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!

 

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Week in Review & Our Classroom

This week wasn’t as great as I thought it would be for school. We got things done but I was hoping we would get more accomplished. There is always next week. What we did do this week:

  • Co-op classes “Nervous System”
  • End of Year Soccer Party
  • Workbook work
  • Easy Peasy Online School
  • Math drills each day
  • Homeschool Parents Meeting
  • Ice Skating
  • Chiropractic Appointments
  • State Police Field trip
  • Orthodontist appointments
  • Monthly shopping
  • Blogging
  • Wood burning
  • Worked on the mending pile
  • Boys did their brothers brakes and axle on his Subaru
  • Free gym time
  • Bible Study
  • Church

Our Classroom

This year we have an actual classroom area. Some years we have only used the dining room table or desks in their rooms. This year we are doing the Easy Peasy online school which requires computer use. It was a pain to put away and take out all the laptops each day so we changed things around a little bit.

Our living room now is also the classroom. Each child has a desk with his/her computer on it and also their respective school books.

The only child without her own computer is Princess. She uses Directors computer when it is time to do her schoolwork. I try to have her done and off that computer before Director is even reading to do school. Doesn’t always work but I try 🙂

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Princess doing her Reading Eggs Online schoolwork. Director is waiting to do her schoolwork 🙂
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Artist doing Easy Peasy Online Schoolwork
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Pilot is working on XtraMath Online Math Drills
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Collector doing XtraMath Online Math Drills. You can see his knitting is ready to go for when he is done 🙂
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Tech starting up his really slow laptop. He is opening his Easy Peasy online schoolwork.

Do we like it this way?

I like that they have a place for all there things and the put away take out each day is gone. They like it because they can use computers each day and their schoolwork is right there for them.

We don’t like that it takes up over half of the living room. The pros out way the cons though.

 

How do you do school? Do you have a classroom set up? Leave a comment and let us know.

Happy homeschooling!

Week in Review & Our Homeschool Co-op

Gamer coaching soccer
Gamer coaching soccer

This week was not as productive in the academics as I was hoping it would be. I am not concerned because we school pretty much year round and this school year started in July. According to our state I have a 2 month jump on this current years work.

This week we had our regular co-op classes on Monday. This session of classes are:

  • Human Body Systems
  • Choir
  • Career Readiness

The system of study this week was the Digestive System. Here is a picture from the class.

Squeezing Oatmeal through the small intestines (nylons)
Squeezing Oatmeal through the small intestines (nylons)

I am going to focus this post on how our co-op works. But, I will finish my week in review first. Here is a quick list of what we accomplished:

  • Co-op classes
  • Attended a friends soccer game
  • Workbook work
  • Some Easy Peasy
  • Math drills each day
  • Reports written for the month (we try to do one a month)
  • Soccer (my son Gamer coached, photo above)
  • Playground playing
  • Dinner at a friends house (also helped her with her homeschool paperwork)
  • Dentist Appointments
  • Fire Department Field Trip
  • Pumpkin Carving for the Nursing Home
  • Loading, unloading, and stacking fire wood
  • Blogging
  • Artwork
  • Corn Maze
  • Dinner at another friends house
  • Jewelry party tomorrow
  • Barn Dance tomorrow also

coops

Our homeschool co-op is really a homeschool class because at this point I teach them all. I have tried to have others take over the work of running a class but this has not worked out. I love teaching these mainly hands-on classes, so I don’t mind at all. My daughter Director has been a great help in the Choir class.

This year I tried something different. I had families sign-up and pay a very small supply fee to take the K-6 classes. In the past it was hit or miss whether students came to the classes. This year with that small supply fee and a registration portion we have had a wonderfully full class each week. In past years it has also been very expensive for me supply all the items for classes. This year is so much better.

Another thing I tried this year was just having an 8 week session for each season. We have the Fall, Winter, and Spring sessions. Here is the breakdown of the classes per session:

FALL

  • The Human Body (K-6th)
  • Choir (all ages)
  • Career Readiness (7th-12th)

WINTER

  • Exploring Weather (K-6)
  • Drama Club (all ages)
  • Dissection 101 (4th-12th)

SPRING

  • Beginning Botany (K-6)
  • Garage Band (all ages)
  • Yearbook (7th-12th)

The classes that say K-6 are really geared to all the way up to 11th grade but not 100% of the time so I listed those grades instead.

The classes I teach are things I would be doing with my children anyway. These classes are an extension of our learning at home. The children really enjoy doing the science projects with a group. The science classes are all hands-on with a small bit of talking in between projects. There is always a snack also.

The classes run for 3 hours on Mondays at the local library. The library has a wonderful meeting room that they let us use. The room has a full kitchen, complete sound system, full video projector and computer access, and it’s own bathroom. The library also provides chairs, tables, cups, plates, and serving tray and bowls. It really is an amazing space. This meeting space is also free to use.

I have a regular blog where I post what our homeschool co-op is doing each week: Crazy8 Homeschool Co-ops  On that blog I will post the rest of the pictures from this weeks classes and helpful info about running a co-op type class.

Our family is in our 23rd year homeschooling and with Princess only turning 5 next month we are in this for the long haul. I think families feel comfortable with me teaching and I hope they see how much I love doing it 🙂 Families come up to me each week thanking me for teaching the classes and I am glad they appreciate it.

Here is a post from my other blog that explains more about what we do: Respiratory System Co-op & how we run a class.

Happy Homeschooling!