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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Needed: Homeschool Evaluator

I am in need of a Homeschool Evaluator, in Gilchrist, Levy or Dixie County. My sons annual evaluation is in September and i would like to make arrangements ahead of time. I did find an evaluator, that I could use, but she is all the way in Tampa. If you or someone you know is a certified teacher that does homeschool evaluations, please contact me at darien04@gmail.com or if you are comfortable you could post your info here, for other viewers to see.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Need Cursive Writing Work Sheets?

You can print for free, cursive writing worksheets at this website. It is free, but she does allow you to donate, to the site, if you wish. Go to http://www.handwritingforkids.com/handwrite/cursive.htm She has other worksheets as well, mostly use this site for the cursive writing sheets.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Local and State Laws for all states

Since this blog, is a pesonal blog, the laws are geared towards Floridians. However I like to make this blog useful to everyone. So here are some links to help others find laws about Homeschool in their state or jurisdiction.

www.Inspirit.com.au/unschooling/states/states.html

www.geocities.com/Athens/8259/local.html

www.schoolchoices.org

www.nhen.org

www.kaleidoscopes.com/comply

www.gomilpitas.com/homeschooling/regional/Region.htm

I hope with these links you will be able to find information, in your state or region. Happy Homeschooling.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Sample 3rd Grade Curriculum

I am trying to get a jump start on 3rd grade, by setting up my curriculum early. This is the first one I have done myself. It is a basic curriculum, and things can be added or remvoed. You will note that each subject has two parts the main electives for each subject, and then extra electives. I did this because there was so much information to be learnt. I separated them by most important and ones to add, after the others were mastered. Feel free to copy this curriculum for your own use, and change to fit your needs. Some were add ons because, we have already learnt them, and will just review them, or are closer to 4th grade level, and will be taught after the others have been mastered. I do not have PE, Music, Art, or foreign language on there. We do PE, Music, and Art, but they are not formal type education. I want to teach Spanish, but have not yet found a program I like.


3rd Grade Curriculum created 04/18/08 by Myself


3rd grade Mathematics:
Reading and writing numbers to 5 places *
Addition and subtraction facts to 25 *
Multiplication and division facts to 100 *
Customary and metric measurement *
Time to 1 and 5 minute measures *
Charts and graphs *

These below are add on math electives once the above are mastered:
Beginning Roman Numerals
Rounding numbers
Positive and negative numbers in daily life
Simple fractions and equivalents
Properties of one
Numeration systems
Perimeter, area, volume
Geometric constructions
Similar and congruent figures
Properties of solid figures
Estimation of outcomes
Problem solving analysis
Word Problems

3rd grade Health:
Care of eyes and ears *
Dental health *
Parts of the body *
Nutrition *
Home safety hazards *

These below are add on health elective once the above is mastered:
Proper balance of activities
Healthful leisure activities
Prevention and control of diseases
Health with relation to food, shelter, clothing
School and community health services
Safety in the community
Simple first aid


3rd grade Language Arts:
Reading prose and poetry aloud *
Alphabetizing through the third letter of a word *
Dictionary skills *
Synonyms, antonyms, homonyms *
Spelling *
Beginning cursive writing *
Concepts of a paragraph *
Using period, comma, question marks, apostrophe, quotation marks *
Postwriting skills: editing and proofreading *

These below are add on Language Arts electives once the above are mastered:
Silent reading
Oral presentations: reporting experiences orally with accuracy
Developing word attack methods
Writing short, original stories and poems
Increasing indexing skills


3rd grade Science:
Dinosaurs *
Weather and climate *
Plants and animals of the sea *
Magnets *
Compass *
Gravity *
Machines *
Plants and animals of the desert *

These below are added elective science subjects after the above are mastered
Animal helpers
Life cycle
Common birds, trees and flowers
Forest plants
Conservation of plants and animals
Earth’s changing surface
Light and color
Energy and its sources
Force and work
Moon and stars
Earth satellites
Scientific method and scientific inquiry


3rd grade Social Studies
Holidays and folk customs *
Native Americans *
Explorers and pioneers *
Appreciation of different cultures, races and religions *
Community helpers *
Shelters of animals and people *
History and development of transportation *
History and development of communication *
Citizenship and social responsibility *
The continents *
Flat maps and globes *

These are additional electives for Social Studies to be done after above is mastered:
History and development of local community
Consumers and producers
Sources of food and clothing
Basic human needs and wants
Local geography
US geography and regions

Monday, April 21, 2008

Teaching your 2nd grader Reading Comprehension

As I have stated, this is our first year homeschooling. It has been a wonderful challenge, and very rewarding. One of the toughest things, I found was teaching my 2nd grader Reading Comprehension. He is an excellent reader, both silently and aloud, but getting him to understand how to pick the main topic, was a challenge. I have tried several different techniques, none of which seemed to work very well. Then I found a tip on one of the free websites that I use, and it has helped tremendously. I think he is finally grasping the concept, and is even getting very good at picking the main topic of a story. He reads a regular child's reading book, from our library, every day then has to answer these 4 questions:

1. What is the title of the book?

2. Who is the Author of the book?

3. What is the most important thing that happened in the book?

4. Why do you think that?

If your elementary age child, is having a hard time grasping the Main Topic of stories, try this technique, it may help you too. Best wishes

Friday, April 18, 2008

Does the County check up on me?

Not usually, but they can request to if they wish. They have to give you 14 days written notice, they cant just show up on your door, and demand to see your school work. You must of course submit a yearly evaluation to the school district, as posted in a previous discussion. Here is the complete law for Florida, pertaining to this topic:

It is *possible* for the county to ask to see your portfolio. They have to give you 15 days' written notice. And this would generally require someone (not necessarily the parent) to bring the needed paperwork to a school district office. While the county can randomly ask to see a portfolio, school officials are usually too busy to bother. They are more likely to do this if the child was in a school and was reported truant previously, or if someone else is pushing them to check (such as sometimes happens in divorce or custody cases).

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Do you have to grade your childs work?

No. You can assign grades if you want. Or if your child works better with them. Or if it makes your relatives feel better about the child's education. But many homeschool parents simply make the child revise work that's not done properly until it is of acceptable quality, instead of worrying about grades, as they want the child to learn from his mistakes rather than focus on doing just enough to get a particular letter grade. We personally do use a graded system. It helps my son, to understand whether he is progressing or not. Because he went to public school he is used to this, and we have continued it.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

What Subjects do I have to teach?

In Florida, there is no specific curriculum, or subjects, that Florida Homeschoolers have to follow. If a parent wishes to "unschool" (teach the student using life experiences and/or following the child's interests and needs rather than using textbooks), that is fine. If a parent wants to focus on certain subjects (such as teaching a child the basics of reading), that's fine. If a parent wishes to use materials garnered from the internet, or things the parent makes up, or use hands-on materials rather than books, that is fine, too. Remember though, if you choose to use a Private or Umbrella school, the rules may be different.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Homeschool Your Child for Free

This is a book, I just borrowed from our local library, and it is awesome. It is so chock full of websites with free resources, information, curriculum, printables, study units, you name it. From preschool all the way through graduation. I have no idea how much this book costs, but I will be looking to purchase it. It is called Homeschool your child for free, by LauraMaery Gold and Joan M. Zielinski. I will be posting as many links as I can here on my blog, so check back often, if you dont wish to purchase the book yourself.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Attendance, Minimum Teaching Hours

Do you need to keep attendance, or teach a certain number of hours, or days of the week? No, not in Florida. If you are using an umbrella school or private school, then the laws may be different. If you are using Homeschool- or Home Education Program, then no there are no laws governing keeping attendance, hours you must teach, or how many days of the week you must teach. This is why alot of homeschoolers, like to homeschool, because of the flexibility that it allows. If you wanted to do your school, in the evening, or on the weekends, you can. There are no rules in this area.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Florida schools need 150 min of PE/wk

This law was actually passed, before the 07/08 school year, but public schools are not following it. Now legislature is considering making the law more enforceable. The law says public schools, must provide at least 150 min of PE per week, or about 30 min per day. Most schools say this is uninforceable. So far, Florida does not have a requirement for PE, for homeschooled children, but it wouldn't surprise me if it wasn't too far away.

Monday, April 7, 2008

What age do children have to be schooled?

In case you were wondering. In the state of Florida, a child does not have to be officially schooled until age 6. So if you are choosing to homeschool, you dont have to start until they are age 6, by Feb 1st of that year. Here is the official law pertinent to this topic:
If a child is between 6 and 16 years of age, he is legally required to be in a school of some sort. If a child will turn six by Feb. 1st of a given school year, he is required to be in school at the beginning of that school year.This means, that if your child is under five years old, you are NOT legally required to have him in school yet. If your child is five (and will NOT turn six until AFTER February 1st of this school year), he is not required to be in school yet this school year. If a child is five but will turn six BEFORE Feb. 1st of this school year, then he MUST be in school this school year (or you must send in a letter to the school superintendent indicating that you are homeschooling him).(Note that this means that a child who *could* enter public school kindergarten may not legally *have* to be in school. Homeschooling is based on the child's age, not his "grade level.")

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Family School House

Here is a great site, that has educational games, with printables for members. You can get alot of them for free, but to access some you have to be a member. Membership is 99 dollars for a year, for two children. We use this site, mostly for the Social Studies, state map learning game. If you want to check it out, click the link http://www.familyschoolhouse.com/default.asp?f=t

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Funbrain

This site is great, and 100 percent free. We use it for homeschooling, but it is also great for a child with ADD that has a hard time learning by traditional methods. Kids who need help in certain subjects will find this website very helpful as well. Check it out at http://www.funbrain.com/

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