Thursday, October 16, 2008

Four Point O

This year McKay has embarked on new journey in education. During the summer we transferred her out of the Kennewick School District to the Kittitas Washington School District (near Ellensburg) although I doubt she will ever step foot in an actual school building in that area. Her schooling is done completely online.

It's called Achieve Online and so far it has been a very smooth transition. She has a personal academic counselor who tracks all her school work toward graduation. (conveniently she lives literally around the corner from us in Kennewick Park)

McKay is working towards a diploma (the same kind you get at Kamiakin) and so far she has completed one semester class and two others are more than 65% done. Her PE class is also being completed on a daily basis as she logs her activity. Sometimes McKay and I go on bike rides and recently she has been walking and talking with her dad as he recovers from surgery.

At the end of the quarter she will have finished four semester classes and will start on another three for a total of seven this semester. (Kamiakin requires 21 credits for graduation -- Achieve requires 24) In every class so far she has earned better than 95% which is FANTASTIC since she is working on Trigonometry and World History.

How... you may ask does she do everything alone staring at a computer screen all day??? and what about the socialization she is missing at Kamiakin?? Two big questions -- I will answer them separately.

First -- she doesn't just stare at the computer all day and fill in bubbled answer sheets. For instance, Mr. Quist, her Trig teacher is available for help when she needs it and uses something called a "white board" to help her figure out problems she's stuck on. Using a microphone and headphones she can talk directly to him while he explains and demonstrates - using the white board -- mathematical equations. Same goes for things she doesn't understand in History. (she has a different History instructor) It is very interactive and she connects directly with the instructor. It's like raising your hand in class and getting called upon every time and receiving personalized answers to your questions. (Never, ever been in a public school class where that happened)

Second -- it is precisely the Kamiakin Flavored Socialization that we are trying to avoid. All of the distractions that were nearly impossible to ignore -- not to mention the various other complete wastes of educational time built into the school day -- (don't get me started on these)

McKay goes to seminary for first hour and then comes home to start her school day. It works out nice because I can work at the same time and the house is quiet enough that she can get some good quality studying in. Thus far she is ahead enough that most Fridays she takes off -- she gets a weeks (plus some) worth of work done in 4 days.

I am pleased thus far with her progress and I think she is proud of the grades she is earning now. The good student discount is well within reach this semester.


Laurie said...

This is so cool. I am definitely an Achieve Online (and McKay) supporter.

Brenda, it's so much fun to read your blog!

Laurie said...

You changed your signature card thingamajingy since I was on here 2 hours ago. How do you make one? Okay, I'll pay you for a quick lesson! How 'bout some Christmas roka? At Christmastime, of course. In the meantime, I'm trying to figure out how to be a follower of your blog.

Shannon said...

Way to go McKay! I took a few online course in college and my grades suffered. I would always want to do it later...later...later. I am glad you have the discipline to do this and that it is working out for you.

The Parrish Family said...

Wow I am so proud! She is such a great girl! it's been so awesome to watch her grow up! keep up the great work!

The Mom said...

Hey I bet someday you'll be on the other side of the screen, one of those great teachers helping smart kids like you! Good Job.

-Aunt Susan

Anonymous said...

McKay, I always knew you had it in you since the minute I met you! You are such an amazing young lady! I am a BIG mcKay FAN!!!! I love you to pieces! I am proud of all you work so hard to do and be. You are my Hero!!!