Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Homeschooling on a Budget: The Library Part Two

Last week I talked about the library and many of the wonderful resources there.  But I did not get a chance to share about the wonderful relationship I have cultivated with our librarian, and she has helped us to home educate.

My wonderful Children's Librarian is Amy.  Amy is so nice and helpful.  Like most librarians, she helps us find books, she helps me search shelves for books I say have been returned and are still on my card, and is always excited to see my children.  I also find her an excellent resource on all things library.  She helps me use databases from the library, tells me of resources in the library, and is generally interested in my kids' learning.  She has shown me a library resource to help students prepare for the PSAT, ACT, SAT, and AP tests.  Things that would have taken me much longer to find on my own if I even found them.

But the best thing is the awesome homeschool programs she now plans.  Our library has many programs and they were usually scheduled around school kids schedules.  One day I asked Amy if she would be willing to schedule library programs during the day for homeschoolers.  She was like "during the day?"   I said yes I think they would come. . . if you program they will come!  She decided to give it a try and it worked.  The best part was she asked me what kind of presentations I would like and she goes about finding them.  She has had a coin collector come and talk about history, a park ranger with animals from the park, science programs, recycling programs, chemistry programs, the Japanese society, and one on internet safety.  She is open to anything.  So many wonderful free opportunities for my students.  I suggest things and she does the leg work.  I advertise to our local group and most people are excited to come.  What is there not to like about a free library program?  I am glad I reached out to her and asked.

How has your librarian helped you?  What unusual resources have you discovered at you library? 
I believe every home educator should make the librarian their best friend. 


Monday, February 01, 2016

Narrative Assessments for Ohio Homeschoolers

 For the 2015-2016 School year: I will be accepting portfolios, sending the form you need for your district, and writing notes  from March 7, 2016 through July 15, 2016.    After July 15, 2016 I will only review portfolios and send you the form you need for your district   Thank you!  Becky

I am still accepting portfolios for the 2014-2015 school year.  Please email me. 

I complete narrative assessments for Ohio homeschoolers for $30.  The Assessments are portfolio reviews by myself, a certified teacher, that fulfill the Ohio Home Education requirement for 3301-34-04 Academic Assessment Report Option #2.  
If you would like to begin the process start by downloading the forms for the Freestyle Assessment for unschoolers, the Self Reflection Assessment for K-8th grade, or the Self Reflection Assessment for High School for those who follow a subject curriculum. You fill out the forms, prepare the documentation, and sign them. Please email me for an instruction sheet that tells you where to mail them and answers some other questions. If you have trouble with the downloads, please email and I will email them to you.  Below are links  in Google Documents.   I am happy to help you so please contact me with any questions.

Becky Boerner

Freestyle Assessment in Google Documents
Self Reflection for K-8 in Google Documents
Self Reflection for High School in Google Documents.

Once you get there you need to do the following. 
If you click on the arrow button on the left hand side of the page you can download the file.
If you click on the print button you can print it out.

PS: If you can not access these files, try the links above in the document.  If you still can not access the documents, please email me and I will send you the files.  I am happy to do that! 

I also accept PayPal, Check, or Money Orders (Contact me for more information.  Many families send me checks or money orders through the mail. ) 
Click on the arrow for pricing for 2 or more reviews.

Portfolio Review(s)

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Homeschooling on a Budget: The Library! Part One

Homeschooling on a budget is a topic I'm going to be exploring for the next year. One of my favorite places to visit is the library.  I sometimes go just to be with the books.  Really.  I know my librarians by name, and they know me.  What I did not realize until I started homeschooling was how the library truly is one of the most money saving places for home educators. I wanted to share some things I have learned from the library.

I think if there is one area where home educators can say they really spend money is books.  Let's be honest, most of us could be in a 12 step group for book addicts. . . Hello my name is Becky Boerner and I love to buy books. . . .  Getting books from the library can be a huge money saver.  Here are some ways I use the library.

1.  Most libraries offer an educator card for home educators.  What does this mean?  Where I live in Hamilton County it means that my lovely librarians renew my books for me, there are no fines, and I can lose 3-4 books each year and not be charged for them! This saves me so much time and money each year.  (Of course my children do not loose the wonderful physics books or history books they check out. They always loose something quality like "Pinaklicious Bad Hair Day". . . but I digress.)

2.  As a resident of Ohio you can get a library card at any library in the state of Ohio if you show residency.  You can visit any library in the state and check out books!

3. The single best thing about Ohio libraries in my opinion is SearchOhio. With SearchOhio you can search for a book at any library in the state of Ohio.  If your library is a SearchOhio member you can order it and pick it up at your library.  This service is free at my library.  I am guessing it is at yours as well.  I have ordered so many books this way, and they even come within a week.  (I am beginning to wonder if I have an affinity for the people of Akron as many of the books I want are there)

4. The other amazing thing about the library is that you can request a book, and they will often buy it.  I have requested over 81 digital titles in the last few years and they have purchased 79. What a huge savings for our family!  My understanding is they are able to buy books year round, so request away! 

I would love to hear any library tips that you have.  Please add them to the comments.

And. . . see you at the library!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Hooked On Science

In 2015 I took my children to the Great Homeschool Convention in Cincinnati, OH.  I saw the convention through different eyes.  I stopped at booths I had honestly never noticed before.  It is funny how that works. 
 One of the booths we stopped at was Hooked on Science with Jason Lindsey.  He had fun activities for all the kids and did demonstrations in the aisle.  He was a hit with kids of all ages gathering around him.  His site Hooked On Science is full of experiments, interactive videos, and experiment guides.

His channel on TeacherTube is filled with more experiments.  I hope you check it out!

~ Becky