Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Odds and Ends~

I have been busy going over what we are going to be working on for our new year. Adding a few more finishing touches and trying to organize and adjust things accordingly. Adding some things, taking out others that I feel may not work well.
Most recently I had been having a conversation with my youngest son about a few things. He had been talking to his Dad about something in History he learned this past year. I listened to him and as I did it helped me realize a few things~ 

I always knew what his learning strengths were, I had learned about those a while ago and have always tried to work through this pathway for him. However, in really listening to him I picked up on how I really need to do more for him in this pathway~ ( he is heavily auditory and once he hears something read to him and can either make a poster or see it also it is then cemented in for the most part) I realized I want to incorporate much, much more audio books and visuals for him with all his studies not just history and science but all~ 

As I heard him re-tell a story I read to him in history I was able to pick up on the details he remembered and why~ this was a great thing for me and so a bit of tweaking is in store for my younger son :)  
I have been working on our planning for this year; record keeping, tracking of grades ( new for us for highschool) lesson plan ideas and outlines etc... its been really busy. I feel like have things now starting to settle and it feels like we are just about ready to begin.

Homeschool Tracker update and our Lesson Planners~
I had been trying really hard to learn the new Homeschool Tracker. But I never could really get it figured out. I think you need to spend a ton of time on this thing to really understand the workings of it.  I like it and think it has alot to offer ( don't get me wrong) but having a hubby in this field, and after  (he) having looked at it also, he understood my confusion.  The creators both had computer backgrounds and while they understood and could process where and how the background workings of the program flowed, it makes the program not quite as user friendly or as basic as we would have hoped.  ( the program assumes you understand the background workings of it)  I think they attempted to reach all homeschoolers and their specific needs and wants  ( state regulations and homeschooling laws) and that can make for a pretty comprehensive and tricky program with tons of things some may not want or need.

I plan on still trying to learn this, ( just because I think the reports are so wonderful for year end evals and portfolios) but honestly, with all I have going on I decided to set it aside and work on our own planners that I have been creating pages for and also downloading other pages from websites that I can use. I have been picking and choosing certain pages as I go, ones that will work for us specifically since everyone does things just a bit different and homeschooling regulations can vary I found I didn't need certain things while others things I did so I have been working on our planners over this past week.

Once I get these finished up completely I will post a picture of them and the links for all the pages in case some of you might be interested in using a few. As I said I am using bits and pieces from a few different places and then also making up my own pages for us as well.  Sometimes not everything we find is a real fit so creating a few things really helps in personalizing things a bit more.

I realized as I worked and worked and tried with HS Tracker how I tend to be a bit more hands on than I realized. I am very visual, but I realized that I like the fact of having the pages in front of me to flip through add post it notes or whatever to the planner.  I also like the idea I can take it with me when I am out and about.  If we begin traveling the way we plan I may really find this helpful to lean on. Even though, laptops can go with us, which they will, it isn't always easy to pull out and look something up like I can a written planner.

I am really satisfied now with how I am building this out for us. I'll be sharing more about these as I have these finished this week and my reasoning to have what I do in each of the boys planners.

Neat resource for Catholics~

If your Catholic, some may really like this site as much as I do~ as I am planning for this year I really plan to try and take advantage of this site.  It has so much here ~ I have spoken about this site before so I will share it again as a great reminder and am posting a link to many of their printables that are available over at The Resource Site.  - this link provides a directory for much of what they have on their site. Its great~!
8/12/12* an update, sadly this site has now been closed. Due to it being hacked several times (possibly because of its Catholic content) they decided to no longer keep the site up and running, it was just too much for this family to continue with and too much work to continue to fix the links and such* I was very sad to hear about this. 

Added a new money saving tip to my page ~

I added a new link and free curriculum CD you can get - its from the PASS program.  These are student and teacher texts on CD - free for grades 9-12. Yes, FREE when you email them asking for a copy they have now on CD.
(As I add new tips and things I find I plan on dating these so that others will know that it was something new added. )

Back to our planning and organizing!


Anonymous said...

Good morning,
I wanted to say that I took a look at the Catholic homeschooler web site that you mentioned and all though i am not catholic I found a ton of usefull stuff there. It really has some cool printables and lovely pictures. I will be waiting to see your planner pages. I am struggling with the whole keeping trak of HS info and making it educationeise(sp?).keep it coming!Thanks Peggy

Learners at Home said...

Thanks Peggy~ There is alot there! I am continuing finishing up on the planners I wanted to add a bit more things so that I can complete my objective in having everything in one spot. I am adding in a journal section in this also and then the yearly curriculum planning so that I can keep track of things as well.. a few more pages and I am almost ready. Need to really finish this because I need to start putting it to use. I know the best thing about this is it is going to be my one place for everything ~ :)

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