Sunday, August 17, 2014

Our first week with Connections Academy

I really wanted to write this post earlier, however we had a very busy weekend. Oh well, better late than never! 

Our first week with Connections Academy:
As a new family to Connections Academy we are still learning the ropes. I have to say that navigating the Connexus page is really quite easy. Connexus is Connections Academy's education management system. Learning Coaches and Students use Connexus to access the daily planner, the To-Do list, Web Mail, the Grade Book, and many other features of Connections Academy. In my opinion, Connexus is very user friendly. I was able to use Connexus effectively the very first day I had access to it. You can read more about the Connexus system by clicking HERE
I also really like the curriculum that Connections Academy uses.One of my biggest fears about pulling my kids out of traditional school was coming up with a curriculum that would effectively teach them. While I really wanted to home school my kids, I just didn't feel comfortable enough to choose (or teach) my own curriculum. Connections Academy takes care of that for me! Connections Academy uses resources from leading publishers along with custom designed tools and materials that effectively engage my kids. My kids especially enjoy the interactive tools and games that Connections Academy provides. The animated tutorials really hold my kids attention and they truly enjoy watching them. We have not yet been able to experience a Live Lesson, so I will have to write about that when we come to that. While I am sure that the Connections Academy curriculum is not for everyone, it seems as if it is going to work great for my family. You can read more about Connections Academy curriculum by clicking HERE.
I wish I could say that every moment this week was pure bliss, the truth is that Connections Academy is still SCHOOL, and kids don't always enjoy school, especially the first week back after a long summer break! We had a few tears, mostly from Jacob who's Autism can make learning difficult at times. I am sure that it is a big transition for both of my boys to come home to learn after attending traditional school from preschool through first grade. It will take some time for them to get used to Mom being the one who gives out school work. It will also take time for the boys to realize there is a time for play, and a time to get serious and get some school work done. Despite a couple of melt downs, and a few tears, we had a REALLY great week. We laughed A LOT, we played A LOT, and we spent time together learning. So far, I am extremely happy with our decision to bring our kids home to learn! 
There is SO much that I love about teaching the kids at home. Spending QUALITY time together is at the top of that list. It has been so nice to do all of our school work during the day, and have our evenings free to enjoy each others company. When the kids attended traditional school, things were usually very hectic after school. Jacob would come home and immediately have a melt down. This happened EVERY.SINGLE.DAY. He was overwhelmed from holding it together all day at school, and he would just come home and let it all out! These meltdowns would last at LEAST half an hour after school each day. By the time the daily melt down was finished it would be time for dinner. Then homework. Then bath. We would have just a few minutes to spend together before it was time for bed for the kids. Then we would start all over the next day. It just didn't work for us. We were all miserable! But that is a thing of the past, and hopefully it is something we will never have to experience again! 
Gosh, I could just go on all day about how much I love about our decision to school at home. But to save you from reading at least another ten paragraphs, I will end with some highlights from our first week! 

P.E.: Soccer! 

Jacob and Brandon are really happy about their choice for P.E. today! 

Brandon gives it two thumbs up! 

The boys were laughing very hard while coming up with some nonsense words that have the letters CK in them. They came up with some pretty silly ones before settling down and coming up with some actual words! Brandon (blue shirt) was laughing so hard he had tears. 

Getting familiar with the TUX Paint Program

Whats better than lunch at the park? 

What a great day for lunch at the park! 

And why not do recess while we are there?! 

So much fun! 
Watch for our next post:
"What our day looks like"- See what a typical day looks like for us! 

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