Monday, October 03, 2011

Homeschool record keeping

(I'm the facilitator for my homeschool support group tonight and the topic for discussion is record keeping.  Since I always like to have something funny to share before we begin, I have written the following.  And because I'm only capable of so much creative thought in one day, I'm double-dipping and making it a blog post as well.  Plus, I'm supposed to be paying the bills right now, and really, who wants to do that?)

When I first began homeschooling, I was a dedicated record keeper.  This despite the fact that I live in a state where they are not required.  I found it helpful in those early years to look back on what we did and assure myself that I was giving my children a real and valuable education.  After the first year or so, it became a type of game.  I would look at what my children did throughout the day and see how much of it I could put into "educationese".  You know, the type of jargony phrases found in any scope and sequence.  So, I present a somewhat typical day followed by the scope and sequence item we successfully fulfilled.  (The following scope and sequence phrases are lifted verbatim from various state education department's scope and sequences.  To protect the not-so-innocent, I will not be sharing the names' of the states.)

8 am     Oversleep and wake-up to a houseful of children who are already awake.  Disagreement has broken out between two boys over who has the most money in their piggy banks, the contents of which are strewn about the bedroom floor.  (Know vocabulary and recognize coins [penny, nickel, dime, quarter])

9 am     Little girls entertain themselves by reading to each other.  Stop to take picture because of overwhelming cuteness.  Manage to interrupt their reading and now must show them all the pictures on the camera.  (Hold books right side up and turn pages in the right direction.)

10 am   Everyone has begun doing some of their assigned schoolwork.  At least that's what I think.  Discover daughter reading a stack of books about cats.  Do not escape soon enough and am now a captive audience to a recitation of the differences between cat skeletons and dog skeletons. (The student will continue to expand listening and speaking vocabularies. a) Use words that reflect a growing range of interests and knowledge. b) Clarify and explain words and ideas orally.)

Noon  Schoolbooks are put away and lunch preparations begin.  Two children decide they do not care for the offered lunch option and ask if they can make Ramen noodles.  I agree, since offered option wouldn't stretch to feed everyone anyway.  Older sister reads instructions and directs her minion in what needs to be done to prepare noodles.  (Follow three-step and four-step directions  Give three-step and four-step directions )

1 pm    Cornered by child who demands to know about event written on calendar.  Event supposed to be a surprise, but not written cryptically enough.  Make mental note to create own language for calendar purposes.  (Read messages they see in the classroom and the world around them, including labels, instructions, menus, and announcements.)

2 pm     Help calm child who has just looked through a book on natural disasters. Assure him that no, Tsunamis cannot happen in Lake Michigan.  Really.  Distract child with offer to play with water in the sink.  Hide book.  (Recognize events that are certain and those that have no chance of occurring. )

3 pm    Discover little girls have joined brother playing with water in the sink.  Hand out towels to wipe up water from floor.  (Compare capacities [e.g., Which contains more? Which contains less?])

4 pm     Son goes outside to measure out site for future chicken coop.  Small brothers tag along.  Small brothers spend rest of afternoon measuring outside of house (when not using yard sticks as swords).  (Use a ruler/yardstick to measure the nearest standard unit [whole and ½ inches, whole feet, and whole yards])

5 pm     Start fixing dinner.  Children raid desk drawer and entertain themselves with calculators.  Little girls acquire calculators and walk away with them.  Little girls come back without calculators.  Send older children to locate calculators.  Repeat.  (Explore the use of appropriate mathematical tools and technology  [e.g., computers, basic four-function calculators, measuring cups, scales, rulers]).


6:30 pm    Dinner.  Spend next hour eating and conversing with one another.  Decide it is just as well we have no dinner guests as the conversational highlight of the evening is human parasites.  (The student will adapt or change oral language to fit the situation. a) Initiate conversation with peers and adults. b) Follow rules for conversation. c) Use appropriate voice level in small-group settings. d) Ask and respond to questions in small-group settings. )

8 pm    Bedtime.  Spend next 45 minutes reading current chapter book because am so caught up in the story want to see what happens next.  Children start to doze.  (Continue to have good literature read to them daily and begin reading to others.)

1 comment:

Maggie said...

Parasites again? Dinner conversation doesn't change much. :D

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