Wednesday, September 22, 2021

How Do You Keep Records and Calculate Grades?

This post contains affiliate links - using affiliate links from Homeschool Coffee Break helps fuel this blog. 

How Do You Keep Records and Calculate Grades? Part of the How Do You Homeschool series on Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com


No matter how long we've been homeschooling, we are curious about how other homeschoolers do things. And homeschoolers who are newer to the game obviously have lots of questions! I wrote a series some time ago that attempted to answer some of the questions homeschoolers ask each other. Questions about how we handle some of the little details and about our opinions on different aspects of homeschooling. Questions that we all might answer differently because what works great in one family might not work at all in another. 

It's time for a new round of How Do You Homeschool articles. Some will be updated versions of the original series and some will be new, because there were a lot of questions I never got to the first time, and there are always new questions I didn't encounter earlier.


How do you keep records and calculate grades?

The tool I used for keeping all my records is Homeschool Tracker Online. I used it for lesson plans and for keeping homeschool records organized. It tracks assignments and calculates grades. It can produce a printed resource list as well, which is often handy for records. Basically, I kept an online record of the assignments and the grades, printing it as necessary. Since I usually printed out the assignment lists from week to week, we could have used those to show everything we had done and when.

You can find out a little more in my post Organizing and Record Keeping.

Organizing and Record Keeping (Blogging Through the Alphabet) on Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com

Record-keeping can help you show how much time was spent on school, what was studied, and how completely a subject was mastered. When my kids were young, it was perfectly acceptable to just show the workbooks with the pages dated as we worked on them. I did my best to get my kids to establish the habit of dating the pages they worked on. In fact, when they were little, I purchased one of those date stamps with the movable numbers, and they thought it was the greatest thing to rubber stamp their pages! As they got older, I still insisted on the dating, but I also kept more of the records on  Homeschool Tracker.The essentials were the date, time spent, books or resources used, and the grade earned. Often I printed the resource list so I could show all the related books that were read.

Homeschool Tracker Online - A Homeschool Coffee Break Review on kympossibleblog.blogspot.com

I found figuring out grades to be fairly simple - mainly because Homeschool Tracker did the math for me! My grading habits changed from when my students were in grade school as well. For young students, I did figure an actual grade for tests or major assignments, but it was also quite acceptable to just give an overall grade for a subject based on my opinion of how well they'd understood and how hard they were working. Except for math. In math their grades have always been based on whether they were getting the correct answers! As my kids got older, their quarterly and semester grades were based far more on the real average of their scores on tests and assignments. How nice to have the Homeschool Tracker figure those averages for me!

In high school, sometimes it's appropriate to use weighted grades. So a midterm exam or a research paper might be worth more of a final grade than a weekly quiz or short essay. Again, Homeschool Tracker can do the math for you. I used weighted grades in classes like English or History, weighting any tests or major papers more heavily than just reading and comprehension type assignments.

During high school years, detailed and accurate records of schoolwork may be especially important for students headed to college or trade school. Their work will need to be reflected in their transcript; and the quality of the transcript depends on the quality of the records of their coursework and grades. When planning for a transcript, try to give course titles that are succinct but give a good indication of what was studied. For instance, Great Books is not nearly as descriptive a course title as Early American Literature. A good course description that clarifies the objectives is also helpful.

Find out more in my post From the High School Lesson Book: Record-Keeping Resources

Record-Keeping Resources (From the High School Lesson Book) on Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com - A round-up of record-keeping resources


For more info, see my related posts:

High School Assignment Tracking
From the High School Lesson Book: Course Descriptions

High School Assignment Tracking on Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com

From the High School Lesson Book - Course Descriptions on Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com - some tips on how and why to write high school course descriptions

How do you keep track of all the schoolwork and assign grades? Leave a comment and let me know what works for you - or leave a homeschool question you're curious about.

The original version of this post appeared on Homeschool Coffee Break on October 18, 2018.


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Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Five Minute Friday (on Tuesday) - Purpose

This post contains affiliate links - using affiliate links from Homeschool Coffee Break helps fuel this blog.

One word. Five minutes to write about it. This is the idea behind Five Minute Friday and this is today's free-writing post.



finding purpose
purpose-driven
what's the purpose?

********************
I've been low-key struggling to get content up on the blog the last couple weeks. Mostly it's because I have not had (or made) time - our basement flooded on September 1st and it's been crazy trying to clean up. School has started which means I've been teaching, including a new teaching job two mornings a week, and I'm still scrambling to figure most of that system out. So yes, a LOT of my failure to post is due to time constraints, but some is also related to the current word prompt for Five Minute Friday - PURPOSE. 

I built this little homeschool blog over many years, but now I'm not really a homeschooler any more. I am still connected to the homeschool community in many ways, but I'm not teaching my own kids. It makes it a little harder to keep up with relevant articles here. I've started adjusting, but I haven't got a sharp focus yet. I still write some homeschool relevant stuff, but not weekly, so I feel a bit at loose ends.

Which isn't all that different from my real life situation when my youngest student graduated from our homeschool. We celebrated her achievement and realized that I was "semi-retired" but it felt very odd to be a former homeschool mom. I needed a new purpose.

It's been two full years since my semi-retirement. I'm still waiting for my retirement party too. During the past two years I continued teaching at a homeschool co-op, and I had a little more time to work a part-time job and do a few other things. But of course there was covid to interrupt whatever course our world would have followed. My daughter has been living at home and attending college, and for a good portion of the time her classes were virtual so she was sort of home-schooling. One of my sons got married, and they continued to live with us for the past several months. They will be moving into their own place in a couple weeks, and then I'll actually get the empty nest experience. At least start the experience - I'll still have two adult kids at home for a bit longer. 

And will my purpose change? In the big picture, it doesn't. The big picture is that my purpose is to glorify God. Living out his purpose meant doing my best to raise my kids right, and that role is almost complete. It included homeschooling them, and I did that. It's meant teaching and mentoring and caring about other young people as well - putting in time as a youth leader at church, teaching at co-ops, opening our home and lives to our kids' friends. That's shifting a bit as they have their own homes and are building their own adult lives. Of course they are always welcome here! I'm doing my best to be a loving mother-in-law, which is a relatively new role. I'm loving my role as Nonnie (grandma!) and I'd be delighted to put in lots more time doing that! 

I think I'll have more time to focus on my role as a friend and in the community of believers. The purpose is still to glorify God in all I do, but the details of how I'll do that in the everydays ahead of me aren't always clear ahead of time. Especially in something small like what I write for this space. I suppose I'll figure it out. And it may continue to shift for a bit before it settles. Like many other things do during this season of life. 

*******

Believe it or not, I did write the above in not much more than five minutes. It's a little different from what I usually do though. And sadly, it did take me until Tuesday to post a Five Minute Friday article. I've got to get back on some kind of a schedule. 
 
This post is linked at Five Minute Friday for the word prompt "Purpose".



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Sunday, September 19, 2021

I Spy #37

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Each week Lysha at A Camera and a Cookbook shares a set of prompts for photos. On Saturday she invites participants to share their photos in the I Spy 2021 linkup. I took very few photos this week and relied on a little luck and a couple of last minute shots to satisfy the prompts.

- golden hour - I tried a selfie during golden hour and it was not good. I did like this view though.


- action item - Among all the many action items this week, figuring out lesson plans was the most time consuming.


- change - It's past time I take all the spare change I've gathered to the bank.



- cell phone - Total luck! I occasionally find that I've accidentally taken a screen shot on my phone. This week I got a screenshot of my cell phone's home screen on Wednesday morning and decided to go with it for this prompt!



- your choice - Happy Fall! 



iSpy 2021 is hosted by Lysha at A Camera and a Cookbook. The idea is to challenge yourself to step out of your comfort zone and do something different with your photos. Anyone can participate by taking five new photos during the week that fit the prompts. Link up during the week and have fun! 


This post will also be linked at Wordless Wednesday hosted by Life on Chickadee Lane.

 

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 We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.


Sunday, September 12, 2021

I Spy #36

This post contains affiliate links - using affiliate links from Homeschool Coffee Break helps fuel this blog.



Each week Lysha at A Camera and a Cookbook shares a set of prompts for photos. On Saturday she invites participants to share their photos in the I Spy 2021 linkup. This was a busy week and with everything going on, it was a challenge to even remember what the prompts were, never mind get photos!

- remembrance - I buy Black Rifle coffee regularly because it's good and because I love what the company stands for. This was the package I used this week. I thought about the firefighters (and others) that courageously ran towards danger on 9/11 twenty years ago every time I made a pot of coffee. 



- dainty - I noticed these dainty little clover leaves one day while carrying out laundry.



- heart - I lost the charms for this magnetic locket necklace awhile ago and I'm not sure where to get new ones.



- TV - thanks to the great basement flood cleanup of 2021, we are now one of those families with a TV in the dining room. It's been a challenge to find room for all the stuff temporarily displaced from downstairs!



- your choice - despite hard times and bad news and frustration, we really are so blessed. This decorative blessings jar was among the jumble of things on my counter, but I thought it was a good reminder to be grateful.


iSpy 2021 is hosted by Lysha at A Camera and a Cookbook. The idea is to challenge yourself to step out of your comfort zone and do something different with your photos. Anyone can participate by taking five new photos during the week that fit the prompts. Link up during the week and have fun! 


This post will also be linked at Wordless Wednesday hosted by Life on Chickadee Lane.

 

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 ©2006-2021 Homeschool Coffee Break. All rights reserved. All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author. http://kympossibleblog.blogspot.com/ 

 We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.


Saturday, September 11, 2021

Five Minute Friday - Rescue

This post contains affiliate links - using affiliate links from Homeschool Coffee Break helps fuel this blog.

One word. Five minutes to write about it. This is the idea behind Five Minute Friday and this is today's free-writing post.



search and rescue
rescue mission

********************

We are all in need of rescue. Our own ships are leaky affairs at best, and we are all taking on water. If not for God's amazing rescue mission, we would have very little hope. But God set up a lighthouse and a beacon to warn us away from the treacherous rocks and to guide us towards him. Then he commissioned his own Son on a daring rescue mission to bring us to shore. Once we've reached safety, we are invited to join the search and rescue team. 

Rescue those being led away to death;
hold back those staggering toward slaughter.
~Proverbs 24:11~


As we read the Old Testament history, it's easy to see the cycle repeating again and again. Israel finding themselves in trouble, often of their own making, and crying out to God. He comes to their rescue and brings them out of slavery, helps them beat back the enemy, defeats their oppressors; and every time they eventually forget how he rescued them and they go back to the same stupid sin that got them in that mess in the first place. Then the ultimate rescue - God sends the Messiah, Jesus - and here we are today, repeating the cycle in our own way. Thank God for his patience with us, that even though we fail and forget, he still rescues us. 


Rise up and help us,
rescue us because of your unfailing love.
~Psalm 44:26~ 

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. ~Galatians 1:3-5




*******
God undertook the most dramatic rescue operation in cosmic history. He determined to save the human race from self-destruction, and He sent His Son Jesus Christ to salvage and redeem them. The work of man's redemption was accomplished at the cross. ~Billy Graham

From the tiny birds of the air and from the fragile lilies of the field, we learn the same truth, which is so important for those who desire to live a life of simple faith: God takes care of His own. He knows our needs. He anticipates our crises. He is moved by our weaknesses. He stands ready to come to our rescue. And at just the right moment, He steps in and proves Himself as our faithful heavenly Father. ~Charles R. Swindoll

This post is linked at Five Minute Friday for the word prompt "Rescue".



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Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Five Minute Friday (on Wednesday) - City

This post contains affiliate links - using affiliate links from Homeschool Coffee Break helps fuel this blog.

One word. Five minutes to write about it. This is the idea behind Five Minute Friday and this is today's free-writing post.


city lights
big city
city on a hill

********************

I grew up in the city - not a big city, at least it wasn't huge at the time. We lived in a modest older neighborhood that was far enough from downtown to feel like a suburb, but it was easily accessible when we wanted to go downtown. As a teen I liked going downtown occasionally and I liked the shopping and other things that I associated with city life, but at the same time the traffic and noise and crowded feeling made me uncomfortable. I didn't want to live in the city.

When I got married, we moved around for a bit before heading to the mid-Atlantic, and once we got here it took us a little while before finding our first house. I still didn't want to live in the city. We lived in small towns or in rural areas, and the house we've lived in for about twenty years is in the country.

I'm still not comfortable being in a big city. It's fun to go shopping sometimes, and to visit the attractions of the big city but it's a place I'll visit, not a place I want to live.

Except . . . I do want to live in a city on a hill. Not my mailing address, but I want to be part of a city on a hill community, and I want to live like a city on a hill. On the high ground, on a defensible foundation, and with lights that can be seen for miles around. The light of a city on a hilltop is what Jesus mentioned:

"You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden."
~Matthew 5:14~


It's like flying at night. When you see the lights of your city and are struck by how bright the lights are and how beautiful, and it represents arriving home. Maybe you even think about how the city has grown and spread out over the years.

We become a city on a hill when we are willing to first be a city on our knees. That's another city I want to be part of. A community that knows it needs Jesus and so does everyone else. People that go to God in prayer and are willing to repent and that want revival. A city that follows King Jesus and lights up the world for him.

That's my kind of city.


*******

This post is linked at Five Minute Friday for the word prompt "City".


This post will also be linked at Let's Have Coffee hosted by Joanne Viola: Days and Thoughts

Joanne Viola

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 ©2006-2021 Homeschool Coffee Break. All rights reserved. All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author. http://kympossibleblog.blogspot.com/ 

 We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.


 

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Online Book Club - September Theme: Apples

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I've been joining some blogging friends in an online book club, and all our readers are invited to join in as well. Here's how it works:
At the beginning of the month Amanda at Hopkins Homeschool will share a book theme with us. It will be a theme instead of any specific title, so that anyone can participate - moms, dads, teens, kids, or the whole family. During the month, we will read books that go with the theme, and at the end of the month we'll share about what we read. Homeschool families may want to do unit studies or activities that go with the books they read, and they can tell us all about what they did and learned. Adults and teens may just want to share book reviews. 
Unfortunately, Amanda has been unable to keep up with the book club due to some unforeseen circumstances, but we are continuing on, and since I think this is a great format to share about books, I hope we try it for at least another year!

Well, the theme for this month is Apples. If I had little kids at home, I would find some cute kids' books about apples and invent a unit study, and we'd bake apple crisp or cook applesauce. I could come up with all kinds of ideas! But I don't have little ones here, and not sure I'll get to see my granddaughter this month, so I wasn't sure little kids books was the way to go. I started doing some searches but without any real inspiration. I finally came across a novel that looks like it might be good, and then I tried search terms looking for books with an apple on the cover. That turned up a graphic novel retelling of a fairy tale that really intrigued me! Here are the two books that I have from the library:

At the Edge of the Orchard: A Novel by Tracy Chevalier - There are apples on the cover, the storyline features John Appleseed, and the story centers around an apple orchard and the products it provides. The trick for me will be finding time to read it, so I'll make no promises that I will get very far by the end of the month!

1838: James and Sadie Goodenough have settled where their wagon got stuck - in the muddy, stagnant swamps of northwest Ohio. They and their five children work relentlessly to tame their patch of land, buying saplings from a local tree man known as John Appleseed so they can cultivate the fifty apple trees required to stake their claim on the property. But the orchard they plant sows the seeds of a long battle. James loves the apples, reminders of an easier life back in Connecticut; while Sadie prefers the applejack they make, and alcoholic refuge from brutal frontier life. . .
***************

Snow White: A Graphic Novel by Matt Phelan - I love this cover. I love the lettering and bold design, and that is clearly an apple. I haven't read a graphic novel in forever, and I liked the unusual ideas for retelling the familiar story, so I'm looking forward to this one.


The curtain rises on New York City. The dazzling lights cast shadows that grow ever darker as the glitzy prosperity of the Roaring Twenties screeches to a halt. Enter a cast of familiar characters: a young girl, Samantha White, returning after being sent away by her cruel stepmother, the Queen of the Follies, years earlier; her father, the King of Wall Street, who survives the stock market crash only to suffer a strange and sudden death; seven street urchins, brave protectors for a girl as pure as snow; and a mysterious stock ticker that holds the stepmother in its thrall, churning out ticker tape imprinted with the wicked words: "Another . . . More Beautiful . . . KILL."
***************

What are you reading this month?


Visit all the participating bloggers sometime during the month to find out their reading plans:



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 ©2006-2021 Homeschool Coffee Break. All rights reserved. All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author. http://kympossibleblog.blogspot.com/ 

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