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Friday, March 20, 2009

Homeschooling Resolutions

I suppose resolutions are a good thing ... though I will admit that I shudder whenever someone asks if I've made my New Year's resolutions yet. As I was thinking about resolutions today, the thought crossed my mind that homeschool resolutions might be very helpful to make. Especially if it helps me to be more efficient or to gain a better sense of accomplishment throughout the year.

Just recently I encountered a homeschool mom who was asking how she could be certain that she's covering enough material in any given school day. If you share the same concern, please know that you're not alone! The "is it ever enough?" battle is one that most homeschool moms fight ... whether veteran or newbie.

So here's a "planner" of sorts that I've found helpful for myself and those who ask me how to know how much is enough. Perhaps a "resolution" to set these goals for your homeschool in 2009 will be helpful.

ULTIMATE GOAL: 5 "credits" per day
  • 1 Math credit
  • 2 Language Arts credits
  • 1 History OR Science credit
  • 1 Music, Art or Physical Education credit
Well, you might ask ... that's all good, but how much is a credit? I'm glad you asked!

Math (1 choice = 1 credit)
  • One math lesson
  • One math test
  • Math review session
  • 1/2 hour math game or software
Language Arts/English (3 choices = 2 credits)
  • One grammar lesson (3rd grade and up)
  • One phonics lesson (age appropriate)
  • One writing exercise (i.e. a letter, creative writing, history or science paper, etc...)
  • One handwriting lesson
  • Minimum of 30 minutes of reading (books approved by mom)
History (1 choice = 1 credit)
  • Minimum 30 minutes of reading related to topic (mom approved)
  • Field trip (may count as 2 credits or more depending on quality)
  • Educational program or video (mom approved)
Science (1 choice = 1 credit)
  • A science experiment (to include observation and conclusions)
  • A science journal entry
  • A 30-minute science-related TV program or video (mom approved)
  • Minimum of 30 minutes of reading related to science (mom approved)
  • A 30-minute discussion with mom on the science topic
Music or Art (1 choice = 1 credit)
  • 15 minutes of uninterrupted instrument practice
  • An instrumental lesson
  • Faithful work on a craft
  • Music practice for a church program
  • Minimum of 30 minutes of music listening and discussion
  • Field trip (see history)
Physical Education (1 choice = 1 credit)
  • 15 minutes of games at AWANA or a scout meeting
  • 1 hour of roller skating, ice skating, in-line skating, swimming, etc...
  • Combination of running, jumping jacks, sledding, etc... (mom's judgment)

DISCLAIMER: This is my usual, standard disclaimer on any thoughts I share. These are suggestions only, not to be taken as legal advice. Requirements in your state may be very different than in mine. Also ... keep in mind that these are to be used as a tool, not a slave-master! I'm sure that you can come up with many additional "choices" for credits in the various subject areas.

Maybe this will give an encouraging boost and fresh start for your 2009 school year.

Enjoy the journey!
~Judy

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