Saturday, August 20, 2016

No Homework? This Chick is Gonna Get So Fired!

I found this little gem on Facebook and loved it! I'm not saying homework is evil or anything, but I've always wondered why we can't get our work done in the 7 hours we are at school, even considering the wasted time lining up, trying to get everyone quiet, answering questions and explaining things over and over again for those who did not understand.

At our co-op, I understand giving homework for the high school kids because if you are only physically in class 1 hour a week then you need to supplement that outside of class to get a full credit on a high school transcript. But for elementary school kids? Not necessary! Middle school should have some, I suppose, just to gear them up for high school. And I understand some homework in high school to get kids ready for college.

Some families will love this new homework policy but others will just let their kids sit on video games all night instead. Some will actually spend more time with their kids but some will just check out like always.

I admire school teachers very much.  They just want to light up the lives of kids and that has to be difficult when they are sandwiched between administrators who are often out of touch and parents who are also often out of touch. It is my hope and prayer that this homework policy for this specific class makes a difference in the lives of the kids and the parents :-)

Friday, August 19, 2016

Preparing Your Homeschooling Area for a Fresh Year ... Or Just Leaving It Messy!

I've seen people posting pictures of their super clean desks for their home school year so I wanted to share mine. It's a hot mess just like my personality. That thing wrapped in a towel is a bag of frozen spinach to put on my face for a bad tooth. Oh look, there's the 30-page Excel spreadsheet printout for the seventh edition update of my book that I have to get out someday so we can make some extra money to buy more homeschool stuff. 

But first I have about four days to get out a couple of syllabi. For co-op. 

Oh yeah then there's homeschool planning for five kids for the next year. 

Can you tell I'm clinging to summer? And procrastinating?

Hey, at least I can find everything! Besides, this is more my lifestyle and work desk (the kitchen table). We homeschool mostly at the dining room table and you are not getting a photo of that anytime soon!

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Homeschool High School Physical Education PE Lesson Plan 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th Grade

So whenever I would Google something like "homeschool high school lesson plans" or anything similar, I came up with jack squat. Or something I had to pay for. And when that happens, I spend many hours working on my own lesson plans and then I know I have to share them with others for free!

This is for a Catholic homeschool co-op with about 30 kids in the class, so I had to leave some things out because of class size and the size of the gym.

I am supposed to have 2 adult helpers, so I am hoping to prep them ahead of time so we can each work with a group of 10 roughly.

I only have about 45 minutes for the class because Mass is directly afterward and we want to make sure the kids have some time to freshen up before going to church (time to change back into their uniforms, etc.). Co-op committee is working on exact wording so we are all on the same modest page. Don't need any "distractions" ... know what I mean?

The only sport I know how to play decently is baseball. So I am going to be learning some new things for sure. And then filling in with lots of random fun things that get us moving. I don't think gym class just has to be about learning new sports and how to play them because obviously it didn't work for me during all 13 years of my schooling. But I will never forget the FUN gym days when we got to play with the parachutes and just mess around MOVING OUR BODIES. Structure can be good and structure can also be stifling. I'm going to try to make it work.

I'm starting every class with stretches and 3 laps around the gym. There's your structure. I'm done. I also like to know what's going on so at the end of each class I'll let the kids know what we're doing the next week. Maybe even pop a note up in our grading system to let everyone know just for fun.

No fitness logs, nothing to read outside of class. No homework. At first I felt bad, like I wasn't being a rigorous (hate that word) enough teacher for what some of the parents want. Then I realized Harvard won't care exactly how or what I taught these kids in PE or if they kept a daily fitness log or wrote me a report on their favorite sport or athlete.

Fake homework: put your flipping phone down and go move your body the rest of the week, m'kay?

Here we go, and I'll let you know at the end of the year how it worked out! In case you're interested, here are the books I'm using, as well as online resources and also STUDENT TEACHERS, yo! I'm assessing in the first class what everyone is good at so I can have them help teach and give them some teaching experience! I will also have 2 helpers so I will find out what they already know as well.

Physical Education
Grades 7-12 Wednesdays, Third Hour
10:45-11:45 (Mass is at noon)

*You are allowed to quickly change between 2nd and 3rd hours into something appropriate for gym class. Comfortable but modest, please. I won’t work you crazy hard but you might break a sweat and if you wear a skirt for your uniform, you might want to change into long shorts or sweatpants. More direction on this will be coming from the committee so everyone is clear on what’s expected as far as clothing J Mass is at noon so I will make sure you’re out a bit early so you can get changed and be on time.

Stress the importance of physical fitness and taking care of the body God has provided for us the best we can. Running, stretching, badminton, soccer, tennis, handball, kickball, dodge ball, wall ball, jump rope, cardio, volleyball and more.

1st Semester 2016

1.      August 24
Stretching and laps and attendance
Getting to know you question activity back and forth across gym
Talk about what you do outside this class for physical fitness on a regular basis
Kickball if time

2.      August 31
Stretching and laps and attendance
Dodgeball, Kickball

3.      September 7
Stretching and laps and attendance
VOLLEYBALL: Intro, Rules, Serving, Bump, Set Pass
Keep It Up (passing skills) with volleyball or beach ball

4.      September 14
Stretching and laps and attendance
VOLLEYBALL: Spike & Tip, Block, Dig

5.      September 21
Stretching and laps and attendance
VOLLEYBALL: Offensive and Defensive Strategies and Game Play

6.      September 28
Stretching and laps and attendance
VOLLEYBALL: Finishing up, more game play

7.      October 5
Stretching and laps and attendance
Bean Bag Fitness Challenges

8.      October 12
Stretching and laps and attendance
Bean Bag Fitness Challenges and Clean Up Your Trash

9.      October 19
Stretching and laps and attendance
TENNIS: Intro, Rules, Ground stroke forehand, backhand, control

10.  October 26
Stretching and laps and attendance
TENNIS: Serve, ground strokes, demo doubles games

11.  November 2
Stretching and laps and attendance
TENNIS: Volley and game play; Smash and game play
No Rules Tennis

12.  November 9
Stretching and laps and attendance
SOCCER: Intro, Rules, Dribbling, Passing

13.  November 16
Stretching and laps and attendance
SOCCER: Shooting, Heading (?), Trapping, Tackling

14.  November 30
Stretching and laps and attendance
SOCCER: Goaltending, Offense, Defense

15.  December 7
Stretching and laps and attendance
Volleyball, Tennis and Soccer Recap and Quiz
Hungry Hungry Hippos

16.  December 14
Stretching and laps and attendance
Parachute fun

2nd Semester 2017

1.      January 18
Stretching and laps and attendance
Partner games: king of the mountain, fake and push, toe boxing, push-up tag

2.      January 25
Stretching and laps and attendance
HANDBALL: Intro, Rules, Passing Drills and Games

3.      February 1
Stretching and laps and attendance
HANDBALL: Shooting Drills and Games, Skill Games

4.      February 8
Stretching and laps and attendance
Jump rope activities

5.      February 15
Stretching and laps and attendance
Team games: tug of war, rope jousting, etc.

6.      February 22
Stretching and laps and attendance

7.      March 8
Stretching and laps and attendance
BASKETBALL: Intro, Rules, Ball-Handling Skills

8.      March 15
Stretching and laps and attendance
BASKETBALL: Passing and Catching, Dribbling, Play

9.      March 22
Stretching and laps and attendance
BASKETBALL: Lay-Up and Push Shots, Jump Shots, Play

10.  March 29
Stretching and laps and attendance
BASKETBALL: Defensive and Offensive Strategy, Play

11.  April 5
Stretching and laps and attendance
More Team-Building Games

12.  April 19
Stretching and laps and attendance
BADMINTON: Intro, Rules, Clear Shots

13.  April 26
Stretching and laps and attendance
BADMINTON: Serve, Smash, Drop & Drive Shots

14.  May 3
Stretching and laps and attendance
BADMINTON: Net Shots, Game Play

15.  May 10
Stretching and laps and attendance
Handball, Basketball and Badminton Recap and Quiz
Hungry Hungry Hippos

16.  May 17
Stretching and laps and attendance
Parachute fun

Friday, July 8, 2016

9th Grade and High School Homeschool Lesson Planning ... Getting Ready

It's insane to believe that my oldest is 15 now and hitting 9th grade this fall. Sure, he should be in 10th grade now but we started when he was 5 then slowed down once I started having baby after baby and found myself with limited time and routine skills. "Holding him back" a year wasn't a decision made because he couldn't handle school, but it was my problem, quite honestly. Also, we like to have so much fun around here and do FUN SCHOOL and LIFE LEARNING and even some TRAVEL SCHOOLING and we are all pretty happy with that.

You should see some of the looks I get when people find out I'm planning on homeschooling all my children through high school. They range from amazement and admiration to shock and disdain. Uninformed kids his age sneer and ask him, "Don't you want to go to NORMAL school and be NORMAL?"

Well, for their "normal" school experience, we are heading back to the Catholic coop this year ... one day a week but we get to start about 10:45 and go to 3:15. They get to do 3 classes plus Mass, lunch and recess. They get a yearbook. They get a Christmas and an end-of-year program. It's awesome.

Recently I realized I needed to figure this high school thing out. We didn't want to sign up for virtual school because I heard from several of the teachers and parents that a high school student was doing 40 hours plus of schoolwork per week in that program. That doesn't fit into our idea of school or life. We are not on the fast track to Harvard around here.

So instead of going in totally blind or ordering an expensive pre-packaged curriculum, I am using summer to research and digest information. I sit by the public pool watching my kids play while listening to homeschool podcasts and reading homeschool books. Here are a couple of things I have found so far and I'll share more info as I get it.

Homeschool Highschool Podcast
I started listening to this great podcast on my iPhone called Homeschool Highschool Podcast and am getting some great ideas from it. I feel like you can slack off a little bit and have fun through 8th grade but when it comes to high school you have to get serious. You should have all the basics down (teaching them to read and write and do basic math) and now it's time to really teach them how to think and get some advanced concepts down.

Here's something great from the website 7 Sisters Homeschool that I'm digesting.

I'm also going to sign up my 9th grader for Time4Learning again this fall because it was terrific in teaching Math so that we both understood it and I could help him with it. The cost is minimal ... about $19.95 per month but lower because I have multiple children enrolled in it ... and so even if he just uses it for Math, it's worth it to me. Yes, I know Khan Academy is free, but it isn't as entertaining as this program and doesn't explain it how we need it to be explained.

HSLDA Resource
Also, I got this FREE because I'm a Kindle Unlimited member but you can get it as an ebook for $2.99.

This is the planner I am going to use, but I just found out that our coop is ordering Catholic planners for the junior high and high school kids, so that would take care of two of my kids. This means I could use TWO entire rows in my new planner for each of my other kids instead of cramming each kid into one row and then having one row left for things we maybe all do together such as library trips and field trips. Figuring out the perfect planner situation you'll stick with is hard!

I'd love to hear your ideas as well!

A Simple Plan Family Homeschool Planner 2016-2017 20% Off NOW!!! No Coupon Code Needed

I've been buying A Simple Plan homeschool planner for a few years now and love it. It really helps me when I'm doing my own thing or when I was doing virtual school for the last two years. Venturing out onto our own again this fall and have a high schooler (eek!) and using this planner yet again!

This planner is normally priced at $19.99 normally through Mardel here at this link and with their deal right now I just ordered it for $15.99. I am also considering the student planner for $14.99 because my oldest of five kids, like I mentioned above, is starting HIGH SCHOOL in the fall ... 9th grade!

Please consider signing up for an email subscription to this site and I always love to hear your comments! What planning system do you use in your own homeschool?

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Monday, April 4, 2016

Time4Learning $12 for up to FIVE KIDS in Same Family Through April 30, 2016

YES YES YES! Okay, so we already made the decision to switch over to Time4Learning instead of virtual school for 2016/2017 and supplement with some Teaching Textbooks for Math.

Anyway, it would be $90 for all 5 of my kids per month. But they give a discount for big families and it was going to be $70 per month, which I was cool with.

Then I logged in today to find some things out just for fun and saw that if you sign up by April 30, your FIRST MONTH IS ONLY $12 for up to five kids!

BAM! SOLD! Why not sign up now and get it going? I can pause the membership over the summer if we want to (I've heard some kids still dig doing it in the summer) and start back up end of August or early September.

I'll be back to let you know how it goes for our family. We only really have two computers and one is mine for work purposes most of the time, so I'm going to have to relinquish it for hours at a time ... which is no big deal because I wasn't using it when homeschooling usually anyway. So my plan is to get two kids going at a time on Time4Learning while the others play or read. Then the next two can go, then the final kiddo. Maybe that "final kiddo" will be Callie, who loves to homeschool at night anyway. Probably do half hour increments or so many lessons or whatever but we'll see how it works best for our family!

Here are some screenshots from the site:

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