By this time of year, most of you have finished your school and are enjoying the break that summer affords us. You have my hearty congratulations on completing your school year. Let me celebrate with you on the great accomplishment you have achieved. Your children may (or may not) thank you for all you have done this past year, but your efforts have not gone unnoticed. I see the hard work you have put into your school year and the love you show to your child by teaching them every day. For you who do not know me and wonder how I can say this is because I have the honor and privilege to do written assessments each year and see first hand the dedication you as homeschool teachers have to your family’s education.
I wanted to thank you for the time you spent:
looking over and deciding what curriculum to use
planning for school
teaching your child
loving and supporting your student
teaching when you didn’t feel good, times were tough, attitudes were less than ideal
instructing and guiding
running to extracurricular activities
cooking meals after a long day of teaching
cleaning your house before, during, and after school hours
loving your family
being a great teacher!
If you have not yet done so, take some time to pamper yourself and relax. Take some time for you. It will do you a world of good and most of all, you deserve it!
It seems anticlimactic once your child is finishing their senior year as far as notifying the school. Guess what? You don’t notify the superintendent that your scholar has graduated. You don’t need to do a portfolio review or an exit test. You do, however, get to, need to celebrate! So, for you who are graduating a student this year from homeschooling, my heartiest congratulations on a job well done! Welcome to the world of homeschool alumni, both you and your student.
You may be wondering what to do as your student completes their high school career. My suggestion is to have a graduation ceremony, either with a group of fellow homeschoolers or by yourselves. The main thing is to recognize your student and invite family and friends to celebrate this accomplishment.
What do you do for a diploma? You can either create your own (FREE) by using a template CLICK HERE You can also purchase one such as this Christian homeschool one CLICK HERE or one that does not have a scripture reference on it CLICK HERE
This spring the Ohio State Board of Education reviewed the homeschool laws and there has been a revision that affects when you must turn in your notification form. Beginning this fall, your Notification of Intent to homeschool must be turned in “no later than the first week of the start of the public school building in which your child(ren) would attend in the district of residence or within one week of the date on which the child begins to reside in the district or within one week from the child’s withdraw from a school.” If you would like to read the new revisions in their entirety, go to the CHEO website or CLICK HERE. The revisions are in red print.
Should you be in need or a Written Narrative Assessment/ Portfolio Review please contact me. I would love to help you meet the state requirement to continue to homeschool your child.
Do your children know what we observe on Memorial Day? You can read this post to them; discuss the poem In Flanders Fields and have them copy it; attend a parade; visit a vet, or decorate graves of military personnel; making this holiday more personal as part of your history studies. Here is the origin of this holiday from History.com
Memorial Day is an American holiday, observed on the last Monday of May, honoring the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. Originally known as Decoration Day, it originated in the years following the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971. Many Americans observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries or memorials, holding family gatherings and participating in parades.
Early Observances of Memorial Day
The Civil War, which ended in the spring of 1865, claimed more lives than any conflict in U.S. history and required the establishment of the country’s first national cemeteries.
By the late 1860s, Americans in various towns and cities had begun holding springtime tributes to these countless fallen soldiers, decorating their graves with flowers and reciting prayers.
It is unclear where exactly this tradition originated; numerous different communities may have independently initiated the memorial gatherings. Nevertheless, in 1966 the federal government declared Waterloo, New York, the official birthplace of Memorial Day. It first celebrated the day on May 5, 1866, and was chosen because it hosted an annual, community-wide event, during which businesses closed and residents decorated the graves of soldiers with flowers and flags.
On May 5, 1868, General John A. Logan, leader of an organization for Northern Civil War veterans, called for a nationwide day of remembrance later that month. “The 30th of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village and hamlet churchyard in the land,” he proclaimed.
The date of Decoration Day, as he called it, was chosen because it wasn’t the anniversary of any particular battle.
On the first Decoration Day, General James Garfield made a speech at Arlington National Cemetery, and 5,000 participants decorated the graves of the 20,000 Union and Confederate soldiers buried there.
Many Northern states held similar commemorative events and reprised the tradition in subsequent years; by 1890 each one had made Decoration Day an official state holiday. Southern states, on the other hand, continued to honor their dead on separate days until after World War I.
History of Memorial Day
Memorial Day, as Decoration Day gradually came to be known, originally honored only those lost while fighting in the Civil War. But during World War I the United States found itself embroiled in another major conflict, and the holiday evolved to commemorate American military personnel who died in all wars.
For decades, Memorial Day continued to be observed on May 30, the date Logan had selected for the first Decoration Day. But in 1968 Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, which established Memorial Day as the last Monday in May in order to create a three-day weekend for federal employees; the change went into effect in 1971. The same law also declared Memorial Day a federal holiday.
Memorial Day Traditions
Cities and towns across the United States host Memorial Day parades each year, often incorporating military personnel and members of veterans’ organizations. Some of the largest parades take place in Chicago, New York and Washington, D.C.
Americans also observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries and memorials. Some people wear a red poppy in remembrance of those fallen in war—a tradition that began with a World War I poem, In Flanders Fields.
“In Flanders Fields” by John McCrae
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
Before your children throw away all of their schoolwork for the year, stop them! It is helpful to keep a record of what your child has done not only for posterity’s sake but in the event that the superintendent’s office should question whether your child attended school. I was given the advice many moons ago to keep records for three years.
Also, it is fun to look back over the years and see what your child has learned. I actually kept a labeled binder of schoolwork for each year and just stored it in the attic. One of the hardest things to do was to throw it away after my sons had graduated. lol Silly, I know, but there was a lot of blood, sweat, prayers, laughter, and tears in those binders!
So, what kind of things would I recommend you to keep for your records?
Samples of your student’s best work. Pages or narratives from the beginning, middle, and end of the year would show a representation of the year.
Photos of activities such as experiments, sports, plays, field trips, nature studies, gardening, projects that have been completed, artwork. The sky’s the limit!
Programs of concerts, plays, church programs, recitals, etc.
List of materials used and topics studied
Report cards/ grades if issued
A copy of the portfolio review assessment or testing scores
A general reading list of books completed.
High school transcript
A school calendar
Lesson plan book
List of extracurricular activities
In a separate binder:
I advise you to keep your yearly notification records separate from your student’s school binder. These documents should be kept in a safe place and photographed in the unlikelihood of something happening to your official paperwork.
A copy of the completed Home Education Notification Form
A copy of your list of textbooks
A copy of the portfolio review assessment or testing scores
A copy of the topics you are studying for the year
The signed receipt from the school (Send your notification form by registered mail with a registered receipt)
Your excusal letter from compulsory education
Have a great week! If you are in need of a portfolio review please contact me. I would love to serve you and your family and help you to meet the requirement to homeschool here in Ohio.