Saturday, August 19, 2006

Connections Academy

I thought I would write an update on Connections Academy and how it is coming along for us. So far the curriculum is extremely easy for us (but fun) however it is quite time consuming. I’m really happy with the connections academy support staff, they are always there and very helpful. My daughter’s teacher as well is very helpful. The schedule can be as flexible as you like it. When you run the scheduler, you can tell it how you want the subjects and lessons scheduled, on what days, etc… So far I’m very satisfied and we are already ahead of schedule, but that’s only because my 5 year old is enjoying it so much she doesn’t want to stop so I usually end up doing the next day’s lessons too.

As for the curriculum, they sent me all the supplies and books and manipulatives. There is a technology course that she does on the computer, which they sent as well, along with her printer. So far there have been some aspects of reading and writing on the computer as well, along with the music lessons (which I am pretty much skipping). Everything else we have books for and art supplies and workbooks, etc… We have a green portfolio folder as well that they supplied in which we place any assignments that are labeled to be sent to the teacher. Then we put that folder in a self-addressed stamped envelope that they sent and send it to the teacher on certain dates throughout the year. Then she will grade them and send them back to us. It’s very organized and I love the fact that it keeps me very organized as well.

As for the teacher, we can email her anytime we want with any questions we may have. We can also call her during office hours with any questions that we have. On top of all that, you schedule a bi-weekly phone conversation. So every two weeks your teacher will call you on a certain day of the week at a certain time to discuss progress, whenever it is convenient for you.

It’s a great system they have going there. I know there will also be field trips scheduled soon that we may choose to go to if we wish.

One thing that was quite interesting was a pre-assessment test called “LEAP” and after she did that test it stated that she was above grade level for reading and math. I knew she was already for reading, but I wasn’t so sure on the math.

So far the only part of the curriculum that is challenging for her is the technology course. Right now we’re learning Microsoft Word. I was quite surprised to see that they expect a 5 year old to learn copying and pasting, using the drawing toolbar and now typing a friendly letter. Well we went ahead with it anyway and I was surprised to see she got the copy and paste down and really enjoyed the word art. Now the next lesson is the friendly letter, can’t wait to see how that goes!

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