Google Search

Custom Search

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Homeschool Evals Done, Family Coming, Hurricane Watches Up and Zika WOW!

Wow, it is heating up here, in central Florida.  We did our evals last week, and all went well.  We have family visiting next week, and the week after, so we are preparing for that.  Along with that, we are still watching TD 9, trying to form into a TS, in the Gulf of Mexico.  It has slowed down a bit, and appears to be strengthening.  What does that have to do with homeschool?  Lots, actually.

Hurricane preparedness, like most Floridians, is something we have not had to even think about in many years now.  So, we have been lax.  Now, my children will learn exactly what I do each year to get prepared.  Tomorrow I will post some info on hurricane preparedness.  Right now, even with just a depression, this system is really large and 7 inches of rain is a lot of rain in Florida.  We are not in a flood prone area, but all areas will be susceptible to tornadoes.

Also, I just heard on the news that Zika has now spread to the Tampa Bay area.  This is a huge concern, especially with a tropical system approaching, and standing water that will likely be left behind.  I took a CEU class on Zika, and I was amazed how much we really are not sure yet of this disease.  So, as part of hurricane preparedness I will be posting mosquito control, with a focus on Zika prevention for lay people.  Stay tuned!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

DJ's Homeschool Portfolio for 2015/2016 School Year Grade 10

This is DJ's portfolio for the 2015/2016 school year.  He completed grade 10 this school year.

FLVS Driving:  1/2 credit  final grade: 92 (A)   DJ got his learners permit on 7/5/16, and has been practicing driving with his parents.

History:  Civics and US Govt:  1/2 credit for each final grade: 76 (C)  DJ used the book, The Everything American Government Book, for our main reading purposes.  But, the bulk of our learning for these two courses came from, and following the presidential elections for this year.  We watched, and discussed debates, the process, the pros and cons of each candidate, the system as it is with pros and cons, etc.  At the end of the year, DJ took a US Govt and Civics exam, that all people who want to become citizens take.  That is where his final grade came from.  Due to the fact that he also did writing assignment, and discussion topics, I am adding 10 points to his final grade, ending with an 86 (B) for his transcript.  You can read his final exam, the written part, on his blog, Through the Eyes of DJ, plus my critique and comments. 

Math:  Business Math:  1 credit final grade: 76 (C). DJ used Alpha Omega Lifepac for this course, and while he didn't complete all 10 books, I don't think that is unusual.  He did not enjoy the Lifepac format, at all, though I can't say he really enjoys math.  He put in enough hours to get a full credit, and he did do two Math curriculums this year. 

Math Algebra 1:  This was a continuation of his Math U See Algebra 1 book, from 9th grade.  I really wanted him to try hard to complete it.  With two math courses it was a real challenge.    final grade: 76 (C)  DJ took the PSAT, practice test online, on August 10, 2016, and got a score of 78 for the Math section.  While we realize this still needs improving, I am happy he is passing it, and not struggling as much.  We will continue to improve  his Math grade as we move forward.  His Geometry book, for grade 11, has Algebra review, so that will help.  DJ will be taking the full SAT, at the completion of 11th grade. 

FLVS Intro to Digital Design:  1 full credit final grade: 81, 84 (B).  This was a required course, on FLVS, to take any further computer programming classes.  DJ is taking an Honors computer class for the 11th grade.  While DJ still maintains that Marine Biology is his career choice, he understands that working while in college will be necessary, and the best option pay wise might be computers.  Plus, computers are the wave of the future. 

Biology:  CK12 plus hands on labs 1 credit final grade:  100 (A+)   We used CK12, for Biology, and you can see why this is the future for DJ.  He excels hands down.  He probably ended up with over 100 for an average, with the extra questions on each test.  Plus with the labs.  We did some hands on labs, I will bring some samples, as it is a pain to scan and upload them all.  Plus DJ participated in the 4H Marine Ecology event last year, still part of this school year,  and he had to identify plants, and animals.  I am counting that as labs as well.

Language Arts:  DJ did not do a formal program this year, but concentrated on writing.  1 full credit final grade per PSAT on August 11, 2016:  86 (B), I am adding five points to this as DJ wrote one complete book, and started a second.  So, his final grade will be 91(A) for his transcript. DJ's first book, a fan fiction, based on the video game series, Monster Hunter is saved to his email.  If you would like to read it, he will provide that for you.  That was done on NanoWrimo, a yearly writing contest for teens.  He will be doing it again next school year, with his second fan fiction.  His second book was began, using Litlift.  He has since gotten writer's block, and has set it aside for now.

Reading:  DJ got a score of 78 on the Reading section of the PSAT practice test, on August 11, 2016.  He is a proficient reader, so this concerns me a little.  However, he is not a speed reader, and I think that might be part of it.  We will be working on this to increase his grade for the Reading section.   One technique we will be doing for grade 11, is reading and listening, aloud.  He will read a chapter, and then I will read a chapter.  I am going to try and see if I can add time limits if it doesn't mess with his comprehension.  

DJ did  27 volunteer hours with Camp Kerusso,  was active in 4H, and the Teen Praise Band at church.  He is the lead singer and co-leader of the band.  The band has played at local nursing homes, as well as different special church events.  DJ went to Crossroads Camp again this year.  He also has done probably 20 hours volunteer time with Tri County Outreach, I just have to get the form signed and verified.  He really wants to do more volunteering, and get a job, we will see, since he will have homework and study requirements for grade 11.

Music:  This is an afterthought, but DJ has been doing the 4H Guitar Club, for two, and a half years.  Unfortunately it will not be continuing this next school year, due to not enough interest.  However, he did 2 hours every week for two full school years, so I am giving him 1 full music credit.  I will be having him do a video that shows his progress, and load it to  his blog.

I think that completes DJ's portfolio.  If I think of anything else, I will add it later. 

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Caitlin's Homeschool Portfolio for the 2015/2016 School Year Grade 6

This is Caitlin's homeschool portfolio for the 6th grade.  Due to a family accident last year, Caitlin got somewhat behind on Math.  I started her off at the beginning of the year with grade 3 Math.  In Feb she took a placement test and was placed in 5th grade Math.  She is almost completed with grade 5 Math, as of the end of June.  She will begin grade 6 Math in the beginning of July.  Her writing has also improved immensely, compared to last year.  I did not issue final grades for Caitlin, but instead will give reviews of curriculum used, and her progress as I see it.  She has focused a lot on Math and Writing this year, and is currently writing a book of her own on Watt Pad.  Part of  the agreement to use it, was that she had to do her own editing, and then I read the final result. 

Reading List:  The Yearling with book report.
Percy Jackson book 1 with book report.
Warrior Cats 6 book series, some with book reports
Warrior Cats series #3 6 book series, started

Math:  Caitlin has made great progress with Math.  She started out as 3rd grade level, that was with Common Core test, she was given a placement test on Prodigy Math, at the end of the school year, and has moved up to 5th grade level.  She is actually on schedule for grade 7 and has already started her Saxon 7/6 school book for the 2016/2017 school year. We used CK12, workbooks, and Prodigy Math for her Math choices this year.   I am super pleased with the progress she has made, and the hard work she has done.

Language Arts:  Michael Clay Thompson series.  I loved this series, and she showed great progress with it.  I wish it wasn't so expensive.  The only book we did not use, was Poetry, she just couldn't get into it.  Though we did do some funny poetry topics, which she did enjoy.  I will have writing samples with us for our face to face visit.

History:  The West.  Caitlin read the book, Westward Ho, and we did some of the fun activities, like horse paintings, some writing assignments, we made a wagon cake, etc.  Click the link to view the book.  We also watched Frontier House on Youtube.  It is a PBS series, that sadly only had one season.  We immensely enjoyed this show, and a lot of conversations about how hard life was back then.    I think Caitlin definitely enjoyed The West, as did I. 

Science:  Earth Science.  Caitlin used various reading info books, videos, etc to learn about Earth Science.  For testing purposes, at the end of the year, she used a free app called Itooch grade 6 Science.  She ended up with an A average, after completing the tests.  This was actually a quite nice app.  They could study the info if needed, then take a little test.  I loved it, saved me a lot of grading time.

Writing:  See Language Arts, plus Caitlin was given writing assignments on her blog.  You can view her final exam, for Writing, and some of her other Writing assignments, for grade 6, by visiting

Spanish:  Caitlin used the free app Learn Spanish 6.000 words, and did quite well.  Spanish is more of a fun class, and intro to another language.  She will do it again in grade 7, as she loved it so much.  She was not graded for this class. 

Caitlin continued with 4H through out the year, and was in one competition, and two fairs.  She received blue ribbons for her efforts, and a couple of second place.  She continues to learn about rabbit care, and cares for her rabbit pretty much on her own. 

She also continues with church, and activities there.  She was in the Kiwis singing group, and did a Christmas concert where she had a speaking role.  Though she was frightened she did it. 

She started Gymnastics in Jan of 2016.  This has been very good for her, and we still continue our weekly walks with homeschool friends, plus field trips as allowed. 

It has been a very good school year for Caitlin.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Books and Classes Chosen For the 2016/2017 Homeschool Year

I am still working on our homeschool portfolios.  I hope to complete them next week.  DJ will be taking the new PSAT next Wed, with the essay option.  Then on the 11th, both kids will each start two classes of their new school year.  Since we have family coming the first two weeks of Sept, we will not have our first full school day, until the 19th.  So, at least we will have some started.  Caitlin, and DJ both, will start Math, and Caitlin chose Spanish for her second class to start, and DJ will be starting his certificate Digital Media course on FLVS.  Two new things for DJ this year, he is going to take the World History CLEP Exam at the end of the school year, and he will be really pushed to take notes this year, and required to study at least 45 min per class each night. DJ will also be working on his second book, that he is stuck about half way through, writers block, and will be participating in the NanoRimo writing challenge again in November.  Caitlin is currently using Wattpad for some writing fun.   Caitlin will be required to study, with reading or writing.  Of course we will continue our weekly Wed nature walk with friends, and volunteer hours as well. 

Caitlin 2016/2017 School Classes Grade 7:

Math:  Saxon 7/6 with supplement of Prodigy Math game, once or twice a week.
History:  World History with focus on Geography.  I will be posting some fun things to do for this class.
Spanish 1:  Along with textbook, and workbook, there is a really fun app she likes.
All other subjects will be grade 8 Alpha Omega including Bible.  I got a really good deal, but it was a grade higher but I have heard they are not real challenging, so it should be OK.  She could use a good challenge anyways.  I will be giving her books to read, but have not decided yet, besides Ann of Green Gables.  I am looking at her taking at least one FLVS class next year.  DJ will take his second year of Japanese in his senior year.  Both kids are deciding what they want to do with 4H, and I don't want them overwhelmed with activities anyways.  Caitlin will resume Gymnastics in October, and DJ of course guitar.

DJ 2016/2017 School Classes Grade 11:

World History:  CLEP study guide with exam at end of year, will also be doing fun activities with me
English/Language Arts with focus on Writing
Chemistry with Labs
Digital Media 1-  full credit certificate course with FLVS
Psych 1- half credit elective course can also count as 1/2 credit of History with FLVS
Typing will be squeezed in somewhere, probably 2nd half of year as a 1/2 credit elective.  He really needs this class.  He has no clue about typing rules, such as for spacing.

So far DJ has chosen Dracula to read, and I still have to consider which ones I want him to read.  I am leaning towards classical literature as opposed to newer options. 

Currclick for Homeschoolers


Custom Ornamental Gates

Create your own banner at!
Copy this code to your website to display this banner!