Tips for Homeschooling When It Is Hectic

There are certain times when it can be difficult to fit in homeschooling along with the other situations you may find in your life, whether that is a new baby, a sick relative, or a busier than usual time of the year. While it is important to see to the educational needs of your child, you can also take a break from your regular work or routine if needed. School can still be done, just perhaps in a different way than you thought. You can return to your curriculum and/or school schedule once things settle down. Here are some ideas to help you.

Audiobooks– Don’t have time to read aloud to your child? Find a book that your child will find interesting. If you have a library card, your system may have Hoopla or Libby, both are free to use. Your child can either write or narrate a summary of each chapter or the book. Everyone can tell you the main characters and the plot of the story. You can go into depth with your older child by discussing the themes of the story (Language Arts, other subjects depending upon what you or your child has chosen.).

Educational Videos- You can find documentaries, places to travel, science experiments, and other interesting topics. You only need to do a Google search and a great big list of videos to watch will appear! You may need to preview the video to make sure it is appropriate for your child (age level, content, etc). For older students, this is a great way to incorporate Language Arts. Your student can take notes and summarize the video. Have them give it a thumbs up/down and support their answer.

Project- This can be done in a manner of ways. You can assign an activity that can enhance the audiobook or video. Your child can draw a picture, create a PowerPoint, make a poster, create a photo collage, act out their favorite scene or create an additional one, and so on. They might find additional videos and make a list to share with you and others.

Do your children like to craft and can do some things on their own? Great! Let them create something (Art). They can make cards (Language Arts), organize their toys (Math- logic, counting, spatial intelligence), make a model (Science, Art, History), read to a younger sibling (Language Arts), bake cookies and take to a neighbor or friend (Math, Health).

Shopping- If you celebrate a holiday event, making a list of things to purchase (this can be drawn or written) can be counted for Language Arts as well as for Math (order items according to price, like rating system 1- I would like to have 5-I don’t want anything else!).

Games- Do you have games the children can play? Many of these are actually math and logic games. You can also play games in the car. Have math races- call out a multiplication problem and see how fast they can solve it. Do you have a little one who is just beginning to learn their alphabet, colors, numbers? Find examples of these as you travel in your vehicle. You can also listen to an audiobook in the car.

This is just a list to stir up your own creative juices. Feel free to add more of your own ideas. Of course, if things are extremely hectic and you can’t get school done, take some time off! Scheduling a school break is fine; it just might have been an unexpected one and that’s okay. You will have time to make up the time missed within the rest of your school year.

Blessings to you! Have a great week! ~ Lisa ~

Homeschool Assessments: Who Needs Them?

There has been some confusion on who exactly needs an assessment here in Ohio. You only need to have a portfolio review assessment if your student is going to continue homeschooling for the next academic year. Let me give you some scenarios so that I can help make it clearer.

Q: I have a kindergarten student, but they weren’t six by the time school began. Is an assessment required?

A: Did you notify the school? If so, yes, you do need to do an assessment. If you did not, you do not need an assessment. The key is whether you notified your school district.

Q: I decided to homeschool once school began.

A:Yes, you need to do an assessment. But, you only need to provide samples of the work they have done since being homeschooled. As an assessor, I am not looking to see what they did in school before you began homeschooling.

Q: My student graduated this year. Do I have to do an exit assessment?

A: No, you are finished! Celebrate your accomplishment in graduating your child. (Can you hear me whistling, clapping, whooping with you?)

Q: We homeschooled this year, but we will not continue next year.

A: No assessment is required. The school may decide that your student needs to be tested in order to place them, but that is totally up to your school district. I have been asked to do an assessment as some school districts require this in order for your student to be enrolled in school.

If you are interested in scheduling an assessment with me, I am scheduling families now for the 2022-23 school year. You can see my homeschool assessments tab for more details. But, here is a quick link to scheduling: www.calendly.com/schoolmarmohio

Questions? Feel free to contact me and I will be glad to help.

Have a great week!
~Lisa~

Fall Science Fun

Fall is the the time colorful leaves and fun hands-on experiences science activities. Here are two things to do with your children.

Grab a bag to put goodies in and go on a nature walk to gather leaves of various colors, including green ones too. You would like to have at least 5 of each color of possible. Return with your finds and do the following:

Classify the leaves according to color. You can tape a different color of leaf to a cup or jar and have your student place their leaves in the appropriate cup. Idea and picture from http://www.steamsational.com

Have you heard of leaf chromatography? This is where you take colored leaves and draw out its color through rubbing alcohol. This is a great time to discuss chlorophyll in plants. I have done it with my sons and it is neat to see what colors are in the leaves. Here is the experiment given with terrific instructions. (www.farmanddairy.com)

Materials Needed:

Paper towels or coffee filters, rubbing alcohol, a clothespin, small mason jars or glasses, scissors, pencils for each jar/ glass, leaves of different colors and something to grind or crush the leaves, a small tray

Directions:

Cut your paper towels or coffee filters into 1 1/2″-2″ strips that will fit into your mason jar. Next, cut the leaves into small pieces, make sure to keep them separated by color. 

Take a rock or smooth, rounded object and grind up the leaf pieces. Place the cut-up leaves into mason jars or small glasses, putting the different colored leaves each in their own jar or glass.

Next, pour just enough rubbing alcohol to cover the leaves in each jar. (1-2 tablespoons)

Place your strips of paper towels/coffee filters far enough into the jar that they are barely immersed into the rubbing alcohol and secure them with your clothespin to attach them to a pencil that you lay across the top of the jar. This is to keep the strip from falling down into the container. 

Place the jars on a small tray and put in a secure dark place (a closet) overnight and allow the rubbing alcohol to absorb into the paper strips. Remove the strips and allow them to dry.

I was reading various sources that said the color will become more apparent when the strips dry. Look closely to see the various colors. I am thinking that a magnifying glass may be beneficial.

Take the experiment farther: As you are waiting to see the results of the experiment, create a prediction of what colors you think will appear on each of the paper strips. Check your predictions. What color were you the most surprised with the results?

Have a great week! ~ Lisa ~

Homeschooling Round Two

If you haven’t noticed, I love homeschooling and believe in the right of the parent to choose the education you want for your child. I am blessed to live close to my grandchildren and I have the privilege to be homeschooling again! It’s just one day a week, but I am looking forward to all the things we will be doing and what the children will be learning.

Last week we worked on the letter B and did all things bat related. The children made bats out of toilet paper rolls from this book and here is the link: I am Not a Toilet Paper Roll

We also counted bats and matched the numeral to the number counted, identified shapes within the bats worksheet, played an echolocation game (the children loved it!), and watched a video of the reading of Zipping, Zapping, Zooming Bats.

Have you heard about Dot Markers? They are washable, not toxic markers that have sponges on the end of them and are perfect for young students, those who have difficulty with small motor activities, or someone who doesn’t like to color. We used these and they were a huge success!

Have a great week! ~Lisa~

Take Advantage of Opportunities

With late summer days and soon to be fall days, we have lots of chances to enjoy the outdoors. So, why not find school-related activities to incorporate into your studies? You can go to a local park, backyard, or neighborhood where you can:

  • collect leaves (science)
  • inspect insects (science)
  • go on hikes (physical education, health)
  • pack nutritious snacks (health)
  • sing songs (fine arts)
  • use a map (social studies)
  • do a GeoCache (social studies, math)
  • make a map of the area (social studies, art)
  • collect nature items, identify and classify them, count them, draw them, make a collage (science, math, art)
  • write about the experience (language arts)

I hope this gets your creative juices flowing and thinking that school can be more than just worksheets and sitting inside.

Have a great week! ~Lisa~