Thursday, June 3, 2010

A Post

Alright here is a post.  It'll have to do.  I have not been very motivated in the posting department.  I have been very busy at work on projects, I have been busy after work coaching and now my own running/biking training.  I am getting ready for coaching the HOPE school CC team this fall and we are starting summer running in June.  I think getting the CC program at that school restarted will be quite a project.

Katie is graduating this Sunday from Wisconsin Lutheran.  That's a big deal.  I'm very proud of her academic prowess and dedication to being a great student.  Might have wished to spread some of that dedicatoin out a bit amongst all three children but it did seem to get consentrated in Katie.  Congratulations Katie.

Katie has some vacations planned this summer.  She is looking for jobs in daycare.  She is looking at school online at UIU where Karen goes or possibly MATC...or maybe both.  She will be staying here though and not moving to California as she is no longer with Phil.

Ike was confirmed at Victory of the Lamb on May 9th and is graduating from 8th grade at St. Marcus this Sunday as well.  He will be attending IQ Academy for high school.  This is a virtual online high school run out of the Waukesha School District.  After some research and contemplating this change, we decided that the online school addressed Ike's learning style in a much better way as well as provides him some flexibility to deal with difficult subjects in a way that removes some of the barriers to classic "brick and mortar" education. 

The main things are that he can "rewind" the teacher(online class) whenever he needs to.  Multimedia learning is obviously a focus.  Assignments and tests are not restricted by time frames...meaning he can take an hour and a half on a math test which is an area where if given enough time he can do well...he just needs twice as much time.  The point is to test the knowledge...not whether he can do it in 42 minutes.  These kinds of deals and considerations are hard to make at a brick and mortar school...and even harder at Wisco.  One more feature is that he has better access to teachers than most students.  He can communicate with them with email and the online school portal and ask questions anytime of night or day.  The teacher can go online and do demo's and "chalkboard" work from their computer and show him things nearly anytime in the day.  Try to track down your teacher in a school to get a question answered.  Maybe you can find them in the morning or just before class when the assignment is due.  Maybe your study hall hour might allow you to find them.   At IQ they are all at his fingertips.  No fears of missing the assignment deadline because you couldn't get help. the last big plus is that he has a chance to perhaps catch up a year and graduate a little early.  Since he is two years older than most of the kids in his grade this would be nice as socially it is awkward when a 16 year old has peers who just turned 14.

The downside is obviously the time management and staying on top of his work. This will be my job as parental homework gestapo. Thankfully they provide a great portal where I can see all his work as it is submitted as well as get instant feedback on grades.  Even though the schools all post grades online it is almost useless because if you want to manage your childs assignments vigorously, you can't, because half the teachers don't enter them regularly nor can I actually see the assignments before and after they were submitted.  Now I can.  The other downside is that socially doing your high school from home is well...not very social.  however the online community of IQ students is very strong.  Additionally there is a ski club that ski's every Friday in the skiing season.  This was a big plus for Ike.  Also Ike spreads his friends around and his good friends go to a variety of schools.  So he might adobt Wisco as a place to hang out socially.  It wouldn't surprise me if half the people there didn't even know he wasn't a student there.

Ike is pretty excited about the school.  We'll see how it goes.

Karen took the test for her FALU designation.  The last test of 4 is very tough and only 25% of the people who take it pass it.  That held true at NM as of the 5 people who took it, only Karen passed it this year.  I'm very proud of her getting through all the FLMI, FALU, PCS, ARA coursework.  This is the equivalent to approximately 50 credits of courses at various levels of college work.  On top of it she has been attending college.  She is now signed up for two classes.  One of them she will be taking at UIU in Layfayette, IA for a week in June.  The other she is doing in her normal correspondence mode.  She has 8 classes left until she graduates.  Again I'm very proud.

Zach is still in Jacksonville, NC at the New River base.  He came for a surprise visit this Memorial day weekend which was very pleasant.  Chrissy is planning their wedding and quite smartly keeping Zach out of it. Their wedding will be in February...yes February in WI.  No matter...I love a good party and weddings are good fun. Zach is planning on coming back in July for a week or so over the 4th of July holiday.

So there a post.

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