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Filling out the Ohio Notification Form

Congratulations! You’ve made the decision to homeschool for this coming year. After you have chosen your curricula you will need to send in your notification form to the superintendent. I am going to walk you through the steps so it won’t seem so overwhelming.

First, go to either CHEO or Ohio Homeschooling Parents Facebook page to get a copy of the notification or Notification of Intent (NOI) form. I will go through this item by item for you.

  1. School year Write just the year you are homeschooling.
  2. Name of parent and address. You can include your telephone number and/or your email address, but it is optional.
  3. Name, address, telephone number (optional)of person(s) who will be teaching the child… This is only if you are having someone who is going to be homeschooling your child other than yourself, such as a grandparent while you are at work. This does not include a weekly co-op class, etc., because you are still responsible to oversee their instruction and are responsible to provide an assessment.
  4. Full name and birthdate of child(ren) to be educated at home. Do not include their grade. Compulsory age is 6 years to 18 years of age. If you have a five year old at the time school begins, do not notify.
  5. Assurance that home education will include the following… Put a check mark here on this line.
  6. Brief outline of the intended curriculum… You will provide an attachment for informational purposes. See example below.
  7. A list of textbooks, correspondence courses… You will provide an attachment for informational purposes. See example below.
  8. Assurance that the child will be provided a minimum of 900 hours… Place a check mark here.
  9. Assurance that the home teacher has one of the following qualifications… Place a check mark here.
  10. The parent shall affirm… sign and date

Some confusion and apprehension occurs for new homeschool families when they see items 5, 6, 7, and 9. Let me assure you that it is not as intimidating as it appears. 🙂

Line 5 is the list of subjects you are going to teach. Do you need a textbook for each subject? No, you can choose to cover these topics in whatever way you wish. You can discuss and practice the following things for health and safety: washing hands, personal care, kitchen safety, basic first aid when accidents occur, wearing bike helmets, watch a documentary of African wildlife, play an educational game, etc.

Line 6 is an informational sheet that you attach with the notification form. Here is an example:

  • Language: Reading from various children’s classics, grammar, spelling, writing on various topics.
  • History & Geography: Reading, maps, and related activities of American historical figures, visiting places and attending special events.
  • Math: Instruction in operations and concepts, word problems.
  • Science: Daily readings, hands-on experiments, and accompanying work in life science.
  • Physical education that includes, but is not limited to, bike riding, swimming, and soccer.
  • Art and music education correlating to the curriculum topics.
  • Health and wellness along with kitchen, fire, first aid, and personal safety.

Line 7 is an informational sheet of the intended curricula you are using. If something does not work, you may switch to find a curriculum or program that is a better fit for your child. You will attach this with the notification form. Here is an example:

  • Language: Book Jones University Press, Handwriting without Tears, Easy Grammar, and Institute for Excellence in Writing, various library books, electronic resources
  • Geography, History- Story of the World, Maps, Charts and Graphs, as well as various library books, Google Maps, field trips, and community programs.
  • Math- Teaching Textbooks
  • Science- Apologia, One Small Square, various library and electronic resources
  • Physical Education: SAY soccer
  • Fine Arts- piano lessons, Outschool art class
  • Health, First Aid, Fire Safety- My Body unit, various community programs

Throughout the year we will employ the use of various electronic and library resources, community events and programs, and field trips in regards to topics being studied.

Line 9 does not state that you need to be using textbooks, sitting at a desk and doing school for 900 hours. It says home education. This can include field trips, helping with the running of the household, making a meal plan, choosing a route for a family road trip, writing a family newsletter, etc.

Have a great week! If you have questions, please leave a comment. ~ Lisa~

Disclaimer: This is not legal advice and should not be taken as such. This has just been my experience and what I have seen similarly from other homeschool families across the state. Should you have any questions of that nature, please contact Home School Legal Defense.

Science Series for Kids

I have had these wonderful science books for years and still recommend them to families who want to encourage exploration as well as learning scientific facts. One Small Square by Donald M. Silver is beautifully illustrated and takes one small square of an area that is being studied and looks at what plants and animals would traverse or live in that ecosystem. You can use these books to supplement your curriculum or use this as a spine for your studies. I have three of the books that you can see by this picture, but there are more in the series.

The Pond is the one that I chose to feature since most of us have access to a small body of water. But, if you don’t, you can still read and learn about this ecosystem.

There is a fun activity to create your own view finder from things found easily in your home.

Does your student like to find hidden pictures? This is a fun way to match the animal with the shadow and discover its name too!

Have a great week! ~Lisa~

Summer Reading: Magazines

School is never truly finished, even in the summer. As you know, if skills are not reviewed and continued then they are a bit rusty when it is time to begin again in the fall. May I suggest that you continue to have your child read over the summer? Just 15 minutes a day is all that is needed, but reading longer is always preferred. 🙂

So, how do you encourage reading for those who really don’t like to do it? How about a magazine subscription? It’s so fun to get mail and I am sure your child(ren) will love reading whichever one you choose.

National Geographic for Kids Interesting places and people are featured in these issues.

Ranger Rick There are a wide variety of magazines to choose from depending upon age. If your child loves animals. this is worth a further look.

Cricket– If your child likes stories, this is a site to investigate. There are many magazines from which to choose, depending upon age.

Highlights for Children Do you remember reading these? We didn’t have a subscription, but I got to read these whenever I had to go to the doctor’s office. With stories, Spot the Difference, Jokes, and the Hidden Picture pages, this would be one I would buy.

Scholastic Magazine There are interesting stories and nonfiction articles with comprehension questions that you can use for fun or classroom reading.

Whizz Pop Bang This is a science magazine for 6 to 12 year olds that looks like a lot of fun.

Have a great week! ~Lisa~

Outdoor Games for Kids: Tag

With warmer temperatures and beautiful days there are many opportunities to be outdoors. Why not save the electronics for rainy days? Did you ever play Tag as a child? This is a game where one person is”It” and the other players must avoid being touched or “tagged”. A place (tree, a large rock, a bush, etc) is chosen to be base so everyone can have some time to rest before rejoining. Here are several versions of how to play this fun interactive game.

Some Rules to Establish before Beginning:

  • If players’ skills are uneven, set a time limit for how long someone can be It.
  • Have a base so players can go to catch their breath or rest. They must return to the game after they have had sufficient time to rejoin the game. Stop the game when players are getting fatigued.
  • Ask children to gently tap other players to avoid injury. Anyone who hits someone hard must apologize and sit out the remainder of that game or do ten jumping jacks.

Freeze Tag Try this chilly version of tag. When a player is tagged, he or she must stop where they are and wait until another player touches (unfreezes) them.

Bandaid Tag This is fun because everyone tags players. Once a person is tagged, he/she must put a hand on the spot where they were tagged to create a bandaid, and keep running. Another player can tag them to “heal” them. If tagged twice, then that person becomes the new “It”.

Chain Tag- In this large group game of tag one person begins as “It”. As other players get tagged, they link arms with the person chosen to be “It” and form a chain. The chain of people must work together and communicate as they try to tag the remaining players. The last player to get tagged is the winner and a new game can begin.

Zoo Tag- Mark 1-4 different areas as “cages” depending upon the size of your group and decide on one person to be “the “zookeeper”. Divide the remaining players into groups and designate one person to play the part of the “monkey” — the mischievous player whose role it is to free the others from the cages. Each group chooses an animal and a movement for the game, i.e. kangaroos can hop, cheetahs can run, horses can gallop, etc. To begin, the animals are set free to move around, but if tagged must return to their respective cage. While the zookeeper is trying to lock up all the animals, the monkey is letting everyone loose! After a few minutes choose a zookeeper and a new monkey.

Hot Dog Tag– This delicious deviation from the classic starts with one person designated as “it”. When a player is tagged, he or she must lay flat on the floor with hands by their side and legs together, as if they were a hot dog. To get back into the game, two free players need to lie on either side of the “hot dog” to form the buns. The person who is “it” cannot tag any of the three players completing the hot dog, as they are allowed to join back in.

Cookie Jar Tag- For this fun game for younger players, you will need a “cookie jar”—a box, basket, or bucket. Designate a start line and choose two players to be “It.” Divide the rest of the players in half and give one group small balls, bean bags, or small stuffed animals. The goal is to reach the cookie jar and put in their “cookies” without being tagged. They can choose to throw their cookies to another player. Once all the cookies are in the jar, the game is over.

Wood Tag– Played like traditional tag, a player is safe if he/ she touches something that is made of wood.

Tail Tag- A scrap of fabric, old tie, or bandanna is tucked into each player’s waistband creating a “tail.” Everyone grabs as many tails as they can and the person who collects the most wins the game. Just be sure that the tail can be pulled easily to avoid injury or clothes being ripped.

Drop It Tag- Give about a third of the players a foam pool noodle, a ball, or a bean bag. The rest of the players chase and tag the ones holding something. When someone is tagged, they must drop what they are holding. The tagger picks it up and begins to be chased.

Some of these ideas were mine, but others came from these two websites: https://icebreakerideas.com/tag-games/ and https://activeforlife.com/transform-the-game-of-tag/

Have a great week! ~Lisa~

Cicadas

Homeschooling lends great opportunities to learn about the world around us in “real time”. If you live in the midwest, chances are that you will be affected by the 17 periodical insects also known as Brood X. So, instead of being scared or annoyed by these creatures, why not learn about them? Not only will it be a science lesson, but you can also have your child write about them, draw pictures, make an origami cicada, count how many they see (if you live in SW Ohio, there will be plenty to count, especially in older neighborhoods).

Cicada Information

I found some great resources for you to learn about these buggies. The Cincinnati Enquirer had an article that I found helpful to learn about hem. CLICK HERE

I also found a cicadas worksheet packet that includes a lapbook that you can use either for copywork or if you have younger students, they can cut the information out and glue onto the information tabs. Homeschool Den

You can help map the 2021 emergence of the periodical cicada Brood X by downloading a free app called Cicada Safari. You can learn more about it by going to their website: Cicada Safari. This website also has an origami cicada that you can make.

Try it, you’ll like it! Did you know you can eat them? According to what I read, “Periodical cicadas are best eaten when they are still white, and they taste like cold canned asparagus. Like all insects, cicadas have a good balance of vitamins, are low in fat, and, especially the females, are high in protein.” (source http://www.cicadasafari.org) Uh- no thank you!

For you insect enthusiasts who do not have any cicadas in your area, look on the map and see where they will be. Plan a road trip on a hot day and you can see and hear them. Choose an older park such as Ault Park (Cincinnati) to see them.

Have a great week! ~Lisa~

Exoskeletal shells of cicadas after they emerge.
adult cicadas