Thursday, March 31, 2011

Afterschooling - March 31

We have been agonizing over what to do next year for school. (I know - this is a dramatic way to put things, but its true.) 2nd grade is 2nd grade. I know that. My biggest concern is that sitting in a classroom day after day without sufficient challenge will start to erode the love of learning that Alice currently has.

We looked into private schools. There was one that was a good fit, but it was too expensive. Homeschooling is a possibility, but no one's first choice. Alice is in the running for the magnet school honor's program lottery - but there aren't many seats available.

A few days ago I discovered that Tennessee treats "intellectually gifted" as a subgroup under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). (Tennessee is the only state that does this. Suddenly I like living here a whole lot more...) This means that we can request an IEP (individualized education plan) solely because Alice is gifted! This could be a game-changer for us. An IEP is legally binding - the school would be required to make accommodations. Alice has already been identified as "intellectually gifted" by the district's own test.

Tim and I are planning to meet with the school sometime soon.

Anyhow, finding that out has been so exciting to me, I had to share.

Here is what we're working on with afterschooling this month:

Science: Plants - what do plants need to grow? Sprouting seeds. (Lima beans in wet paper towels, etc.) Different parts of the flower. Bees and pollination.

This is Alice's request. They are sprouting lima beans at school. She wanted to do the same thing at home, but made her request while I was in the middle of cooking dinner. I told her she needed to wait, but she could draw out the experiment if she wanted to. She stormed off to her room. A few minutes later I heard her reading a book about plants to her dolls. This is another great thing about afterschooling - you can take the curriculum that is being covered in school and explore it much further.

We will also probably start something with elements and the periodic table. She keeps asking me questions about it and is not satisfied with, "I don't know. We'll have to look that up later."

Math: Hammering addition and subtraction facts (always), telling time, counting money. (also supplementing school) I have a kid's clock kit with gears that I've been holding back since summer. That will probably come out this month as a daddy-daughter project.

Language Arts: Synonyms and Antonyms (school supplementation), letter writing.

History / read aloud: Little House in the Big Woods

No comments: