Dual Enrollment: Homeschool & College

dual

Dual Enrollment: Home School and College

Over our 25 years homeschooling we have had 3 children use the Dual Enrollment option so far, we have had children who also chose not to use this option. Here are some of the problems we conquered and successes we enjoyed.

 

What is Dual Enrollment? 

Dual enrollment is a program that allows high school students to enroll in college courses for credit prior to high school graduation. The courses count for both college and high school credit.

As homeschoolers this option overall has been a very fun addition to our schooling.

 

Dual Enrollment has changed over the years…

When my oldest son took dual enrollment courses in 2005 all he had to do was take the college placement tests and then take one “Intro to College Studies” course and that was it,  he was free to take 2 college courses paid for by my tax dollars and by the State Dept of Education.

Honestly, in our state notifying the State Dept of Ed that we are homeschooling is only required until a child is 16yo. so he wasn’t even registered with the state during his Dual Enrollment courses.

dual

 

That has all changed…

Our challenges with Dual Enrollment:

When my latest graduate (2016) decided to use dual enrollment it was her senior year. She hadn’t been enrolled in home schooling with the state for almost 2 years (as it was only required till she turned 16). We had her take the placement tests and talked with the college about her starting in January and planning on taking both of her free Dual Enrollment courses that spring semester.

All is going well until… there is a glitch, Dual Enrollment is now it’s own agency and has denied her enrollment. Why? No one seemed to know until mid January just when classes are about to start. At this point she has pretty much decided that she wouldn’t be able to take her courses.

We receive a call from the Dual Enrollment office. My daughter is not a registered homeschooler so she is not eligible to use the Dual Enrollment funds.

 

dual

Man alive, seriously?

We aren’t required to register them after 16yo, but she won’t budge on this point. So I call up the Home Schooling office at the State Dept of Ed and talk with them about our dilemma. They are so quick to work with us. Over the years we have maintained an excellent relationship with that office and she knew who I was by name.

The woman at the Home School office states exactly what my daughter needs to send in and it’s emailed and taken care of in less than 3 days. Her Dual Enrollment goes through and she takes her 2 college courses for high school and college credit last spring.

 

Whew…

In the process of all of this I realize that my next daughter (2018 graduate) who will be a junior will want to take Dual Enrollment courses in the Fall. So, quickly I register her again for homeschooling so that she will be a “registered” homeschooler in the Fall since she is over 16 yo when she applies for the Dual Enrollment option.

It has been an interesting process.

 

What else have we learned through this Dual Enrollment time?

  • Homeschoolers are perfect candidates for Dual Enrollment

  • It requires a great deal of self discipline, which thankfully my kids have had, to keep to a schedule that they must make themselves and follow through with the assignments on time

  • Online courses are so much more convenient for the kids to have lives and still “DO” college, they have had time to make movies and go ice skating when the rest of the family does, etc

  • It is a great way for them to get a taste of college and what it will be like

  • It is a lot more work than they thought it was going to be, they sure are used to more flexibility in their schooling times and subjects

  • The kids are not used to having to deal with the different personalities of the teachers, some really good but a couple, well, not so nice 

  • Doing the courses online there is a lot on online interaction with other classmates which seemed strange at first since they are used to doing all of their coursework alone but they easily adapted and developed an “online school person” that they were while doing the courses, it is a careful balance in learning what the limits are in sharing information online an answering the teachers questions honestly

  • The course is covered but NOT the cost of the books, so we are more careful now to look at the price of the textbook when we pick a course

  • These homeschoolers are skilled: They ACED their courses!! Homeschooling has given them the skills they needed to succeed with college courses (and in life which is another topic but way more important)

 

What courses have they taken with Dual Enrollment?

  • Intro to College Studies – 1 credit

  • English Composition 1 – 3 credits

  • Applied Math / College Math – 3 credits

  • Anatomy and Physiology – 4 credits

  • Psychology – 3 credits

  • ALL FREE

dual

 

Hope this was useful 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

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Scheduling Our Homeschool Year: Part 1

math

There have been lots of questions lately about how we schedule our homeschool day. With 6 kids schooling at home now it could be rather hectic, but its not. The grades I am leading this year are: 11th, 9th, 7th, 5th, 1st, and 1 is a freshman in college.

 

Here is how we do it, both ways…

Most of the calmness comes from my planning for the year in the summer. I make up a plan of study for each child before school begins and then use that to set up a hanging folder with the work I will require of them each month for the year.

If you have been following this blog then you may remember the post about how I plan out my year. Here is a link to that post.

That truly helps when I am getting the papers reading to go into the hanging folders.

 

Handling Paperwork to Send to the State…

Using the plans of study that I created for the state office, I collect all the papers I will have them do for the year in… let’s try MATH for an example.

math.jpg

If I was going to have my 1st grader to the following topics for the year:

  • Counting
  • Beginning Addition
  • Subtraction Facts
  • Measurement
  • Money

Then I would print up a page for each of these topics from the internet. I would collect each one of these pages and put a paperclip on them and put them in that childs hanging folder.

On the counting worksheet I would write September, and write October on the Basic addition worksheet, November on the Subtraction facts worksheet, December in the Measurement worksheet, and January on the Money worksheet.

When the month of December comes my 1st grader will do the Measurement worksheet (along with the worksheets for each of the other subject areas).

Each of the subject areas also have packets of pages printed up for them and I just have the children do the collection of pages that say December during the month of December.

This was I would have pages dated from throughout the year that correspond directly to the list of topic I stated I would do this year.

 

What do I do the rest of the month?

So when planning out my actual year for what the children will do from day to day my planning is different.

I still have the different subject areas and lets stick with MATH again just to keep things simple. We will also stay with the discussion of my First grader.

So, my First grader has done her packet for the month of December and now has the rest of the month do work on what?

During the summer I looked at what she had accomplished in her previous years math book and found that she was just under halfway through it. (In her case she had started the 1st grade ABeka Arithmetic book during her Kindergarten year so I had not planned on her being able to finish it.)

math

I know I want her to continue working on this workbook to completion. She has about 200 pages left. I plan on her doing about 20 pages a month to complete the book by the spring.

On my notes for her schoolwork I write: Math 20 pages a month

If she did not do well in math I would have her do less, but she loves math, math comes easy to her, and she loves working in workbooks. So, the plan stands.

 

What about an older child or one that has a tough time in Math…

Lets take another child. This child does not find that math comes as easy to him. He did not finish his 6th grade math book last year. This year the goal for him was to finish that book and then start the 7th grade book.

This would normally mean doing about 5 lessons a week but it takes him longer to complete a lesson due to math being not a subject he finds easy. So for him I have him do 3-4 lessons a week but sometimes less if he seems to be having a difficult time.

We use Saxon math for the older children and the 1st grader will eventually be doing Saxon math also. My 7th grader is working through Saxon 6/5  right now and thankfully is almost finished. (affiliate link)

math

So on his plan I wrote: Finish Saxon 6/5 start Saxon 7/6 try to get to lesson 60 (which is halfway through the book). For him no number of lessons are listed but maybe this year math will click with him and he will whizz right through the book, you never know.

For me it’s not that they finish a certain book in a certain year, but that the child understands the material. He will make it into Algebra 2 and complete it but it may just take a while.

Hoping that was a bit helpful. It really is just taking the child from where they are and looking ahead to see what you think they are able to accomplish in a year and writing it down. Around the middle of the year, evaluate and see, is your child going to accomplish what you have on your list. If not, was your list to huge or is the child having trouble with a concept and you should slow down for a bit.

 

Homeschool Portfolios: Planning 3

portfolios-1

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

portfolios-1

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

 

portfolios-1

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

 

Week in Review & Life Happens in 3’s

WOW! That is the only way to describe this past week+

I will let the list speak for itself.

What we did do this week:

  • Did a Homeschool Q&A at the library: No co-op classes this week – I took the month off
  • Horse drawn carriage rides through town
  • Workbook work
  • Easy Peasy Online School
  • Made gingerbread houses
  • Orthodontist appointment
  • Math drills
  • Children entered their movie in a contest. Want to see it? https://projected.com/users/4292
  • Director: filming and editing at local TV station
  • Ice Skating at a friends house & stayed for chilli 🙂
  • Got over a foot of snow and the kids played out everyday
  • Went to the theatre and watched: It’s A Wonderful Life
  • Saw a model trains exhibit
  • Bid on wreaths at the wreath festival
  • Finished all my Christmas shopping
  • Church
  • #1 Well Pump broke
  • #2 Stove broke
  • #3 Car broke

Life Happens in 3’s

Now I am definitely not s superstitious person. I am a God is in Control kind of person.

My Grandmother and Mother always say that things happen in 3’s. They are referring to bad events never wonderful events. This past week was one of those 3’s weeks. I have had bad things happen and then thought to myself, “Will there be 2 more?”. I would wait but sometimes that was it. When these things happen in 3’s it is weird.

#1 Well Pump Broke

Last Saturday I was taking my morning shower and the water stopped. Of course my hair was full of shampoo…. I had Tech go around and collect all the water from cups in the house and pour it in a bowl so I could rinse my hair. Dh checked all the wiring, the power, the pressure switch, etc. It looked like the problem was with the well pump itself. Being the cheapskate that I am, I was not willing to pay the well pump guys the weekend rate to fix our pump. My daughter Gallop and her husband picked up some water for us on, so we were not without any water 🙂

The pump guys came on Monday morning. We were on the 3rd day without running water. We started to smell… On Sunday at church I suggested to my daughters in-laws that they not sit too close to us, they laughed. Anyway, that Monday morning I got up really early and decided that if I lived in another country without running water, what would I do? A sponge bath. I decided that if I did not get cleaned up I was not going to be in the best of moods that day, especially if the well pump did not get fixed. One gallon, that is all it took. One gallon of water and I was a new person: hair was shiny and I smelled way better. I felt awesome!

Our well is 750ft deep. The pastor suggested we should have our own natural gas line with a well that deep. I was dreading the cost of pulling that pump up and replacing it. The last one had cost us over $1500 with labor and everything. It takes a long time to pull a pump that deep.

BUT… It was only a broken wire. As they pulled the pump they saw a broken wire at about 250ft. YES!! A broken wire was way cheaper than a new pump. They fixed it and I had running water within 1.5 hours of them arriving. Lots of showers happened in succession. We smelled way better 🙂

At this point I thought, “Will there be 2 more things?”, but went on with life hoping this would be it.

#2 Stove broke

Monday the stove started making this funny buzzing sound up near the controls. It stopped after a bit but came back again the next day. Later that night my dh was up and smelled something funny. The stove was warm. He looked inside and found that the stove had turned the broiler on by itself. Great #2.

We now pull out and unplug the stove whenever we are done using it. Annoying but it still works.

Would there be a #3? and if so, how much worse than these two?

#3 Car broke

It wasn’t just WORSE it took the cake for being the WORST of all three things.

Now, our car didn’t just break it is un-repairable. It is so far gone there is no hope for it to see life again.

What happened you ask? We pulled out of a parking space and…

  • the drive shaft fell out onto the ground
  • the yoke (in the rear end) broke
  • the differential broke
  • the axle twisted
  • the muffler fell off
  • the frame under the rear of the vehicle cracked

There was the most unbelievably loud grinding, scraping of metal, thudding, and then we dropped like 8 inches. It was dead. Now the car still was running. The motor was fine. It just could not go anywhere.

I called AAA to tow the car and then I called my mom and said, “I am DONE!” laughing I said, “This is #3 so I am done. We are all set for a while now.” I proceeded to tell her about my list. She knew about the well pump but the stove and car were a surprise.

My wonderful daughter came and gave us rides home in shifts since there are so many of us. My wonderful son and daughter have both offered us their cars if we need them till be find another.

BUT for now we have no way to go anywhere all together. We are laughing, just laughing that all this has happened. We get to stay home and that is a blessing. We have running water, plenty of food…

Blessings in all this? YES!!

  • we have gotten very resourceful when it comes to water usage
  • we have wonderful friends who offered us showers: we chose to wait instead of showering 8 people at a friend’s house, seemed like a lot to ask of someone
  • we are grateful for running water, should have heard the cheers when we turned the tap on and water came out
  • we have a stove that works, even if it is quirky
  • that my dh is willing to drive me shopping when the weather is bad, I almost went by myself then I looked at him and he said, “You want me to drive you?” as he saw me looking back towards the window at the snow falling
  • we are all safe after the car incident
  • we were not driving home at 50mph when the drive shaft fell out, dh said that cars sometimes flip over when that happens and without brakes it had the potential of being terrible
  • we get a lot of at home time
  • we have a reason to say no to all the outside activities
  • we had finished all our Christmas shopping
  • we had finished all our grocery shopping
  • so, so much more
  • He gave His life to save us from eternal death

God has blessed us beyond measure with all he has done for us. We are thankful and happy to be of service to our King.

How about a picture from this week?

car broke
All those bits behind our car are the parts of the drive shaft, axle, muffler, frame, you know various car parts.

 

How was your week? I would love to know 🙂

 

Week in Review & Yearly Assessments

We had a great week! Almost finished up all the schoolwork for November and we still have some days left to the month.  Can’t beat that. I have the schoolwork for the year all organized by month in my binder. The first week of each month I hand out the packet of paperwork to each child to finish for that month. (This is in addition to their computer school and workbooks.) This packet includes specific papers for each subject for the year. More about this later.

The Breastfeeding Jeopardy Game with the breastfeeding support group went well on Tuesday. We had a lot of fun with breastfeeding trivia, had some great prizes, and snacks. I decorated the room as a fall theme and bought everything at the dollar store. Lot’s of comments about how nice it looked. Yellow tablecloths, fabric leaves spread over them, leave plates and cups, and the prizes were wrapped with bags and tissue paper from the dollar store also. It was fun to do and cheap.

So I did get all the sewing projects accomplished for this week. I cut, pinned, and almost finished all the sewing on them. I made 5 large projects this week. All I have left to do is quilt them. I will be doing this at my moms house this next weekend. She has the batting for inside them. The seam binding is all made and ready to go and the fronts and backs are all ready also. Very excited about these projects. I have a little embellishment I would like to do to them before they are all the way done but I am so close. I will post pictures here if you want to check updates on these projects: Crazy8 Sews

The wood pile did get organized and all the wood is split. So nice to have that warm woodstove heat. It is such a different warmth than when the forced air heat turns on. We try and keep the house warm with wood during the day and let the furnace take care of it at night. Wood is cheaper here than oil so it helps with the cost of heating this huge house.

What we did do this week:

  • Co-op classes “Cells & DNA”
  • November packets almost finished
  • Workbook work
  • Easy Peasy Online School
  • Re-Certified in: Neonatal Resuscitation, CPR, and First Aid
  • Doctors Appointments
  • Math drills each day
  • Kids edited their new movie
  • Director: filming and editing at local TV station
  • Ice Skating
  • Tried three new recipes
  • It snowed so we watched: It’s A Wonderful Life
  • More wood burning
  • Free gym time
  • Bible Study
  • Church

Monthly Packets of  Schoolwork

I usually use the information from this site to decide what I will be sending in at the end of the year: Worldbook Course of Study

In our state we have to inform the state education office about what we did for school for the year. We have to show that there was progress in each area of study. This is our 23rd year homeschooling so I have this down pretty good. Here is what we do to accomplish this particular goal.

I have  each of the grades from that course of study link above printed up, stapled together, and in my Mom’s Schoolwork binder. In this binder I have a tab with each of my children’s names for their worksheets to go behind. Using the course of study lists I pick about 6 -9 topics I will be studying for each of my children.

For example here is what I choose for Pilot this year. He is in 5th grade but is now on the 6th grade topics in the course of study that I linked to above. (I will continue using his paperwork as an example throughout this post just for continuity.)

Language Arts:

  • Spelling
  • Homonyms, synonyms, antonyms
  • Concepts of noun, pronoun, verb, adjective
  • Types of writing
  • Writing letters, factual matter, creative prose
  • Organization of a book
  • Types of literature
  • Reading silently and skimming
  • Poetry

Math:

  • Exponents
  • Interpreting graphs
  • Customary and metric measurement
  • Concepts of similarity, congruence, and symmetry
  • Identification and measurement of angles
  • Properties, identification and construction of geometric figures
  • Fundamental operations with fractions and decimals
  • Relationship between common and decimal fractions
  • Problems in percent

History:

  • Native American Cultures
  • World geography
  • Map and globe skills
  • Citizenship and social responsibility
  • Transportation and communication
  • The Roman Empire

Science:

  • Human body
  • Oceans
  • Solar energy
  • Sound, light, & heat
  • Scientific theory
  • Climate and weather
  • Simple astronomy

Health and Safety:

  • The heart
  • Substance abuse
  • Exercise and fitness
  • Dental health

What do I do with this list?

I know I will need to send examples of work from throughout the year for each of these topics. I go through the workbooks and curriculum books I have, and also search online for worksheets for each of these topics.

For an example: I found a worksheet for each of the topics for Pilot in math. I took 9 sticky notes and wrote a month on each of them from September through June (I just reuse the sticky notes each year). I put one sticky note on each of the math sheets and put them in order in my binder behind the tab for Pilot.

  • September – Exponents
  • October – Interpreting graphs
  • November – Customary and metric measurement
  • December – Concepts of similarity, congruence, and symmetry
  • January – Identification and measurement of angles
  • February – Properties, identification and construction of geometric figures
  • March – Fundamental operations with fractions and decimals
  • April – Relationship between common and decimal fractions
  • May – Problems in percent

Then I go through for all of the other subjects and find a worksheet for each of the topics I choose. I divide them by month and place them behind this math sheet that has the month sticky note on it.

For Pilot I ended up with these worksheets behind the September sticky note:

  • Exponents
  • Homonyms
  • Native American Cultures
  • Human body
  • The Heart

I also included other worksheets that I wanted him to accomplish:

  • Report form: he chooses his topic
  • Math facts sheet
  • Book report form
  • Spelling test forms
  • Reading log
  • Experiment sheet

At the beginning of each month I hand out the packet of papers for that month to each child. They complete these and place them in their hanging folder. This way I have at least one useful piece of paperwork for the yearly assessment for each topic. 😉

Before I implemented this way of doing things I would search through all the work they did for the year trying to find useful paperwork that showed the varying topics they had studied. We do lots more than this packet of schoolwork. This packet just gives me something that is specific to the personal course of study that I make for each of my children each year.

Hope you find this useful.

What do you do in preparation for reporting at the end of the school year?

Happy homeschooling!