Monday, May 7, 2012

The Good and the Not-So-Good

The good news is that I got the kids' CAT test results back.  Haylee scored 99th percentile for her 2nd grade test, and Hayden scored 95th percentile for his 7th grade test.  He has never scored below 98th percentile before so that was a bit of a surprise.  But he did the whole test in one day instead of breaking it up.  It's possible that he was just tired.  It looks like his lowest score was in Study Skills, so I will have to look at that section next year and see what kinds of things are in that.  I didn't even look at the content of his test before I gave it to him, so I have no idea what was on it.  In any case, they both did well, and I'm so glad to have it behind us for yet another year.

The not-so-good news is that we've decided Hayden must re-take Algebra I this next school year.  That's a real bummer to have lost a whole year of progress.  He was way ahead, and I think it was a mistake to skip Algebra 1/2.  He went right from Saxon 8/7 to Saxon Algebra I this year.  His placement test was right at 85%, which is the minimum to skip Algebra 1/2.  I gave him the choice, and he said he felt comfortable moving on.  But clearly, it was a mistake.  He was caught cheating several times on his tests, and when asked about it, he said it had just gotten too hard for him.  It was enough that it made him cry.  So long story short, I gave him the placement test for Algebra 2, and he couldn't even begin.  It was like he hadn't retained a single thing from this whole school year.  I see two problems with how math went this year.  One, he refused to show his work on each problem, and we told him at the beginning of the year that this step was essential to mastering all math from Algebra on up, but he didn't take it seriously.  Two, he never used the Saxon Teacher DVD that I bought him.  Every day, I'd ask if he had any problems with his lessons, and he'd say no.  But in truth, he wasn't fully understanding the lessons, and this realization didn't come to light until the END of the school year.   This makes me really frustrated.  If he was having problems throughout the year, he had ample opportunity to bring it to my attention and did not.  He had the teacher DVD to help him through the lessons and the problems, and he didn't make use of that resource because he said it was too "slow and boring."  Sigh.  Thus, here we are, at the END of the school year, having made ZERO progress in math.  I'm very frustrated.  The up side of this is that he was 2 years ahead in math, and he'll still be a year ahead of average, so it's not a major crisis, but I still feel like this year was a total failure.  I'm not wanting to have this happen again. 

Another not-so-good side to this is that in all of this coming out last night, hubby decided to play a bit of the blame game with me.  I am NOT happy about this.  I totally have my hands full, and they get fuller every year.  He said if time is a problem, then the kids need to go to school.  I said fine, MY life would sure be a whole lot easier!  But we all know we're not sending the kids to school!  There are a myriad of reasons not to do it.  Homeschooling is hard, and that's a fact.  It is eating up my whole life right now, and that's a fact.  The kids have a sorry attitude towards completing their work and have been that way for months...that's a fact.  I'm ready to pull my hair out.  What I need is some partnering in changing their attitudes and getting things back on track.  I'm open to suggestions on how to make schooling go better.  What I'm NOT open to is somebody who does not participate in the schooling telling me it's all my fault.  That is SO NOT COOL!  Okay, now I've gotten that off my chest.  I feel better.

New day, new chance at doing things better.  Hello, Monday!  Give me what you've got!