Friday, May 13, 2011

Out With the Old and In With the New!

We have reached the point in our school year where it's time to say good-bye to our current books and make way for the new ones!  It is time to move on to newer and brighter things.  While we are excited for the new year, there were a few housekeeping things we needed to attend to first.

First on the list was to take care of the record keeping.  Each state has different rules regarding this.  Some states require nothing at all, while others require attendance records, testing, and/or other types of evaluations.  It is always a good idea to check your state requirements to ensure that you are in compliance. There are also several different forms of  record keeping and how you manage your home school will guide you into the ones that  will work for you.

For me, I decided to combine two forms of record keeping.  The first is a Homeschool Cumulative Record. This file folder has slots for you to keep up with your child's progress from first grade through high school.  It also provides areas to track testing, achievements, and extracurricular activities.  Each year, I record the subjects we covered and the final grade.  If it is a required testing year, I also include the name of the test and the date taken.  Inside of the folder, I paperclip the current report card, attendance records, declaration of intent, immunization records, and any applicable testing results.

Why did I choose this method? Simple, for consistency.  I wanted an easy form of record keeping that I knew I could follow all the way through high school.  I did not want to have to change record keeping style later on.

We also make a home school portfolio.  These are a lot of fun!  I love scrapbooking, but barely have the time to do so.  Making portfolios allows me to preserve samples of my children's work as well as pictures of memorable moments each year!  And I get scrapbook while doing it!

In our portfolios, I include samples of work from each subject.  I make sure to pick samples from different parts of the year in order to show progression.

After the record keeping was completed, it was time to clear out the school room.  Each year, we get rid of things we do not need or cannot reuse.  We take pictures of art work and things they did that year and include in the portfolio. The rest has to go.  As much as I would love to hold onto everything, the fact remains that we don't have the space.  Whatever curriculum is being reused is filed away.  This year we made a few changes to our school room in order to make things easier to find.

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  This was supposed to be the living room!

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We used crates to store all of my teacher editions and lesson plans away by subject.

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All of the kids supplies were separated by subject for easier access. We used simple crates from Target for $3.

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These are our science resources separated by subject matter. To make this, we used two wire cube shelving units.  We just stacked them on top of each other and and labeled.
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Entertainment center used as storage for school supplies, laminating machine, printer, and other things.

Well that's that.  We're done with all of that and getting ready for next year.  Time to make lesson plans and see what cool field trips are available!

Peace and Blessings,
Interactive Homeschooling

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