The Promise of a New Year

About the Learning

I love the promise of a new year. A chance to get right what didn't work last year, and a chance to speed up what did work. We are filled with optimism and idealism. Enjoy the moment. It's every bit as real as the struggles and challenges that inevitably follow. Let yourself be inspired. You don't do this because you like to struggle, you do because it is God's calling.

Dates and Resources

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Finish Well

Newsletter May 28,  2018

Photo: Skeena River in Winter as seen from the Old Bridge

Finish Well

It’s a lovely, heady time of year when we make memories and flourish with the wonders of spring.  Although routines may change, I encourage you to keep learning and documenting learning. With few exceptions, we do not win the race by coasting in the final strides.   Finish well!

  1. Get your portfolio samples in by June 8
  2. Do the self-assessment in Encom
  3. Set down plans for next year
  4. Take field trip
  5. Leave yourself notes and plans for next year.
  6. Purchase a few items to get started in September.
  7. Complete any registration tasks still outstanding.

This may be my final newsletter for a while, I would enjoy doing a final send-off letter later in June. I am gratified that almost all of you have signed up again next year. I have one new family and a handful who are entering the Graduation Program. I feel like I’m at a sustainable level of work and I really do enjoy making a positive contribution toward you and your families. I continue to pray for you and your children, not merely that they would learn well, but that they would grow into strong and able adults. What the world needs more than anything is families who exemplify the life of Christ in every aspect of life.  I pray that you would grow well, learn well, and live well, for this is the will of God for you.

During this time of year, I find it important to keep tabs on the calendar.  There's a very important event for me coming up. Next month I have the privilege and honour to be an official delegate to the General Assembly of the Christian and Missionary Alliance in Canada which this year is being held in Calgary. I covet your prayers; the Assembly needs to find consensus on how we communicate our moral positions to a hurting and diverse world. What we decide is of national interest and could lead to media attention for good or ill.

Organizers

Important:

Please login to Encom and complete the self-assessment process with your child. This is an important Ministry requirement. Here's a link to help

Parent and Kid Friendly Performance Standards for Writing (Link)

Empowering Young Writers Web Page.

Questions as organizers:

Download Word Doc View in Browser
Social Studies Questions        Social Studies Questions      
Science Questions Science Questions

 

That will take me away from home from June 4 to 10 although I will keep up with and phone calls as long as they don’t come during debates or sessions. I don’t actually plan to attend workshops which are more geared for pastors. I will be home Monday, June 11, to take your calls and emails, but also to immerse myself in full days of Report Card writing. Report Cards are due June 22nd, and they are visible to you as soon as they are done. If I have questions during the writing of report cards I do make calls, sometimes even more than one. If you are expecting to be away from home between June 12 and 22 please let me know.  I’ll email after I finish each family’s report card. I start with the youngest children but also do siblings at the same time when they have similar programs. I like to work from youngest to oldest because it helps me keep in mind expectations for a given grade level.

The trip to Calgary is my only major trip before the last week of August when we HCOS teachers return like salmon to HCOS headquarters. Otherwise, we are planning to sit tight around Terrace this summer working on the house, yard, and shop. I hope to do home visits in the early afternoons of Monday, August 27 and Friday, August 31 in Burns Lake.

Until then, God bless and happy trails.

Rob

Act or Be Acted Upon: The Need for Planning Now

Newsletter May 22,  2018

Photo: Skeena River in Winter as seen from the Old Bridge

Act or Be Acted Upon: The Need for Planning Now

With the approach of summer, we can start to think about next year. In the fall after the warmth and frolics of summer, we become idealistic. Pull out a sheet of paper to plan the year on September 1st and we are all likely to draw a blank. Given the need to continue, we then draw on the abstract. Over this year you have had many challenging experiences that you will soon forget. If you write your plans now, it will be like a time capsule, a message to your post-summer self.

Funding and planning are challenges and experiences you share with classroom teachers. Every teacher knows what it’s like to start school in the fall having forgotten what worked and what didn’t last year. Every classroom teacher knows what it’s like to leave money on the table because of not knowing what to buy until it’s too late. Money and planning go together. If your rule is to never spend money unless you have no other choice, then you don’t need to plan. You will, however, experience the world as one who has been acted upon, and not one who has chosen to act.

Between now and September of next year, I recommend the following:

  1. Reflect on what has worked. Make plans to start the year with what you know has worked well.
  2. Reflect on what you would like to do differently. Write down what problems you need to solve, and some of your ideas for solving them. As a classroom teacher, I would write my orientation lessons and classroom rules and routines. After that, year plans or brief course outlines that list units of study. Of course, the format doesn’t matter. Ask yourself how you can learn from your experience and start the fall with more effective routines and requirements.
  3. Choose two, three or four key topics and subjects to start the year. Usually, it’s just one thing for each of Language Arts, Math, Science and Social Studies. Once you have those start-up plans in place, then go looking for the materials you need to get make that happen.

There are two pitfalls to avoid. First is to try to have a year's worth of materials on the table for September, the second is to have nothing. I would recommend having enough materials to last three to four weeks, with the intention of making fresh purchases as needed to implement plans. These plans will then become your Student Learning Plan.

NCOS makes $500 available to you in advance of the 2018-19 school year, and all of your funds available as of August 1, 2018. If you would like any further advice about setting up the fall, please don't hesitate to call or email.

 

 

Organizers

Important:

Many Criminal Records Checks will have reached their five-year expiry next fall. They are valid for five years, so please make sure your lesson-provider has returned a Criminal Records Check to HCOS within the last four years.

Please login to Encom and complete the self-assessment process with your child. This is an important Ministry requirement. Here's a link to help

Parent and Kid Friendly Performance Standards for Writing (Link)

Empowering Young Writers Web Page.

Questions as organizers:

Download Word Doc View in Browser
Social Studies Questions        Social Studies Questions      
Science Questions Science Questions

Power of Self-Assessment

Newsletter May 15,  2018

Photo: Skeena River in Winter as seen from the Old Bridge

The Power of Self-Assessment

Prompted by the Ministry of Education, Heritage Online Christian School is required to ask of you that you do an annual self-assessment with your children. The most difficult part of this requirement, I imagine, is getting started. But children are also reluctant to self-assess, and parents may not see the value, so in this newsletter, I will try to give some reasons why.

We spend the year giving children tasks to do. In doing the tasks the children learn. Depending on the task, however, it may be difficult to know exactly what the child has learned. There are a few ways to do this. One way is to ask them to solve a specific problem or write on a specific topic. We can analyze the work looking for signs of learning and then based on the results tell them what they ought to do next. I am stating this in general terms but let me give you a very simple example.

We may give the child a workbook provides exercises designed to teach them how to multiply two-digit numbers. This is the learning task. Then we give them a page full of them. This practice will allow us to see if they have learned. We then check work to see if the answers are accurate and tell the child whether they have learned our not. If they have learned they may be able to do something different. The problem is that the child also learns that parents decide if the child has learned or not. This transfers ownership of the learning outcome to another person.

I often advocate that students get in the habit of checking their own work as they do their math. It’s amazing how reluctant they are to do that. It’s as though it’s some kind of cheating. It is not cheating! It is obtaining feedback as to the correctness of the math. Most things don’t have an answer sheet. This is where self-reflection pays a role.

Self-reflection is one of the great keys to learning. Learners may be reluctant to reflect upon themselves and parents may see no need for it since they are doing what they are told. But self-reflection accepts the emotional “ownership” of learning. Ownership means taking control, being in charge, and accepting the challenge. We want our children to own their own learning, to feel and be empowered to learn. This requires self-reflection and self-assessment because unless we do that, we cannot own the learning.

So please do the required self-assessments in Encom. Support your child as needed to get them done. If they struggle, consider working on reflection and self-assessment next year. Remember it’s not how we do on a test that matters, it’s what we do about the results that matter. The child who got all the multiplication questions wrong may have made only one mistake.

 

Organizers

Important Notice: Many Criminal Records Checks will have reached their five year expiry next fall. They are valid for five years, so please make sure your lesson-provider has returned a Criminal Records Check to HCOS within the last four years.

Parent and Kid Friendly Performance Standards for Writing (Link)

Empowering Young Writers Web Page.

Questions as organizers:

Download Word Doc View in Browser
Social Studies Questions        Social Studies Questions      
Science Questions Science Questions

The Bible’s Mindfulness

Newsletter May 6,  2018

Photo: Skeena River in Winter as seen from the Old Bridge

The Bible's Mindfulness

Proverbs 4: 20 to 22 (Msg)

Dear friend, listen well to my words;
tune your ears to my voice.

Keep my message in plain view at all times.
Concentrate! Learn it by heart!

Those who discover these words live, really live;
body and soul, they’re bursting with health.

Concentrate. What a rare and special thing it is these days. I love to concentrate and one of the things about me is my ability to sit and think. It surely annoys people around me. I remember as a youth pulling out of the driveway in my car and grinding through the three-on-the-three gearbox. I was precision shifting, getting the perfect RPM on the engine and clutching precisely at the right moment. Then I heard this voice, “earth calling Rob”. It was my brother trying to say something to me.

More and more I feel like the world is a blur of staccato bytes of information, multi-tasking. Holding short conversations. In a hurry. Busy. Stuffing everything conceivable into their lives. At the same time, we are learning that our brains form throughout our lives. Brains adapt to the environment. Go, go, go. Is this the brain I want?

Not in the slightest. In fact, I love to meditate on the Proverbs. As a youth I read in Proverbs frequently

Proverbs 4: 3 and forward.

When I was a boy at my father’s knee,
the pride and joy of my mother,
He would sit me down and drill me:
“Take this to heart. Do what I tell you—live!
…Above all and before all, do this: Get Wisdom!
Write this at the top of your list: Get Understanding!
Throw your arms around her—believe me, you won’t regret it;
never let her go—she’ll make your life glorious.

Organizers

Important Notice: Ministry of Education requires self-assessments of all students. Please do this with your child on the form available in Encom. While you're in Encom, please indicate your intention to return next year. 

Parent and Kid Friendly Performance Standards for Writing (Link)

Empowering Young Writers Web Page.

Questions as organizers:

Download Word Doc View in Browser
Social Studies Questions        Social Studies Questions      
Science Questions Science Questions

I was misled as a child. They said, “oh you’re smart”. I thought it was genetic. I took on great academic feats with modest results that didn't meet my expectations. Again I was misled. They said, “If you work hard, you will succeed”. So, I worked so very hard and again with modest results. Sometimes hard work just makes one a better target for exploitation. I thank God for the Bible’s Wisdom literature and the true friendship of peers. We encouraged one another to believe not what the world says about ourselves, but what the Bible says. My love of wisdom, however, yielded a dividend in my heart and in my brain that I regard as a true blessing. I do not have an especially smart mind, but I do have a somewhat clear mind, as everyone can.

Wisdom literature in the Bible is a unique genre. It’s is not prophetic (thus sayeth the Lord) and not historic. It is not law. Jesus makes reference to the different Genre in the Old Testament as he mentions the Law, and the Prophets and the Writings. Wisdom literature captures what we learn from our parents, our friends, and our communities of faith. Another term for this kind of wisdom is General Revelation.

Today’s science is a great example of general revelation. People of Christian faith in the field of neuroscience have described how the brain is affected by out busy, staccato, world. Healthy brains release key neurotransmitters and activate key neurological networks only during times of deep thought, reflection, and concentration. These neurotransmitters balance the brain by activating task-positive networks and executive decision making in the pre-frontal cortex. Worldly minds who discover this principle have called it mindfulness. They have discovered what God revealed to Solomon 3000 years ago.

At least 90% of us have brains designed for focussed attention and when we do not use our brains for that purpose we create an imbalance that has consequences. Research clearly shows that poor focus on thoughts and tasks causes personality changes such as passivity, negative emotions, and poor social problem-solving. Multi-tasking is a dangerous myth. A pattern of flightiness poor focus and attention is the outcome of a brain adapted to this lifestyle. It is not ADHD which is an atypical neurological development that affects five to ten percent of children. Rather this is the garden variety attention deficit that appears in 40 to 50% of children but is the result of living in our times. It is the result of ongoing overstimulation and a lack of focus and attention. Attention is a specific brain function. It is a skill and we learn through practice. It is something that can be taught to all or nearly all children. The route to growth in attention can involve the practice of listening, reading together, reflection, and prayer. Although the challenge is greater with some than others, every child can grow and learn in these areas.

The Purpose of Memory Retrieval

Newsletter April 30,  2018

Photo: Skeena River in Winter as seen from the Old Bridge

The Purpose of Memory Retrieval

One of the great things about something like CHEC is we get to chat with colleagues. We talked about the limitations of memorization. In one example, some might be tempted to memorize all the kings of England.  Most would agree that's a bit of a waste of time unless we are becoming an expert in British history. Memorizing isn't useful at all if it's temporary. We're talking about permanently memorizing important information to help us solve problems and understand the world. We'll need to know what’s going to be important before we start memorizing. Remember, memorization alone is not an education. We only memorize things to make understanding easier.

Let’s look at a couple of examples. Suppose I told you that "Cassini was such an interesting spacecraft. It’s voyage to Saturn began with a visit to Venus."  Now that sentence would not as meaningful as it was intended to be unless we know that Venus is closer to the sun than earth, and Saturn was much, much further away. Without knowing the order of the planets, we think Cassini just visited the two planets, but if we do know the order, we realize Cassini’s voyage began with a journey in the other direction. The memory work is necessary to quickly understand the sentence.

Another example would be how we choose Bible memory verses. We don’t memorize any random passage because once we’re done, we’ll never have a need for it again. We need to know what is important enough to memorize and the way to know that is to have a bigger picture. We need to know what Bible verses capture key principles for our life in Christ.

My life of faith, like yours, has been at times challenging and not without great cost. And when I reflect on the cost what comes to mind is 2 Timothy 1:12  For this reason, I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that he is able to keep what I have committed to him until that Day”. Suddenly I can see my struggles in perspective knowing with confidence that it is the very word of God that he keeps my commitments and sacrifices. The memorized text, however, isn’t meaningful outside of the personal experience, that a life of faith will often seem less advantageous and sacrificial.

Memorization alone is not an education, it’s a way of connecting with factual information so that it is available to recall and connect while forming deep understanding about big ideas. Whether it be long division, stories of the cosmos, or historical fiction, memorization is like one leg of a table. It is meaningless without the top, but without it the top is wobbly.

Perhaps we could make nominations for the other three legs. The first might be clear reasoning and logic; the second knowing how to learn; and, the third understanding different points of view.

Happy Learning

 

Organizers

Parent and Kid Friendly Performance Standards for Writing (Link)

Empowering Young Writers Web Page.

Questions as organizers:

Download Word Doc View in Browser
Social Studies Questions        Social Studies Questions      
Science Questions Science Questions
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The Lost Art of Memory Retrieval

Newsletter April 23,  2018

Photo: Skeena River in Winter as seen from the Old Bridge

The Lost Art of Memory Retrieval

remember when I taught my son Grade 12 Pre Calculus mathematics in his Grade 11 year. He went on study AP Calculus the following year. He was good at it, but I remember how his ability to solve trigonometric equations really took off when he memorized the sine and cosine values at the 12 key positions of the unit circle. On that day, I was no longer a match for my son's mathematical ability. It was quite a feat of memory.

I grew up in a time when there was an overemphasis on short-term memory. Admittedly this was something of a barrier for me because being somewhat absent minded my short-term memory is of little value to me, and as a result, average at best.  I was always somewhat envious of those who could memorize their notes for an exam and then forget them. Except, I didn't want to forget them. I enjoyed university studies greatly but also found it exceptionally frustrating competing with the memorize-and-forget crowd. When you think about it, short-term memorization in and of itself is of little value.

There are several kinds of long-term memory. They include autobiographical memory and explicit or declarative memory (this happened, or remember when we used to...).  Explicit long-term memory is important too, we use it to identify animals, tell a story, explain the distributive property in Math. I am not talking about these kinds of memory. I am talking about implicit, long-term memory. The best example is saying the alphabet. It's entirely effortless and automatic.  Another great example is Bible verses. Most of us can say John 3:16 or Genesis 1:1 without trying. This is an amazing and useful capacity of the human brain that needs development.

 

 

Organizers

Parent and Kid Friendly Performance Standards for Writing (Link)

Empowering Young Writers Web Page.

Questions as organizers:

Download Word Doc View in Browser
Social Studies Questions        Social Studies Questions      
Science Questions Science Questions

Educators were wrong to stop to emphasize short-term memory recall over real learning.  But in the effort to focus on true learning a key skill area is going missing because people are tossing out long-term implicit memory along with short-term rote memorizing. Long-term implicit memory is the art of total recall. It starts the same as short-term, but then it's reinforced by memorizing it again, better, at then again and again. A good schedule for reinforcement is 1 day, 3 days, 1 week, 2 weeks, 1 month, 3 months. By then it is probably memorized for life.

This is particularly important for Bible, Science, Math, and the Arts. Children can memorize the books of the Bible and passages of the Bible such as the Lord's Prayer, the Beatitudes and the Full Armor of God. In Elementary Science learners can memorize the planets of the solar system. In Math, can children count backward? Can the skip count backward by twos and fives? Are their multiplication facts at their fingertips? Is BEDMAS like the alphabet? These are skills that will pay off in time. A well-trained memory makes a lot of other types of learning a lot easier. 

Consider one or two memorization projects a year for the sake of cultivating the mind.  Imagine performing The Cremation of Sam McGee or The Sermon on The Mount for others to hear.  It is more than doable, can be fun, and disciplines and strengthens the brain. The act of memorization (not the content) quite literally improves the IQ.

For further reading, Google memorization. Here's an example of something interesting I found, but you can find ten others.

Happy Learning,

Rob

 

Prepare for Landing

Newsletter April 9,  2018

Photo: Skeena River in Winter as seen from the Old Bridge

Prepeare for Landing

f you have ever been involved in aviation you'll know that preparations for landing occur well before the pilot can even see the runway. The pilot makes navigational choices so when the runway comes into view the aircraft is oriented along a descending glide path. With the glide path is established, the pilot reduces power.  The aircraft will slow, however, and care must be taken that it remains well above stalling speed.  Then the pilot lowers the flaps and landing gear. This creates drag so the pilot may need to add power to stay in the air.  Close to the ground, the aircraft will be held aloft somewhat by air pressing against the ground.  Only then does the pilot lifts the nose and let the aircraft drop to the runway back wheels first.  A soft landing isn't ideal. 

The aircraft needs to be firmly planted on the ground for the brakes to work. The landing is really something of a ballet act. But once the pilot uses brakes the aircraft becomes cumbersome and lumbers awkwardly to the terminal. 

ou are like a pilot. We are now at the part of our school year where it is time to begin to prepare for the end of the school year. We must continue to fly the aircraft of our schooling adventure, but we must now consider how the year will end. Some of the considerations are as follows:

Organizers

Questions as organizers:

Download Word Doc View in Browser
Social Studies Questions        Social Studies Questions      
Science Questions Science Questions

1.  Sign up for next year. I too am making decisions about next year and there is a teacher shortage in BC. I do not expect to take on many new students this fall. So that means my roster may become full very quickly. If you delay I may assume I have a vacancy for a new student. Once my roster is full I will not be taking additional students. So please sign up for next year by the end of April, if you intend to continue with HCOS. This is only a statement of intention. You still have the option to change your mind. To sign up for next year, login to Encom. One of your icons there will take you through the pre-registration process.  

2. Spend your money. It's an error to leave money on the table. Don't wait until late in May. I would recommend spending every dime in your grant by May 1. 

3. Use the spring weather to do some interesting things with your children. Spend less time reading and writing and more time singing, making, running and moving, and talking about the future.  It is a good time for an outdoor-oriented science project. Field trips followed by writing exercises are always great. Try to keep routines going until about mid-May, then they can start to peter out.  That's about four more weeks. 

4. Consider your portfolio. Your portfolio is all the things you've sent to me over the year. For most of you, that's plenty. Some of you have opted, perhaps by default, to demonstrate learning by sending me final demonstrations of learning as the year approaches. You can do it all at once if you wish, but make sure it's enough. If you wait too long, there won't be time for meaningful feedback. 

5. It's over June 8 for you. For me, the real work begins as I write reports. I cannot consider submissions made between June 8 and June 30 in reports without prior arrangements. 

6. Learn SeeSaw. Unless you have a bandwidth issue I do plan to ask you to use SeeSaw next year. Everyone is SeeSaw has done wonderfully well. Grades are higher, motivation is higher, interaction is better. It's not perfect either, but for our program it's ideal. It blows the doors off of email. Next year I'm going to expect to use SeeSaw with all my families.  That will allow me to spend more time there use it as a shared platform.  

7. Start working on your learning plans for next year.  You will make better decisions now about activities and materials next year than you will in the fall. You simpley are that much more aware of issues. A sort of idealistic thinking sets in in the fall and it never seems to help much. 

What I Learned Writing Reports

Newsletter March 12,  2018

Photo: Skeena River in Winter as seen from the Old Bridge

What I Learned Writing Report Cards

Hi folks, I am finished report cards! Yay! So let’s talk about what I learned this time around. It was wonderful to see so many great achievements. Congratulations to you all on a great term. One of the main surprises was how well students did in Science and Social Studies when there were HCOS unit studies. I would encourage all of you to seriously consider penetrating the complexity wall of the HCOS Learning Commons and getting your hands on the Unit Studies where they apply. The results have been amazing.

Again, I have to commend those who are using SeeSaw. The setting is rich and more interactive than I have time for. That reminds me, I have to apologize, you’ve been sending in work while I’ve been doing Report Cards. I haven’t responded. I will get to it all by the end of the week. If you are not using SeeSaw and would like to get to know it, I’m offering access now so you can be ready for next year. You don’t have to use it until then. In the meanwhile, it's a playground.  Of course, I'll work with what works. One size fits all never really works, so I'm not going there. But my goal will be that everyone is in SeeSaw for next year unless there's a good reason why not. Consider helping me achieve this.

People who sent in more items tended to achieve better on the report cards. That's because to assign excellent grades I need to see what students did to achieve excellence. I'll bet a lot of learners do amazing things that I never got to see. Try to send me a good report at least every other week. Try to include PE and Health.

Consider the Applied Design, Skills and Technology (ADST) modules where they are provided by HCOS. They target grade 6 to 9. For those not in Grade 6 to 9 consider Tynker. I was rather generous with ADST grades but this will fade as ADST becomes normal.

Skills are the most important aspect of the curriculum. The topics in the curriculum are designed to build the skills. When you are choosing topics for your children, please consider what skills you want them to develop. I’ll do a separate newsletter on curricular skills.

The upshot though is for me to say “well done” to all of you. A few more weeks of winter. It becomes hard to hold things together late in the year especially in the paperwork topics. Plan to get core subjects early and use the last weeks of the year to do PE/Health as well as Career and ADST.

Finally, Spring Break is coming. I will not be responding to messages or posts during Spring Break, since it is, after all, Spring Break. Spring Break is March 19 to April 2 this year.

See you in FB/SeeSaw/WhatsApp/Email

WhatsApp in the Office

Newsletter February 29,  2018

Photo: Skeena River in Winter as seen from the Old Bridge

Review of Communication Media

In this newsletter, I thought to advise you of what’s going here at the office. The cut-off for new submissions was February 23rd. Don’t worry if you missed the deadline, I’ll treasure everything else you send for the June report card.

I have this week and next week scheduled for doing nothing but report cards. I do one family at a time and large families first. I’m available for phone consultation (as needed) but my email is turned off from about 10:00 am forward, so I’m only checking it in the morning. I don’t tolerate electronic notifications so expect a one-day turn-over on email. Your pleasant phone calls make a nice break, so feel free ring me up if you need to get in touch. If you send me new work I’ll acknowledge it, but I won’t evaluate it until after March 12. Feel free to keep the work coming in.

As I do report cards I am struck by how much it helps to have more samples, regardless of the subject. Lots and lots of samples work best. No need to sort, categorize or worry about what you’re covering. SeeSaw is turning out to be the best interface for exchanging samples for most families. I think I average a hundred submissions a week from about 10 learners. The reason I get so many is that it’s quick and easy. I’m interested if anyone is using SeeSaw exclusively on a mobile device. I have free candies for anyone who switches from email to SeeSaw.  WhatsApp is working amazingly well in a place where cell reception and bandwidth are a problem. I can't engage in two-way communication on individual samples, however.  It remains a good solution to overcome specific issues. Email is the most cumbersome. I have copies of what you sent, but not of how I responded.  I mean, do have that, but that’s a separate lookup.  I make up for it with separate little folders, but then I have to sort everything and find the right folder each time.  Facebook groups have made me increasingly nervous so I’m discouraging new people from trying that approach. It’s unfortunate because Facebook has all the right ingredients. But things get re-ordered, become inaccessible, and socially awkward very quickly. You lose the legal rights to your content. You see adds. People start messaging you about other topics while you're there, and Facebook tries to get you away from what you need to do. Good clean fun, but slows me down   I am not keen on SMS text messaging.  SMS messages should be short and of high urgency. I experience it as an interruption to my workflow. That can be useful,  for example, "I can't make the meeting, can we reschedule" is a good use of SMS. Questions about future course selections are not.  That is a good use of email. 

Once I finish report cards I send you email feedback on how reporting has gone.  While I have the report card open, I may also give you a phone call so you can help round out my understanding. This conversation works the best right after I’ve processed everything you’ve sent me so far. So hopefully when I call it’s a good time. I’ll try my best to be flexible and hopefully, it will work out.

So I hope that’s a useful update.

Happy learning