Missouri Homeschool Daily Log

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Goodreads!

Nothing says enjoyment to a student like the chance to be on the computer, especially if it is a privilege they often do not get. And nothing is more endearing to a teacher than a task a student loves that benefits them as well. (think part of the student log book) The tool I’m speaking of is Goodreads.

Who knew the implications this could have with high school students! They have eagerly tracked the books they have read for leisure and education. They track the date read, their review (think report), and a rating. They can show you were their interest is when the check off books they would like to read in the future. Many of the classics can be read online and the website keeps track of how much of it they have read. I’ve been tossing around how this can help my younger students as well. Go check it out. I think you’ll find it is a tool worth the time.


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Logging Hours: What counts as school?

I am new to homeschooling this year. I’m not quite sure what can “count” as school hours. To me, almost anything can be educational, but can I legally count such things in my 1000 hours? I want to know about such things as: story time at the library (reading, music, crafts), story time at the park (science), listenting to audio books while doing laundry or driving on trips (reading), watching educational DVDs (science, social studies, math, ect), helping to cook dinner (math, science). What is Missouri’s idea of school hours? Thanks so much! ~Angie

Angie ~YES! You can legally count such things in your 1000 hours! Sometimes one of the biggest obstacles to overcome is that a home school does not have to mimic public school. Many of us have large households that have large amounts of duties to attend to throughout the day besides accomplishing school for the day. Even if our households aren’t large it can be a real struggle to balance house and school. The suggestions that you made about audio books, DVDs, helping to cook dinner, library story times are all very valid suggestions and should be included in the hours that are counted for school! Missouri laws do not dictate to us how to perform school 0nly to achieve the recommended amount of hours. 

Our homeschool day includes a subject called “Life Skills” as a course and this covers things such as cooking, cleaning, meal planning, trip planning,  creative playing, laundry, child care and many other chores that have to be taught and attended to upon a daily basis. Learning to take care of a home is a matter of teaching, correction, and learning to be diligent. All of these are excellent tools in the shaping of our children’s character and something well worth recording.

 When I was 13 I only knew how to “go to school.” I couldn’t cook, take care of young children (I only was around children MY age), organize a game, complete chores (I wasn’t required to), or clean anything. When I got married you can imagine what a struggle I faced trying to maintain a clean house and begin raising children! When my daughter (or my sons for that matter)  turned 13 things were different! They can do all those things I couldn’t do at that age because they have  been trained. Every bit of that learning was more than valid and an asset to their future lives!

Your teaching method - regardless what tools you choose to use-  is a valid method and you can be creative with any resources you have available and log it as hours. We often fold laundry while listening to an audiobook or watching an educational DVD. We often have science and math while we cook lunch or supper. (What better way to learn fractions then hands on!?) If an unexpected trip to town comes up what better time to explain nouns or play a game like “name the nouns you see.” Pop in some classical music for music appreciation or an audiobook while traveling. It is always great to combine learning with real life! In my opinion, many times my children remember the lesson far better than sitting at the desk with workbooks.

Of course, we have book work as well and it is much easier to log hours in a workbook because you have tangible “evidence.” When I first began homeschooling I only logged my book hours and I was frustrated at how slowly the hours were coming along. Then a veteran homechooling friend of mine pointed out all the hours I was leaving out if I didn’t count verbal activities and games we played, or exploring flowers and bugs outside, etc. A whole new light dawned for me as I realized I wasn’t a slave to the workbook. It was a challenge to remember to write these fun times down as school however.  Many of us are still stuck in the mentality that school is not “fun” when we first begin.

Thanks Angie for your question!

 

 


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Giveaway: Missouri Homeschool Daily Log

The drawing is now closed and the winner is Julie! Thanks for your comments.

Welcome to the newest Missouri Homeschool Daily Log! In this new .pdf format  everything you need for a multistudent plan book exists.  Three books in one!

  • A place to plan lessons  for up to 5 students in one place.
  • Grading records (evaluations)  for each student on the SAME page at the bottom.
  • A chart on the right hand side to record the hours for the week for each student.
  • Appointment schedule for Monday – Sunday
  • Dinner menu planner
  • Reading list
  • There are only two pages in this file. The left side and right side of the log. You must have Adobe Acrobat to open the file.
  • Simply print, punch holes and place in a three ring binder.

Leave a comment below to get a chance to recieve your free .pdf file of the  Missouri Homeschool Daily Log! The contest will close on March 10, 2011.


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Integrity & Logging the Hours

Logging hours has definitely sparked the conversation over at the Well Trained Mind Forum.  A few of them actually referenced my blog on logging the hours either by actual hours spent or by the credit hour method.  

One of the main issues that I saw arise regarding the hours was the issue of integrity. Some were dismayed with the credit hour system; seeing it as an easy way to get an hour out of five minutes of instruction.  However, a closer investigation of the definition of the phrase “credit hour” might be in order for those who have issues with this method or are abusing it.  

I hate to track back to public school since the reason so many of us are homeschooling is for the lack of education received there.  However, during my public school career I remember two things very clearly.  During the hour allotted for us to learn a particular subject some of us where faster than others in our assignments. Some of us got to take out our colors or library books as others still pressed their way through the assignment hour. Everyone learned the allotted lesson for that day, the teacher fulfilled her duty, and the students worked with their assignments until completed.  Some had to take it home and finish it and some got to go home and play instead.

Regarding credit hours in the homeschool we may find similiar logic being followed. The days lesson is presented, the child excels and completes the lesson.  It took 30 minutes all together even though you have an hour of  time allotted.  The “hour” is marked. However, the next day, the lesson is presented. The child lacks understanding – you work together; extra problems are added for demonstration, a different approach to the method is tried and success attained. You look at the clock and it has been 1 and a half hours. You pick up the log book and the “hour” is marked. At least, this is how I do it.  When the lesson runs short as it does sometimes than extra practice or review is added to the days lesson.  Most of the time, however, as many homeschooling families can tell you that time gets made up for.  Why do I use credit hours??? Because I’m TERRIBLE at keeping track of minutes, I’m homeschooling 4 children and taking care of a toddler and I’m expecting again.  I would literally drive myself insane trying to log in and log off time for each one of my children as I teach. This way I KNOW this is the hour for language, this is the hour for math, this is the hour for reading….you get the picture.

The debate between actual hours recorded and the credit hour method in this instance isn’t actually the issue.  The issue lay with the integrity of the homeschooling parent.  It would be just as easy for me to cheat writing down my minutes as it would be for writing down credit hours.  If you are interested in credit hours simply because you want more on the logs  for less work than your child may be better off not to be homeschooled.  However, most homeschooling families I know want to give their children the best education possible.  Each of us have our own theories on how we do that, we each have our personalities, and each of us have different family situations and demands on our time.  

Let each of us remember our reason for homeschooling is the EDUCATION of our children and act with integrity as we teach.


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OFFICIAL Missouri School Year – “from the horses mouth”

It really seems that there is a ton of stuff to wade through for new homeschooling families who want to comply with the law making it simply frustrating trying to track down what is legal.  Thanks to a recent forum I attended I have deleted my previous article about the official Missouri school year due to conflicting advice/opinions.  HSLDA interprets that Missouri homeschooling families can set their year term as long as it occurs in a twelve month period.  Apparently, there is a county where this is true in Missouri. This ruling I believe occured in 1999.

HOWEVER…

That being said, OFFICIAL Missouri School Year, according to Missouri government law as of August 28, 2008 is from July 1 of said year to June 30 of the following year.  The official term for the current school year would then be July 1, 2008 – June 30, 2009.  (see  section . 4. on the link above)  I think I would be inclined to go with what is “on the books.”

If you have any questions than call your local representative and have them track down the information for you.


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Missouri Homeschool Daily Log

Now available on LULU is this valuable time saving book providing you with 25 pages of hour tracking forms for 8 subjects. Complete with 52 weeks, 4 semester hour summary pages, and one yearly total sheet.  Available as a coil bound book or ebook download.

LULU

Daily Log Example


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Build A Cushion

In light of my recent posting about losing hours quickly due to illness and interruptions, it has come to my mind for the first time since I’ve been homeschooling to add a few extra hours of school work when I can.  This way if you do get ill then you won’t feel rushed to play catch up. Before last week I was an entire week behind on school (and its only the end of September!), since we were only doing a four day school week I just decided to pick up on the extra two days so I could be on schedule again. I know I’m behind and it is just so easy to stress but thankfully I am now only 15 hours behind and quite sure that I can repeat what I did last week to completely catch up. Wisdom, however, now suggests that in the future I start adding an hour or two extra here or there on smooth days to build a cushion into my school week. That way when illness or schedule disruptions strike I don’t have to be stressed over what is not getting done because I will know that I already have time built up to offset those bad weeks.


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Don’t Panic – just grab an hour!

Certainly, if you have scheduled your hours with a certain amount to perform every week you will have found how easy it is to fall behind when illness or schedule disruptions attack. Currently, because of the wild September I’ve had I am actually one week of hours behind.  At this point, it is easy to panic and get tense about it but refrain from panicking!  When you have school days that flow well just add an hour or two here or there or maybe you’ll have a day to pick up the hours you’ved missed like on a Saturday.   Add a fun hour of art, nature study, acting out historical figures; your hours will fly back to you in a hurry.


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Free Homeschool Forms

One of the most valuable websites that I have run across as a homeschooling parent regarding forms of all types is at www.donnayoung.org  Drop by her website and plan on spending some time browsing as her website is pretty vast and includes many different types of planners, grading sheets, calenders, etc.


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Scheduling Those Hours…

Scheduling those hours can be tedious work when you are totally new to it.  I’ve latched on to a few things that work.  First, decide how busy during the day you want to be?  Do you want to put in eight hours or six a day?  I’ve done the work here for you in several different formats week/day formats.  I hope this helps you with your planning!

33 Weeks, 7 days a week = 4 1/4 hours per day

33 Weeks, 6 days a week = 5 1/4 hours per day

33 Weeks, 5 days a week = 6 3/4 hours per day (I round to 7)

33 weeks, 4 days a week =  7 1/2 hours per day (this is what I currently use rounding to 8 hours)

36 Weeks, 7 days a week = 4 hours per day

36 Weeks, 6 days a week = 5 hours per day

36 Weeks, 5 days a week = 5.5 hours per day

36 Weeks, 4 days a week = 7 hours per day

40 Weeks, 7 days a week = 4 hours per day

40 Weeks, 6 days a week = 4 1/2 per day

40 Weeks, 5 days a week =  5 hours per day

40 Weeks, 4 days a week =  6 1/4 hours per day

45 Weeks, 6 days a week = 3.7 hours per day

45 Weeks, 5 days a week = 4.4 hours per day

52 Weeks, 5 days a week = 4 hours per day

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