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.
Now that you know home school assessments are required, you might be thinking, “Eeek! I want to do one (aka portfolio review), but I am just not sure what to include.” Think of the assessment as a showcase for your child’s academic progress. You can also show the assessor (me or someone else qualified to do so) any areas of concern you may have. Here are some ways to show what your student has done for the year.
Workbook pages, writing samples
Photos- This can include experiments, field trips, art, hands-on projects, screenshots of online classes, etc.
Videos- These are great ways to show hands-on activities to your assessor. I have watched children reading, playing sports, participating in drama productions, music recitals, planting a garden, selling lemonade, shooting off rockets, and more! You can also include a brief list of educational videos.
A private Facebook page- Some parents have chosen to create a page for family and friends to see the school year as well as provide documentation for me, their assessor.
Lists of books read by your child or to your child You do not need to include every title, but several titles to show the reading level from the beginning of the year until the end of the year.
Did you do a lot of hands-on learning and not a lot of book work? No problem! A brief summary of what your child learned in those subject areas is helpful. I meet with each family (online or in person) so it is easy for us to discuss and you to describe the studies and what your child learned.
These are just some ideas that I have seen in my years as an assessor. I am always excited to see the children’s work and the way that parents choose to show me what they have accomplished.
Did you know that you can always do a portfolio review for your student? Yes, all the way through their high school career too! If you are in need of a certified/licensed teacher to do a review for you, I would love to help! You can schedule an appointment through the scheduling app: www.calendly.com/schoolmarmohio You can also read about my pricing by going to the Assessment page here on my blog
If you are wondering whether you need to do an assessment for your child for the 2021-2022 school year, the answer is yes! This can be a standardized test, a portfolio review of your child’s work, or something else that you and the superintendent agree upon. If you are in need of an assessor I am glad to be of assistance! You can schedule and appointment to meet with me online at: www.calendly.com/schoolmarmohio. I have more details on what a portfolio review assessment is, as well as my fees by looking under the Homeschool Assessments tab.
Teaching your teen can seem a bit daunting, but I actually found that I enjoyed high school with my sons and seeing them mature. here are some ideas when considering homeschooling your teen.
Make a plan for the year, better still, make a four year high school plan if you are going to homeschool them until graduation. “If you fail to plan, then you plan to fail.” Planning makes all the difference because you and your child can see what classes need to be taken. It provides structure and also gives opportunity to do other things.
Get your child involved in the selection of classes. High school is the time to explore career possibilities. Yes, they still need to take the required English, Math, Science, Social Studies classes, but there is latitude in which that can be taught. Do you have a child who likes to write and is interested in pursuing that as a career? You can find curriculum that is writing a novel in a year! One of my sons was a voracious reader and read the Iliad, the Odyssey, and all of the Greek comedies and tragedies in one year, as well as writing analysis on these works. Would I have chosen this without his input? Uh, no! lol
Plan classes according to interest. What do they like? Can you create or find a class that would be make them look forward to their classes. There are so many online options now for students to take a variety of classes.
Find help to teach the tough subjects. I am not a Renaissance woman, nor can I teach ALL subjects. By the time my sons were in high school, I only taught a few of their class and had others teach them subjects that they were either passionate about or were qualified to teach. You may not have the money to hire teachers, but co-ops are great for this or swapping with another homeschool mom something you like to teach with them can are options.
Find opportunities to talk or shadow professionals. Let’s say your daughter loves animals and decides to be a veterinarian. That is great, but has she ever see what a vet’s typical day looks like? What kind of schooling they need? Hours they work? Now is the time to find out before going to university. the vast majority of professionals love to discuss the career they have chosen. Reach out and contact someone.
You’ve got this! I know you can do this and I am here to help, offer suggestions, etc. Email me if I can be of assistance. My rates are reasonable if you wish to set up a consultations and I love to help. However, I cannot offer legal advice. Contact Home School Legal Defense if you need to pursue this area.
Have you ever been in a situation like this picture where you feel like the subject that was being taught or discussed was waaay over your head? Yeah, me too! So, when you get “the deer in the headlights” look from your child when you are teaching something, remember the time that you felt this way. It helps you realize what they are feeling and the frustration that is occurring. Here are some things I have found helpful having been a classroom teacher and home educator.
Is background information needed before teaching the concept? I know this sounds like an automatic thing, but sometimes I forget that I am starting at ground zero with my student. Do not assume your child knows what you are talking. Orally quiz them to see what they know. If I asked you to explain the laws of thermodynamics you may not be able to do so because you just don’t know (or it has been a long time since you learned this <lol> ).
Speak in simple terms. When you are teaching something, you must talk to your pupil in terms that is understood. You might be discussing how to write a thesis statement for a paper, but you don’t have to jump right in and say that. Explain the concept (thesis means the main idea of paper) and then introduce the terminology. I taught 8th grade Earth and Space Science and I didn’t use technical terms until I explained it simply.
Use hands-on experiences as much as possible. Did you know you learn much quicker and concepts are remembered longer the more senses are involved? If I explained to you how to make a soufflé and you didn’t have any directions to read, it would be very difficult, in my case, impossible! I will be able to make it if I can read the directions (see) , watch a video (see, hear), and make it (feel).
Model and work together with your child. Let’s say you are teaching your child to learn to write the upper case L. You can start with a large surface and use paper and pencil until they get comfortable with that and using the writing instrument properly. Next, move to writing on paper. Using handwriting paper, have them trace the letter multiple times while instructing them. Demonstrate as you talk about forming the letter. (Start up at the top of the line and go to the bottom, etc.) You can put your hand over the top of their hand, guiding as they work on the letter. Don’t let a child do something independently until you see success.
If at first you don’t succeed, try again! I listen to a teaching pastor that I dearly love because he explains something and then reiterates what he has just said by coming at it from a different angle. If you have explained division and your child is still not understanding, try using different modalities. Use manipulatives, find a video that explains it, start with simpler problems, etc.
Stop and come back to it. Sometimes you just need to regroup and return to the subject. You may need to go back and review previous concepts. Your student could also just need to ruminate about the new material.