then some more when I came in to all of her things strewn about where she left them.

I feel compelled to go there every day and walk her... but I don't know if that's actually good for her... or me.

Plus, we'd probably come home with a cat a day.

I'm really hoping she gets a good loving home this weekend.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

That's It

The damn cat just opened the door to the living room (dog's domain). The door has a wonky latch and it must not have been pulled tightly. I came in to find the cat pinned to the ground with the dog biting his neck.

I'm shaking with adrenaline.

And I'm over it.

No question the cat is in danger.

Maybe this is the sign I needed.

They better have an opening tomorrow!
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