• Attendance

    August 2019
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  • The “Class”

    Avery, Naim, Aaron

  • Subjects

  • Portfolio

I actually have lots of thoughts on homeschooling…

I write posts in my head about homeschooling all the time. And then they don’t get done. Partly because to a degree, the kids are getting too old for my to pontificate on their progress and challenges publicly. I have lots of thoughts on learning disabilities and neurodiversity and the services provided for them, but I can’t figure out how to write those without being One Of Those Moms who gets off on her kids’ issues with no respect for their privacy. I need to think on this and maybe see if I can write something more generally.

I also want to write about homeschooling while disabled. I have a lot of people comment that they think homeschooling would be good for their kid but since they are disabled, they can’t do it. I have never said that homeschooling is right for everyone and it is a very personal, family lifestyle decision, because it is a lifestyle choice; and one not everyone can make. However, I feel like there are a lot of misconceptions as to whether and how disabled people can homeschool. It may or may not be for you, but at least know the facts if you are a disabled parent.

Also, I’m losing a student this fall! Naim has decided to attend an alternative public high school called Hillsboro Big Picture. They see themselves as very innovative, but it is just unschooling in a building and calling it alternative. It is a thing where they have to make up their own learning plans and do internships (a la John Holt, a la, Sudbury, a la Windsor House, a la Free School and many, many others) and then those activities get plugged into the right places in the standard curriculum. I’ve already seen a bit of evidence that the staff there JUST DOESN”T GET IT in terms or flexibility and creativity. Either that or they are doing a lot of compromising and dealing with some forces (in administration, I imagine) that just don’t get it and put pressure on them to conform. We will see how it goes. I hope he likes it. I think one of the big plusses will be that he gets a consistent community of kids, which sometimes is lacking in the homeschool world. Its not socialization per se, there are plenty of opportunities for that. It is more about developing deeper, longer-term relationships.

Aaron will be coming home to me almost full-time, since doing a lot of stuff with Hillsboro Online Academy. I admit to having neglected him academically the last year or so. It doesn’t matter as much as you’d think, the kid can learn anything and everything on his own. But I have a goal to put in more time and attention this next year. I’m hoping for a lot of growth and maturity for him.

Avery is coming along nicely and takes the most time, because he is still not able to independently read many things that are where he is academically. Naim had this issue as well, although I do not think Avery has a true learning disability, I think this is just where he is. Which brings me to my “arc of school” thought process. It seems like my kids, not so much Aaron, but the Ns, came to a few skills later than others. I applied steady opportunities but did not push too hard, and then we adapted in other areas where we needed to. But by 8th grade, it doesn’t seem to matter…because I don’t think you do much academically in 7th or 8th grade that is all that new in the normal school system. It is all just holding the advanced kids back so the slower kids could catch up. So, for Naim, we largely skipped the receptive 7-8 grades, and he is good with it. And for Aaron, we were able to skip 7-8 grade stuff and just move ahead. So, Aaron is finishing up 9th grade Algebra this summer, while Naim is finishing up basic math and will be ready for Algebra soon. There is so much repetition in the school curriculum in middle school, you really don’t need it. And so it would be great to just let kids go at their speed and it doesn’t matter.

Again, I think my 10 kids per class with 1 teacher and 1 paraeducator would solve so, so many problems. Problems that, when solved, would even out the cost of this low ratio and individualization.

Along with that, I did my lawful duty and had Aaron and Naim tested this year with a standardized test. (Avery will test next year, due to the weird way they grade homeschool kids at my local ESD). Naim got average stanines and percentiles in every area, whereas Aaron got above average in every area. Then I look at the scores and go, hmmm, and file them away because that is all that is required of me in this little theater. (Except it costs me $60 per kid to do this.) So, in a way, yes…the average to above average scores make me feel justified. But in the other way, I get that it doesn’t matter and doesn’t really measure hardly anything that matters. Because of the odd, rare story of a severely abused kid who went under the radar because of the “homeschooled” excuse, and because of kids who–although not abused in the traditional sense, miss out on any type of decent education and opportunity because of very fundamental religious beliefs, I am ok with some level of homeschool accountability. If it will save a kid from abject abuse, I can put up with some state interference. The only problem is, this is not it. I can’t see that this does anything to prevent that type of situation. Its just theater, and I think there could be a better way to balance freedom in education (and religion…to a point) and accountability.

On the logistics level, I used the Homeschool Buyer’s Coop Homeschool Planet planner last year and it went pretty well. I really like that thing (with a few minor quibbles) and it kept me totally digital for everyone. And I love it when I can be totally digital. I’m also saying goodbye to Oak Meadow, largely because of the lousy way they have gone digital is not accessible to me. We came up with a workaround, but it was a very clumsy workaround and after two years, I’m done wrestling with it. All those stories and more! are floating around in my head.

So, those are some of the topics I would like to cover in the future and put here. The challenge, as always is balancing and prioritizing time.

Aaron’s 7th Grade Year

Aaron, 7th Grade Year

Classes:

  • VH Cool Contraptions
  • VH Bridges, Buildings, and Beyond
  • VH NaNoWriMo
  • HOA Chill Skills (fall)
  • HOA Art Club
  • HOA PE
  • HOA Middle School Options
  • Airways Science for Kids InFlight
  • Zoo Camp
  • Airways Flight Simulator Camp

Curriculum:

  • HOA Math 7 (fall)
  • Math U See Pre-Algebra (Spring)
  • Oak Meadow English 7
  • Oak Meadow World History 7
  • Curiosity Stream Science
  • HOA PE 7
Books and Media:
  • Summer of the Monkeys
  • Lyddie
  • Amelia Earhart
  • Mama’s Bank Account
  • Dragons of Fire Series

Fieldtrips:

  1. HOA Downtown Hillsboro Walking Tour
  2. Out of the World Pizza
  3. Pumpkin Farm
  4. Family Day At Beaverton Library (NFB booth)
  5. Tualatin Hills Nature Park
  6. Breakfast with Santa (VS)
  7. Dairyville (Alpenrose Dairy)
  8. Elf, Jr. (Village Home)
  9. Ice Skating (Orenco Winter Village)
  10. Elsie Schloss, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall
  11. Mt. Hood National Forest (Welches)
  12. Intel Open House
  13. Washington County Fair
  14. OMSI
  15. The OutPost

Naim, 7th Grade Year

Naim, 7th Grade Year

Classes:

  • VH Intermediate Improv
  • VH 50 States
  • VH Acting On Camera
  • VH Reading Tutor
  • HOA Chill Skills (Fall)
  • HOA Art Club
  • HOA PE
  • HOA Middle School Options
  • VillaSport Youth Basketball League (Fall)
  • VillaSport Superskills Basketball (Fall)
  • OMSI Urban Biking Camp
  • Comedy Sports Improv Camp
Curriculum:
  • Math U See Delta, Epsilon
  • Oak Meadow 5th Grade English
  • Oak Meadow 5th Grade US History
  • Oak Meadow 5th Grade Earth Science
  • Touch Type Read and Spell
  • All About Spelling 1, 2

 

Books and Media:

  • Bernie Sanders Revolution
  • Where Do You Think You’re Going, Christopher Columbus
  • Johnny Tremain
  • CNN Student News
  • If You Sailed On the Mayflower in 1620
  • Freedom Train: The Story of Harriet Tubman
  • The Witch of Blackbird Pond
  • Ben and Me
  • Children of the Wild West
  • Little House on the Prairie
Fieldtrips:
  1. Seaside, Oregon
  2. Out of This World
  3. Hillsboro, Pumpkin Farm
  4. Tualatin Hills Nature Park
  5. Dairyville at Alpenrose Dairy
  6. Orenco Winterfest Ice Skating
  7. Zoo Lights
  8. An Evening with Eva Schloss; Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall
  9. Welches, Oregon “Camping”
  10. Skating, Lloyd Center and Winterhawks Ice Rink
  11. Intel Ronler Acres Open House
  12. Oregon Zoo
  13. OMSI
  14. Haag Lake Boating

Aaron, 6th Grade Year

*Reconstruction from lost data.

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Aaron, 6th Grade

Curriculum:

  • HOA Math 6
  • HOA Language Arts 6
  • HOA Social Studies 6
  • HOA Science 6

Classes:

  • HOA PE
  • HOA Face to Face
  • VH Animation
  • VH Hogwarts Academy
  • Heron Hill
  • Outdoor School (HOA Cedar Ridge)
  • Outdoor School (VH Opal Creek)
  • UUCCWC Jedi Academy (Youth Group)

 

Fieldtrips:

 

Naim, 6th Grade Year

*I lost a bunch of data/pics/etc from 2016. This is a bit of a reconstruction.

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Naim, 6th Grade

Curriculum:

  • Math U See, Gamma
  • Child’s History of the World
  • Touch, Type, Read and Spell
  • Khan Academy, Grammar
  • HOP Master Reader
  • Voyages in English 3

Classes:

  • HOA PE
  • HOA Elementary Face-to-Face
  • VH Kids Design the Future
  • VH Oval Office, Bill on the Hill, Court in Session
  • VH Chess Club
  • VH Cultural Arts
  • VH Human Rights Heroes
  • VH Fall Musical Elf, Jr.
  • HOA Outdoor School (Cedar Ridge)
  • VH Outdoor School (Opal Creek)

Media:

  • CNN Student News

Field Trips:

  • Elf, Jr
  • Democratic Party Election Night Party
  • NWCT Schoolhouse Rock
  • Oregon Rail Heritage Center
  • Japanese Garden
  • Seaside Maritime Museum
  • Seaside Bike Riding/beach trip
  • Science Fair (HOA)
  • Science Fair (Hillsboro District)
  • Oregon State NFB Legislature Meeting
  • Oregon State Legislature House of Representatives Page
  • Nike World Headquarters Tour
  • OMSI Pompeii Exhibit

Naim, 5th Grade Year

Naim 5th Grade

Naim, 5th Grade Year

Classes:

  • VH Explorers
  • VH Children’s Chorus
  • VH Presentation Club
  • VH Gardening
  • HOA “Face-to-Face” Class
  • HOA 5th Grade PE
  • HOA 5th Grade Art
  • HOA 5th Grade Music
  • NWCT: Jack’s Nightmarish Christmas
  • OMSI Survival Camp
Curriculum:
  • Math In Focus 3A,B
  • Life Of Fred: Book 3 Dogs
  • Life of Fred Book 4: Cats
  • Voyages in English 2
  • Calvert World History
  • Hooked On Phonics 2(A,B)
  • Touch Type Read and Spell
  • Raz Reading
  • Moby Max Math Factor
  • CNN Student News
  • DIY. org
  • Harry Potter Series
  • Doodle Crate
  • Gandhi: YA biography
  • Exodus
  • 1984
  • Animal Farm
  • Harriet the Spy
Fieldtrips:
  1. Tillamook State Forest (HOA)
  2. Lakeview Farms
  3.  VH Entrepreneur Fair (Participant)
  4. Washington County Museum (Lego Displays)
  5. Dairyville at Alpenrose Dairy
  6. Mary Poppins at Liberty High School
  7. Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum
  8. Wings and Waves Waterpark
  9. McMinnville Theater
  10. Champing State Park
  11. Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (Gamers)
  12. iFly Sports Indoor Skydiving
  13. Washington County Democratic Party Springfest
  14. Hillsboro Library and Pond
  15. Jackson Bottom Wetlands
  16. Rice Museum of Rocks and Minerals
  17. HOA Science Fair (participant)
  18. District Science Fair (participant)
  19. Outdoor School at Opal Creek
  20. Haag Lake
  21. Bullwinkle’s Family Fun Center
  22. Washington Park/Hoyt Arboretum
  23. World Forestry Center
  24. HFAC Summer BBQ

HOA 2015-16 SlideShow