Monday, March 30, 2009

The Easy Truth about Homeschool Transcripts

I just have to review this lovely e-book I purchased in December called The Easy Truth about Homeschool Transcripts. Usually I am wary of e-books, as I have seen some that made my pre-teen's writing look like college level. However, since I have been impressed with everything else I've read from Lee Binz of The HomeScholar, I bought the e-book the day it became available and have not regretted it a moment. Lee homeschooled her two boys from mid-elementary school through high school and both boys were accepted to every college they applied to and both received full-ride scholarships to their first choice college. She didn't use some expensive transcript agency, but rather her sons got the scholarships and college acceptance with her mommy-made transcripts. She took all her experience and knowledge and put it in this wonderful, well organized, and truly "easy" guide to creating excellent high school transcripts written in the "love language" of colleges.

While the book focuses on transcripts, there is a wealth of information to be learned about homeschooling high school. For example, you will read about how your child's passion can be turned into $$$ (through scholarships) and what to do a junior high kid taking high school level classes or a high school kid taking remedial classes.

Additionally, The HomeScholar includes additional bonuses with every purchase of The Easy Truth about Homeschool Transcripts. The one I found most personally helpful was the month membership to her Gold Club. Through that membership I was able to talk to Lee personally on the phone each week, asking questions specific to my concerns. The very first call with her was an eye opener to me, and changed the way we are doing Science this year. Now my son is learning the same, but enjoying it so much more (and if he is enjoying it more then so am I, if you know what I mean).

In the interest of full disclosure, I will add that I have recently become an affiliate for The HomeScholar. I decided to become one since I was already sending praises out about this wonderful high school homeschooling resource and Lee personally invited me to be an affiliate.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

This is my life.

I actually laughed out loud when I read this in today's Sunday paper. I can SOOO relate. At least once every couple weeks or so hubby will come home to a totally trashed house and say, "Looks like you got a lot done today." The only thing, he isn't sarcastic about it. He knows my most productive days end up with the biggest messes. I thank God for such an understanding and wonderful husband.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

I love words.

There, I just added a "gadget" to my blog, the "Match Up" vocabulary game you see to the right. My favorite online dictionary (yes, I HAVE a favorite one), The Free Dictionary, has a new one of these and other games and interesting articles on their homepage everyday. Does the fact that I play a vocabulary game almost confirm my geek status or what?

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Homeschool Arts and Crafts, for Mama

I've been busy creating things for our homeschool, and these are the results.

Over on the Sonlight forums there has been a lengthy discussion of the Workbox System of assigning homeschool work. At first I was resistant to the idea, as it would take up a lot of space (all the more so considering I have 5 kids) until I saw this woman's adaptation to the system to fit in pockets in a single plastic bin. Well, I gathered items I already had on hand and made one up for my Kindergartner. I didn't have any cool pre-glued velcro dots on hand, so I just cut squares of the regular velcro I had and hot glued them on.

All the sample photos and descriptions I found of the Workbox System had 12 boxes, pockets, or envelopes per day per child. I made up 12 for my son, but only for future use. I only filled 8 pockets today and put the 4 away. I require that he complete the first 6, and the last 2 are fun or lighter activities that he can do if he wants. Today's pockets were:
  1. The Family Time Bible story book and his Sunday School memory verse.
  2. Handwriting Without Tears workbook (half a page).
  3. A Sonlight Core P4/5 book, Things People Do. While I only put one book in a pocket it is the reminder that it is time to read a few books to him.
  4. His sand letter cards (see below).
  5. A Miquon Math Orange book page.
  6. A Draw Write Now book and a couple sheets of drawing paper. He usually draws a single animal or something each day and doesn't do the writing.
  7. (he didn't get to this today) Developing the Early Learner book 2 workbook. He calls this his "fun" workbook.
  8. (he didn't do this either) Mighty Minds game.

Sunday I made sand letter cards for my Kindergartner as well, based on Heather's blog post about the cards she made. The biggest difference in my letter cards over Heather's is that instead of using red sand to make the starting point dot I used a dot of red paint. I had red paint on hand and it was much easier than doing the whole sand process twice. Anyway, I am now making the sand letter cards a daily part of his school, to make learning letter sounds a more multi-sensory process. He traces the letter while I say and he repeats the sounds, involving visual (seeing the letter), auditory (hearing me say the sound and then repeating it himself), and tactile (feeling the shape of the letter as he traces it with his finger).