Friday, November 30, 2007

First Quarter Report Card Is In!

The First Quarter is officially over and Spawn finally got his first ever report card! All A's!!! He made the school's Distinguished Honors List and I'm so darn proud of him!

His handwriting is really the only trouble spot, but he's working very hard to improve and it barely hurt his Language Arts grade at all. Personally, I think his scissor skills and coloring could use a little work. Spawn does not like to be boxed in by having to color inside the lines. He's just as free-spirited as his mommy. ;)

I have so many pictures and videos to upload showing his progress. I'll try to get to that over the next week or so. Christmas-planning is really slowing me down.

Chrissi, Cyber School Mom

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Cabin Fever is Getting Us Down Already...

So we're always looking for new ways to get out and meet new people and be active. I recently started roller skating again. My skating skills, sadly, are not coming back as easily as say - getting on a bike, however. ;) I've been trying to get in some daytime skating just to get my wheels back under me. ;) Spawn loves to skate, too, so we're going to try Tiny Tot Skate at the two local roller rinks for a few weeks. Meet some other kids, get in another 2 hours of weekly acitivity to meet his phys ed requirements, and it'll give me a little practice getting my balance back. ;)

Pray for us. ;)

Chrissi, Cyber School Mom

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Spawn's Science Project: Unit A Lesson 5 - Plants

Spawn began growing this plant about a month or so ago. It was supposed to be a lima bean plant, but the lima bean seeds had been inadvertently left out of his science kit. We made do with some fava beans that we had plenty of from the kit instead. We were supposed to grow the seed in some rolled paper towel and observe the growth over a period of 5 - 7 days. It took a little more time than that (about 2 weeks) since we were using a different bean, but the results were amazing! In a kitchen where we've never been able to get herbs to grow on the windowsill in mid-summer, Spawn got a fava bean plant to grow in mid-autumn. :D The plant continues to flourish in little more than water and rolled paper towel stuffed in an old sippy cup. It is, however, very root-bound at this point. We took these photos yesterday:

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Chrissi, Cyber School Mom

Homeschool Gym and Swim at the YMCA

Spawn just completed his first 6 week course at the YMCA yesterday. His instructors, Miss Donna, Mr. Bob, and Miss Joanne, have worked wonders in just six weeks! Until six weeks ago, going swimming consisted of Spawn clinging for dear life to CS Dad and I until we'd been in the water a good half hour. Then he might let us push him back and forth between us for ten minutes. Yesterday, he jumped in the water unassisted, doggie-paddled (with the assistance of a 3 bubble water walking belt), floated on his back, and he even swam to the deep end of the pool! He was the last one out of the water and he had to be talked out! LOL!

We are so fortunate to have a YMCA that supports the home- and cyber-schooling families in our community. Friday afternoon gym and swim class is going to be a staple of Spawn's physical education for a long time to come. I'm so pleased with his progress and the loving care of his instructors. He's even asking to sign up for a second swimming class each week. How can I say no to that request? :D

Chrissi, Cyber School Mom

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

My Baby Can Read!!!

So...he's not a baby anymore. :p He sure was pleased with himself today while we were working on his Language Arts assignment and he sounded out a word phonetically and read it. I'll admit it - I cried. I can't for the life of me understand how other parents can so casually send their kids off to school! Do they not realize what they're missing?! I wouldn't give today up for the world.

Spawn read the word "sat". Three little letters that a week ago stumped and aggravated him. Today, it's like a whole new world opened up! He's begging to write to Santa to ask for books for Christmas. I offered to donate some of his older books to the library when Santa brings him new ones, but he reminded me, "I'm getting new books - why shouldn't the library?" He's absolutely right! Why shouldn't they? What a great way to celebrate! :D

Spawn's getting his fair share of books, too. ;) We're going to shop online for books for his list tonight and make a day of it on Saturday with a trip to Barnes & Noble to shop and have a treat at the cafe.

Chrissi, Cyber School Mom

Thursday, September 13, 2007

I did a crazy thing...

I volunteered do be the Southeast RAC for my son's cyber school. RAC's are regional activity coordinators - long fancy title meaning volunteer parent field trip planner. I'm still waiting to hear back about whether or not they'll need me, but letting no moss grow on this mom...I looked through the quasi-trip report forum for the school's trips. Traditionally not well-attended because field trips are optional, so the trip reports are a little sad (photos, no articles, few attendees) and some of the trips seemed less than inspired. I'm looking for ideas! These trips should be within a 2 hour drive of Philly for a day trip or a 6 hour drive for a weekend trip. Many thanks in advance!

Chrissi, Cyber School Mom

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Our first week of school is nearly over...

...and we've hardly made any progress! I realize this first week is all orientation and there are software and hardware bugs to work out, but I'm eager to get on with it already!

This first week began with a less than auspicious start - errors, bugs, and crashing computers. Our webcam and mic still aren't working! Grr...Patience. It'll all come together. The school sent a printer with a nearly empty ink cartridge and a few broken pieces. I remain unimpressed. :p We were informed to day that a return label is on its way so we can exchange the printer. Still no news on either the webcam or mic. Sigh.

We did manage a brief chat with my son's teacher last week. Despite our dysfunctional webcam and mic, we were able to hear her presentation in the chat room and had to chat the old fashioned way - by typing! Gasp! Works for me. ;)

Despite these first week/back to school issues to be worked out, I'm really pleased overall with the decision to cyber charter school and with the school itself. The school provides everything each student needs for the year - a PC (including tower, monitor, printer, one print cartridge, keyboard, mouse, webcam, headphones w/ mic, speakers, and even a thumb drive!), all books, workbooks, art supplies, and even a science kit with special kiddie goggles.

I have to laugh at the state legislators who claim that cyber schooling costs less than traditional public schooling and therefore requires less funding - that the "excess" funding should be remitted to the school district of residence. Greedy local administrators. :p Cyber schooling costs more! And yet, the cyber school manages to make due with what funding is available to them better than the local school district does. Cyber schooling offers more opportunities, more variety, and greater diversity among students who DO socialize with one another!

We look forward to a wonderful and enlightening year online with PA Leadership Charter School!

Chrissi, Cyber School Mom
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