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irie feeling 08-30-2020 02:52 PM

Y’all ready???

Main teacher says, No parental involvement. Pretend your child went to the brick and mortar and you are elsewhere. You will be needed for technical support only.
Or something like that.
Big change for us as you know.
We tried 2 live cybers in the last 5 years and in each case when Pippa was left alone, she couldn’t handle the pressure. I got in trouble for “not helping.”

Last year if she bombed the worksheets, I would teach the lesson myself, next day, rather than “watch a video”, and do the spare worksheets together until I was certain she had a grasp on the lesson.

We’ll see how this goes, how much crying and whining, until I get pulled in to act.

Kwak 08-30-2020 07:09 PM

We’re not ready. Even though the first month is full virtual our 13yo has to punch the clock at 7:25 every morning and has to attend live streams two days a week. All I really have to do is wake him up. I’m also going to be taking all his toys off him and disabling their WiFi. My gripe is that he’s 13 years old and gives attitude all the time.

Ding ding. School is in session.

As for your daughter, the teacher is right - though I think they’re getting off easy by putting all the onus on you to do the enforcement without doing any sort of live instruction or virtual proctoring. If they want all the Union perks then they should punch the clock too. As for the rest, think of it as helping her with her homework. The blame shouldn’t be on your for her not grasping the information. It’s your job to encourage her to try harder. If that takes sitting down and explaining the material to her then that’s your job too.

The “blame” OTOH should NOT be. I know she’s still a kid but the whole point of doing homework and taking tests is to show that she’s doing her job.

irie feeling 08-31-2020 12:14 PM

8 am It’s show time!!!

I wonder how well I prepared her doing homeschool for 4 yrs. we did use grade appropriate materials from a respected learning academy. We had to “test In” for assement.
We shall see.

Just a thought.
Remember long ago when I once said if you can get a college degree online and never step foot in the college, how long will it be until everybody does K-12 online? No more in person school.
Homeschoolers do. In PA, there are 12 state approved online academies K-12.
Could we be looking at the future? Is this a test run?

irie feeling 08-31-2020 12:29 PM

20 minutes in and they were still trying to figure how to pull a class together for a zoom meeting. Not sure what the plan is. Live teaching with the kids watching? and interacting.??
I would run a recorded lesson and introduce an assignment. Fill an hour and move on to next “class.” Turn in assignments at end of day on scanner via e-mail. Have live teacher chat and live class chat once a week.
I’ve done this before, btw.
Guessing they haven’t.

Kwak 08-31-2020 12:52 PM

The teachers' unions would never let that fly. They're too powerful a lobby. They sneeze and we all catch cold.

What I hope happens is a more hybrid model where parents and teachers share responsibilities somehow and are able to collaborate while also holding the kids accountable.

Having had two kids with IEPs, I think it's a better model than the annual parent/teacher conference structure as it is more collaborative. We've had some success over the years by having a 1 hour meeting every month to track "data" and alter focus on the fly.

I see "core" classes (like math, science, grammar, reading and ) being owned by the teachers whereas "electives" (like home economics, physical education and health) and "extracurricular" stuff (like clubs and sports) being owned by the teachers (but in some cases overseen by a coach.) If teachers want their kids in a sport, I think that they should be involved with their nutrition and recuperation and if they want to be involved in events then they get to handle support roles in the stadium by being ushers, running the concessions, etc. - stuff that was strictly on a volunteer basis.

I think the "soft" subjects (like art and literature studies) being shared by the two with maybe 1-2 "field trips" to attend events such as performances, maybe artist/author meetups. I also feel like school and art supplies need to be the parents' perview, with a weekly/monthly trip to the appropriate stores with itemized needs being provided by the teachers on the syllabus. Music and band programs already have a model like this in place, why not art - or even yearbook or glee club?

BTW, I seriously feel like "home economics" and "shop" classes need to be done in the home and community and involve more than how to use a microwave and change a lightbulb. I think that kids need to learn how to do dishes; help with laundry; run the vacuum or sweep/mop the floors; shop for clothes and groceries; etc. out in the "real world." For "shop" I think that parents and local hardware stores should collaborate by holding workshops. HD and Lowe's have things like this on weekends where they cover home improvement classes ranging from woodworking basics to laying floor tile. I think that local farms and nurseries could help out by having events. A neighboring municipality even has a plot of land where residents can grow their own vegetables if they are unable to do so on their own property.

BTW, I envision all of this on the K-8 level with vocational/technical schools at the secondary level taking it to an apprenticeship level so that they are prepared to enter the work force upon graduation. If the parents are contractors, electricians, plumbers, etc. then their kids should get extra credit.

I know it all seems to place a heavy load on the parents, but it has to. IMO dual income families with kids have a misplaced priority on family income and work interferes with familial relationships. How workplaces are going to reduce their stranglehold on American families is a whole different topic but they could start by paying more serious attention to "bring your kid to work day" and expanding child care beyond merely having a day care for preschoolers and maybe synchronize their community outreach to target youth groups and venues such as scouting, museums, libraries, etc. I know that some of you have teenagers who are actually earning and I think this is a good way of balancing after school activities with extra academic credits.

What do you guys think?

Kwak 08-31-2020 01:42 PM

Tomorrow is the first day of school for our middle schooler. Yesterday we "attended" a virtual parent/student orientation where they outlined how they intend to start with a full virtual model that will move to a hybrid model in about 5 weeks. It's going to vastly different than what we had in the spring with an actual time-based schedule that needs to be followed and documented by the students.

Firstly, they've divided the student body into two groups by last name. Each half will alternate between "synchronus" (teacher-led real time instruction via teleconferencing) one day and "asynchronus" (online assignments that are not necessarily schedule based but need to be completed that day.) Attendance is done by adding a 10 minute "Homeroom" time period to the first period where students have to sign in by 7:35AM on EACH day. If they don't, they're marked as "absent." Kids don't get to sleep in anymore.

There are still "teams" but at this stage it's a formality; it plays a bigger role with regards to crowd control in the school facilities. At this point, they intend to shift to a "hybrid" schedule where the "synchronus" days shift from virtual to actual school attendance. That means that Mondays and Wednesdays he goes to school.

We have yet to decide if that means we will drive him or he rides the bus. I'm leaning toward driving him. Busing has always been the weak link with regards to school services and currently they are doing a "staggered" admission/dismissal model that they are trying to portray as being well thought-out it seems like a logistical nightmare. Without getting into details, they use the nearby high school ball fields as the bus staging area and the kids have to walk several hundred yards along a winding path that is not line of sight with the entrance and Joey has complained about it when things were "normal." Now they're talking of "staggering" by bus and I think they're biting off more than they can chew.

There's a drop off area for parents and I need to find out what the procedure is given this COVID nightmare. Being that I am still SAH I am available to drive him in. In fact, after years of butting heads with the transportation director over Justin I'd prefer it. I want to see for myself if it's "situation: FUBAR" and if it is I will talk with my wife about just driving him in. If I see that the faculty is doing their usual piss poor job of crowd management then we are going to have a family chat about us exercising the option to keep him full virtual.

Regardless, with this our routine has to change. Starting tomorrow his WiFi is going to be capped from 10PM to 2:30PM. I'm putting the Echo in his room and it's going to be his alarm clock and intercom. In fact, I'm thinking that we are ALL going to have to be following a strict bedtime schedule if we're all expected to be "up and at 'em" by 7am every day.

irie feeling 08-31-2020 06:52 PM

The teacher had a dentist appt and gave the kids a 3 hr lunch, mustering them back at 2:45, for 15 minutes before virtual school lets out at 3. I asked Pippa what she did, any thing learning related. She said they played games.

Tomorrow the boss has court. I gotta be nearby.

GBDad 08-31-2020 08:03 PM

We start tomorrow with a similar model to what Kwak described. Attendance taken every day at 8:30 during "community circle" time. They will have 15-20 minute or so of instruction from the teacher for each subject, and then an assignment to complete and turn in. They have a couple of those and then break and hour for lunch. Another lesson in the afternoon along with "specials" - P.E., music, art, etc.

I had the question of "What level of parent involvement is expected," and it was answered on the morning news. The superintendent was asked that very question and he said that younger students will need more guidance but parents should treat it as though they are sending their kids to school. As long as it's interactive enough I think our 3rd grader can handle that. Will be interesting to see how kindergarten goes.

Kwak 09-02-2020 12:49 PM

Our school district is using a service called Schoology. My involvement has been minimal, but then again I have a middle schooler in AP math (Geometry) so I shouldn't have to do more than help him with time management. Everything is online and our school district issued him a Chromebook so apart from our taxes we haven't had to invest much more than buying a desk, having high speed internet with WiFi and printer ink.

Regarding his day to day, he's required to log in at 7:25 M-F and fill in his attendance and then two days a week sit through push meetings on WebEx for all 9 periods from 7:25 to 2:17 - including a lunch break at the ridiculously early time of 10:35.

Apart from that, his day is much like my wife's: screen sharing and wearing headphones. TBH though 3 days out of the week he doesn't have to keep a rigid schedule and do the work at his leisure, but we're going opting to have him follow a similar time schedule so that he can get it out of the way early.

Day 1 had a couple of hiccups of him being "late" for 3rd period - though in his defense they only give him a 3 minute break between to use the bathroom and the teacher locked the sign in one minute after the class started.

Speaking of bathroom breaks, my wife has instructed me not to tie up our shared bathroom during those between class times.

irie feeling 09-02-2020 01:30 PM

All Online. Reevaluate in December. M-Th 8-3. Lots of bouncing between live and private assignments, with be back @____ time. Friday arts day half day. Spanish, art, P.E. (Funny it’s from home).
I was soooo looking forward to sending her off to school finally being free.

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