Saturday, September 04, 2010

why virtual school


7 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto my father: I awill go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no bcommandments unto the children of men, save he shall cprepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.
8 And it came to pass that when my father had heard these words he was exceedingly glad, for he knew that I had been blessed of the Lord.

here is my take on it, and this is just personal reflection. I spend so many hours doing enrichment activities, that we more than cover the basic expectation of commitment. I have a running tally sheet on an envelope that I have for my own accountability, when I was home sick from the hospital, my son laid down next to me on the bed, and he watched 6 hours of walking with dinosaurs on PBS, you can bet that he is getting credit for that spread out over the school year, I call it bankable hours. he hiked 21 miles through Glacier National park with a Geologist / Park Ranger, he participated for 4 hours a day for 2 days, and each night he sat through 3 one hour lectures and slide shows about geology by the time we were done, he earned a Scout Conservation badge from Washington D.C., you can bet that we banked those for Science and P.E., 21 miles... in 5 days is a lot of hiking.

So what I do, is I push him, not watching the clock, but getting 3% assignments done each week. I give credit on each subject that we do work on, if he works hard, 1 hour, really hard, 2 hours, and really really hard 3 hours, until we have 6 - 8 hours. Our program only reimburses us for internet if we have a minimum of 6 hours a day, 5 days a week, not 30 hours a week over 6 days. I keep the lessons separate from the time. There are days that we work in a subject and do not complete a lesson, the program doesn't care. Lessons are A, B, C, D grades, attendance is 30 hours a week for 38 weeks, one does not have anything to do with the other.

1080 hours over 38 weeks or 180 days...

anyway you divide it, that is what you need.... at least 180 days of attendance and a minimum of 1080 hours.

there is not a lesson / hour police, they do not call you and question you, you do not have to PROVE that it took xx number of hours, it is an HONOR system, so if you work 10 minutes a day on each subject, and are done in 3 hours, fine, whoohoo, come the end of the year, who won? who benefited? what did you accomplish?

the 1080 hours is RECOMMENDED for the child to get the best possible opportunity to have an enriched and positive day. you get out of it what you put in to it. nothing comes without work, sweat, and striving for excellence. I think that we have become a nation of time clock watchers. it was just a while ago that we had apprentices, they were lucky to get a job training with the best, and they didn't clock in or out, they got up, they learned their craft, and they went to bed, that was their job. they were young children, but they learned their craft.

I would rather do it right, or not do it at all. I tell my children, don't disrepect my time and talent, this is truly a sacrifice for me and if you do not respect my time any better than giving me 110% you can go back to school and be happy with mediocre. I know what my education is worth. What I do for them, is a gift, the ultimate gift. I invested 8 years of my life in college to learn what I did, and I can share it with them, in the ultimate hands on learning experience in the world. We are taking the opportunity to change the educational process. I am not looking for a way to get out of school, I am not looking for a way to beat the clock and spend the day on my butt or worse at the mall. I am striving for an opportunity to give them a college level education before they finish high school, so that when they go to college, they build on that to the next level.

I do not have gifted and talented children, but I believe that "geniuses are made, not born".

That is my $.02, and that is why I am here.