Schoolhouse Connect
                
March 11, 2015 Edition 
Help for transcripts, report cards, and staying on track
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Gena Suarez

Hey Mama,

 

If you're like me, you struggle with the recordkeeping side of homeschooling--the transcripts and other school information that has to be tracked. If you have homeschool "dementia" when it comes to remembering what your kids did when, Lee Binz has a solution in her article, "Recordkeeping: The Cure for 'Homeschool Dementia.'" Janice Campbell shares in her article, "High School Transcripts: It's Easier Than You Think," how to simplify the transcript process. If you're wondering about the pros and cons of report cards, read Inge Cannon's article, "Report Cards Who Needs Them." You'll find lots of other great planning tips for your recordkeeping in the magazine. Just visit www.TOSMagazine.com and search for a topic. With our digital magazine, great homeschool advice is at your fingertips whenever you need it.  

 

And speaking of planning ....

 

God has a perfect plan for each of your children's lives. But guess what? He's not finished with you, yet. He knows your future and the gifts He's got stored up for you, the joyful times to come. Greatness directly from His hand .... 

Do not grow weary. Keep walking. His hand is on your head today.

 

~ gena

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Diana Waring

Dear Friends,

 

Has spring arrived at your house yet? If so, make sure you and your kids take time to ENJOY it!! Learning is  much easier after you have had time to play--particularly outside in the sunshine ... Warmth, sunlight, budding trees and blossoming flowers are good for growing minds and bodies!

 
On to today's topic. Let's look at some helpful steps for how to accomplish staying on track (and my thoughts on creating report cards/transcripts) without getting stressed.

  

Mother and baby 

How do you stay on track? First, you need to have a goal, a path, a plan:
  1. Create a basic, simple plan for what will be covered this year, this month, this week for your kids. Cut in half your expectations of what they will accomplish, because kids are not ROBOTS. In some subjects, they will go more quickly, and in others, they will go more slowly. Learning at their own speed helps insure they really "get it."

     

  2. Leave LOTS of extra "free time" in your plan for all of the unexpected opportunities and distractions that will come.

To gauge how the plan is going:

  1. Every month, check to see if you are on track. Did Susie actually learn her subtraction facts? Did Joel learn how to write a persuasive paper? 

     

  2. If you are "off track," ask yourself why? Was everyone sick at your house for the last few weeks? Adjust your plan. Was Susie not ready for subtraction yet? Take it slower until she succeeds.  Did Joel not understand the book he was using? Find a different source that makes more sense to him. When you understand why things went off track, you will see the right kinds of adjustments to make.

When it comes to report cards--except for high school transcripts--I have one comment:

 

Don't do it!!!

 

Discover what your kids have learned today, celebrate their accomplishments, and enjoy the journey!  We all work far harder when we know people are cheering us on than when we are being critically evaluated.  And, believe me, kids don't receive criticism at the same intellectual level as adults.

 

Transcripts are a different issue altogether. Colleges require high school transcripts in the admission process. So, with your senior high student, decide what classes are to be taken and how to evaluate them for GPA. Here is one source of information on credits, grades and transcripts. 

 

Remember, whatever you do, stay relational!

 

Diana

dianawaringpresents@gmail.com 

  

P.S. Here's a homeschool riddle for you: How are a muffin and a curriculum alike? To learn the answer (and see how FRESH is much better than ARTIFICIAL), check out my latest blog post. 

 

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I can't offer much advice on transcripts or report cards, except that if you absolutely feel like you need to keep them, then don't mention them to your children. If you can avoid looking at them yourself, that would be good too because they aren't always accurate measuring sticks of what your children know, but rather how they do on tests.

  

But as the topic relates to staying on track, let me just say, "Your children ARE on track." They are right where they need to be. It doesn't matter where other children are or where some expert says your child should be. The truth is your child is right on track.

  

Now that doesn't mean you can't push your child or that you shouldn't pick up the pace, but don't let anyone convince you that your child is behind or that somehow he is lagging. Standards were made for the masses; not for individual children ... not your children.

  

Average children do well. Those on either side of average don't "track" so well. In fact, if you measure your children against those "tracks,"  you'll be left feeling discouraged and defeated. What's worse is that if you let your child know about your feelings, he'll be in worse shape than you.

 

So my advice to you is to relax, enjoy the spring weather, and have a wonderful day with your children, knowing that EACH of them is right on track.

Be Real,

Todd

familyman@familymanweb.com 

 

PS - This weekend I'll be in Spokane, Washington at the Christian Family Home Educators 21st Conference. The first person who comes to my booth and can explain why it is Spokane (short A) instead of Spokane (long A) ... gets a free audio CD of her choice.

 

Click here to see where I'll be speaking in the next few months.

 

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The Reading Clinic will feature the following speakers and topics:

Reading and Writing the Natural Way - Dr. Mary Hood
What to Do When Mothering is a Mess - Christine Field

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Overcoming Obstacles - Deborah Wuehler

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Contest Corner 
For the month of March 2015   
 Heritage History World History Curriculum

 

Heritage History has compiled an extensive collection of Historical Books and organized them into collections. Each Collection has a theme of study, providing a student with a well-rounded World History Curriculum beginning in the 4th grade and moving through the High School years.


Schoolhouse Review Crew members were given a variety of CD resources to review and use in their homeschool. These are two of them.
 
British Empire
The British Empire collection focuses on 18th and 19th century world history, with a special emphasis on colonial development. Stories that highlight scientific discovery, exploration, invention and industry are featured, along with those that cover regional histories of Ireland, Canada, British Africa, India, and East Asia. This CD resource includes 57 books, 50+ maps, teaching aids, and a Study Guide.

British Middle Ages

The British Middle Ages collection features books that cover the 5th through 17th centuries in Europe and the British Isles. Topics include barbarian invasions, Christian conversion, feudalism, mediaeval war-craft, church-state conflicts, and the Reformation, all covered with a special focus on British history. This resource includes 55 books, 60+ maps, teaching aids, and a Study Guide.

 

(Read about the rest of the product and all the reviews at this link!)

 

YOU can WIN this resource!

  

TO ENTER: Email Heather with your name, mailing address, and phone number for contact purposes, with the subject line, "Heritage History" for a chance to win* this for your family!  

  

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Planning, Organizing & Recordkeeping
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