Art: Relaxed Homeschool Style

art

Art as a separate subject always has seemed strange to me. This week we finished painting a backdrop for our church’s Christmas performance. We were not asked to do it, but volunteered for the job cuz it sounded like fun!

The idea is that the performers will be standing in a mall. This is a painting by my 17yo daughter. The snowman is a joke as he is eating in a Pizza shop.

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This is one by my 15yo son. He had so much fun figuring out how to make this look 3D.

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Did I force them to learn a special style of painting? Did I even tell them anything once they decided on what they were going to paint? NOPE, they just had fun. I said to them to find  picture or an idea and draw it out and then paint it. They were free to paint what they wanted within the ideas we had come up with.

The backdrop is supposed to be the inside of a shopping mall. We sat and brain stormed about what should be there. We decided to add cute jokes here and there to make kids laugh and our friends in the audience laugh.

Here is another funny one that we did together. After doing this one we thought “Oh No, are people going to be bothered by the Grinch in church.” But the Pastor showed up the next day and said that “No, The Grinch is a Christmas Classic.” Whew, we knew we had freedom in what we painted but had worried if we had crossed the line. My 17yo daughter and I did this one.

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This backdrop storefront has a few more things added since this picture, like a sad Christmas tree in the left window and a present in the window on the right. We just loved the TJ Naxx sign as the only store in our small town is a TJ Maxx store.

What did we learn from this experience?

  • Working together to figure out a huge project is really fun.
  • We like to listen to music while we work. Though we definitely prefer upbeat music after 2 or more hours of painting in a day.
  • Artists crack lame jokes.
  • Painting the tops of walls really tires out your arms.
  • Adding the lines on the ATM really made it POP like it was from a graphic novel.
  • The colors that we had was limited but you can combine latex and oil based paint to get some pretty strange colors.
  • Spray paint can be sprayed onto a plate and painted on a wall.
  • My kids are awesome!

Now some of these things, like the last one on the list, I have known for years. But if I had asked my kids to use an Art Curriculum book and work through it for 30 hours in 3 and a half weeks they would about pass out. Relaxed Art is the way to go for sure. Finding ways to allow their creative and artistic juices to flow and have it appreciated by others is just the way to do it for us.

Here is another picture from the set. This is by my 15yo son, my 17yo daughter, my 13 yo son, and myself. Haha the ATNT store, this will actually get a cellphone painted on it tomorrow morning early.

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I was trying to figure out how many hours we worked on this backdrop and I believe it is about 30 hours. This is the time from thinking up the ideas of the different storefronts to finding out we had limited paint to use to us actually painting.

Here is another store front. This was done by my 17yo daughter and myself. This is a funny store front to us because there is a member of our congregation that actually is a clock repairman and his nickname is Tick-Tock.

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This performance of the musical “God Speaking” will be performed Sunday morning. The choir (which includes my kids singing and myself as narrator) have been practicing this musical since the end of September.

This is another store front as a joke. There is a friend in the congregation that has a security business that is named 4security and so we did this one for him.

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I hope you have enjoyed seeing how we over the years have found that Art can easily be part of a relaxed home school without ever calling it ART. Without having to use an Art Curriculum. We do use an Art Curriculum if the child is interested in it. We also have used classes for a child interested in a special topic like pottery on a wheel. But for the most part, like 90%, our ART time is what we make for others and ourselves just for fun.

Have a great week.

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Relaxed Spelling in Our Home

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Today our 7yo got up early and wrote a story. The story was done really well and I enjoyed it. The only “problem” was the spelling of many of the words was not correct.

She is an excellent speller and also loves to write and I did not want to squelch that joy of writing. So, I did what I have done for many years and will share that with you now.

What is the most PERFECT way I have found to do spelling?

After Princess had left the room to go get her breakfast, I remembered what I wanted to do. I went to the very next page in her writing notebook and started writing out the words that she had spelled incorrectly.

I looked through her story about the bear and the chickens and watched for words that she consistently spelled incorrectly AND words that I thought she may use again on a regular basis.

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Why learn words you won’t write again?

If she will find the process useful then she will want and will enjoy doing it. Picking words she will use again makes it seem less like school and more like “what we need for life.”

As I stated before I don’t want to make her not want to write.

She loves to write stories!

Her stories are very interesting and enjoyable to read.

I had my list started and decided 10 words would be a number she could handle. I also chose words that weren’t too long, she is only 7yo. I also left a space in between each word in case she wanted to practice the words herself.

spelling

I brought the list to her in the kitchen.

“Princess, I loved your story. I made a list of words that I thought you might like to learn the spelling of in case you wrote another story with words like you have in this awesome story. We can use your own words for a spelling test if you would like.” She loved the idea and said it would be good to learn them.

She looked over my list and asked my what some of the words were. She asked how to say “some” because she had written “sum” in her story. She also asked what the word “said” was as she had written the word “sed” in her story.

This has come to be the best way for my children to learn and keep these words as part of them. Sometimes with spelling lists (which we also use) the child only remembers the words for a short while, like for the week of the test.

But, when we use the words from their own writing for spelling tests, the purpose for learning the words changes and I believe the spelling words end up in a more permanent place in their brains.

Hope this was useful.

How do you handle spelling in your home school?

 

Learning About the Major Wars of the World

There is so much I don’t know. 

Today I was looking through the Kingfisher History Encyclopedia thinking I might assign reading material from this book to one of the kids. It was interesting but did not peak my interest until I came to the end of the book.

There were lists of Dynasty’s, Popes, Presidents, and on the very last page “Major Wars”. I started looking through the list and realized I had no idea what some of these wars were. I decided to change that.

I grabbed a pile of yellow index cards (love these), a pen, a marker, and a mug of tea.

On the back of the cards I wrote:

When:

Who:

Where:

Why:

Result:

On the front of the card I wrote the name of the war.

From the list in the back of the book I was able to get the when, who, and name of the war but I felt like I wanted to know the where, why, and result.

As I was writing and looking up information I received many curious looks and questions from the kids.

“What are you doing?” My answer, “I wanted to learn more about the wars that happened in the world I live in.”

“Is that a game you are making for us?” My answer, “No, just wanted to learn more about the wars of the world.”

“Is that your schoolwork?” My answer, “Yes, I guess it is.”

After I had written the information from the list in the back of the book, I started looking within the text for the answers to my other questions (where, why, result).

As I found information it so intrigued me that I shared the facts out loud as I found them.

“This book lists the Trojan War as the first Major War but doesn’t write about it anywhere in the text. I even looked in the index.” Their response, “That’s weird, why would they do that?”

“Holy smokes! There were 8 Crusades not 4 like it says in the Major Wars list.The Crusades lasted 200 years.” Their reply,”Maybe someone should have figured out it wasn’t working before 200 years went by.”

“The Crusades began because a Pope made the decision to remove the Muslims from Palestine. During that time the Christians were not being allowed in.” Their response, “Oh.”

“During that time there were 3 other Crusades including the Children’s Crusade where 50,000 children were sent to Palestine but most died of starvation or went into slavery.” Their response, “Wow, that is horrible, so many kids.” “They sent kids?”

“There sure were a lot of wars fought for religious reasons.” No response.

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“Joan of Arc was 17 when she fought in the Hundred Years War. She led the troops. Later she was burned at the stake because they thought she was a witch.” Their response, “I’ve heard of her.” and “How old was she when she was killed?” My response, “What’s 1431-1412? That’s how old she was.” Their response, “Oh, like 19, wow, so young.”

“Did you know the Hundred Year War actually lasted 116 years?” Their response, “Then why did they call it the Hundred Years War?” Me, “No idea.”

As I went through all of these questions and answers I remembered something I learned years ago:

Read and your child will read, write and your child will write, learn and your child will learn, love and your child will love.

It has been a while since I have been so interested in learning about a subject just because I wanted to learn about it.

Well, this is how my family is learning about the Major Wars of the world.

How do you all learn together?

Homeschool Portfolios: Planning 3

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In my last post I wrote about how I go about picking the topics I use to plan my portfolio at the beginning of the year so it is ready for the end of the year.

There is one more BIG piece of how I do it that I thought I would share with you. 

After I have my schedule of what needs to be done each month (the first post on this series) and I have the topics I will be studying (the second post in this series) I move onto the this part of the process which I will call my organization of all those papers 🙂

My Organization of All Those Papers

What papers? You ask. Well, if you have been following along with this series of posts you now have a plan of what needs to be done and what topics you want to do for the year. The next step is to combine these to topics into useful samples to send in.

For each topic I print up a paper to match or write up my plan for picture taking for the topic. I am going to use the sample from the second post in this series for my examples below.

For your convenience I am going to list them here again so you don’t have to keep looking back and forth between posts.

Here is WHAT I said I would study from the second post in my series about portfolio creation.

  • Language Arts
    • Phonics
    • Beginning Spelling
    • Handling Books
    • Handwriting
  • Math
    • Counting
    • Beginning Addition and Subtraction Facts
    • Measurement
    • Money
  • History
    • Farm and Zoo
    • Basic Geography Terms
    • Making a Simple Map
    • Neighborhood Helpers
  • Physical Education
    • Riding Horses
  • Health
    • Personal Hygiene
  • Science
    • Farm Animals
    • Birds
    • Plants
    • Weather
  • Fine Arts
    • Painting

Here is WHEN I said I would do them from the first post in this series:

  1. August
    a. Language Arts: 1 sample
    b. Math: 1 sample
    c. Science: 1 sample (a report on a topic, 1st of the written samples)
    d. List of 2 books to read this month (only month with 2 books)
    e. Fine Arts: 1 sample  (done with Fine Arts for the year)
  2.  September
    a. Language Arts: 1 sample
    b. Math: 1 sample
    c. History: 1 sample (a report on a topic, 2nd of the written samples)
    d. 1 book to read this month
    e. Physical Education: 1 sample (done with Phys. Ed. for the year)
  3. October
    a. Science: 1 sample
    b. 1 book to read this month
    c. Health: 1 sample (done with Health for the year)
  4. November
    a. Language Arts: 1 sample (book report, 3rd of the written samples)
    b. Math: 1 sample
    c. History: 1 sample
    d. 1 book to read this month
  5. December
    a. Language Arts: 1 sample (create a poem, 4th and done the written samples for the year)
    b. Math: 1 sample
    c. Science: 1 sample
    d. 1 book to read this month
  6. January
    a. History: 1 sample
    b. 1 book to read this month
  7. February
    a. Language Arts: 1 sample
    b. Math: 1 sample
    c. Science: 1 sample (done with Science for the year)
    d. 1 book to read this month
  8. March
    a. Language Arts: 1 sample (done with LA for the year)
    b. Math: 1 sample (done with Math for the year)
    c. State History Topic: 1 sample (done with History for the year)
    d. 1 book to read this month
  9. Aprila. 1 book to read this month (done, you now have your 10 books for the book-list for the Literature section)

WHAT Do I Do With All This Information?

I create folders for each month which contain the papers for that months work.

So for the month of August my schedule states that I will be doing:

a. Language Arts: 1 sample
b. Math: 1 sample
c. Science: 1 sample (a report on a topic, 1st of the written samples)
d. List of 2 books to read this month (only month with 2 books)
e. Fine Arts: 1 sample  (done with Fine Arts for the year)

So I look over my topics for the year and stick them right in this outline.

So August will look like this:

a. Language Arts: Phonics
b. Math: Counting
c. Science: Farm Animals (report)
d. List of 2 books to read this month 
e. Fine Arts: Painting

Let’s do September:

a. Language Arts: Beginning Spelling
b. Math: Beginning Addition and Subtraction Facts
c. History: Farm and Zoo (report)
d. 1 book to read this month
e. Physical Education: Bike Riding Picture

Want me to continue? Here are the other months:

  1. October
    a. Science: Birds
    b. 1 book to read this month
    c. Health: First Aid Kit
  2. November
    a. Language Arts: Handling Books
    b. Math: Measurement
    c. History: Basic Geography Terms
    d. 1 book to read this month
  3. December
    a. Language Arts: Handwriting
    b. Math: Money
    c. Science: Plants
    d. 1 book to read this month
  4. January
    a. History: Making a Simple Map
    b. 1 book to read this month
  5. February
    a. Language Arts: Pick another topic or done if you use 4 samples
    b. Math: Pick another topic or done if you use 4 samples
    c. Science: Weather
    d. 1 book to read this month
  6. March
    a. Language Arts: Pick another topic or done if you use 4 samples
    b. Math: Pick another topic or done if you use 4 samples
    c. State History Topic: Neighborhood Helpers
    d. 1 book to read this month
  7. April
    a. 1 book to read this month (done, you now have your 10 books for the book-list for the Literature section)

NOW you have that all made up.

Use this new outline to create a nice neat set of file folders tabbed by month or a three ring binder that contains dividers by month. 

In the very front of the three ring binder or the file folders you will have the nice check off sheet you made.

In the August section you are going to place 3 pieces of paper and a note for yourself.

  1. 1st piece of paper: Head online and search for a phonics worksheet and print it up, stick it in the August section.
  2. 2nd piece o paper: Now search for a counting sheet and print it up and place that in the August section.
  3. 3rd piece of paper: Now a form for writing a farm animal report can be found online or just use a piece of plain paper with lines at the bottom and a place for a picture at the top. Stick that in the August section also.
  4. Your note: On your note for this month list the 2 books to read this month and a note to have him paint a picture for you this month.

This is what you are collecting for August as a reminder:

a. Language Arts: Phonics
b. Math: Counting
c. Science: Farm Animals (report)
d. List of 2 books to read this month 
e. Fine Arts: Painting

You will continue this for each of your monthly sections. you should have papers or notes in all of your sections. I will list September’s section here, but I think you get it and won’t bore you with listing them all.

September’s organization of papers.

In September section you will again have 3 pieces of paper and 1 note for yourself. (this won’t be the same every month of course)

  1. 1st piece of paper: Head online and print up a beginning spelling worksheet and place it in the September section.
  2. 2nd piece of paper: Print up a beginning addition and subtraction facts worksheet and put it in the section.
  3. 3rd piece of paper: As with last month you can either print up a form to write a report or just use a plain piece of paper with some lines at the bottom and an area at the top to draw a picture and place this in your September section.
  4. Your note: On your note you will write the name of the book to read this month and a note for yourself to remember to take a picture of your child riding his bike.

This is what you are collecting for September, as a reminder;

a. Language Arts: Beginning Spelling
b. Math: Beginning Addition and Subtraction Facts
c. History: Farm and Zoo (report)
d. 1 book to read this month
e. Physical Education: Bike Riding Picture

After you have all these papers organized for the year you are all set to get going on what you really want to accomplish for you and your child.

The first week of each month take out the packet of papers and the note and get those things done for your portfolio creation.

REMEMBER: Stick them back in the folder when accomplished so you know where they will be when you need them.

The rest of the month is yours to do with as you choose!

Hope this series on portfolio creation was helpful and if I think of anything else helpful I will blog it 🙂 if you have questions please feel free to ask.

If you would find it useful for me to write all the months out just  let me know and it will get done. Have a great week!

Homeschool Portfolios: Planning 2

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In my last post I mentioned I would show you how I plan at the beginning of the year for a portfolio at the end of the year that showed educational success and improvement from the previous year. Here is what I do. This is a follow-up to this post: Homeschool Portfolio: Planning 1

Decide What Topics You Will Teach In Each Subject Area

This step takes a quite a bit of work. Not really.

For our state I am going to be sending in samples for 8 subject areas. Sounds daunting but wait till it’s broken down.

Three of those subject areas only require 1 sample each. It’s not to hard to plan 1 topic for those 3 subject areas: Physical Education, Health, and Fine Arts.

Down to 5 areas..

One subject area “Literature” only requires a list of 10 books the child has read or have been read to the child. Not too hard to plan 10 books over a period of 10 months.

Lastly, 4 areas require 4-6 samples each. This takes a bit more planning but still, I find that it’s not too hard to plan out 4 pieces of paper for each of these areas: Language Arts, Math, History, and Science.

How do I figure these all out?

I am going to take them one subject at a time and show you how I do it.

-Physical Education

What does my child like to do? Some ideas: ride bikes, play soccer, yoga, climb trees, or stretching exercise. I just need one sample so I know I can get a picture of him riding his bike so I make a note that I will be taking a picture of him bike riding for my portfolio sample. Done

-Health

What are some areas of health that are pretty easy? How about dental health, nutrition, heart health, or first aid kit. Well I do have a first aid kit and it would be a good thing for him to know how to use the items in it. So, I will use first aid  kit as my topic and my sample for my portfolio will be a drawing he makes of a first aid kit and a couple definitions of what a few of the items are used for. Done

-Fine Arts

What counts as fine arts? Some areas are music lessons, listening to music, drawing, craft projects, sewing, and painting. Now I know that he loves painting and will most likely paint something this year without me even asking him to. So, that will be my topic for this years Fine Arts area. Done

-Language Arts

I have some old standbys that I use each year. These include: spelling, vocabulary, handwriting, grammar, poetry, letter writing, reports, parts of speech, note taking, learning to read, phonics, composition, book reports, capitalization, and punctuation. There are more, but I only need 4-6 so I choose them from this list and then I am done picking my topics for this area.

-Math

I also have some regulars I have for this area but another way to do it would be to go online and look up math topics by grade and pick 4-6 of them to list. My favorites are: addition, decimals, subtraction, multiplication, division, mixed numbers, Roman numerals, fractions, percents, ratios, averages, area, volume, angles, perimeter, negative numbers, counting, measurement, metric conversion, and geometry. I have others but I just choose 4-6 of these  and then I am finished with the topics for math.

-History

What would you like to study this year? As for everything you should have this look different for each year so it shows improvement and academic growth. I do list map skills nearly every year though. Areas we use regularly are maps, map skills, geography, US history, Canada, continents, states and capitals, world history, economics, government, state history, basic geography terms, farms, citizenship, and world cultures. I pick 4-6 of these for my list of topics.

-Science

What would your child like to study this year? What did you study last year? It should be different this year. Some of my favorite areas of study are plants, botany, animals, invertebrates, rocks, minerals, volcanoes, earthquakes, air and water, pollution, human body, biology, chemistry, farm animals, birds, weather, aerodynamics, experiments, dissection, and disease and the immune system. I take 4-6 of these and I am all done with my topics for science.

-Literature

What is my child reading or what do I want to read to my child or what books on tape can we get from the library? I usually start with where my child is by grade level and look up online a list of books that would normally be read at this grade level. I find ones I know or feel would be okay to have my child read and make up a list. I also look online at my library’s books on tape list see if any of these books could be listened to in the car on our way around town. This has worked really well when I can find at least 5 of them as books on tape and 5 that I will read to the children or that a child will read himself. Done

What if I have curriculum I am using?

Of course if you have a set of books you are using for math or language arts or any subject,  you could just take the first 4-6 chapters and use those topics for these topic lists. But if not then this information might be useful to you. I do have books for my children’s subjects but I don’t always use those chapters as my topic lists and I just list ones that are easier to document like the ones listed above.

Once I have all these picked out I list them in outline form so that I can use it as a check off list for during the year showing what I have done and have left to do.

Here is a sample:

  • Language Arts
    • Phonics
    • Beginning Spelling
    • Handling Books
    • Handwriting
  • Math
    • Counting
    • Beginning Addition and Subtraction Facts
    • Measurement
    • Money
  • History
    • Farm and Zoo
    • Basic Geography Terms
    • Making a Simple Map
    • Neighborhood Helpers
  • Physical Education
    • Bike Riding
  • Health
    • First Aid Kit
  • Science
    • Farm Animals
    • Birds
    • Plants
    • Weather
  • Fine Arts
    • Painting

I also organize my paperwork to more easily accomplish my goals for covering these topics during the year, but that’s for another post.

I hope this was helpful to you.

Homeschooling Portfolios: Planning 1

 

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In our state we have the option of sending in a portfolio for our end of the year assessment of what we have done for the year homeschooling.

Over the past 25 years I have kind of figured out what they really want to see. Here is how I plan my year around the end game of sending in a portfolio.

 

#1 Figure Out What Your State Requires for Samples

In our state I have found that they require:

  • 4 to 6 samples for each of these subjects: Language Arts, Math, Science, and History (also one of these history samples need to be state specific)
  • 1 sample for each of these subjects: Physical Education, Fine Arts, and Health
  • Finally they like a list of 10 books read for Literature
  • In the accumulation of this small bit of samples the state also likes to see 4 samples of written work of which the difficulty varies depending upon the age of the child. These are not in addition to the above samples but are included in the above numbers.

This information tells me that I will need to plan on about one sample a month for 6 months for each of these: Language Arts, Math, Science, and History.

BUT for Physical Education, Fine Arts, and Health I will only need to work on these for a single month.

The last thing this information tells me is that my child needs to read at least 1 book a month (or have me read it to him). This way I will have 10 books for a list in my portfolio.

#2 When Does Your Portfolio Need to Be Submitted?

I know our portfolios need to be in before Labor Day but anytime after March 1st is acceptable. So when doing my planning I work from the idea that I want to send it in as soon as possible and be done with all the required stuff. For me this has been kind of a game of getting everything done in order to get them sent in by April 1st which is a silly date anyway 🙂

All my planning is done by months so knowing I have August through April to work with gives me the parameters I need to start my portfolio planning.

  • August –
  • September –
  • October –
  • November –
  • December –
  • January –
  • February –
  • March –
  • April –
  • May – I usually give myself the extra month just in case I need it

 

#3 Plan Out When You Will Do Each Sample

After I know the number of samples and the number of months I have to accomplish these samples I can break down what I will be doing each month. Here is the minimum of what I would do:

  1. August

    a. Language Arts: 1 sample
    b. Math: 1 sample
    c. Science: 1 sample (a report on a topic, 1st of the written samples)
    d. List of 2 books to read this month (only month with 2 books)
    e. Fine Arts: 1 sample  (done with Fine Arts for the year)

  2.  September

    a. Language Arts: 1 sample
    b. Math: 1 sample
    c. History: 1 sample (a report on a topic, 2nd of the written samples)
    d. 1 book to read this month
    e. Physical Education: 1 sample (done with Phys. Ed. for the year)

  3. October

    a. Science: 1 sample
    b. 1 book to read this month
    c. Health: 1 sample (done with Health for the year)

  4. November

    a. Language Arts: 1 sample (book report, 3rd of the written samples)
    b. Math: 1 sample
    c. History: 1 sample
    d. 1 book to read this month

  5. December

    a. Language Arts: 1 sample (create a poem, 4th and done the written samples for the year)
    b. Math: 1 sample
    c. Science: 1 sample
    d. 1 book to read this month

  6. January

    a. History: 1 sample
    b. 1 book to read this month

  7. February

    a. Language Arts: 1 sample
    b. Math: 1 sample
    c. Science: 1 sample (done with Science for the year)
    d. 1 book to read this month

  8. March

    a. Language Arts: 1 sample (done with LA for the year)
    b. Math: 1 sample (done with Math for the year)
    c. State History Topic: 1 sample (done with History for the year)
    d. 1 book to read this month

  9. April

    a. 1 book to read this month (done, you now have your 10 books for the book-list for the Literature section)

As you can see by this list there is not a huge workload in order to accomplish a portfolio of your students work.

Without a plan it does seem very daunting but taking a few minutes to figure this information out makes it look doable.

Personally I do a bit more work than this.

For the months from August till April we do a sample for each of these subjects: Language Arts, Math, History, and Science. Then at the end of the year I have 9 samples to choose from in each area.

We are always doing art projects so there is easily one a month for the younger crowd.

Physical education is way more than one with the kids doing soccer in the fall and spring, ice skating in the winter, and martial arts weekly, etc we have way more than one sample.

BUT in a tough year I know what the minimum I will need to accomplish in order to submit a thorough portfolio in April or even in July if it was a real tough year.

I am going to take you one step further and show you what I do at the beginning of the year to make sure my portfolio is educationally sound and looks like my kid did something and improved or at least did something different from last year.

BUT that’s for my next post. Hope this was helpful. Have a great weekend.

Here is a link to that post: Homeschool Portfolios: Planning 2

 

Homeschool Group Ideas – Plans for the Year

I am posting our groups June minutes with the thought that other groups might like to see what our homeschool group is planning for this next school year.

June 2015 Parents Meeting Minutes

What a wonderful meeting with lively discussion. Thanks to Stacey and Lianna for keeping the meeting moving along and making sure we covered all the topics we had planned on. Thanks Crazy8 for opening the church at the last minute for us to have the meeting. Topics below include: Monthly Parent Meetings, Mondays at the library, Events for the coming year, and Summer activities.

Monthly Parent Meetings

After a very lively and thorough discussion J It has been decided that we will try the monthly meeting at the Open Gym on the 3rd Thursday of the month and also (at least for now) keep the 1st Tuesday of the month evening meeting. No one would be required to go to both meetings, there is just the option of doing either meeting and information would be shared freely between the two meetings.

There are a few concerns that 2 meetings a month might create:

  • make it difficult to make decisions

  • that decisions by one meeting group would be hard without consulting the other group

  • that there would be a separating of our group into 2 groups

  • and how information from one meeting would be relayed to the other meeting

Some ideas thrown around for solutions:

  • having minutes posted from one meeting to the group

  • that all topics up for a decision are posted to the group so that everyone has the option to be there or weigh in via email before a decision is made

  • having a set person to “lead” each meeting (this sounded like a doable idea so the volunteers were Stacey for Sept at Gym and Crazy8 for Sept and Oct for the evening meeting)

  • representatives that would just naturally be at the two meetings could share thoughts at the other meeting

  • that the evening meeting would be just informational not decision making, a space for new families to come and learn more about homeschooling and ask questions

  • that the group doesn’t have many decisions that we make that are “set in stone”

  • that when there is a majority together at a meeting that even if they made a decision that there are enough of them together at one time that even if they did make a decision that having even just their families involved would be enough to do that activity or event.

1st Tuesday of the month 6-7:30 – Crazy8 will look for a venue for this. The idea was that this might be an easier meeting for a family looking to start homeschooling to get to. The family which has not made a switch over to homeschooling might find a middle of the day meeting difficult to maneuver or the idea of meeting with a large group in a gym might be overwhelming to start with.

3rd Thursday of the month during Open Gym from 1-3pm – We are looking to try doing the meeting during this time. The idea of maybe setting up the stage with tables and chairs as a kind of meeting area free from basketballs flying through the air J Also the thought of the kids being involved in decision making that would be appropriate to their ages was brought up. That this would be a perfect venue for them to feel ‘part of the decision making process’ as they are getting older and more interested in it.

(Another issue that came up as a result of this discussion was people’s comfort level at Open Gym, and defining what safe and respectful use of the gym would mean. More on this will follow in a separate note.)

Mondays at the library (12-3pm)

Every other Monday: Around the World would continue on the same schedule using the full 3 hours on every other Monday as they really do use this full time. There are many families who are involved in this and it feels like a perfect use of the space for our group.

The opposing Mondays: There was a lot of discussion about what we could do with this time. Here is what the plan we came up with:

12-1pm – An art time where a specific artist or art form would be studied for a month. The thought of maybe having an artist within the group or preferably one of the older children teaching the younger children about a form of art. Maybe having an artist show us what to do the first meeting of the month and the second meeting of the month would be for the children to continue working on this project. Ideas for this included using different media: clay for sculpting, oil paints for the older and washable paints for the younger, basket weaving, etc. Also the idea of studying an artist for the month maybe having to do with the book the book club is reading or just ones the kids choose to study. Keeping this class as close to FREE as possible regarding cost.

1-2pm – Drama club: the discussion lead to realizing that there are a lot of families in the group interested in a drama time. Either relating to the book being read, just drama in general, or even a performance geared toward the younger crowd doing the acting. The person leading this has not been chosen but thoughts were: Lianna and Director are both individuals who had shown interest in doing this before.

2-3pm – Book club: book club will continue, please see previous email for the books scheduled for this coming year.

Monthly Newspaper Club – There was also talk that we could meet at the library for other things that did not involve the use of the meeting room. The kids would like to do a  monthly newspaper and thought that meeting before the 12-3pm meeting room time just in the youth area might work. Director is interested in leading this. articles written by the kids in the group about events or things going on but also other sections that would include pictures or art or poetry or short stories. Detail to follow. Families interested should contact Director.

Spanish language study–is another idea that is being researched. This also might or might not involve the library meeting space. Families could hire an instructor or make arrangements with a college student who could get college credit for volunteer teaching. Contact Brenda if you are interested.

Events During the Year:

Some of these events need dates set. As some of these events require finding a space to host them it is good to have a date set as early as possible. If you are responsible for an event would you please check the calendar from previous years and see if you could get a date set up for your event, especially for the families that plan out their year in advance, thanks. If you remember an event that we did not include it was by accident, please let us know that we forgot it, thank you.

  • August (last week in August usually Wed-Thurs) – Back to School Event – A Picnic with the option of Camping at the Park

  • Fall (Sept –Nov) –  Soccer on Tuesdays 1-2:30pm – Crazy8

  • Fall (possibly fall) – Lego Fundraiser – Melissa (a New Event to raise money for some charitable group or the library) entry fee and prizes to be awarded, details to follow

  • December – Barter Day – Stacey

  • December – Holiday Party – Need someone for this

  • December (the Fridays leading up to Christmas) – Caroling at Elder Care Facilities – Crazy8

  • January – Drama Production (possibly) – a production by the younger kids

  • February – Talent Show – Jessica

  • March – Spelling Bee – Brooke

  • March – Science & History Fair – Melissa

  • April – Art and Dessert Show – Jill, Stacey, Leslie

  • May – Shakespeare Play? – There has been a play put on by the kids during this time in previous years, so wanted to list that here. Not really sure what or if it will be.

Summer Activities:

Soccer – there are a bunch of kids that would like to continue meeting on Tuesdays for soccer. We meet from 1-2:30pm. It would be a weekly pick-up game. Sometimes we may have a coach and sometimes not. Just a fun time to play an organized game of soccer.

SPUD  and Kick Ball – this will continue again this year meeting on Thursdays from 1-3pm (I believe) at the Rec park field. This is a fun time for kids and parents to play outdoor games together. (As a side note: there is free lunch right at the skating rink area every day for kids 18 and under at noon. So maybe some families could meet early for lunch and then play? Just a thought)

Summer Party at the lake – The idea to just have a get together at the lake that would allow the entire family to be in on the fun. Eat together, swim, play, just enjoy each others company and see each other during the summer also.

Family Game Night – There is talk of a family game night with details to follow

Hiking – I believe there is also talk of families getting together to hike during the summer with dates and places to follow