Thursday, May 24, 2012

Refreshed and Ready to Work

My husband and I enjoyed our little get-away. I think I managed to barely talk about homeschooling for three entire days! One of the places we visited was Longwood Gardens. If you have never been there, add it to your list. Even though I enjoy trips with the boys, it is nice to visit a place without the worries that go along with traveling with kids. No need to say things like, "Stay out of that fountain!" or "Stop touching your brother!" or "No, we are NOT there yet!"

Once we were home and all of the laundry had been tackled, I started to prepare for our annual visit with our homeschool evaluator. In PA, parents must show the portfolio of the child's work to an evaluator (someone certified to teach in PA, or someone with similar qualifications) and discuss the progress made. She takes time to look over each of the boys' portfolios and then talks with them about the kinds of things they learned throughout the school year. She doesn't quiz their knowledge; it's only a casual conversation about what they liked and why. She also asks me where I think they made the most progress. This time it was easy to answer for EM. Hands down his progress in reading was amazing this year. JT was a little trickier. While he has made steady progress in all that he does, nothing was coming to mind at first. Then it hit me...his computer programming skills! Although this is not a specific subject to be taught according to the homeschooling requirements, I have included it under his math instruction. When I told our evaluator about it, she asked JT to explain the sample program I had included in the portfolio. He was very excited to explain what the program can do.

After we completed the review of the portfolios, we had a discussion about future plans, specifically high school planning. She had several suggestions. She recommends a couple diploma programs, but is also happy to work with us to develop our own transcripts without the diploma. I am going to do some research this summer. It's still a few years down the road, but I want to have some idea where we are heading before we get there.

This week I hope to get a few outlines together for next year. I'm doing my annual classroom cleanup at the same time. I hope to have a summary of our school year ready to post next time I blog. I want to get as much accomplished as possible in the classroom by mid-June so I can completely relax for the rest of my summer break. I don't want anything hanging over my head waiting to be done. I made that mistake last summer and don't plan to repeat it.

Of course, I never plan to procrastinate. Maybe if I actually planned to put something off I'd procrastinate so much that I'd never get around to procrastinating. Hmm...sounds like something I should work on this summer.

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