Third Quarter Grades for the Bigs

Fritz did excellent as usual the third quarter. Adrian, however, was doing very well and then we discovered for the last week before spring break he skipped some zooms and was playing video games and watching youtube instead of doing his assignments and paying attention to class. Good thing he’s back to in-person school again this week. Not having the temptation of non-school things to do during school hours is a good thing for him. (What he did dropped his grades in Spanish, English, and Science by an entire letter grade.)

Adrian’s Grades
Math A (95%)
Science B (83%)
English C (74%)
Robotics A (95%)
PE A (100%)
Spanish B (84%)
Texas History A (90%)

Fritz’s Grades
Spanish I A (90%)
Animation A (96%)
Outdoor Adventure A (99%)
AP Human Geography B (80%)
Biology A (95%)
English I A (92%)
Algebra I A (95%)

(4.15 GPA for the quarter)

Transition to Public School

The transition from homeschool to public school has definitely been a success for Fritz and Adrian. Today’s the last day of the quarter so we don’t quite have final grades yet, but it looks like it’ll be all A’s and B’s for both of them.

Fritz is still planning to stay a remote learner the entire year or for as long as they’ll let him. He’s getting a little annoyed at the peer pressure from the teachers about getting into the classroom. It sounds like a lot of kids are not doing well with the Zoom school thing and so they are pushing hard for all kids to get in the classroom. Fritz is doing just fine though so considering he doesn’t actually want to be in the classroom and there have been several COVID cases at the high school I’m good with him staying home.

Adrian is so excited that he’ll get to be in the classroom on Monday. He loves having people to talk to. We’ve all been so surprised at how well he’s doing and the grades he’s getting. My parents promised him a trip to Sonic for every 100% he gets on tests and I think they might be regretting that now (he got another hundred – on his Science test – this morning).

I’m glad this transition has been relatively easy for them and they are doing so well. Hopefully Adrian’s transition into the actual classroom will be as good, too.

School Update

We’re in the seventh week of the 2020-21 school year and for the most part it’s going super well for all four of the kids. In 2 1/2 weeks we’ll get report cards and we anticipate all of them will be excellent.

M absolutely loves pre-k. She is so happy to be going to the big school. One of her teachers reported that they just love having her in their class. We’ve started walking to school three days a week and M thinks that is the coolest thing ever. She’s learning all sorts of things and knows the names of pretty much all of the letters already.

E struggles a little in school due to the environment he was in during his first few years. We’re watching him for dyslexia since it runs in his bio family (and, amusingly, his adoptive family, too) and he’s showing some early signs. He really enjoys being in the classroom and learning. He’s got at least four letter names, three letter sounds, and one sight word down pat now.

Adrian is our big surprise. He LOVES school. He can’t wait to be in person in the classroom. He’s getting excellent grades. He’s gotten two 100% tests so far (math and Texas history) and lots of 100% quizzes. His lowest grade on any assignment so far is an 80%. We really did not expect that, though we are certainly delighted.

Fritz is still not thrilled about being in school and does not ever want to attend in person. He has a whole lot of homework. He’s taking an AP course and a couple honors courses so pretty high level stuff. He’s getting it all done and getting a good preparation for college. He’s learning a lot, though.

I deleted so many alarms

On Friday I deleted so many alarms from my phone. Tomorrow E&M will start in-person school. I am sure it will be so much better for them than Zoom school. And easier for me, too.

This weekend we’ve been getting their supplies ready and labeled and bags of toys for M to play with at her desk (no shared anything at this time). She’ll have a bag of animal figures, a bag of playdough, a bag of Magna-Tiles, a bag of books, and a bag with a coloring book and crayons to choose from.

Remote Learning Mornings

We intend to get up at 6:30, but we’ve slept through the alarm multiple times. We’re always up by 7.

I go around and collect the kids’ clothes for the day from their bins and toss them down from upstairs. Then I get dressed and come down. Meanwhile, Jamie takes the kids down and starts to give them applesauce, yogurt, meat sticks, or cereal.

Jamie usually gets four of them dressed while two of them are getting themselves dressed. I do the kids’ hair one after the other (and Lola takes her turn hopping up on the foam cube to get her hair brushed, too).

It’s about 7:20 by this point. Jamie takes the toddlers to their preschool while I get a good breakfast on the table for the older two. My second alarm of the day goes off at 7:35 so at that point I get the iPads up and running and get those two set up for their first Zoom session of the day.

Of course as soon as we get this down, the older two will be going to the actual school for school and will have to adjust our routine, but this is what we’re doing right now.

Thoughts on the first week of remote learning

All I can say is I really hope E&M get in during the first phase of in-person learning (starting 9/8). Zoom classes have been fabulous for Fritz and Adrian. For pre-k and kindergarten, it’s not so great. I have 14 alarms set on my phone (two for Adrian, one for Fritz, one for waking up in the morning, and the other ten for E&M’s on-line times). So pretty much my day is spent making sure the right kid gets on the right device and that homework is completed and submitted on time.

Fritz really likes a couple of his classes, especially Animation. He’s already gotten lots of homework over the course of the first week, and, as would be expected with Fritz, has gotten it all completed on his own without being reminded.

Adrian is surprisingly engaged in his classes and is participating and working hard. He got a 100% on his first test, an oral one in Spanish. He’s not great at remembering to actually submit his assignments that he has completed (we’re all still learning how to use Google Classroom). He has said he wouldn’t mind going to class in person, but I’m waiting until phase 3 or 4 before letting the older kids go simply because of exposure to more people over the course of a day.

There were quite a few technology hiccups the first week, some were our fault, like Adrian’s laptop needing a new battery (which arrived yesterday) and so when it came unplugged a couple times he lost connection with his class and our internet going down for a couple minutes kicking Fritz out of Zoom, while others were not, like M’s pre-k teacher’s internet going down for one morning and the district website crashing the first morning from all the people trying to log in at once. But even those hiccups weren’t so bad and were only minor inconveniences rather than huge problems.

Really my only true complaint is that Zoom just isn’t an appropriate way for 4 and 5 year olds to learn. Well, that and trying to keep two active little ones plus two babies (the toddlers go to preschool just before E&M start their school day) quiet and occupied all day is not easy. But so far so good for Fritz and Adrian and good enough for E&M.

One more weekend…

We have one more weekend of summer vacation. School starts Monday. We have met E and M’s teachers (via Zoom). We have gotten Fritz and Adrian’s schedules and collected their books from their schools. Fritz has even done the pre-lesson for Seminary (that doesn’t start until the 25th and will be lessons on his own four days a week and a Zoom class one night a week until we can return to activities at the church at which time the weekly Zoom class will be in person). Now we just have to figure out who will use what technology and where we will set them up, get out the school supplies they’ll need at their computers, and then wait until Monday morning at 7:40 (E), 8 (M), 8:30 (Adrian), and 10 (Fritz).

Two More Enrolled

We enrolled Fritz and Adrian in public school this week. We decided to fully take advantage of the pandemic academically. Our school district is beginning the year with 100% remote learning and then once they can begin face to face learning parents will still get the option to keep their kids on remote.

So our plan is to keep those two on the remote option. I would not be surprised if remote continues to be an option for the entire school year (they are planning to continue to offer it as long as the state allows them to). Then starting next school year, we’ll switch both of them in the virtual school. In Texas, they have to be enrolled in public school for one year before being eligible for the virtual school.

The boys are a bit nervous about it, but since they can do school from home most or all of the school year and then the virtual is from home, too, they are okay with it. Adrian was concerned about all the coloring he remembers hating when he was in public school before. I assured him 7th graders do a whole lot less coloring than kindergartners. Fritz will be in 9th grade so I figure that’s the best point to put him in public school if we are going to at all since that is the beginning of high school.

Not having to spend tons of time creating a curriculum will be nice and with raising a million kids now it’s such a relief not to have to. I’ll still be spending about the same amount of time helping them with school and keeping Adrian on task, but that’s no big deal. I’m used to it.