Can you believe I’m actually posting another blog!?!
I know, it’s been so long since I’ve been able to consistently share updates about our lives!
BUT… that’s what happens when I’m “grounded” – not allowed to do anything fun because of my right hand… AND YET – my left hand is totally fine to keep on typing alone!
I am often asked how we do school with our kids… especially since they are all in different grades. I think the best way to describe it, is to think about the tv show – Little House on the Prairie. Mikela, Malaya, Rosie, Gabriel, Levi, and Asher all do school in one room.
Miss Beth retired from the mission field in October of last year. We recently shared a blog about her last week on: molehaiti.org
Miss Beth has been the only school teacher my kids have ever known. I love my boys, but I have NO idea how she kept her sanity when they first started attending. **I’m just thankful that I didn’t have to take over full-time when those little rascals were younger because I KNOW how annoying they used to be! LOL!
Our School Room…
After Miss Beth officially flew back to the states in October, we started our school back up that week. I knew that the kids would really struggle walking into the classroom without her. Even though I have always taught several subjects with both the girls and boys -those classes were in our home.
Miss Beth told us about her plans to leave right before we shipped the crates. Knowing how difficult the transition would be, we decided to renovate the classroom, upgrade their desks, and give the room a fresh (different) feeling. **And since Christmas was just around the corner (at the time), we had to add some seasonal decor too!
So it’s a new year – with a new teacher –
-using a new learning format – and now with a new look –
ONE ROOM – MANY GRADE LEVELS
- Malaya and Mikela are Juniors. Our plan for their senior year is to have them live with a friend/youth minister from Kansas City. They have yet to experience “the American teenager life” and we don’t want their first experience to be when they’re in college. So next year, sadly they will not here. However, we know they will learn a lot – as they get an after-school job, apply for college, open a bank account, work with others on projects, join clubs, etc.
- Gabe is in 8th grade and Asher/Levi are in 7th grade. They do 8th grade Science & History together. Then Math, Literature, and English are done separately.
- Rosie is in 4th grade. Even though she should technically be a Junior, her learning capacity/ability is closer to 3rd/4th grade. Once the boys passed her up in school, she began doing her school work separately from everyone else.
A NEW WAY OF TEACHING
I still teach Health, Creative Writing, and Leadership with both the boys/girls. Malaya and Mikela do all of their classes online. Rosie uses workbooks for all her subjects. BUT when it comes to those crazy boys of mine – I knew I would need some “back-up” going into this year.
SO THIS YEAR – we ordered the DVD sets that go along with the textbooks. They are SO awesome! I wish I would have known that this existed sooner.
- For every subject, there’s a teacher (on DVD) and a DAILY video clip (ranging from 20-50 minutes). **You don’t need internet for this!
- The teacher will actually go right along with the books, even telling the students which pages she will be discussing.
- At the end of each video, the instructor tells the students what workbook/questions they need to do for homework.
- The following day, the instructor goes over the homework.
We start school at 8:30am. The girls are typically finished by noon, but the boys are usually here until 2pm. Thanks to the DVDs, I’m not exhausted every morning. I actually enjoy watching them and I catch the girls watching them throughout the day too.
***When I had to fly out for my hand surgery – the kids never missed a day of school. Most of the materials/information that are needed are on those DVDs. (They really hate that fact!)
Honestly, (all jokes aside) I have really enjoyed doing school with the kids. I know this is the last year that Malaya/Mikela will be here for school. I can’t think of a better way to spend the morning. I always write daily questions on the board that everyone has to answer. We laugh a lot at the kids responses! But we also share a lot of ideas and dive into deeper discussions too.