Friday, March 31, 2017

Homeschooling Students in Multiple Grades

One question I hear from families often is "How do you home educate students in multiple ages/grades?"  Currently I am home educating students in grades 11, 10, 7, 5, 2, and preschool.  I am going to be honest, it is not something I always feel I do well, but I have been at it for 11 years and am improving.  In this post I am going to share a few ideas that have been helpful for me.

1.  I work to make my students as independent as possible at their level.  I am always trying to move forward in this area.  With little ones it is stepping away for a second to put things away while they continue working, with older ones it is checking work after they have completed it so I am no longer sitting next to them.  Taking steps each day to foster independence is my goal.

2.  I try to schedule our days and think in terms of blocks of time.  For instance, if one student is on the computer and and another one is working independently then I can work directly with a third.  Sometimes I will say we have 20 minutes we need to make it count.  Here is a post where I talk about homeschooling with preschoolers and here I share scheduling with high schoolers.  Both posts share more of my schedule.

3.  I have found having a system for older kids to check in with you on what they have completed is key.  It is easy to miss something with your student.  In this post I talk about my notebook.  It continues to work well with my high school and junior high students.  I feel I have a better grasp of where each student is in their work.

4.  I look for computer programs or online classes that allow a student to learn successfully.  We have had good luck using the Homeschool Buyers Co-op for products.  SHOP AT THE CO-OP on award-winning Curriculum and Supplements & Save up to 93% Thinkwell has been helpful, as well as Veritas Press Self-Paced Courses, and Quarter Mile Math.

5.  Lastly, I also try to remember that one of my goals in home education is to help my kids become independent adults who love learning.  Having to share mom and try to figure things out on their own helps to achieve that goal.

I would love to hear any ideas you have.  I also found this post by Renee at Great Peace Academy.  She has compiled many helpful ideas and blog posts on how to home educate multiple students.   The post has excellent resources.


Friday, March 24, 2017

Fun Book/Author Sites to Check Out!

There is still time through Monday 27th at 11:59 pm to enter the contest to win one of  TWO $25 Amazon cards.

I posted this a few years ago .. . but updated and added a few things.

In our house my kids go through a phase where they have a favorite author, series, or type of book. A very fun activity is to check out an author's web site.  I thought I would share some of our current favorite books and sites.

Fancy Nancy!  My daughter is crazy about Fancy Nancy and all her fancy ways.  My youngest daughter yells bonjour every time she sees a butterfly like Fancy Nancy.  She has a wonderful web site with places for kids, educators and parents.  I would check out all three for fun printables, games, and other activities.

The other current favorite at our house is Jan Brett.  She has an absolutely amazing web site.   There are literally thousands of printables, games, and how-to-draw videos.  Her beautiful drawings are reflected all over her site.  A wonderful place to visit.

I remember the first time I saw Tommie dePaola at a teacher reading conference I remember thinking he was very hip.  So it came as no surprise to me that Tommie dePaola has a engaging web site.  His story is great to read to encourage children to be artists.

I love Eric Carle. I checked out his web site as well.  He too as fun things to color and information on how to reproduce his art work.

Lastly, here is a link to the Akron public Library's blog that shares Children's Authors web site.  A nice compilation.

Would love to hear about your favorites.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Happy St. Patrick's Day Contest!

Winners have been chosen and notified.   A big thank you to all who entered the contest!  I was so excited with the positive response.  Thank you for your support and stopping by.

I run contests about 3-4 times per year, and also sponsor contests.  Please sign up to receive posts by emails and/or for the quarterly newsletter to be informed of the contests.  I also let you know on the Ohio Homeschool Assessment Facebook page.  

Happy St. Patrick's Day!  In celebration of my Irish heritage, my wonderful followers, and all things good I want to give away  TWO  $25 Amazon cards!  Hopefully the Luck of the Irish will be with you and you will win!   

Please enter by the Rafflecopter below.  Please know I verify all winning entries.  If you need help, email me:

How to become a Public Follower.
To become a follower, look under: "I would love it if you would follow my blog publicly, Please click on "Follow" below."  After clicking on that button follow the steps.  You may use a Google Account, Twitter Account or Yahoo Account to follow.  Click on one and follow the steps.  In order for your entry to count you must follow publicly.  

You do not have to live in Ohio or homeschool to enter!  

To LEAVE A COMMENT:  Click on "Post a Comment" at the end of the post and a box will pop up. Leave the comment there.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

happy st patrick day clipart

Friday, March 10, 2017

Guest Post: So You Are Homeschooling a Writer by Rachelle Rea Cobb

I asked Rachelle if she would visit us and share about her new book Write Well. What thrilled me even more was that she told me she had developed a printable for home educators to assist with writing. Please welcome Rachelle Rea Cobb today to Ohio Homeschool Assessments!

Does one of your homeschool students love words?

Hi, mom. Yes, I’m talking to you. You who has a never-ending pile of laundry and paperwork that need to get done, in addition to the daily dinner prep and homeschooling checklist that never seems to be completely finished for the day before, well, you and the kids are finished with the day.

I applaud you. My mom was just like you. She homeschooled my brothers and I the whole way through, from preschool through high school. She is a busy lady, and I bet you are, too. And my mom--like you may have--had a homeschool student particularly interested in writing. (That’s me!) So you may be wondering, where do you find the time and resources to not only teach your children how to write but guide them in how to write well?

In my work as a freelance editor, I have worked with a number of homeschool students and graduates who plug writing time into those afternoon and weekend hours around their assignments and jobs. They may plan to blog, self-publish, or pursue traditional publishing. Whatever their end goal, they love words and they are searching for better ways to wield them. But what if we caught your homeschool student early, and incorporated a writing guide right into their curriculum during their early high school or middle school years?

Well, that’s one of the reasons why I wrote my most recent book, Write Well.

Write Well is a short ebook designed to guide writers through what they need to know about writing--so that they can get back to the real work, actual writing!

If you have a child or homeschool student interested in writing better, Write Well is written on a 6th-grade reading level and could fit into your middle/high school curriculum. Even if your homeschool student is not necessarily in love with writing and words, communication is a skill everyone needs in the digital information age in which we live.

After all, communication is the heart of connection, and true connection is required if we are to thrive in our family life, (future) marriages, the workplace, and every industry on the planet.

Write Well focuses on the most important aspect of all writing: respecting the reader. So if you have a homeschool student with a bent for the written word, or a student struggling to make connections with a pen in hand or keyboard beneath their fingers, check out Write Well, available in a convenient ebook form!

Please also check out my free resource, 7 Quick Fixes to Common Writing Mistakes, available for download on my website. This printable can be kept handy in your homeschool room or at your kitchen table (that’s where my family’s homeschool headquarters was always housed!) for quick reminders during writing assignments and more.

Thanks for allowing me to chat about my latest release today! Now, let’s write well!

All my best,

Rachelle Rea Cobb is a freelance editor and the author of Write Well and the Steadfast Love series of three historical inspirational novels. Before her first book had even released, she met a man with the same name as her series’ hero. On one sunny Saturday in June 2016, she married him. Both homeschool grads, they live in their newlywed nest in a corner of the South where the air is slightly salty. Rachelle enjoys blogging, all the different kinds of Oreos, and pretending she’ll one day see the bottom of her to-read pile.

You can find her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and on her blog.

Friday, March 03, 2017

Time Saving Tips for Homescool Moms (and Dads)

One of the ideas for blog posts was time saving tips for home educators.  I have been turning this idea around in my head for a few days.  I am not sure if these are the best time saving ideas, but they have worked for me over the years.

1.  Your crock-pot is your best friend.  Really.  If you can get up  dump some items in this in the morning it will make you feel so much better throughout the whole day.  Dinner is cooking and you know it is taken care of.  Here is a past post I have written about my Crock-Pot.  I have links to crock-pot cook-books there as well.

2.  Have your kids help with cleaning.   Start by having your kids work along side of you.  Then gradually have them take them over on their own.  This takes time in the beginning, but is worth it in the end.  Have a list of chores that the kids are helping you with posted.  People have short memories.  Try to stop everything at a certain time of day and do the chores.  There are several good plans out there.

3. If your student is able to use a computer having at least one subject they use the computer frees up your time.    Maybe math facts, or spelling.  Research what works well for your family.  The Homeschool Buyers Co-Op has many great computer program to support your curriculum.

4.  There are hundreds of fabulous thing that you can do.  Amazing curriculum, crafts you can make, wonderful field trips to go on, and experiences for your kids.  You can not do them all no matter how hard you try.  You have to make choices.  I sit down each year and make choices.  They are hard choices.  It is easy to think more is better when sometimes more is just  more.  This year we took out an activity we loved at our home. I am so thankful that we did.  This freed up time and has allowed all of us to take a breath, and try new things.  Don't feel bad about making the choice not to do good activities.

5.  Set a limit on your social media time and media and try to stick with those limits.  This is so hard for me personally.  I love people and love to know what they are doing.  But, when I limit my time my day goes so much better.  There are apps that help you keep track of your time.  Or use a beeping timer and set it for 15 minutes and just stop!

6. Any kind of system you can create for things at your house is helpful.  For instance we have a special bag and place for library books going back.  I have a barrel for clothing that is being donated.  A place for hats and coats.  Start trying to implement one system per week.  It will help you greatly.

7.  If you can lay your student's work out the night before it will make your day go so much smoother.  I am a fan of staging for the next day.

8.  I try to make a list the night before of things I need to accomplish the next day.  That helps me have a much better day!

These are just a few.  I would love to hear from others how they save time.