So Emily’s part of the RISE program, which stands for Redlands Independent Study Experience, or something like that. Each week she receives an assignment sheet detailing her tasks to be completed, and at noon each Monday spends up to an hour talking (via Skype) to a teacher who works within the RISE program (as she’s doing in this photo). Usually students participate in RISE for shorter terms (like being out for medical reasons for a few weeks) and are still local (so physically meet with their teacher once/week). Our biggest hurdles have been figuring out how to convert her written work to digital form for ease of e-mailing, since we have no easy access to a scanner. Many things she types onto her own laptop, but if it’s something that’s handwritten, such as workbook pages or tests that she’s completed, I take a picture (.jpg) of it with our digital camera, download that image to my own laptop, clean it up in Photoshop (resize, make sure it’s bright enough, etc.), convert it to a .pdf, combine all the .pdfs into one document, and email to California. It’s been taking 1-2 hours/day to manage it all (these conversions, plus answering questions, listening to all of the “discuss with your parents” topics, and communicating with California). When she returns to school on June 2, Emily immediately returns to her normal 8th grade classroom and will take her year-end final exams. And on that same day I will write a little note to the State of California thanking them for having public schools to which I can direct my tax dollars and send my children so I don’t have to home-school them anymore. Plus a gift from Argentina to Emily’s very nice and accomodating teacher in Redlands who’s never had to spend so much time figuring out trans-continental communication before!