Info

This page has info on Weekly emails, SLP’s and Portfolios.

Weekly Emails

When you enrolled with HCOS, you entered into a contract with us.  One of the agreements is that you maintain weekly contact with me.  Email is the best way to remain in contact with me – unless you are participating in the Community Connections classes!  Another great way is through a blog where you post your weekly activities, photos, videos, etc.

I am wanting to avoid facebook messaging and texting for regular communication – it just isn’t easy for me to keep track of.  However, if you have a facebook page devoted to your homeschooling, we can try that out and see how it works.  Pinterest may be able to work this way as well.

What am I looking for in an email?  Here are some ideas:

  • highlights of the week
  • struggles/challenges – how can I help with that?
  • new curricula, programs
  • learning camps, special classes, etc.
  • successes and areas that have improved

What I don’t need:

  • redundant information – it makes it more difficult for me to sort through for entering into Encom.
  • what page of a lesson your child is on – unless he/she is behind.

 

Student Learning Plans

September is the month of SLP’s!  It is a very busy month for us and we work together and plan your child’s or children’s educational plan.

The first thing I want you to keep in mind is that this is a working document, NOT one set in stone.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve changed a program for any of my 3 kids mid-year simply because what I planned to use at the beginning of the year just wasn’t working.  However, this change needs to be noted in the SLP.  So, as soon as you switch something out to try something new, please let me know and I can change it in the SLP.

I want to make the SLP as easy and simple for you to complete as possible.  So, I have created some templates for you to edit.  Instructions and templates for each subject are below.  If you edit in Word, then I’ll be able to simply copy and paste each document into Encom.  If you use a Mac, please ensure that the program you use is compatible with a PC.

You may also wonder what the point is of an SLP – or the benefit to you.  I have found my own SLP’s quite valuable over the years.  As months go by, I tend to forget what I had planned for my kids to do.  So, I go into their SLP and see what activities and resources I had originally planned for them.  It also helps me to remember what resources I have – especially those computer files tucked away on my drive.

I also find that having an SLP keeps our school year focused and on track.

I have over 30 students to manage, so I can’t possible remember what curriculum each child is using for each subject.  I can just go and check the SLP and see what science text your family is using.

Setting goals is always a good thing.  And that is just what an SLP is – a set of goals.  Something we are working together on to accomplish.

I also find that creating my own SLP’s helps me to mentally prepare for the next school year.  I get excited about the new things my kids will learn.  It helps me transition from summer break to school mode.

Yes, SLPs can be tedious, but they are worth the work!

 

If your child will be receiving support from Learning Services this year, that will need to be included in your SLP.

**A Note For Online Courses:

Grades 5-9 students are able to take Online courses with a different teacher.  If your child is taking an Online course, I do NOT need an SLP for that particular course.  Please, make the decision to have your child complete an online course with a lot of prayer and consideration of your child’s ability to work.  Over the years, I’ve had to deal with students who were not able to keep up with the workload of an online course.  My daughter has been taking English online for a few years now and while the assignments were rigorous, they were very beneficial for her.  Online courses are a lot of work.  If you do decide to have your child take an online course, please inform me AND the online teacher of any problems immediately.  It is too easy for time to pass and then your child will struggle to keep up with assignments.

 

Portfolios

As a team member of HCOS, you are required to submit 3 FULL portfolios over the year.  Here are the due dates for each portfolio.  Please mark them on your calendar!

Portfolio 1: November 15th

Portfolio 2: February 15th

Portfolio 3: June 15th

Christmas break is my time to rest and focus on my family.  Ensuring that your portfolio is submitted by the end of November means that I can get your child’s report card done well before Christmas holidays.

I plan to take summer break beginning July 1.  That means my goal for finishing report cards is June 30.  Please ensure that all documentation is in to me by June 15th so I have enough time to complete reports.

Extensions can be given in extenuating circumstances, but please ensure you are in communication with me about this!

There are so many different ways to show me what your kids have been learning – and hopefully get your kids to interact with me more often!

Here is a portfolio-planner you may use to help keep things organized for yourself.  This will also come in handy if we meet together or on Zoom – in the moment, it can be hard to remember what samples you wanted me to see.  Find 3 portfolio planning checklists here for you to use.

Some ideas to show learning and submitting samples:

  • email – we already know this one.  But your kids are more than welcome to send me emails – I LOVE it when they do!  But please limit photos and videos through email since the school’s server is only so big and with all the teachers and staff on it, it quickly becomes full if sending too many large emails.
  • blogs – older kids might enjoy this themselves.  They can give me samples of their writing through blog entries, upload pictures, videos, files, etc.  Blogs are easy to set up and use.
  • Zoom – video conferencing and you can upload docs and photos.
  • FreshGrade – upload docs and photos.  Add comments.
  • facebook!!  I have had a few students/parents ‘friend’ me on fb and share pictures and files very conveniently here.  Let’s teach kids how to use the social media in a God glorifying way.  But please use messenger (and texts) sparingly.
  • Pinterest!  Invite me to follow your boards!  One family used this method and it worked out well.  Simply upload photos to your boards and I can easily view them and add the info to Encom.
  • PowerPoint – these are GREAT for sharing learning.
  • Home visits – a great way to share everything with me!  Make sure you schedule them in during portfolio time.
  • Microsoft Onedrive  This is such an easy way to share files!!
  • Dropbox – another way to share files.

What to submit (not an exhaustive list, but one that will be helpful):

Math:

  • Tests, quizzes
  • worksheets
  • photos of games being played
  • video of working through a problem
  • photo using real-life math
  • Teaching Textbooks – snapshot of gradebook

Language Arts

  • log of books read once a year
  • audio/video of child reading – or use recording on reading A-Z (online – ask me about this)
  • journal entries
  • grammar worksheets – a couple for the year is fine.  I find I get a better idea of grammar skills in written work.
  • spelling – PLEASE – limit this to one per portfolio – or LESS!  Again, I get a good feel for your child’s spelling skills in their written work.
  • novel study assignments
  • written compositions – a good variety throughout the year is nice.
  • art work from story
  • narration

Science

  • experiment write-ups and logs
  • research paper
  • nature journal
  • diagrams
  • tests, quizzes
  • lesson questions
  • photos/video of conducting experiments

Social Studies

  • research paper
  • mapwork
  • tests, quizzes
  • chapter questions
  • projects completed – photos if projects are large
  • powerpoint presentations
  • summaries

Non-core subjects

  • photos
  • PE log
  • certificates or notes from instructors
  • tests, quizzes
  • worksheets
  • videos of projects – drama, art, dance, Scripture memorization, etc
  • anecdotal notes