9oo Hours


When you first read the Home Education Notification Form that you need to provide 900 hours of home education you might have had visions of your precious child sitting at a hard wooden desk for 8 hours. Maybe your thought was, “How are we supposed to do that?”

The good news is that you do not need to spend those 900 hours only doing schoolwork at a desk and reading monotonous textbooks. Although, using an interesting textbook is an excellent way to learn. :) Home Education takes place each day, all day long. You are instructing your children throughout the day.  Discussing the importance of taking a bath, brushing teeth, and eating a well-balanced breakfast all are part of a health curriculum since these are components of hygiene and nutrition. Receiving an allowance; deciding on a plan for saving money to purchase something; tithing; and saving a portion of it are areas of math that are not necessarily covered in a textbook; but are essential to teach our children how to manage their money. Keeping toys picked up, not touching a hot stove, discussing and practicing how to get out of your home in case of a fire or an emergency are all part of a safety curriculum. All of these activities help to reinforce and enhance what you are studying.

One time I was telling the boys about how sound carries better if you cup your hands around your mouth and shout. Well, of course, we had to go outside and prove that idea. I couldn’t just have them go outside and yell, I decided to incorporate stranger safety into the activity as well. One son was on our play set slide while the other son was on a swing, each yelling “help” and kicking their legs with all of their might.  It didn’t occur to me until well into the activity that someone might really think the boys were actually in trouble. Fortunately, no one was around to witness this event except me.

So, how do you go about making sure that you have covered 900 hours of home instruction? If you take a typical school year, which is approximately 180 days and you divide into 900 you will arrive at 5 hours. This means you would provide instruction for your student a schedule of Monday through Friday beginning at 8:00 (if you are an early bird) and finishing at 1:30 with a 30 minute break for lunch.  Of course, you can begin and end school with the schedule that works best for your family.

Many families go on school-related outings on the weekends with things such as park programs with a naturalist (science), participating in sporting events such as a soccer team (physical education), going to a museum (history, art) or going on vacations and identifying birds, wildflowers, seashells (social studies,science), etc.

I created an attendance sheet that was Sunday through Saturday since we had several weekend events and field trips. You can keep track of the number of days you are homeschooling and have a record of that to put in your lesson plan book or school binder. Days add up quickly and you will find you easily meet the required hours of home instruction.

Am I advocating you sit around and watch cartoons, eat 3 bowls of ice cream and call that home education? No, I am not. You need to be purposeful in your home instruction and plan your school year, which includes all of the subjects listed on the Home Education Notification Form. You can watch cartoons and eat one scoop of ice cream in your free time. :) You can, however,  make your school practical and fun while teaching your children; that is one of the benefits of home education. Educating our children doesn’t stop when we put away the school books.

If you are in need of a calendar to plan school and extra curricular activities there are many free printable calendars available. Some you can even edit, which is a nice feature.  I marked the calendar date with a diagonal line through the date if it was just a half day (such as a weekend) or an x for a full day. This is a website I have used over the years and i just type right on the calendar and print it off. Easy! To view, CLICK HERE.

This is not legal advice. It is my opinion. I am not a lawyer, have not studied law, nor do I play the role of an actor in any play or motion picture. :) Please consult your local homeschool group, CHEO, or HSLDA if you are in need of legal advice.

Newport Aquarium Homeschool Days


Mark your calendar and get ready to have a great day at Newport Aquarium.  From September 15-19 the facility will be having Homeschool Days with special programs just for homeschoolers. What a great way to teach science!

Homeschool Days

September 15 – 19, 2014

You can enhance your child’s knowledge of marine life and conservation while having a wonderful time in the process. Visit the Newport Aquarium for Homeschool Days when admission is only $11 per person and no minimum is required.

All Homeschool tickets must be purchased in advance. Homeschool tickets are not available at the front gate.

Exciting Additional Experiences for Home School Days:

Finstitute Classroom Experience
Each class is taught by a WAVE Foundation instructor and classroom tickets are just $4 per guest. Newport Aquarium Admission tickets required.

    • Surrounded By Sharks (Grades K-12) – Class begins promptly at 9:15am
      Learn all about Sharks in this 30 minute class! This class will take place in the Shark Ray Bay Theater of the Newport Aquarium before opening. Please arrive 10 minutes prior to class time.
    • Scales and Tails (Grades K-12) – Class begins promptly at 10:15am
      Learn about what makes a reptile a reptile and engage with live animal encounters in this 45 minute class!
  • Rosie the Riveter
    Get a duck’s-eye view of WWII as you experience one of the most innovative transport vehicles in military history. Rosie the Riveter introduces your students to the amphibious DUKW vehicle and the important role that American women played in the creation of this ingenious land-and-water truck with a classroom presentation, authentic WWII military artifacts and a historic video. Then climb aboard and learn first-hand how the Duck operates as you take a land and water tour passing many area landmarks and attractions. Rosie the Riveter Ride the Duck tickets are just $10 each on Home School Days!

Backstage Animal Experience
Get an inside look at the Aquarium facility and learn what it takes to maintain a one-million gallon environment. Only $5 per person!

Penguin Encounters
During the 20-minute encounter, you will talk with one of our our Animal Experience Specialists who handle these adorable birds. $25 per person

If you are interested in going and want more details, CLICK HERE.

Teaching Financial Literacy

Photo illustration of one hundred dollar notes in Seoul

While a financial literacy course is now a requirement for the state of Ohio high school graduates, it is never too early to begin teaching fiscal responsibility to our children. This topic can be taught as part of your mathematics curriculum.

Dave Ramsey has a wide range of curriculum, beginning with the Financial Peace Junior for ages 3-12, all the way through high school graduates. He also has homeschool curriculum that can be used for a high school credit  for students grades 9-12. To see this specific program, CLICK HERE.

The Secret Millionaire’s Club has animated webisodes that teach the basic principles of financial and business problems to solve. There are 26 episodes in the series and it can be used at home or in a group setting. Each episode has an activity guide that accompanies it for further discussion. Activity Guide

Money as You Grow is a website that was created by the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability and has objectives and activities for children from preschool through senior high school.

Financial Literacy, a website sponsored by the United States Mint, has activities and lesson plans, as well as additional resources.



It’s a Small World: Geography Curriculum


With an ever-increasing global economy, the chances of your student dealing with international clientele when they are adults are fairly high. Also, part of a liberal arts education is to provide a well-educated scholar. Here are some resources to help you teach geography and cultures.

Galloping the Globe This program is recommended for grades K-4, but you can always add supplemental resources.

Trail Guide to World Geography This is a multi-leveled curricula for elementary through senior high.

Geography through Art You can study artists, their works, and what part of the world they were from with this book.

Eat Your Way around the World has not only recipes from countries being studied, but also the culture and facts for each one.

Map of the Month has wonderful oversized maps (16’x20″) that children can work on together or separately. Each map is only $1.00! The only drawback to that is the cost of shipping, but if you can get others to order with you, you could split the cost.  When I have ordered in the past for my geography class I have received free maps. :-) They have over 80 different types of maps that include: a Daily World Map; an Ohio map; the Great Lakes; and individual countries. There is quite a bit of information and labeling for each map to help reinforce what you are teaching.

Here’s something that is interesting. I found an article with pictures of maps that are made with food from those countries.  If you’d like to see it Click here


Book Adventures



A few homeschool moms have recommended this website, so I had to check it out. I am happy that I did because this is a tremendous tool for reading. With Book Adventures your child  can:

  • search for book titles
  • read books
  • even take quizzes!

Geared for children in grades K-8, you have an available resource to aid you as a teacher in regards to book choices . With over 8,000 book titles and quizzes, you are sure to find new titles for your student. Additionally,  there are  printable certificates, rewards, and games (online and printable) for your reader to make reading and reading comprehension interesting and motivating.

Are you wondering how you can possibly keep up with all of the books your child will be reading? A handy tool  entitled the report form can be used to track your book worm’s progress that has categories such as the title of the book and the score on the quiz they have taken.

Best of all, it is FREE! :) If you want to check it out yourself, click here.