curriculum, hampton roads, home education, homeschool testing, homeschool transition, homeschooler, homeschooling, new homeschooler, SAT

Creating a Fabulous Homeschool Transcript!

Due to the regular requests I get from moms asking for help creating custom homeschool transcripts, I have really discovered how much I love creating these documents! I’ve looked at all types of homeschool transcript templates from Portfolio to stark simple excel documents, but I would have to say there are certain things that make a plain transcript sing.

  1. Consistent Font. Really if the font is  all over the place the transcript just looks messy. Pick one and use it for the entire document. You can vary the size, but please stay consistent on the Font type.
  2. Necessary Information Included. I can’t tell you how many transcripts I’ve seen that had everything the student had done since kindergarten, but was missing the students date of birth, gender, address, or worst, the school name!!! Remember a transcript is a functional document! It must include certain things like your students entire legal name, address, the name of your school, the parents name, the student’s date of birth, anticipated graduation date or date of graduation(whichever applies for you!), names, grades, and credits awarded for all courses completed in high school.
  3. No signature. An official transcript must be signed by the primary teacher, principal, or headmaster.
  4. Customization. Nothing makes a transcript transcend  basic, than customizing it to suit your student. If your student is an artist or extremely independent learner a Portfolio-type transcript might be best.  If your student has taken several standardized tests and has several dual enrollment credits a subject style transcript might best show off thier accomplishments. Really you have to look at what your student has accomplished and decide how best to showcase their strengths.
  5. Test Scores. They’re going to ask anyway so just include them. Don’t forget to add those SAT, ACT, PSAT, AP, CLEP, and etc scores to your transcript.
  6. Emphasize the Positive. This is not the time to be humble. Really play up your kids passions! He actually took 6 classes in Duck Pond Building….. show how passionate he is about the environment and how he applied several scientific concepts in his designs.
  7. Format. Consistent formatting throughout the document really makes a simple document become impressive. Pay attention to your formatting! Everything should be centered the same way throughout the document. IF you bold the header for year, you must bold the header for all the years.

Honestly, creating a fabulous homeschool transcript means paying particular attention to detail, emphasizing the positive, and presenting your student’s accomplishments in an organized easy to read manner!

I hope this helps anyone who has been struggling with creating a homeschool transcript! If you need more help, I’m happy to coach you! Please contact me with your questions!

education, hampton roads, home education, homeschooler, homeschooling, new homeschooler, SAT, virginia

Wow! It Has Been A While!

I did not mean for such a long time to pass before I updated my blog! Where to begin??  After all of my moaning and complaining about SAT Prep, my dd did just fine.  She will be attending a wonderful college in Boston in the fall! God is good! We both prayed and fasted for God’s providence in her college search. In fact, I am writing a senior devotional to help other families pray through that senior year!

I have 2 not so little ones left at home to homeschool next year. DS will be in  1st grade and dd will be rising to the 7th grade. I am already planning her high school curriculum along with her middle school work. Its just easier to have a long term view on things. Next year, will be so different in our household. We will miss older sis desperately, but we have peace knowing that God has spoken in her life.

Where are you in your journey? I’d love to know!

Blessings Always!!!

curriculum, education, hampton roads, home education, homeschool testing, homeschool transition, homeschooler, homeschooling, new homeschooler, SAT

Embrace SAT Prep for your Homeschooler

I have an 11th grade homeschooler, and I really did not think of SAT prep until about a year before I knew she would need to take the test. However, if I could turn back time, I would have started much sooner. Does that surprise you?
None of us like to think that we are teaching to a test, however, I can’t imagine that you would have done that during their school years anyway so why not be prepared for a test that you know is coming. Taking the SAT will help your homeschooler obtain merit aide and scholarships so why not be prepared?

If I had a magic wand I would go back to her freshman year in high school and that is when I would have started SAT Prep. She would have had it every year until her junior year.
Now, when I say SAT Prep, I don’t mean a formal class, but I do mean taking practice tests. Reading books that focus on vocabulary; taking practice Math and Science exams for the ACT. Timing her essay writing, just to let her know creativity has a time limit.

Yep, if I had a magic wand, that’s what I would do.
Fortunately, I also have a 6th grader, or unfortunately if you talk to the 6th grader!LOL
Nonetheless, her high school years will be very different. Very different.
Ah, hindsight!

homeschool transition, homeschooler, homeschooling, new homeschooler

Communal Homeschooling on the Rise-CNN

http://amfix.blogs.cnn.com/2010/09/21/communal-homeschooling-on-the-rise/

“Isabelle, you’re next. What card do you need to add to 10 to get what?”

Grade schooler Isabelle Hannon is learning how to add and subtract, but not in a classroom. She’s outdoors, at a beautiful Stillwater, Oklahoma park. She and her sister, Alyssa, are being taught not by a professional teacher but by their mom. And they’re not alone. The Franklin kids are there, too, along with their mom and dad who are also acting as teachers.

Welcome to homeschooling 2010. It’s no longer a solitary exercise for many parents: it’s communal. Many families are now sharing ideas about teaching and taking turns as teachers. In effect, they’re creating their own “shadow schools.”

Pascha Franklin says her kids are thriving and so is she. “When your kids are saying, “I want to do this,” and it’s some kind of lesson, you smile because you’re like, yes! They like learning!”

Franklin isn’t the only parent jazzed about homeschooling. According to the US Department of Education, 1.5 million children are taught by Mom and Dad. That’s up 74% since 1999.

Studies used to show that most parents decided to homeschool for religious reasons, but that’s not the case anymore. In a 2008 study, 36% of families listed religious and moral values as the main reason for homeschooling. But, another 38% said the primary reason they homeschool is because they don’t like the school environment or the way teachers teach—those numbers are also way up from a few years ago.

Just ask the Sobrals, who are homeschooling their five children. For them, “one size fits all” education just doesn’t cut it anymore. “What we’ve learned now is that it’s unnatural fitting 20 children in a room and learning from one teacher, on the same schedule, on the exact same material in the same way,” says Courtney Sobral.

The Sobral kids each have their own interests and learn in different ways. Sobral says since she’s the teacher, she can experiment with teaching techniques to see what works best.

Her husband, Alex, says that’s not always possible in public schools. “You’re taught that you have to go to A, B, and C…and if you’re not excelling here and there, there must be something wrong with you.”

Parents also say it’s easier now to homeschool because there are so many resources available on the internet. For the Sobrals, it’s a for-profit Christian-based company called “Classical Conversations”, a curriculum that “combines classical learning—grammar, dialectic, and rhetoric” with a “biblical worldview.”

The Stillwater parents get guidance from the Home Educators Resource Organization of Oklahoma a non-profit network of support groups and families.

Other parents go with companies like K12, another for-profit group that says it has contracts with 25 states to provide 70,000 students with a full curriculum, along with “a state-certified teacher” assigned to each student.

Still, taking over your child’s education isn’t easy.

Laura Brodie wrote “Love in the Time of Homeschooling” after homeschooling her daughter for one year. “I had a lot of success, but also a lot of fights and power struggles (with her daughter),” she says. “I didn’t find homeschooling books anywhere that were talking about that. They talked about the advantages of homeschooling, but not so much about the bad days.”

Brodie adds that homeschooling can be exhausting. It’s a 24/7 job. “You have to care deeply about your child’s education and well-being to want to spend all of that time with them, and want to find the best avenues for them. And you have to know your child deeply for you to understand what sort of education they need.”

So, is homeschooling for everyone? “No,” says Brodie. “It can be a wonderful option for some families,” but not for those “where the parents have to work full time and can’t fit homeschooling into that schedule…Parents have to make sure it’s something they want to do and get excited about, and I think a child should be willing.”

Carol Costello – Correspondent, CNN’s American Morning
Filed under: AM Original •Education
By Carol Costello and Bob Ruff, CNN

curriculum, education, hampton roads, home education, homeschooler, homeschooling, new homeschooler

Just Discovered: Upcoming Homeschool Events!

Connecting Nutrition, Behavior, and Learning
Given by Jane Hersey
Jane Hersey:
* Began using the Feingold diet in 1975
* Became a volunteer in 1976
* Feingold Association Director since 1985
* Editor of Pure Facts
* Author of:
o Why Can’t My Child Behave?
o Healthier Foods for Busy People
o What are all those funny things in food? … and should I eat them?

The workshop will be given at:
Williamsburg Christian Church
200 John Tyler, Williamsburg, VA.
Tuesday, March 23rd, from 12-2pm.
RSVP: catrynajackson (at) hotmail (dot)com

To learn more about Feingold visit their website:
http://www.feingold.org/index.php

HEAV
27th Annual HEAV Homeschool Convention & Educational Fair
Home Education: For Their Future
June 10-12, 2010
Greater Richmond Convention Center
Richmond, Virginia

Well-Trained Mind Events
Jessie Wise
June 10-12
Home Educators Association of Virginia
Richmond, Virginia
http://www.heav.org

Susan Wise Bauer
June 24-26
Society for Classical Learning
Williamsburg, Virginia
http://www.societyforclassicallearning.org

Classical Conversations
Williamsburg VA 3-day Parent Practicum
From Monday, May 24 2010 – 9:00am
To Wednesday, May 26 2010 – 4:00pm
Great Wolf Lodge, 549 E. Rochambeau Dr, Williamsburg, VA.

home education, homeschool transition, homeschooling, new homeschooler, virginia

Getting Organized…

Well, at this point in the year, I really begin thinking about how I will organize my upcoming homeschool year. I ordered Managers of Their Homes, and I am devouring Teri’s great advice on scheduling for the homeschool family. I also had the good fortune to stumble upon Sue Patrick’s Workbox system and now I’m really trying to figure out how I can combine Teri’s schedule and Sue’s workbox to make something perfect for me.
What I like about Teri’s scheduling is that I can see just how much I have to get done in a glance, and my kids are not constantly asking me what comes next; they can see for themselves and work independently. I love that she schedules in time for the kids to play with each other and personal time for herself (what’s that?). I don’t like the finality of the Maxwell schedule however. Maybe I won’t FEEL like Math at 9am on Tuesday? Maybe, just once, I’d rather do English with my 10yr old at 9am on Tuesday. Then what?
Which brings me to what I like about the Workbox system. I love the “neat-i-ness” of it. The neat clear boxes on the “neat” rolling cart, your child just goes from box to box during the day until they have completed all 12 boxes. Yes, 12 boxes! Each child must have 12 clear boxes on a rolling cart containing the day’s lessons and activities, including boxes that allow for games and enrichment activities that always seem to slip through the cracks during normal school days. I love that the kids “check-in” to school each day via “neat” little paper pockets and laminated “school cards”. Nice. What I don’t like is that with 3 children that means I’d have to have 3 rolling carts with a total of 36 of those little boxes! Please… I barely have room for the kids in my school room.
So now, here’s what I’m thinking will work best for me, perhaps a book shelf with 4 clear containers for each child.
container 1 (daily work for home – English, math, music, etc), container 2 (Co-op Work- work that must be completed for our weekly coop- science, rhetoric, spanish,etc), container 3 (CBS – work that must be completed for weekly bible study), and container 4 (Enrichment Activities and Games). Next, I will have a schedule that allots time for School+a box number only but doesn’t assign a particular subject at a particular time – when a child sees “School” and a box number on their schedule they will know to go to their assigned box/container and pull out their assignments for the day and do them in the order that pleases them.
Okay, I’ll post pictures when I get this all set-up. What do you all think? Genius or disaster?

curriculum, education, hampton roads, home education, homeschool testing, homeschool transition, homeschooler, homeschooling, new homeschooler, virginia, Worry

Scare Tactics and Intimidation

If you have had to remove your children from public school, you may find that you are being a victim of some pretty sinister scare tactics and intimidation. It has been my experience that the first thing you can do is not panic, and understand that very little information you obtain from the school system is actually true or accurate.

The school system may tell you that you cannot homeschool your child until the end of the school year. NOT TRUE! You can remove your child at any time during the school year to homeschool.

They(the public school system) may tell you that you can ONLY use an “approved” distance learning program to homeschool. NOT TRUE! You are free as a homeschooling parent to use ANY curriculum that you feel will benefit your child and your family.
According to §22.1-254.1 (A), You may teach at home if any one of the following conditions is met: if a parent (1) has a high school diploma; or (2) is a certified teacher*; or (3) provides a program of study or curriculum which may be delivered through a correspondence course or distance learning program or in any other manner; or (iv) provides evidence that he is able to provide an adequate education for the child. These four options are listed on the form entitled, “Notice of Intent to Provide Home Instruction.”

You may be told misinformation, such as, you cannot homeschool, or you must be an “approved homeschooler” if you have a GED. Not true! You are never “approved” by the school system. You simply “notify” them of your intent to homeschool and supply a list of the curriculum you intend to use. Also, if your spouse has a degree or a high school diploma you can file under your spouses educational credentials.

They may threaten you with truancy or that your child will fail if they are not returned to school. Your child cannot be accused of truancy as long as you have filed your notice of intent(NOI).
As far as failing, your child cannot fail a grade they withdraw from.

They may make ridiculous claims and attempt to make you jump through complicated hoops. At that point, turn in your NOI and cease communication. My suggestion to any homeschoolers that are switching to homeschooling from public school is to immediately join Homeschool Legal Defense or HSLDA, right now they are running a great promotion so it is free to join! Should you receive any threatening communication refer them to HSLDA immediately.

Finally, find a local support group of homeschoolers either via Yahoo groups or word-of-mouth and let them know what’s going on. Homeschoolers are a loving and helpful bunch; they will provide the necessary emotional and academic-advice support you will need to get past this.

Above all, do not allow yourself to feel alone, scared, or swallowed in self-pity, you have just made the most awesome, wonderful, life-changing decision of your life, now is not the time for sadness; it is time for jubilation!
Blessings,
HomeschoolNewbie