Friday, February 17, 2017

National Random Acts of Kindness Day Today!

Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” 

– Leo Buscaglia

I know there are many of these days that crop up, but this seems worthy of remembering.

Happy National Random Acts of Kindness Day!

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Narrative Assessments for Ohio Homeschoolers

 For the 2015-2016 School year: I am  STILL accepting portfolios.  I am happy to send the you form you need for your district. Thank you!  Becky 
For the 2016-2017 School year I will begin accepting portfolios, sending you the form you need for your district, and writing up encouraging notes from March 7, 2017- July 15, 2017.  After that I will gladly accept your portfolio and send you the form you need for your district.  Please know I accept portfolios year round and am happy to accept your portfolio at any time!  

I complete narrative assessments for Ohio homeschoolers.  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. )

My portfolio pricing for 2017  is (1 portfolio) $35; (2 portfolios) $65; (3 portfolios) $95;  (4 portfolios ) $120; (5 or more portfolios) $150

Click on the arrow for pricing for 2 or more reviews.
Portfolio Review 

Friday, February 10, 2017

Writing Boxes by Guest Blogger Lisa McAfee

My good friend Lisa McAfee is our February guest  blogger.  She is sharing with us today  about Writing Boxes.  Lisa has many wonderful ideas and loves to help other home educators. 

Writing Boxes
Have you heard this comment before? "I can't think of anything to write!" I can empathize with our students because sometimes I have the same thing happen to me. Soooo, how do you help your child to come up with ideas?  
I saw the phrase writing box that was advertising stationary and pens inside a decorative box, but those words gave me an idea of what could be done for story writing. My thought was to find two or three items to put into a small box that your son or daughter would open.  Who doesn't like the idea of lifting the lid on a box and discovering the contents that are held inside? These items provide the prompts to create a story without you having to rack your brain to come up with an interesting sentence writing prompt. Let me give you some ideas of what these boxes could have in them.
Writing Box 1 The items inside the writing box are: a storybook, a toy, and a small unlit candle. A story that is just waiting to be told could be about a child (let's say Tillie) who is reading a book. While she is doing so, the toy that is sitting on the Tillie's lap comes alive and jumps into the book! Later it is discovered that the toy has taken the candle along with them to light the way on their journey... 

Writing Box 2 The items inside the writing box are: a favorite pair of socks (clean of course!), a watch, and an advertisement for a restaurant. We get those monthly magazines that have goods and services advertised in them; why not put them to good use? A possible story could be that your son is all ready for the day with his favorite pair of socks and comfy sneakers. He has some allowance money and goes to the restaurant (the one found in the writing box) with some friends. While he is eating, he glances at his watch only to discover that he has been there for eight hours! How is that possible? Could that watch be a special time vortex watch...?

Of course, those are only my ideas and examples of what kind of stories can be created. Discuss story ideas with the items before beginning writing if your son or daughter has a difficult time. You could start out with a comment such as, “What do these items have in common?” Can you think of a way that these items can be used together?  Jump in on the conversation to help create story ideas, be the scribe by writing down the ideas, and review all the possibilities so that your budding writer has success.
If you would like to have some more fun on a different day, you can have your daughter help with creating a writing box. Have her pick three items and she can tell her story with the ones she has selected.
I hope this helps to get the creative juices flowing. Why not choose three items for yourself and model the writing activity by creating your own story? Be sure to have everyone share when you finish. 
Happy writing!

Lisa McAfee bio:
I am an alumni home educator of two sons and Ohio licensed teacher with over 30 years of teaching experience in a variety of settings. I have been assessing homeschool students’ work for the past 17 years and enjoy helping empower and encourage homeschool moms with their homeschooling. 

Friday, February 03, 2017

Touch-type Read and Spell (TTRS) Review

I have a student who has trouble with spelling and handwriting. I have tried so many programs to try to help him spell. I saw Touch-type Read and Spell at the Homeschool Buyers Co-op and decided to give it a chance. I figured the worst thing that could happen is that he would learn to type. We bought it and have been using it this school year.

Some facts about the program.  It teaches kids to type by drilling with patterned words.  Instead of nonsense words it uses words like (red-fed-led).  The students complete lessons each day and there are charts that demonstrate their progress.   The cost through the Homeschool Buyers Co-op is $79.99.  The video below is a nice summary.

Review:  I feel like this is a worthwhile program.  Our student has made more progress in spelling than I have seen him make in a long time.  The lessons are clear and easy to follow, and he is completely independent using this program.  There are lovely charts that demonstrate progress in the program.

  Once my student stopped doing TTRS for a few weeks in November. ( I know this is shocking, but sometimes this happens in our home)     The TTRS organization sent me an email and encouraged my student to log in again and the importance of consistency with this program.  If they had not sent me an  email . . .  let's not think about what might have been.  WOW!  What a helpful resource.

My advice if you choose to do this is to set an amount of time your student should be working on this every day and monitor that.  I felt like my student was not doing enough work, but it is kind of hard to judge how much to do.  That would be my only complaint with the program.. But, it could be I have not spent enough time exploring the program to figure this out.

I would highly recommend this program if you have a student with spelling problems, one who needs to learn to type in a systematic way, or has some trouble reading.  I feel like it was well worth the money.  If you go to the Homeschool Buyers Co-op you can learn more.