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This has been an interesting end to summer. It is not winding down in a quiet way, as it normally does, we are getting a new roof, and I will be happy to see it. This house is soooo old. We just put in a new water heater last year. We are ready for a new season!
Fall will be here on September 23, and I couldn't be happier. For one thing, I am homeschooling now. In the span of two days I had to learn all there was to know. Fun.
I spent a lot of my time deciding what to teach and how to break down all of the four subjects I am teaching.
In our state, you have to register for home school within a certain amount of time, fill out a form, get the child's shot records or exemption form from the health department, keep attendance, and tell them what you are going to teach them. If you are late, you have to pay a fee. I don't get the attendance part, but they must get four hours a day of learning. That can include field trips, etc. The Local Education Agency sends mail out two weeks before a test is going to be given at the school.
We are having a great time right now, but it is a lot of work for me. I enjoy it, since I love to teach things in a way that gets kids passionate about what they are learning. Of course, I am not a degreed teacher. I can only home school until the ninth grade here in Tennessee. I will figure out a way to home school after that grade, later on.
History never really came alive to me before I had to break it down and teach it myself. We went to visit the Sycamore Shoals State Historic Area, which is right down the street. They had a lovely time there, and that park is number four in a contest to win a lot of money. I hope it wins! There are so many historical treasures there, and it is so amazing to think of them, long ago!
I found that when an educational field trip is taken at home, when pizza is combined with it, the kids remember better. I made sure and did not tell them we were getting pizza ahead of time, or that is all they would have paid attention to.
We have been being frugal and we have not spent one cent on curriculum as of yet. I have a list of what the standards are for each subject I am teaching, that the State requires an assessment test in March. That was found on-line. I have been going to http://www.ixl.com/ and http://www.ehow.com/ and of course, youtube at http://www.youtube.com/ as well.
Here is a sample math video I am using to teach math, that I found very easy to understand:
It is about changing a fraction into a mixed number. There are so many homeschooling resources on the internet. You have to just go to a few that are trusted like the ones mentioned above.
The video sample I put above is from YourTeacher.com. They are all over youtube. I am going to look into that site and find out what all they offer for a fee. They have a huge amount of services they offer.
This is a sample video for teaching about the early colonists and the Revolutionary War that we just thought was hilarious. We watch it at least once a day, it is so enjoyable.
It is an animated, cartoon story named "NO MORE KINGS!"
We also use a sample test and we are looking at what we need to know and working on those skills.
We like to mix crafts and art with all lessons. We are presently doing the subjects that will be tested on the assessment tests - science, history, math, and language arts. The more senses that are involved in learning, the better, in my opinion.
My daughter had just seen a video on the early pilgrims, of the 1600 area, the dress and their normal daily life. She found some extra fabric that I had pulled down and washed, which was decorating a doorway. She put it around her waist and brought it to show me. It was amazingly like the video we had watched. It was so pretty! She had it right on the nose!
We also use puffy paints on objects other than paper, such as fabric, shells, rocks, etc. We just love the puffy paint you get at Walmart. Paper is great, but it is not the main learning medium at our home. We are going to construct a model of the guns that were used in the revolutionary war just for fun, out of toilet paper rolls. We have already seen what they looked like on the field trip we took to Sycamore Shoals.
Interestingly, my darling daughter is tutoring a child down the street, who is in fourth grade with math. She is all into the lesson plans, I am so proud of her for helping the child. She spent her own money on a math workbook, to start him off at two grades before so he could catch up. She is so sweet, and I am so proud of her.
By Robyn from Tri-Cities, TN
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I am looking for tips on organizing my kids' school days. My boys are in online elementary and secondary school. I don't teach them per se, but I keep them on task and help them with questions they have. If anyone can share their experiences and ideas I would be grateful! There's not a lot of info out there as online elementary education is relatively new. I'm especially interested in tips for keeping my youngest focussed. Any help is greatly appreciated!
I have never heard of online elementary and middle school education. Is this homeschooling, but with a curriculum more in line with the school district? Or, does your state require homeschooling be taught in this manner? Is the computer directly linked into the "live class session"? If I may ask without sounding rude, but why do you prefer to have your children's education take place in front of a computer rather than the traditional classroom, or homeschooling, as we know the definition, with you as the primary hands-on teacher? If it is due to medical reasons, either with you or your child/children, I understand completely. I am a newly retired elementary teacher, very familiar with homeschooling, and thought I was up on the latest teaching modalities and methods, but online instruction for courses below college level is an eye opener for me. I am interested in hearing more. Thank you.
Hello Luann, Thank you for your question.
I am not homeschooling, my kids do have teachers. My job is to help them schedule their assignments and make sure they do their work.
This year my 6th grader will have a teacher for each subject, and my 4th grader will have one teacher. Work is assigned each week - daily work, subject work, and some projects lasting longer. We have a video conference with the teacher once a week to go over those assignments and also some class meetings so the kids can do discussion activies together or share their projects. Many of the programs used were already familiar to my children from regular school, such as Lexia, Khan Academy and Google docs and spreadsheets.
I chose online school due to medical issues and lack of accommodation from our local public school. Both my children have GI issues and flexibility of online school had allowed them to flourish, rather than miss so much.
The school they attend had been providing online middle and high school online classes for 15 years, last year (2014-2015) was their pilot year for elementary.
I'm happy to answer any other questions people may have, as I have not seen much discussion elsewhere regarding this format.