Friday, July 22, 2016

The Tightwad Gazette for Homeschooling on a Budget

  
This is truly one of my favorite books of all time!  Really.  If you are trying to save money. . you need this book.   Though it is not specifically about home education, it tells you amazing ways to save money.  I believe that Ms. Dacyczyn would have been an awesome home educator.

I discovered Amy Dacyczyn (pronounced like "decision") about 20 some odd years ago.  I remember when she was putting out a newsletter called the Tightwad Gazette.   We were so poor when my husband was in graduate school we would travel to the library to read the newsletter.  Which of course had to stay in the library.  Well, unless someone stole it from the library which did happen frequently in Atlanta, Georgia.  But, I do remember someone writing a note where the stolen newsletters should have been located that said, " Taking The Tightwad Gazette newsletter is not being thrifty, it is stealing. "  I still laugh when I think of that.

The Complete Tightwad Gazette is a compilation of her newsletter.  She never wrote the same article twice.  Impressive.  She discusses ways to be thrifty,  She was an interesting person, and her book is an excellent resource.  You probably will not want to do everything in it, but there are plenty of good ideas to get your started.  Some will find her ideas radical, but it depends how much you want or need to save money.

I found this interview of Mrs. Dacyczyn.  It gives you a little insight into her world.  I hope you enjoy it!
~ Becky




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Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Narrative Assessments for Ohio Homeschoolers




 For the 2015-2016 School year: I am still accepting portfolios.  I am happy to review your portfolios and send you the form you need for your district   Thank you!  Becky ohiohomeschool@gmail.com

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 send copies as I do not return documents. Please email me for an instruction sheet ohiohomeschool@gmail.com that tells you where to mail them and answers some other questions. If you have trouble with the downloads, please email ohiohomeschool@gmail.com 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.

Thanks,
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)




Friday, July 15, 2016

The important things. . .

Our oldest son is autistic and we are currently in the process of looking at group homes for him.  We went to look at one the other day.  I walked in and and I honestly was appalled.  The place had window air conditioners, and there was a big space I could fit my hand through to the outside next to the unit.  I asked the house manager and she was like "oh... we hadn't noticed that".  The place smelled moldy, the air conditioning unit in the room we were looking at did not work, the place was filthy, the carpet was disgusting, and she had not bothered to wipe the table we were all sitting at to talk.  When we left the apartment the house manager accidentally pulled the handle off the door.  Clearly the handle had been broken for some time but she acted like she had no idea this had happened.  Remember they get state and federal money to keep these places up and staffed appropriately.  I was taken aback.



But, then I got to thinking... there are at least five other hourly workers here.  She is in charge, and there are three people in charge above her.  Has someone not noticed that things are so bad?  I know at one time they were better because our case worker had seen the place five years ago and it was fine.  Didn't someone think to report this?  Didn't someone think it would be a good idea to clean?  Didn't someone notice that there was a big hole that birds and insects and rain and snow could get through?  Did this not bother anyone??

Then I thought about our home education (stay with me).  All those skills we teach our kids every day.  We have them do chores, we teach them to be polite, to right wrongs, tell us when things are broken, and to treat people with respect and dignity.  All of those skills that somehow can seem less important in the rush to do math problems, correct spelling, or write a well thought out paper.

But at the end of the day, doing more math problems really would not right this situation, or even correct spelling.  No one from the CEO to the hourly worker had enough sense to look in on this building that is falling apart and say, "Hey, things are not good here."  People with disabilities should not have to live in squalor.  No one should.

So as you go about your home education day, correcting your students, reminding them of the importance of good habits, teaching them to care for all people, and instilling values in them, remember that this is important work.  Sometimes it feels like we battle to instill good study and work habits and almost never get to academics.  But, that is not true.  All the work you do all day is valuable.   Sometimes it seems like we have to get through work habits and how we treat others to get to the real issue of math.  I believe that is not true.  There are really important skills that lead to helping our child complete work.  We can not see teaching those as less important.  They are crucial not only to our children, but those around them in the future.

Who knows.  Maybe someday your student will be the one who stands up for someone who can not stand up for themselves. They will remind others to be on time, and show them what a hard worker looks like.  And luckily, they will also be able to do the math to show them the cost of neglect.

~Becky

photo credit: over you via photopin (license)

Friday, July 08, 2016

You Can Dot It Too! Homeschool Families Share their Stories!

 I came across the book You Can Do It Too!  25 Homeschool Families Share Their Stories and I was absolutely intrigued by the title.  I wrote the editor Lorilee Lippincott and asked for a title to review and share here.

The book exceeded my expectations.  It is filled with stories of many different families including big families, small families, families on bikes, unschooling families, families who follow a classical model, families who homeschool preschoolers, high school students, and everyone in between.

I am hoping this will be a book that will help others see that homeschooling can be a great option for their family. The book states: “We are not going to tell you what is best for you or your kids because we don’t know you or your options. The goal of this book is to let you see the nuts and bolts of what homeschool is and make sure you know it is an option for you.”  I love this sentiment.
The editor asks each family a variety of questions that help you get to know them better.  Everything from "Why did you decide to Homeschool?" and "What does your typical day look like?"  to "What animal does your child remind you of and why?"  There is truly something for everyone in this book.

I found myself renewed from reading the book as a seasoned home educator.  The book reminded me that everyone does not always have great days homeschooling, but it is important to remember daily why you have chosen to home educate.  I enjoyed seeing the variety of ways families home educate.   I am incorporating some of their ideas into our family.

It comes in  Kindle format or Paperback.  You can check them out on Amazon. 






Here is a list of the families included in the book in the order they appear.
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