"Official" Days of School

It's only taken me six years of homeschooling (five years of reporting to the state) to finally decide upon the following course of action.

For a couple of years, I've been very diligent at counting days for our state reporting, and only counting days where I felt we reached a certain threshold of learning. It occurred to me several times, though, that there were days we didn't count that were probably far more educational than the end of the year celebrations at the local public schools. As it happens, I also never counted the days that EG was doing end of the year testing. We were usually done with our required number of days by that point.

I also never had a real interest in doing "year round school" in the way that many people usually mean it. I didn't want to do a three week on, one week off schedule, or a three months on, one month off schedule. Summer camps are very important to me as a parent. I'm sure I'd feel that way regardless, but as a homeschooling parent, they're very nearly sacred. Next year, PC can go to a half-day camp at the local YMCA, which means I am eagerly anticipating getting a week where I am ALONE for three hours a day, as well as two weeks where one of the older kids is the only one home with me. I'm getting off track; suffice it to say, while we do light schoolwork throughout the summer, camp is Very Important.

This past year, I did an experiment. Each year, as I filled out my "attendance report," I kept track of our running total of days. Then, I kept an unofficial count. It included things like trips out of town, field trips, and more. If it was somewhat educational, I went ahead and included it. I probably missed a few.

As of the end of May, I have 242 days of education counted for the eleven month period of July 2010-May 2011.

I don't feel bad about what I'm going to do tonight or tomorrow, then: I'm going to print out our "attendance sheets" and fill them out for the 2011-2012 school year. In advance. All 180 days. If we hold with the past year, we'll surpass that by at least 60 days.


Wrapping It Up, Officially

We've been on a very light schedule for the past two months, really; we hit 32 weeks before our spring break week, and almost all of my lesson plans were written for 32 or 34 weeks. EG did have two webinars that both concluded yesterday. All of the extracurricular activities are done until autumn.

And today, I wrote my annual summation of the year. Technically required. Y Georgia law, I'm not actually obligated to submit it to anyone. I'm just supposed to write it and keep it on file. I guess it goes with the test scores that we have to have but not submit.

Now I've really got to finalize everything for next year. I have a lot of plans to finish writing before we start. Oh, and Bento to purchase. I love the Bento iPad app and really want to be able to enter things more easily via the laptop. Other exciting technological things on the horizon include my turn for a new computer over the summer. Oh, Apple store, you just keep calling my name.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


Electronic Organization

For Mothers' Day this year, albeit a few days late, I got an iPad. A shiny, new, 64 GB iPad 2, to be more precise. I already loved my iPhone and my MacBook, but I think it might just be my iPad that persuades me to go paper free (in terms of homeschool organization and planning) at last.

I've already added a lot of helpful apps. I'm also trying to figure out a way to swing making it work if we get EG an iPad, because I can already see so many potential uses for it for her with regards to schoolwork.

Therein lies my dilemma, in a way. For so long, I've been the only person who keeps track of the family calendar. I use iCal and have it nicely color-coded and everything. If EG starts using an iPad, though, and I can convince the Spousal Unit to use the iPod Touch, I suddenly reach the point where having our calendars sync would make so much sense. I'm not sure if I can do that with iCal but I'm pretty reluctant to switch to a new system!

I've already discovered I need to get Bento on our computers pronto. I got the iPad app and love it; I can't wait to modify it for school use!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad
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"A little rebellion every now and then is a good thing." - Thomas Jefferson