Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Keeping everything organized!

Wow. I've got to be honest... the biggest struggle I've faced (so far) in homeschooling my daughter is keeping everything organized! With this being our first year out of public school, and knowing the kind of person her former principal is, I'm honestly expecting some legal issues. Well, I know we're doing everything completely legally, so I want to make sure I can prove that! Which means I have to be SUPER organized (not exactly my specialty) and keep everything together and in a place that's easy to get to!

In our state (Alabama), we aren't required to keep anything, or prove that we're working, but I'm keeping EVERYTHING. I've got a binder that I store all of her work in, separated into categories. This blog will be all about the binder, and what's in it. :)

In the first section, we have music... The first page details all of the things we've worked on so far, and then the pages behind that are the proof of said work. Each category has the same layout, so the front page will always tell what's behind it. So far in music, we've learned about: Instrument Families; the Staff; Treble and Bass Clefs; Ledger Lines... We're going to work on Rhythm and Note Lengths later on. This section contains 9 pages of work she's done on music in the last 2 weeks.

The next section is science... We're kind of all over the place in science, studying some physical science, earth science and life science. We've studied plant and animal cells, Anatomy of the Ear Nose and Throat, layers of earth, layers of the sun, layers of a tree, the periodic table of elements, the scientific method, the states of matter, and chemical vs physical reactions. This section has 18 pages of work she's done since August 3rd.

In the next section, we have art... We have worked on Cubism, Impressionism and Pointillism over the last 2 weeks. 10 pages in this one...

Geography is next. I want her to be able to identify the states on a map, the continents, and know some specific geography of our wonderful state. She should be able to identify the abbreviations for each state and know the capitals, too. There are 14 pages in this section.

Ah, History... We're studying the discovery and foundation of the United States and North America. We're also working on the 13 colonies. 14 pages of work, here.

Language Arts is the next one, and it's divided into a few sub-categories... Spelling and Vocabulary first. I'll detail the spelling words in another blog, but she's had 40 words so far. 10 for each week. She has to look up the definitions in the dictionary, write them all down, look up 2-3 synonyms for each word and write those down, copy each word 10 times, and write a grammatically correct sentence for each word using the word correctly. It sounds like a lot, but I want her to be able to pass her test at the end of the week! She does the spelling portion in American Sign Language (a little extra practice for that) and then tell me (roughly) what each word means. I don't expect her to memorize the definitions. If she can explain it to me, good enough. 25 pages in the Spelling and Vocabulary sub-section.

Grammar is the next sub-section under Language Arts. We've been studying the different parts of speech. 22 pages in this sub-section.

Creative Writing and Handwriting are together in the last sub-section. 8 pages and a notebook for journal entries here.

Math... By far the largest section... We've covered: Converting Mixed Numbers to Improper Fractions; Reducing Fractions; Addition and Subtraction up to 4-digits plus/minus 4-digits; Division up to 2-digits into 4-digits. We're starting to reduce Improper Fractions and Multiply Fractions now. 37 pages. We've needed a LOT of work and practice on some things.

The last section covers our American Sign Language work. I write down what we're working on, and what we need to work on. So far, we've covered the alphabet and numbers 1-10. This week we're working on the following words:
Deaf, Hearing (culturally), Learn, Like, Meaning, Meet, Name, Nice, No, Sign, Slow, Student, Teacher, Thank You, Understand, What, Where, Who, Why, and Yes.

As you can see, we've been quite busy! But, I enjoy it, and she seems to, as well. One day I'll take pics of this binder, and you can see just how thick it is! I'm not really sure what "style" of homeschooling we're doing... We don't do each topic each day. More like 3-4 (depending on how much work each topic needs or requires that day) each day, and I try to mix it up. She's also doing some math on and reading "Winne: The Horse Gentler" on the computer. I was able to snag it while it was free from Kindle. I have a list of books I want her to read this year, and maybe I'll do another post about that soon. I also intend to do a post about where I get my materials (All free) and maybe a post about my planning book. I plan out the week during the weekend, and that way I know what we need to cover, and what we're going to be doing.

Our state requires 160 days of education each year. There is no law about how many hours equal one day, and honestly, there's no real system in place to make sure people are educating their children. I really don't like that. But, it's not for me to decide... I will educate my child to the best of my ability, because I want her to be successful. She wants to go to medical school! And who am I to stand in her way? As a matter of fact, I've actually made it my personal duty to see that her education exceeds what she was receiving in public school! That's just my decision. I don't expect anyone else to do that, and I would never suggest it... This is just my way, and I have seen that everyone has a different way of homeschooling. You do what you want. That's the beauty of homeschool!


  1. She said for me to tell you that it was SOOOO SWEEEET of you to grab her button!!!!!!!!

  2. Yay! Thank you Casey!!! That's awesome!


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