Thursday, November 6, 2014

Homeschooling- Wilderness Class!

We absolutely love these classes at Baker Near Wilderness!
They are offered once a month for homeschoolers!

The children are divided into their different age groups-
 but for us it's not quite that simple...
Instead we were able to do it by language ability, maturity and what grade they are in for homeschool.
Abby (8), Ben (8) and Madeline (7-8) are in the 6-7 class.
Luke and Joey are going to be 6 and 6 now but they are not ready for this class.
Next year they will be here and the other three can go to the next level!

I was the volunteer for this group and it just so happened to be a PERFECT fall day!
What a joy to spend the day outside with the children as we ALL learned!

Abby was sick today (which may be another post).
But Madeline and Ben were able to go to class!

We have Anna(8), Sam(8) and Melissa(8-9) in the 8-9yr old class
Ava(9) and Mia(12-13) in the 10-11 yr old class
Sarah(14) in the 12 and up class.
(Mia would have fit nicely in the younger class as far as her ability to follow along and her vocabulary but the age discrepancy was to much and would have turned her off to learning...)

Ben is catching on so quickly!
He needed to start at the beginning of Kindergarten but he is understanding everything!

Whereas Melissa was able to go right into her actual grade, learn the language and actually catch up with the other kids.
This is not common in older child adoption and really only kids who have mastered grade level concepts(reading, vocabulary, awareness of time and date, geographical awareness, etc) in China are able to transfer these skill once in America.

Many adoptees will need to start back at the preschool level in order to successfully learn and fully comprehend what they are learning.
For us that would be Abby, Madeline and Joey- home at 5.5, 7 and 5 respectively.
And Mia, too- home at 11 yrs old. We had her do preschool and sit in first grade at the same time.
Emma and Ellie are in a different situation and have cognitive disabilities.
They are doing well in special ed class in public school.

I remember wondering IF Abby and Madeline would be able to learn?
To us, this was new territory and it came without guarantees.
I am overjoyed to say that Abby is learning now, after being home for 3 years.
She is engaged, asking questions and answering questions!
Madeline is learning too but she came home a year later than Abby,
so we are hopeful that she will continue to catch on with time!

And that gives us hope for Joey!

Anna, Luke, Sam (home at 17 months, 3 yrs and 4.5 yrs- respectively) came home younger and were able to experience preschool at the appropriate time at home!

Older adoptees that have had a very little education in China may be able to start at the kindergarten level and do fine.

It is different if you are sending your child to school.
Since we have not experienced that I cannot give any direction other than what I have heard from others who have experienced this.

Every child is so different
and we have learned so much though our adoption journeys.
It is nice to hear what works for other families but something completely different may work out better for your new son or daughter.
They are ALL such treasures, no matter where they end up academically.

I look forward to understanding this even more-
 with time...


K said...

I've been homeschooling my girls who came home at age 7 (no prior schooling AT ALL), almost 14 and almost 12 and recently looked into public school for them. There wasn't a good option at all and the recommendations were actually ridiculous. I could hire an attorney and spend more time and money making the schools come up with something that might work, but I'd rather spend that time continuing on with my girls at home. The greatest advantage I see to homeschool for my girls is being able to go to places like Yosemite on a perfect fall day and see them learn through experience.

Janet and Kevin said...

Good post, Jean. We are experiencing the different learning ability levels in our home, too, with our children from China. Philip, who had the richest living environment living until age 3 1/2 at Shepherd's Field Children's Village and going to preschool on time there, is beyond grade level in our homeschool. Sophia, who came home at almost 8 and had really not had any formal education, is still below grade level but catching up daily! Elijah, who came home at age 2 1/2 and was not in a good orphanage situation, does struggle but is almost on grade level. And Grace, she is so developmentally delayed that we have put her in a 4 day a week half day special education class at my husband's school, and it is a very good fit. That is what I love about home educating our children. We can pick and choose what works best for each of them. With Sophia, I can see moving her along at the current grade level and just giving her extra time in her late teens to finish high school before moving on to college or a trade. Love homeschool for that flexibility. She would probably be labeled special ed in the public school, and we feel that would not be the best thing for her.

Sarah said...

I love your approach to school for your kids! I'm not exactly sure how school will go for Andrew, but I'm thinking that he'll be in 8th or 9th grade, based on what I've seen of his ability. So, that would mean he'd finish high school at 19 or 20, but I think that will work fairly well.

Anonymous said...

What a fun learning day. You are the best Mama and Teacher :)))

Calamity Anna said...

Such a great opportunity!

With Anna being home the longest, yet being among the younger set, are there things you notice or that she mentions about having the chance to grow up in a family from an earlier age? I imagine she doesn't have many memories from the first 17 mos of her life, but does she identify with having come from a Chinese orphanage like her siblings? Do any of the kids have an awareness of their siblings' stories and circumstances, or do they generally consider their siblings' early lives to have been exactly like their own?

It's so unique and interesting what you have with so many same-age siblings. I always love your posts!