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Homeschool questions..kinda long!

We will start homeschooling in the fall. In my state (Oklahoma) we aren't required to do any type of testing. But I'm thinking about doing little quizzes here and there and then a "mid year test" at Christmas and then at the end of the year. Just so I can see where they are and how they are progressing. How do I go about making tests?

We plan on having a "recess" type break after lunch everyday. How do I deal with people if they say something about the kids never being in school (like public)?

If we finish all the lessons in our books say in February or march, what do we do for the remaining 180 days we are required?

Does anyone NOT have an actual classroom? How/where do you teach?

If you do have an actual classroom, what all do you have in it?

What are some supplies that you feel are must haves?

Sorry it's so long! Thanks in advance :)
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
by on Jan. 20, 2013 at 11:34 AM
Replies (21-26):
chlippr77
by Member on Jan. 21, 2013 at 9:01 AM
I was wondering where in OK y'all are, too. I'm out west, just outside of Weatherford. About math manipulatives, we use bottle caps. Before we moved the town we lived in usually had to suggest people not drink the water about twice a year, so we just bought bottled water all the time (as did my parents) & saved the caps. With markers, hot glue, and dome creativity, you can use them for math, spelling, ABC's, etc.

Quoting CowgirlMama0508:

I saw it on heroes of Oklahoma and HSLDA. So we aren't required to do 180 days?? I know our public schools calendar says 162 in service days for this school year...



Ps where in Oklahoma do you live?? Wonder if your close to me!!




Quoting mrs.miller89:

Where did you find the requirement of 180 days? I live in Oklahoma too and from what I have read it they should be in "school" or learning about as much time as PS kids, or about 180 days, but it's not a requirement. Oklahoma is VERY lax on their laws, there are not really any regulations. Where have you gotten your info? If you go to HSLDA's website they have a great overview of the laws and legal cases in our state. I would suggest if you're that concerned with completing 180 days, you can have your kids move on to the next grade level work, start on new stuff. This is the main reason we're homeschooling, I want DD to be able to move as quickly as she wants and not be held back by the rest of her class.

Posted on the NEW CafeMom Mobile
CowgirlMama0508
by Tasha on Jan. 21, 2013 at 12:13 PM
I'm way far south lol. Down around Ardmore/Durant
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
jak3739
by on Jan. 21, 2013 at 4:32 PM

Congratualtions on starting homeschooling.  First of all, please do not feel pressured to "fill the day". If your children can do the work in 2 or 3 hours and complete it successfully, then they have had a full school day.  I tried to "over schedule" my first year and it was a disaster.  Just take it slow and move at your children's pace.  We use tests that are in our math books and spelling tests. However, i really don't test much, because we work through our daily work until it is done correctly and the child understands it. That way I always know what they know and am not moving too quickly.  Schools are only required to complete 75-80% of the curriculum.  We always finish 100% but there are times when we do so in 150 days and I fill the rest of the time with review, exploration, and field trips.  But, there are times that it takes us through the summer to finish a particular task.  My feeling is as long as they are learning, the hours and days don't matter as much.  But, I do write out 180 days worth of plans and then adapt as need be.  They are getting 180 or even more days worth of education either way.

As far as the public, it depends on where we are and what the person asks.  We rarely go out until later afternoon between finishing work, haing lunch, doing read alouds, and catching up on chores.  But when we do, we do get some questions some times.  If the person says, "What, no school today?"  a lot of the time I just say, "No."  and leave it at that.  If it is someone who we would see on a regualr basis or if they ask more probing questions, I do say that we are homeschoolers and have already finished our work for the day.  I have a friend that calls her school Grace Academy (She says its because it is only but the grace of God that they are makign it through).  When people ask her she just says that they attend Grace Academy and it is on a delay or early dismissal schedule today.  I like that answer but am never quick enough to think of something like that.

When it comes down to it, I always see kids out when we do go out that are out of school for family days, or "mental health days", holiday pictures, dentist or other doctor appointment, etc.  I stopped worrying so much about what people think and honestly, people have stopped asking--I guess I look less guilty now.

As far a supplies we have the usual school supplies (paper, pencils, markers, etc.).  I try to have plenty of art supplies ready for the kids so that they have them for the work and also to be creative on their time off.  I also stock "exploring" supplies. You don't need real expensive ones, but we have an area where we keep a small microscope, hand held maginfiers, portable telescopes, measuring tools, etc.  Some times we need something specific for a lesson but most of the time, the kids just do their own investigations with the tools. Playdough, clay, wikisticks, popscicles sticks and chalkboards are great for all kinds of purposes and make getting through tough subjects easier.

We don't have a classroom, but wish I did.  We do school at the kitchen table and do our read alouds in the living room on the couch.  But, we have done school everywhere including the car when we have somewhere to go that is far away.

Best wishes and feel free to contact me at any time.

 

jak3739
by on Jan. 21, 2013 at 4:34 PM

 

We use a big jar of pennies and popscicle sticks.  I do have Cuisinaire rods, but I got them for free or I wouldn't have spent the money to buy them.  Honestly, the kids like the pennies better.

Quoting mommathea:

We use dried beans, paper clips, beads, flash cards. Nothing fancy, just what we have around the house.

Quoting CowgirlMama0508:

Thank you!! Yes, the books I'm using are the type that build off the previous lesson :) I will have 1 in kindergarten and one in 2nd grade this fall. So definitely going to stock up on crayons and markers lol. I'm trying to find math manipulatives. Any suggestions?

Quoting mommathea:


Quoting CowgirlMama0508:

We will start homeschooling in the fall. In my state (Oklahoma) we aren't required to do any type of testing. But I'm thinking about doing little quizzes here and there and then a "mid year test" at Christmas and then at the end of the year. Just so I can see where they are and how they are progressing. How do I go about making tests?



We plan on having a "recess" type break after lunch everyday. How do I deal with people if they say something about the kids never being in school (like public)?



If we finish all the lessons in our books say in February or march, what do we do for the remaining 180 days we are required?



Does anyone NOT have an actual classroom? How/where do you teach?



If you do have an actual classroom, what all do you have in it?



What are some supplies that you feel are must haves?



Sorry it's so long! Thanks in advance :)

1. We don't do testing of any kind. I do correct their work daily. You will notice a trend of wrong answers if they aren't getting something. Especially if you are using a mastery type program that builds on top of the previous lesson. 

 

2. If someone brings it up, kindly explain to them that you homeschool and that this is Recess time, or part of their PE.  

We only school in the morning, afternoon is for play, quiet time, reading, ect. We've never had anyone actually question why the kids are outside so much, but then again we're a very vocal homeschool family who praises the virtues of homeschooling anytime it comes up in conversation.

 

3. We are not require to have a certain # of days but we do have credit hours. In that case you just do something each day. Whether it is a discovery Chanel program or video, a book on a historical subject, a formal art class time ect. As long as you do something for each of those 180 days. 

4. We have a home office where each child has a desk to keep their school stuff, but most days we're n the livingroom doing school, or spread out through out the house.

5. Paper, pencils, erasers, rulers, depending on age, crayons, markers, colored pencils. I love having a white board and dry erase markers, it makes explaining concepts much easier to write them out in color.



 

CowgirlMama0508
by Tasha on Jan. 21, 2013 at 7:37 PM
Thanks!!! Yeah, my kindergarten dd will only do 2 subjects. And we will do one Monday & Wednesday and the other Tuesday and Thursday. I don't want them to feel overwhelmed (or me!! Lol)

Quoting jak3739:

Congratualtions on starting homeschooling.  First of all, please do not feel pressured to "fill the day". If your children can do the work in 2 or 3 hours and complete it successfully, then they have had a full school day.  I tried to "over schedule" my first year and it was a disaster.  Just take it slow and move at your children's pace.  We use tests that are in our math books and spelling tests. However, i really don't test much, because we work through our daily work until it is done correctly and the child understands it. That way I always know what they know and am not moving too quickly.  Schools are only required to complete 75-80% of the curriculum.  We always finish 100% but there are times when we do so in 150 days and I fill the rest of the time with review, exploration, and field trips.  But, there are times that it takes us through the summer to finish a particular task.  My feeling is as long as they are learning, the hours and days don't matter as much.  But, I do write out 180 days worth of plans and then adapt as need be.  They are getting 180 or even more days worth of education either way.


As far as the public, it depends on where we are and what the person asks.  We rarely go out until later afternoon between finishing work, haing lunch, doing read alouds, and catching up on chores.  But when we do, we do get some questions some times.  If the person says, "What, no school today?"  a lot of the time I just say, "No."  and leave it at that.  If it is someone who we would see on a regualr basis or if they ask more probing questions, I do say that we are homeschoolers and have already finished our work for the day.  I have a friend that calls her school Grace Academy (She says its because it is only but the grace of God that they are makign it through).  When people ask her she just says that they attend Grace Academy and it is on a delay or early dismissal schedule today.  I like that answer but am never quick enough to think of something like that.


When it comes down to it, I always see kids out when we do go out that are out of school for family days, or "mental health days", holiday pictures, dentist or other doctor appointment, etc.  I stopped worrying so much about what people think and honestly, people have stopped asking--I guess I look less guilty now.


As far a supplies we have the usual school supplies (paper, pencils, markers, etc.).  I try to have plenty of art supplies ready for the kids so that they have them for the work and also to be creative on their time off.  I also stock "exploring" supplies. You don't need real expensive ones, but we have an area where we keep a small microscope, hand held maginfiers, portable telescopes, measuring tools, etc.  Some times we need something specific for a lesson but most of the time, the kids just do their own investigations with the tools. Playdough, clay, wikisticks, popscicles sticks and chalkboards are great for all kinds of purposes and make getting through tough subjects easier.


We don't have a classroom, but wish I did.  We do school at the kitchen table and do our read alouds in the living room on the couch.  But, we have done school everywhere including the car when we have somewhere to go that is far away.


Best wishes and feel free to contact me at any time.


 

Posted on CafeMom Mobile
Pukalani79
by Kristin on Jan. 21, 2013 at 11:16 PM

I don't test either, except for the required State tests.  I'm working closely enough with my kids that I know when they get it and when they need more time to grasp and understand the concepts.  You'll see what I mean as you get into it.

I think a break after lunch is a great idea.  You may get some comments, but it's been my experience that most people dont say anything.  If people question, just be polite and tell them the kids are homeschooled, then move on.  Some people will criticize your decision, but find a way to not let it get to you.

There are lots of ways to "school" without curriculum if you finish early.  Take that time and do field trips. Go to library.  Do crafts.  There are so many ways to learn by doing, rather than simple book work.

We don't have a classroom.  My kids usually work at the dining room table or in the living room.  I have commandeered a linen closet and turned it into our "homeschool closet."  We keep all of our supplies, books, etc in there.

Must haves: pencils, copy paper, notebook paper, good erasers, colored pencils, scissors, glue, rulers.  My kids like to use clipboards sometimes, especially if they're in the living room.

Good luck! It's not always easy but it is so worth the sacrifice!

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