After 3 days of virtual academy, the school district pulled the plug on it and cancelled the program. Done. Finito. No mas. Jesus take the wheel and pour me a sangria! Whew! What just happened?!?!
It’s been a very rocky start to the virtual academy, and not just because Eli prefers to lay on the floor and scream he will not learn to eat rice. The Calvert curriculum our school system chose is completely bogus for what they expect out of a first grader. Yesterday’s assignment was to read a 43 page book (Stellaluna, aka Stella-lunatic) and identify the characters, setting, plot, and adjectives throughout the book. It was suggested that students use a dictionary for help with unknown words. Here’s where the problem lies with that assignment: #1 – most first graders can’t read. #2 – no one owns dictionaries anymore; you simply Google words. #3 – the first sentence of the book contained the word “sultry” to describe a forest. There is no way in H-E-double hockey sticks that I’m suggesting Eli Google the word sultry. So, that was yesterday’s Language Arts course where I sat next to him reading the book and giving verbal directions and asking questions. Today in Language Arts, Eli was supposed to think of his favorite story and write it down in essay form using adjectives to describe the characters and setting, and making sure his story had a distinct beginning, middle, and end. Ummmm might he need to know how to spell words before embarking on writing an essay?!? Or, for that matter, be proficient at not writing “s” backwards still?!?
Then we get to the Math course and Eli is asked to match a group of 2 apples to a group of teddy bears with the same number. Ava did Eli’s math homework and I have no shame in saying that. Looking ahead at the curriculum, in 6 weeks, Eli will learn how to count from 10-20. My mind is blown that this level of math is matched with that level of language arts and is supposed to be geared at the same child.
After 2 days of constant letters, emails, phone calls, and many facebook discussion groups all aimed at the school district, the superintendent acknowledged the problems with the Calvert curriculum and put a stop to it. Proof that you don’t want a group of moms unhappy with something! I commend him for owning up to the problem and taking swift action, but if that was the curriculum that came out of 4 months of research and decisions on what to do with the school year, what exactly is going to happen in the 4 days the district has to come up with a new plan for next week?
Meanwhile, Eli asked if he was finished with first grade already 🙂