I’m getting ready for the second half of our school year. We’ve finished 6 months already this year! Our school year started July 1st and ends June 30th. We do school 6 days a week, 52 weeks a year (minus times of travel or new babies).
With little ones napping everyday, I find it easier to give my kids school work to keep things calm and orderly. We live in 2 rooms, small rooms, and calm and orderly can be a plus. Don’t get me wrong, I have about 20 paper airplanes in my home and there always seems to be at least one crayon on the floor, but kids with direction and a purpose are much less likely to get into trouble.
We got a bit anxious to start with our history topic for the year and dove in this week instead of waiting for the 1st. We just finished up studying animals for science and enjoyed the ease of finding free animal lapbooks at http://www.homeschoolshare.com/animal_studies.php
Now we head into Early American History. I have made up explorer pages for notebooks. I will post them when we finish them. Some have lapbook pieces which attach to the pages. I like this mix/match approach. I’m going to try for history and keep all of our things in a BIG binder and see how much fits in there. I like to keep things together. 🙂
But I’ll get into how we’re doing explorers when I post the pictures. For now I have just cleaned off our school shelves. Aahhh. So refreshing to look at. The empty shelf will hold our history books as I bring them out one at a time. If I brought out all of them today, they would be read by the end of the week, all fifty of them. (I don’t really know how many there are. Lots. I have collected them over the years from library book sales, friends, family and occaisionally making a purchase.)
Today I also printed out reports from our online homeschool tracker, https://www.homeschoolskedtrack.com This is the first year I have used this program. I find several things annoying, but I do like how easy it is to enter in what each kid is doing each day, on the day.
One thing that is a problem for us is that it’s made for a “regular” school year. It won’t allow us as many days of school as we do. So, I divided our school year in half. Today I printed out reports for our fall term and set up our new courses for the coming year. I added these reports (which include our resource list and activities) into my daughter’s portfolio. I only have one of age to be legally bound to go to school, so I only keep one portfolio.
I found it odd to make a report card. The math text book has tests in it so I have scores for math and for spelling and vocabulary. I didn’t have grades for anything else, but it wanted me to put in some score so it could decide if my daughter passed of failed 🙂 I put the report card in the front of the portfolio.
For the portfolio I just add one thing from each subject each quarter, since I’m supposed to show progress in the different areas. For us that means September, December, March and June I’ll add one thing for each subject. In front of each subject I have the resource list and activities list printed out from the homeschool tracker. For science I just put the lapbooks right into the portfolio and made sure the hole punch didn’t go through any pieces. I know some people put duck tape on the edge of their lapbook and hole punch that, but I don’t have duck tape 🙂
This was one of our first lapbooks. It came out so nice though and is special because my daughter wrote a funny story about some ants and illustrated it, and I put it in the lapbook. I took it to a color-copy place and had them copy it at 50%, so we had this little book we could put right into the lapbook.
I try and keep it simple and just put in one page for each subject. In September I just put in a plain page of multiplication problems, but she did such a nice job making this graph using Microsoft Word that I had to slip this in for December.
Happy New Year!