As we are winding down the year (I consider a school year July 1 through June 30) Grace’s 8th grade binder needs some attention. I have not been as diligent as I need to be about recording hours and activities every single day. For example, yesterday Grace spent an hour streaming The Weather Channel live to track the severe weather outbreak in the southern states.
|Streaming The Weather Channel|
We looked up local Alabama news and streamed that as well. She was looking at radar, updating me on torcon values in the Birmingham area and is fluent in the weather speak that meteorologists used (rain wrapped tornado, debris field on radar, how storms to the west will increase the rotational flow of the storms to the east, etc). This is her thing and while it fascinates her, it worries her because she is aware of the human element and the heavy toll on life and property these storms take. Technically this could be counted as science. It should be counted as science. Too often I forget to record these spontaneous learning opportunities and tend to consider only the structured learning that we do. My goal is to record daily, every learning opportunity that takes place during the day, whether it is Lilah making homemade bird treats (nature studies) or Grace watching an hour of weather (science).
|Lilah's fine art!|
I am aware that the hour values on her subjects are not entirely accurate. Language Arts looks light because I did not record the hours she spent reading the books for book club, because I am not sure if this “counts” but I have kept an accurate book list. I also realized that not every subject has to hit 120 hours. If the goal is for 1 credit in fine arts, 30 to 40 hours per year over four years is fine. Music instruction should technically fall under fine arts but that needs its own category due to the hours she has spent on instruction. Here again, I did not count hours of practice. Should I? I really don’t know. If I do it would be much, much higher.
Math and sign language are not hour based, they are content based. She has earned a credit of foreign language as an 8th grader and this will be counted on her high school transcript. She is still working on Teaching Textbooks Algebra I and this will not be finished for several more months. She will get credit for this as a “freshman”. She has 47 hours of volunteering or community service. I am not sure how to record this.....what class would this be in school-talk? From my research it is not really a class, just an accomplishment. Many schools would honor a student who has reached 47 hours of service in one year. Perhaps next year she will strive to achieve the President’s Award for 100 Hours of Community Service.
I don’t have all this figured out yet. I have areas of improvement, especially if I am going to begin a 7/8th grade binder for Lilah next year. But this is where I am now. I will post back with an update in a few weeks with how this binder will look when class descriptions are added, and it is prettied up a bit!
|This begins my binder. Sometimes I need a reminder that you can unschool to college!|
|I am keeping all outside documentation of classes and beginning to ask for course descriptions and letters of recommendation.|