Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Homeschool Book Of days

Remember our homeschool journal post a while back? I finally bound the pages we've accumulated thus far. It's interesting to look back over them and see how much we've covered, even if it was just conversations in the car. I also made a cover for it, which has a hideous white border around it because my no-fail program is set to American sized paper instead of Aussie sized paper (yes, there's a difference..), but it serves it's purpose so we won't complain too loudly.

I print out a set of the weekly journal papers and store them in my file box under each week of the month. Truthfully I try to use them even when we have an "off" week, but I may need to make up a fresh paper for during that time frame. At the start of the week I simply pull out the fresh set of papers and stick them on my trusty clipboard which is most often found laying on the kitchen counter. This makes it handy for jotting down what we're doing through out the day.

Then at the end of the week we bind it up with our Pro-Click binder and put it aside. The note page (left) is one I don't always use. I find that I can jot simple notes down when I write down what we've covered. For instance, if we cover a math subject and I feel we need more practice on a particular area I can just jot down something like: "Played Fraction Action today, boys had fun and showed reasonable comprehension, but J could use hands on application to fully comprehend fractions." For some weeks instead of a notes page I might have a typed page of plans for our unit study instead. It just depends on how the mood strikes me and how much planning I feel our school week will need.

I also keep our grade appropriate check-lists in the front of the book so I can tick things off as we cover them. As you can see from our list I haven't ticked very much off, and must sit down sometime this week and tick some boxes off! The list was made using the fast array of things in Rebecca Rupp's Home Learning Year By Year. It's not a must have, must know type list, but it gives us something to consider as we make our plans through out the year. Some things we cover by reading a book (light & electricity), some things are much more hands on (magnets), and then some things are only covered orally (habitats). My kids all ready knew what habitats were and just to verify one night over dinner I asked them. The conversation went a little something like this:

"Hey, Jayden do you know what a habitat is?"

Morgan starts jumping up and down in his chair waving his hand madly as if he thinks he's Hermione Granger, I, being the ever steadfast McGonagall ignore him entirely and refuse to debunk his excitement by taking away points. After all, I'm not that Snapeish am I?

Jayden thoughtfully chews his spinach and cheese ravioli while smirking at his brother and then says, "It's an animal home."

"Right you are, and do you think all animals have the same kind of habitat?"

Again Morgan starts jumping around, I peek under the table to see if Mr Scarecrow is sticking jumping beans in Morgan's pants but there appears to be no evidence. My attention flows back to Jayden who looks very insulted by my questions.

"No, of course note. Do you think birds could live in water? I mean, you know, besides seagulls and penguins and water birds. They don't always live in the water though you know, they just do it sometimes for fun."

I decide that since my question has been answered I'll ask him something else that revolvs around habitats, "So what's a fish's habitat?"

"Water Mom."

At this point Morgan is sulking because he's not been involved in the conversation and he's feeling quite dejected. I continue to pretend I don't notice such defeat because that would mean letting him answer questions I'm fully aware he all ready knows.

"What about a birds habitat?"

"That depends on the bird. Sometimes they live in trees and sometimes they live in our roof."

And yes, that's how most conversations go around this house. I asked Morgan about Roman Numerals not long ago, something he was previously obsessed with and he swore he couldn't remember anything about them. The next day I walk into the dinning room and discover the entire whiteboard comic scene he's drawn is marked out by Roman Numerals. Only, he's written IIII instead if IV so Mr Scarecrow appears and says, "Let me show you an easier way to draw 4." I am now stuck with math papers I must decipher before I can correct because Morgan now finds it necessary to turn everything in with Roman Numerals.  I'm really not complaining, I'm just wondering what normal looks like..


Renelle said...

This is awesome Kendra. We are doing something similar. Daily Noets typed out and a list of resources with a picture and marked either 'worked on' or 'finished' followed by the date and the details if I want to add any gon in the notes. We have a comb binder but that Proclick binder looks much better. Have a good one. Blessings, Renelle

April said...

I have also found Rebecca's Home Learning Year by Year to be an excellent source for ideas and am wanting to find ways to work more of her books into our day. I'd love to hear more ideas about how you use her book:) Sorry I could not see the picture you posted with your list as it was too small on my computer to read:(