Typical Home School Day with 6 Kids

typical

Typical Homeschool Day With 6 Kids

We are frequently asked “How do you do it?”

Most of the time I answer “Day by Day.” 

 

Each of our children is so unique and they each learn in such different ways. One day of homeschooling in detail… this is going to be tough. Our home school days vary from the “sit down” school days to the “doing things” home school days. I am guessing that most people want to know about the “sit down” home school days when they ask, so that is what I will write about today.

 

Our “Sit Down” School Day Schedule:

 

6:00 am – I am a morning person. So this is the time I am awake and start setting the school day up. I love the quiet of the morning. Even when the kids start getting up, about 6:30, they will see me working at the dining room table and will understand two things:

  1. Today is a “sit down” school day
  2. Mom needs some time to get it set up

My setting up of the school day works pretty easily in the morning. What they will be studying for the year has already been prepared in the summer. What I plan on finishing this year I planned in the summer. What I know I need them to accomplish this week I have noted from the previous week’s work and so it’s pretty straight forward.

I write up the days work on a 5″ x 8″ sheet of notebook paper, I love these little notebooks. Each child has one of these written up by me that morning for a check off sheet. I list each subject and what I expect the child to accomplish for that day in that subject. At the end of the day I expect the work finished and the check off sheet returned.

Our “sit down” school day is always finished by noon. We have a life and doing “school” is only part of it. Here is a sample of what one of the lists would look like:

 

lesson

 

 

7:00 am – I am usually done getting things set up by now. Each child’s pile of books for the day is in a stack on the dining room table along with their assignment list on top for them to check off as they do each thing. I will usually review each list with each child and highlight anything I feel may be unusual or they might find interesting.

An example might be if I usually have a child only do 1/2 hour of reading and there is 1 hour listed on their sheet. The explanation might be that the child needs to finish up the reading book he is working through so his book report can be started the following day or week.

breakfast

 

8:00 am – noon – School starts around 8:00 or 8:30 on a “sit down” school day. Some kids will take their lists before that and start on maybe their reading so that their school work is finished up faster.

Chores and breakfast has been finished up before we sit down. Plans for lunch have been discussed. Kids are all dressed and have pencils and their piles of books and their lists.

 

We each take a spot at the table. Mind you it’s a BIG table.

Side note: Usually my two oldest girls do their school upstairs in their room. One is a freshman in college so she does all her work online and we review anything that she wants review at night. The other is a junior in high school and is doing courses for college online and also has a list made up for homeschool but it is a monthly list of things to accomplish. That’s the way she likes her work laid out for her and it has worked well for her for years.

At the table I usually sit at the end of the table with my 2 youngest children on either side of me. After them on either side are the next 2 older children.

They do not do all of their work sitting at the table. Their reading they usually take into the living room on a comfortable chair, whether it’s their history reading or whatever.

I don’t think they love doing “sit down” school but it’s a necessary part of our lives. We do not do sit down school 5 days a week. I think it is more like 3 days a week. The other days they are working on projects or writing plays or building drones or something that does not involve mom making a list to follow. So, when we go to do a “sit down” school day it’s not so bad, since they had their break of a day or more.

 

I do not believe that all learning comes from textbooks.

I do believe that textbooks are a tool and I use them like a tool. They do not control our lives but add something to it. They are useful but not necessarily how my children learn best.

As we are sitting around the table the children will ask questions and I will read lessons to my 7yo and we try not to be too loud so that those reading can concentrate. Everyone is trying to get finished so they can do something else. I only schedule enough work as to fill 3-4 hours.

10:00 – The kids are looking for a snack about now so I usually have them each do their spelling tests, one at a time, and once finished they grab themselves a snack. We use Spelling Power for spelling, so there is a test each day. Each word the child spells incorrectly he/she writes the word 10 times, like I said, I don’t use curriculum “as written”. When they are done writing their words, it’s off for a snack, kind of an incentive to finish up quickly.

While snacking they are still working. Snack and drink on the table at their right with books and pencils in hand. Sometimes I will ask that the drinks get finished up quickly so they don’t spill on the school books.

Something funny: Most of the time they all do the same subjects at the same time. Like math, all of the older children use Saxon math and usually there are 3 different level Saxon math books open on the table at once, the three boys. My 7yo daughter  is still using ABeka Math but will switch over to Saxon this next year or so, but her math will be out also. Not really sure why they all seem to do the same subjects together but it usually works out that way.

Is there squabbling? Of course… One child will ask another “not to say numbers out loud” the other child will say “but you are” and the first child will say that “he is not as loud as the other child”. Whatever, I remind each of them to not say numbers out loud, or if they need to say a number out loud to me, to make sure they announce “i need to say a number out loud” just in case another child is doing a calculation in their head.

It’s pretty smooth going, the children are looking forward to being finished for the day. We do have rough days but not many. This is a way of life for us after 25 years. It’s just what we do so there is not much complaining because well, what would be the point?

That’s it….

Noon – lunch and the rest of the day is theirs.

 

lunch

 

I hope this was helpful in seeing part of what we do in a “sit down” school day.

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Science: Woolly Bear Zombies

science

Woolly Bear Zombies or

Science in a Relaxed Home School 

My kids love science, they just don’t know it.

If you were to ask them if they like science they would tell you a flat out NO. It is so funny to me because we do so many fun experiments but the kids do not consider it science.

Their latest science activity was collecting Woolly Bear caterpillars to see if they would form cocoons. My 13yo son had found a free aquarium and decided he would use it to collect creatures from outside and put them in it.

1st science activity’s related to this topic?

  1. Ask a question
  2. Do background research
  3. Construct a hypothesis.

He had done the first 3 steps in the Scientific Method without even knowing it.

1. First he asked a question, “Can I have Woolly Bear caterpillars live and form cocoons in my terrarium?”

2. Second he did some research by looking up what a Woolly Bear caterpillar eats and how often. He also looked up what else they needed to live.

3. From these 2 points above he constructed a hypothesis. His hypothesis was, “I believe that Woolly Bear caterpillars can live in my terrarium. But there are things I must do. If I feed them fresh leaves everyday and moisten the terrarium everyday they should live and form cocoons.”

At any point in time did he verbalize this hypothesis? NOPE

The quote marks above are for example only. We did talk about his project a lot but he never thought of it as science work. He is an average 13yo boy and just did these thing without even knowing he was working through the scientific method.

What are the next steps of the Scientific Method and did he continue to work through them?

Here they are:

  1. Test Your Hypothesis by Doing an Experiment.
  2. Analyze Your Data and Draw a Conclusion.
  3. Communicate Your Results.

So, yes, he continued with the steps of the scientific method.

4. He collected a square of sod to place in the bottom of the terrarium. Next he started collecting Woolly Bear caterpillars and placing them in the terrarium. He added the leaves that they like along with some moisture.

We watched as they moved and lived and had a great time in the terrarium. We had a great time and had so much watching them just live in there. The terrarium was right in the dining room so conversations at the dinner table were always about those fuzzy guys.

Each day he added some new leaves and moistened the terrarium, except when he forgot… 😉 They ate and ate each day. He continued to learn more about them through books and online.

He found out they need sticks to climb up on in order to hang and form cocoons from. He collected sticks and placed them in various spots in the terrarium. He now had 7 or 8 caterpillars but no cocoons.

5. The next step of the scientific process started to take place. Honestly, at this point it was starting to look like the caterpillars were just going to die and well that would be that. His 17yo sister decided the caterpillars were dead and planted some corn seeds in the terrarium sod. We all watched as the corn grew and the caterpillars died. The corn grew to about 10 inches tall and then it decided to die also. The experiment seemed like a flop.

We talked about how maybe he had watered it too much or had forgotten to feed them too many times. Everyone had an opinion…

Then one day his 17yo sister saw movement. Under the ground at the edge of the glass wall there was a Woolly Bear alive.

My 13yo son said, “It’s the Woolly Bear Zombie Apocalypse!”

6. Communicate your results. Boy did he do that. Everyone who would listen he would tell them about how he had made this terrarium and thought for sure all the Woolly Bears had died and then… had come back to life. Well at least 2 of them.

These little guys are still alive, not sure how or why but they are.

Science is lifelong learning in real life not from a textbook or a teacher but what a kid sees that he or she wants to know more about. Those are the experiences the child will remember, that is true science.

Do I use textbooks for science, YUP, but not how they are written, we tweak them to fit our own way of learning. More on that another time…

 

 

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 & 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!

 

Monday Musings

Plans for the week ahead

This week we are doing Cells & DNA during co-op class. It is going to be so fun!! I lead a Breastfeeding Support Group and it meets this Tuesday after Ice Skating. Out topic this week is a Breastfeeding Jeopardy Game I made a few years ago when I worked for WIC. The rest of the week is Free & Clear. Yahoo!! Hoping to get all the schoolwork finished up early and work on some sewing for Christmas.

Thinking about

Trying to finish up all my Christmas stuff up by the first week in Christmas so I can just enjoy the month of December. This week is sewing projects. I will be getting the projects organized, cut, and pinned together. This most likely will not be done this week but might as well try.

Out of doors

This week we will finish stacking wood and splitting what we have. Later this week we will be getting some more wood to cut down and split. Busy week outside.

In the kitchen

I would like to make a decorate a pile of cakes this week. Why? I just love to decorate them. Hoping to find families to eat them 🙂 My youngest daughter turned 5 this weekend. I made her a Hello Kitty birthday cake and remembered how much I love it.

A photo from last week….

Here is a scene from the movie the kids made this past week. The grandmother is discussing something with her grandchildren. They are all at a party.

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Hope you have a wonderful week!