Hello from The 4 Brothers Ranch! Our family has a lot going on and a couple blogs in order to keep things organized. You can find all our homeschooling stuff here! Annissa's regular everyday blog is called A PAGE IN MY BOOK and also there is a blog to update the kids medical issues at MY UNIQUE FLOWERS. Please check those out too!

Sunday, June 24, 2012


I am standing smack in the middle of a crossroad ...  Friday pushed that crossroads out a little and made us more determined.   Been talking about it, questioning it, trying to figure out what's best for our children and we had pretty much decided to let Calahan learn at home, Noah was up in the air.

Noah gets speech therapy and he's very social.  Those two facts alone had us questioning if homeschooling him would be right.  We fully planned on working through the summer with him to see how he did and make that determination later ....  but....  now.... after he handed me his report card, I'm so irritated and pissed ..... I am certain that my kids are falling through the cracks.

I have discussed in previous posts how Calahan is feeling uncomfortable at school.  There is a little bit of bullying that has been going on the last 6 months or so.  He is uncomfortable with the drinking and drugs and smoking going around.  He has some major anxiety issues.  But he's made some good friends.. and he was thrilled when he got his yearbook.  He thought it was super cool.

Now, I have to say that I'm really proud to know that I instilled in him ... I  never did any sort of drugs, unless it was prescription ... lol... highly against smoking and have many pet peeves of others smoking habits infringing on my direct air quality.  I have lung issues and my kids have lung issues, so it's a little more than just me not liking it.  I don't like the taste of alcohol.  So I would take sips now and then of my friends stuff, but I never liked anything.  Then I dated a bartender when I was 29 and he created a drink where I didn't taste the alcohol ... Drinking has never been important and I keep telling those I'm around that if you don't start it - you won't miss it.  That's one reason Calahan is uncomfortable around it - he has very strong convictions about it already.

Based on a lot of reasons, I think homeschooling is a better choice for him.

Then there is Noah....  we were back and forth over what's best with him... but when he handed me his report card for the year - it pushed me over the edge.

37 out of the 56 spaces for grades is marked *  .... meaning "ungraded"

He got no grades in Reading, Writing & Math... and Participates In Service (whatever that means)

In Science:
Effort - he got a "Satisfactory" when he got "Excels" the prior two grading periods.  
Content - He got a "2" meaning "Approaching Standards" which is what he got both the prior two grading periods also.

In Social Studies:
Effort - he got a "Satisfactory" when he got "Excels" the prior two grading periods.  
Content - He got a "3"meaning "Proficient" which is what he got the prior grading period, and a "2" the grading period before that.

In Health and Fitness:
Effort/Cooperation - he got a "Satisfactory" when he got "Excels" the prior grading period and "Satisfactory" the period before
Demonstrates Knowledge - he got "Excels" all three grading periods

In Music:
Effort/Cooperation - he got "Satisfactory" all three grading periods
Skills and Concepts - he got a "Approaching Standards" and was completely ungraded the two grading periods prior. 

In Behavior:
Cooperative Learner - he got "Excels" in all areas, all three grading periods, for:
  • Cooperates and interacts positively with others
  • Respects rights, feelings and ideas of others
  • Resolves problems with peers appropriately
Quality Worker - he got "Excels" in the following areas: Shows willingness to try and Keeps workspace and materials organized (for willingness he got Excels in all three grading periods, in organized, he got Excels, Satisfactory, Excels) ......  "Satisfactory" for Shows persistence (as he did in all three grading periods) ... and "Below Expectations" for Writes legibly (which is funny since he got a not graded the first period, and then Satisfactory for the second, then went down to Below Expectations?) and "Ungraded" for Produces Quality Work (as he did all three grading periods).

Self-Directed Learner - he got "Ungraded" for all grading periods for Works Independently, Completes assignments in a timely manner, Returns home assignments on time, and Makes productive use of class time...... and for Follows Directions he was "Ungraded" for all grading periods except the current one for which he got "Excels".... he also got "Excels" for Is prepared with materials, and Follows school/classroom expectations. 

He got two notes for June....  the first under Reading is:
"(Noah) is very sociable and interacts well with peers.  Displays a positive attitude towards learning."

The second note that was on this report card for June is the one that set me off (other than all his ungraded spots) ....
"Noah was administered the DIBELs Next Progress Monitoring in June. The DIBELS NPM consists of 3 sub tests: Oral Reading Fluency (Words per minute); Retell of the passage read; DAZE Passage (fillin the missing word comprehension passage).  A Composite score of 400+ is considered grade level performance in June and an oral reading fluency (ORF) words per minute (wpm) of 118+.  Noah scored a composite score of 10 and an ORF of 24 wpm." 

 Yeah ...  I'm kinda pissed.

  This is the graph I found for the wpm part....  I don't know if it's reflective on the previous grades, however - if it is - he's Kindy level....

And I can't find anything for the other part since it varies from grade to grade and isn't reflective on the previous grade.  BUT a TEN???  My heart sank for him!!!   So did my husbands!

Now that the decision is made, I'm feeling a lot of things - excitement to help encourage or refresh my children's love of learning....  creating fun interactive lessons for them on things they love or have interest in .... but I'm scared I'm not going to do the right thing or enough....that I'm going to fall short, and all sorts of things. 

I feel like yelling - WHAT ARE THEY DOING FOR MY CHILD!?!?!  Other than giving him self-esteem issues?   

There is a big ol' YAY and WOW in my head.... and the the hesitant Oh BOY!!

Do you have any advice?  Things you wish you had known starting out? 

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