3 of My Favorite Homeschool Things

I’m having so much fun reading about other homeschooling mom’s favorite things this month! I love our curricula so I feel no need to change anything (except maybe the reading – the program Lisa is using for her emerging reader looks really neat!), but it is fun to get a little virtual peek into a few homeschool classrooms.

This mom shares her favorite planner, history, and reading programs, including a completely FREE curriculum!

Here are a few of my own favorite homeschool things:

The Well-Planned Day Student Planner

StudentPLanner

The Well Planned Day Student Planner is very thorough, compact, and so easy to use. Plus it’s really pretty, which is a huge bonus for my artsy fourth grader! My daughter absolutely loves writing in this planner and she has it double as a regular calendar as well. I will occasionally write her lessons in this planner for her and I have no need for a teacher planner because this one is enough for us.

(On a side note, even though I’m not using a teacher planner this year, I do use The Well Planned Day’s new blog planner and I absolutely love it! Planners are 15% off through Sept. 30.)

The Mystery of History

MOHVol1-2ndEd

I cannot recommend The Mystery of History highly enough. My kids LOVE this history program and they LOVE the audio lessons that are read by the author, Linda Hobar. This is a four-year chronological history program that starts at creation and goes to present day.

I love how Mrs. Hobar connects Biblical History with World History, especially in Volume I – (something that I didn’t even know was possible until I began homeschooling)! For example, did you know the first Olympic games happened just 16 years before Jonah was swallowed by the big fish? I learned that just from reading the table of contents from Volume I!

Depending on our schedules, some years we do several of the suggested activities and other years we just listen to the audio lessons and move on.

All in One Homeschool

ALLinOne

The All in One website is such a blessing to my family! We don’t use it for every subject (although we could!) but I do use it with my kindergartener to help her work on her reading skills, and we’ve recently started using it for music class as well (I plan to start All in One gym soon too!).

The site doesn’t have a lot of bells and whistles but once we got the hang of it, we found that it’s really easy to use. It’s also very well thought-out and thorough, and the price (FREE) can’t be beat!

Well, those are three of my favorite homeschool things – what are some of your favorite homeschool things?

Davonne (7 Posts)

Davonne Parks is a married Christian homeschool mom who began teaching her children at home in 2009. She blogs about cultivating a heart for motherhood, as well as organization and simplicity, at DavonneParks.com. Davonne believes that some of life’s richest moments happen when we embrace the beauty of imperfection as we extend grace to ourselves and others. She’s written two eBooks, “101 Time-Saving Tips for Busy Moms” (free to her blog subscribers) and “28 Days to Timeliness: Tips and Confessions from a Semi-Reformed Late Person.”


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Homeschool Products from Nest Learning
***ART PROJECTS curriculum –ages 10+ -fulfills high school fine arts credit 10% off + FREE SHIPPING in U.S. Code: STL Offer expires September 30th http://www.seethelightshine.com***

Homeschooling in Ohio, the Buckeye State

Laws for Homeschooling in the Buckeye State

Homeschooling in the Buckeye State, laws and information

Every state is unique in its legal requirements for homeschooling. Homeschooling in the Buckeye State, Ohio, is considered to be a moderate legal requirement state. This is because notification to the local school district is required as well as follow up assessments at the end of the year. It sounds worse than it is. Really.

I’m going to break down each step of the requirements for homeschooling in Ohio so you can see that while moderate, the freedoms written within the law are very beneficial to the homeschooling parent.

When notifying the state of the intention to home educate your child, it is just that —  a notification. It is not a request for permission. While you are required to assert a few stipulations and you must provide a list of curriculum and materials that you plan to use, doing so is used as a reference by the school district. Basically, they need to see that you have some sort of an educational plan.

  • Notification Form 3301-34-02: this is a basic governmental form that allows you to checklist the specific requirements. Include the names of each child as well as their birth date. You are not required to provide a grade level. In lieu of this form, a letter of notification, containing the same information is also valid.
  • Brief outline of the intended curriculum for the current year. (Such outline is for informational purposes only). Submitting this outline, is in no way limiting you to the list only. You have the freedom to change plans throughout the year, and again, you aren’t getting approval for the plan. It is a simple listing of a plan.
  • List of textbooks, correspondence courses, commercial curricula, or other basic teaching materials that the parent intends to use for home education. (Such list is for informational purposes only.) This list of materials is again, simply showing that you have a plan for your homeschool year and you are in no way required to stick to the plan if you find something isn’t working or you want to add to it.
  • Assessment Report form 3301-34-04 for previous year. (If you are homeschooling for the first time, you will not need this report; it is for ongoing home education). An assessment is required at the end of each full year of home education. With an assessment you have 3 separate options.

Option #1: Standardized test results submitted to your district. With this option you can choose to have your child participate in the local school district testing, or you can submit test results from any nationally standardized test. Often co-ops will host a testing day and such results can be submitted. Or you may utilize a standardized test packet at home that is scored via the publisher.

Option #2: Portfolio Assessment. This assessment may be performed by any state certified teacher. Upon review of a portfolio, the teacher signs a document, available from the state Christian Homeschoolers Association, that states the child is working at their level of ability.

Option #3: This is a little known option that allows a homeschool parent to make an alternative arrangement with the superintendent of the local school district.

As you can see, while there are specific requirements for homeschooling in the Buckeye State, there is a lot of flexibility and freedom written into the Ohio homeschool laws. {Tweet That} Ohio is blessed to have an active Christian Home Educators of Ohio association (CHEO) that monitors legislative law, and lobbies on behalf of home educational freedom. There was an additional law passed within the last year that now allows for home educators to participate in public school extra curricular activities without any additional requirements.

Homeschooling in the Buckeye State Learning Opportunities

Ohio is a large state with 88 counties, 3 major cities ( Columbus, Cleveland, and Cincinnati), as well as a wide variety of smaller cities such as Dayton, Toledo, and Akron. From banking to tires and farming to clothing manufacturers the Buckeye State is home to a wide array of businesses and industry. Science and the Arts are also well represented in each corner of  the state; while the history of Ohio has played a key role in much of the nation’s history. Below are a few of the historical reference points.

Homeschooling in the Buckeye stats; Historical Notes about Ohio for Homeschoolers

Photo Courtesy: Flickr.com/photos/jamiedfw (text added)

History Notes for Homeschooling in the Buckeye State

  • Native American History abounds in the state.
  • Ohio was first settled in 1788 in Marietta.
  • The 17th state in the union.
  • Ohio was the front-line for the war of 1812.
  • 8 U.S. Presidents were from Ohio.
  • Ohio was pivotal in the Underground Railroad.
  • Ohio was home to Harriett Beecher Stowe.
  • Ohio’s River Canal System was pivotal in the expansion into the western front.
  • Thomas Edison was born in the Buckeye State.
  • Ohio is the birthplace to the Wright Brothers.
  • Ohio houses the National Airforce Museum.

As you can see Ohio offers a wealth of learning opportunities. Every county, every town and each city is filled with historical museums, theaters, libraries and industry. The educational offerings are endless. That’s why I took it upon myself to write an ebook guide for the state of Ohio concerning homeschooling in the Buckeye State and included links to enhancement class options, co-ops, field trip opportunities and more: Ohio Homeschooling Guide & Directory.

Ohio Homeschooling Guide and Directory

 

 

How about the laws in your state? Are they similar, easier or more involved? Share yours in the comments.

Image Courtesy: Thanks to Philipmartin.com for the Ohio Flag and Buckeye clipart.

Renée (17 Posts)

Renée Brown is author at her personal blog, Great Peace Academy. She is a homeschooling mom to her one amazing son, Jonathan and has been the wife of her Beloved Michael for 21 years. On her blog you will find discussions about her work as a homeschooling mom, her family and her faith.


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Homeschool Products from Nest Learning
***ART PROJECTS curriculum –ages 10+ -fulfills high school fine arts credit 10% off + FREE SHIPPING in U.S. Code: STL Offer expires September 30th http://www.seethelightshine.com***

When Homeschool Plans Fail

Homeschool Plans FailOn the last day of our beach vacation, we got up early to watch the sunrise.  Sammy had been getting up before the sun each morning and we kept sending him back to bed.  On Thursday night, we planned to get up and watch the sun come up over the Atlantic.  As you can see, it was cloudy.  We laughed and went back to bed for a little while!

Isn’t that just how things can be sometimes?  Even when we think we have everything all perfectly planned out, something out of our control makes the plan useless!  I try to be a glass is half full kind of person.  So when homeschool plans fail, I try to make the best of it!

10 ways to repair failed homeschool plans

  1. Pray and ask God what his plan is for your year.  This isn’t a quick fix, but it will certainly help you see what is important.
  2. Salvage what you can of your plans.  Will some subjects still work? Can you adapt the curriculum to meet your needs?
  3. Focus on the basics – What subjects are the most important to your family?  Get those subjects up and running and add in any extras
  4. Take a short break and use that time to re-plan.
  5. Think back to why you started homeschooling and what your long term goals are.
  6. Ask your kids what is fun for them; what projects, field trips, curriculum did they like in the past and try to work them into the new plan.
  7. Don’t try to keep up with the other homeschool families!  Focus on what works (or doesn’t work) for your family and not about the new curriculum everyone is trying.
  8. Try a new approach - unit study, notebooking, lapbooking, Charlotte Mason, Classical, etc.
  9. Think back to your favorite year of homeschooling.  What made it work? What did you avoid? How can you make those changes for this year?
  10. Lessen your load – Maybe this season in your life has you overworked (new baby, illness, working outside of the home, etc.).  It’s okay to lighten your load and focus on the very basics.

Do you have any other tips for repairing failed homeschool plans?  I would love to hear them in the comments!

Lindsay BytesOfMemory (7 Posts)

Christian, wife, mom, knitter, reader, and wearer of many hats (literal and figurative). I am also a computer geek, homeschool mom, sock sorter, and a blogger. I like coffee, tea, chocolate, Mexican food (not together), and lists!


A Word From Our Sponsors

Homeschool Products from Nest Learning
***ART PROJECTS curriculum –ages 10+ -fulfills high school fine arts credit 10% off + FREE SHIPPING in U.S. Code: STL Offer expires September 30th http://www.seethelightshine.com***