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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Homeschooling Update

I decided that since all the public-schooled kids in the area are discussing how many days are left til summer vacation, I would update our homeschool status.

We took it easy during February and March as we were kidding goats right and left. Late nights, early mornings, and twice as many barn chores, do not make for kids (or Moms!) who want to sit down and do schoolwork.

In April we sort of eased back in to some school, but we still weren't being consistent. A couple of field trips, yard projects, and lots of trips to the town library helped ease my conscience.

So for May, we are now back into the swing of regular school work. I use Homeschool Tracker to help me stay on top of assignments. With all five girls studying from very different curriculum, this program keeps track of assignments, grades, and extra activities. It has been such a headache saver as I used to do everything on paper, and often was erasing and rescheduling when "Life" happened. Now with just a few mouse clicks I can reschedule everything!

Tracker also keeps track of how many days each of the girls has completed. I love to look at this feature when I start to question if we've accomplished anything. Which is where I was a few days ago. And so, Abby has completed 134 days, Nathalie 187 days, Hannah 106 days, Rachel 176 days, and Samantha 163 days. Not too bad, and since our school year goes until July 29th, we still have plenty of time to get to that magic number of 180 days of school.
(Just a note on my feelings about that number: I do NOT believe that I must do exactly 180 days of work. My experience with the public schools has shown me that with assemblies, field trips, classroom activities, school plays, and 1/2 days, public schooled kids do NOT get 180 days of instruction. If my kids complete just 150 days of school work, I believe, they have gotten more instruction time than the majority of public schooled kids get in their 180 days. I'll step down from my soapbox now.)

I also took a look at what everyone has completed (or will have completed by July 29th) so I could make a list of what we would need for the 2011-2012 school year.

Rachel and Samantha will finish: Grade 4 Language Arts, Zoology 1, Grade 3 and 4 Math (we did grade 3 to get them up to speed), and Grade 5 History

Hannah will finish: Grade 7 Math, History/Geography of Southern African Countries, Grade 7 Language Arts and 1/4 of Grade 8, and Anatomy and Physiology for Middle Schoolers.

Nathalie will finish: Algebra 1, 1/4 of Geometry, American Literature, 1/4 of British Literature, Grade 9 US History/Geography, Biology, Latin 1, and 1/2 of Spanish 1.

Abigail will finish: Algebra 1, 3/4 of Geometry, American Literature, World Literature, Grade 10 US History, 1/2 of World Geography, Chemistry, Latin 2, and 1/4 of British Literature.

I'm not feeling so bad now. We've accomplished a LOT! And so much more than book work: 4-H projects, field trips, community service projects, church activities, etc. etc. etc.

Now to start planning for next year...
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