Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Second Week of SIDES

At the end of last week we got some comments from Yule Heibel about my last post where I talked about my fears about the program after the first few days. It helped reduce my stress.

Over the weekend Sheila took the time to go through all of the material so we could be aware of what the program was and where we were with it all. Doing this really reduced our stress as we could get an overview. It aslo meant that we had to redo the tentative schedule we had for Stephen.

We are trying to have Stephen work on a fairly consistent set schedule from 9 to 3 each day. We are doing this for a number of reasons. First, we want to emulate the school day which Stephen is used to, the change in schooling is a big one in any way you measure it. Second, we want him to think of the day hours as learning time and not as just hang around time. Stephen would be on the computer or video game 24/7 if he could. He is able to finish the work quicker than expected and should be able to do his school work in about 2/3s of the time, but we do not want that extra time to be free time at this time. Third, we need the schedule so that we know Stephen is getting through the material. Fourth, Stephen needs to learn time management skills and until he has that down we think he needs a clear schedule.

The work has generally gone well over the last two days. Stephen has not flipped out over anything. We did find out on Monday that Stephen has limits for long he can work on paper before he needs an end. Due to a change on Monday from what the normal day would be, he was working in workbooks from 9 am to noon with a half hour break. That was too long for him.

I have a much better idea of where Stephen is at with his education after only a short time of the SIDES program. I am an active and engaged parent but I now understand how little I really know about my childrens' education. I ask at the dinner table about school and make them give me a run through of their day in detail. I have not missed any parent teacher interviews and often communicated with the teachers outside of the formal meetings. It has still been a bit of a shock to see how little I really knew about where Stephen was at in school.

Stephen only lives with us half the time. This week he is at Catherine's which means he has to come over here each day for school. We would be happy with Stephen doing school at Catherine's but there is no one there during the day so he really has to come here. We were worried how this week would work out, if there were major problems this is the week that would likely show the problem. So far things have gone well.

There was a PAC meeting at SIDES yesterday morning which we would have gone but we did not know about it. Yule said it was helpful for her and her family to be involved with the PAC so that they knew what was going on. I would like to at the PAC meetings to meet other parents doing the same thing as I still feel way out of my depth.

I suspect my next post will about how much of an intrusion doing this is to our day to day lives. Both Sheila and I work from our own home which means we can have Stephen doing this, but will it intrude into our work lives more than we can afford?

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