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Change is Hard!
I meant to post yesterday but I was exhausted! Provision FES Academy opened July 5th, 2017 with 2 academy students. Having been out of the teaching game for, oh... 11 years, we had a slightly bumpy ride. Our first students have been homeschooled but have not been used to a daily structure. That's quite a transition for younger students. Especially a newly 5 year old.
It's also a transition for our family. One of my favorite things of being a relaxed homeschool family is rolling out of bed whenever we like. PFES Academy means we get up EARLY. It's totally worth it though. At the end of the day, both of our students said they had fun. And they learned a lot!
Day 1 Highlights
Mixed age is always a bit tricky. Teachers (Special Education, General Education, and Homeschool) have to get used to teaching to different abilities, especially at the elementary level. My method is to start with the basics and differentiate up.
I used a deck of Alphabet Cards and had my non-reader identify letters, and my reader tell me the word. I used this as an informal assessment. They got tired after a few letters but I got a lot of information. I used a 100 chart for math. I learned my
younger student counts very well to 10 but gets confused after about 12. In my experience, that's pretty common. My other student recognizes all his numbers but does not know odd and even or addition past 10.
We provide meals and snacks so I learned a bit about what the students did and did not like. One student is more selective about what he eats and is NOT a fan of quinoa, lol.
All in all, it was a good day. Our biggest struggle was the students adjusting to the rules as this was their first informal but structured setting.
Day 2 Highlights
I made food they like! This always makes me happy. One of my biggest achievements is when kids enjoy nutritious food. We had hashbrowns for breakfast, which I seasoned with sea salt, turmeric, and garlic. Both students are vegan and do not eat very much. I had a piece of sausage with my breakfast. We had lentils and tricolor rotini for lunch.
We had a lot of integrated learning today. We made lemonade at lunch. The students got introduced to some new foods, learned about following a recipe, and we talked about halves. I also talked a bit about why we do not have many bread products at PFES Academy (simple vs. complex carbs).
One theme today was kindness. The students talked about what kindness was and completed a Kindness Scavenger Hunt (a TPT freebie). This theme came in handy when my littlest student was having a very hard time adjusting to new boundaries.
Later, we used the hand prints we made yesterday and used those to begin a discussion about science and the 5 Senses.
We ended the day with games* and friends. I'm looking forward to tomorrow! Stay tuned to see what happens next week.
*The stacking game in our picture is from Five Below. It is not on their website and I got it second hand. I linked the next best option I could find.
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Shay Malone is a development specialist. A certified teacher (emotional and learning disabilities and middle school mathematics) with a background in psychology, she has worked with children and families for over 15 years in many different capacities. She believes that emotional growth is just as important as academic achievement. Shay is an advocate for homeschooling, exceptional learners and quality education.