Wednesday, October 1, 2014

How to write homeschool reports

For those of you who don't know, here in New York we have to document our homeschooling. We submit an IHIP - which is the plan for the year - in August. Then we have to fill out 4 quarterly reports noting what we've covered and how our children are doing in several academic areas. Finally, we have to do an end of the year narrative or testing.

Report writing can seem daunting, even downright scary! You may ask yourself: Will I address everything the district is looking for? Will they accept this as good curriculum? Am I covering the right topics?

So I've decided to help everyone by offering some suggestions for your reports.

Scenario 1:  your child finds a dead chipmunk that your cat killed. She puts it in a butterfly net. She gets the video camera. She proceeds to make the cat chase the chipmunk by swinging the net, while filming it.
IHIP categories: science, visual arts, PE

Scenario 2:  your son drops all his goldfish crackers on the floor at your daughter's gymnastics class. He proceeds to pick them up and count them as he pops them in his mouth. But then goes into the bathroom to wash his hands because he was touching the floor.
IHIP categories:  arithmetic, health

Scenario 3:  you are on a field trip to the Museum of Natural History. The tour guide proceeds to tell the group that the Mastodon was closely related to the Mammoth. Your daughter interrupts and corrects the tour guide stating that "compared to mammoths, mastodons had shorter legs, a longer body and were more heavily muscled, a build similar to that of the current Asian elephant."
IHIP categories:  ELA public speaking, science, math (money needed for apology gift)

Scenario 4:  The family is on a road trip to Florida. The electronics are dead. You decide to play the license plate game to kill the time. After that, you look for road signs that have your name in them. This morphs into reading bumper stickers and your child asks "What does 'if the vans a rockin don't come a knockin' mean?"
IHIP categories: geography, spelling, reading, sex education

Scenario 5:  Your son just returned from a concert. He is convinced he wants to be the next Adam Levine. He gets books out of the library, watches YouTube videos and writes songs for the next 3 weeks. You are so excited that your son has shown so much interest and self-initiative. Then the restraining order comes in the mail. 
IHIP categories:  reading, writing. music, government and laws

Scenario 6:  You go to a re-enactment of the reading of the Declaration of Independence. You are really excited to offer a concrete, hands on learning experience for your kids when your son loudly yells to you over the crowd "Is that a man or a woman?" You shush him and say quietly that it is a man. He then yells, "Why does that man look like grandma?"
IHIP categories:  US history, math (another apology gift)

So as you write your homeschool reports, think back to all of the wonderful experiences you and your children have had. Feel free to document them. And then please share as we could all use a laugh now and again!

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