If you are to use grades to measure how successful a school year was then my children had a fantastic school year. If you were to measure by how happy they are to go back to school then the school year was a complete failure for everyone but Michelle. It all started when they had to switch schools due to DJ having a knife pointed at his stomach by a classmate. The new school had great academic standards which appears at first to have been the best place for my children, but it turned out to be a place where I can honestly say where they took the joy out of learning for my little boy. DJ would come home from school very tired and quite different. The more we talked the more he shared about how his classmates were referring to him as the black boy and how the teacher didn't do anything about it. Yes I am that parent who talks directly to the principal about serious matters, the racist comments didn't stop and to be honest I begin to feel the teacher was racist. The more I write about this the more upset I become so lets' just save this subject for another post. I formally homeschooled Ken in her kindergarten and first grade years. When she went to public school for second grade she tested on third grade level on all subjects. Now entering the fifth grade year she is according to her report card a "C" student. What a shame! Ken's first semester of fourth grade was spent with a teacher who well in my opinon didn't want to teach and it didn't help that Ken didn't show any sign of effort, afterschooling begin to dominant home life. Again this subject is a post on its' own. When I mention the mere thought of going to school DJ shuts down it dosent matter if he is playing outside, playing his playstation or doing montessori activities. Ken really wants to understand concepts because really she was staring out the classroom window last year and needs one on one before the middle school years come. So I made a decision to homeschool DJ and Ken for the school year 2011-2012. I am really praying to instill the joy of learning back into my kids heart. The foundation of our curriculum will be to get my kids their flames back, learning is a process, to be able to understand the importance of getting an education, ( too many people died for this right ) and to be able to walk in a public/private classroom setting again and feel good about themselves. (preferrably a montessori classrom :)
Because I can't do a post without pictures here are two books that have been helpful in making a decision about what our academic curriculum will consist of. I love how it comes with different poetry selections and information related to core subjects that can lead to some fun enrichment. Next week sometime I plan to share with you our curriculum choices, and how we will use the Montessori Method in the elementary years.