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Formally tracking time - does it get less overwhelming? - Page 2

post #21 of 28

I dont think anyone was dismissing your question but trying to help you not be so worried about the details that most likely are not needed.  


Tone is missing on forums for sure...I didnt see a negative tone in any of the posts. 

post #22 of 28
Originally Posted by SweetSilver View Post

I have a hard time believing that the superintendent is going to read what happens in each of the 900 hours for every homeschooled child in his district.

I'm quoting my own post to reassure you that I, for one, was simply trying to put things in perspective.  In our state, WA, we have a statewide homeschooling organization that helps with things like things.  They can connect you with parents who have already gone through the process.  Home Education magazine has homeschooling laws for every state and organizations for each one (it's been a while since I've been on their website.)


I don't mean to be dismissive when I say that I'm sure the super expects that parents won't quite get the first year perfectly.  Be genuine.  I don't think your ability to homeschool be compromised right out of the starting gate.  Even parents with degrees piled one on top of another would quail at some of the educationese in teacher-prepared curriculums and records.  I imagine that the super will be helpful if you need to be more thorough but likes what he sees otherwise.  But then, I don't know.  That is why you need to contact your local HS org.


post #23 of 28

Oh dear, I wasn't dismissing your questions. They're very common, in my experience: most parents logging hours have tons of questions about what "counts" and how to make it a simple process. As I said, I've been there -- and have found my peace with it. I've tried to give you lots of ideas for things that "count," and why they should count, and how easy they are to count. I just think you're making it too complicated, entertaining too many "devil's advocate" thoughts. You asked if logging hours gets easier. It will, definitely! But mostly by dropping a lot of the analytical, comparative, second-guessing, letter-of-the-law stuff and honing in on the spirit or purpose of the regulations. The supervisor will want reassurance that you are providing a reasonably robust and appropriate educational experience for your child. That's it. He won't care whether you were lecturing your dd for a portion of every half-hour farm visit. He has certain administrative parameters defined by the state that need to be ticked off, but even the most mainstream school official will understand that learning encompasses times that are devoid of direct top-down instruction. 



post #24 of 28

I double checked.  They list "support groups" for Mass.  

post #25 of 28

I looked up the MA homeschooling law on the HSDLA website and good news:



Required days of instruction:  None required, but school districts will use the public school’s 
required number of days and hours of instruction time for purposes 
of comparison, i.e., 180 days; 900 hours at the elementary level and 
990 hours at the secondary level. 
You CAN count by days - and that is enormously easier.  I recommend you consider doing that instead.  :)  A simple log like: 
Monday Sept 12 2010
We did Math Reading Science and Phys. Ed.
should suffice.  Well - at least it does in PA.  It's hard to believe but yes; it is that easy.  Good luck!
post #26 of 28

I don't really log anymore with DD.  I can certainly come up with something if I needed to (in this state, we don't need to.)  I remember that my first year I was so worried about doing it 'right' that we were very much 'school at home' more than homeschool oriented.  


My solution- simply to call up the superintendent for a chat about what we were doing, and what he thought might need to be tweaked.  He was pretty open to my approach.  He did suggest adding in a couple more portfolio building exercises, but agreed that it was largely CYA stuff that wouldn't have much impact on the education as a whole. I do strive for two 'projects' each week that go into a file.  Sometimes those are book reports, occasionally they are math reviews, other times they may be artwork or science projects... With a really young child, I would expect a lot of art, and only a little academic content.  I would also include photos taken during hands on activities as some of those portfolio items.  Homeschool does not HAVE to look like school to 'count'.  Sure, it can, but it doesn't need to.  

post #27 of 28

We are in Mass too and I'm here to tell you that you're overthinking the whole logging of hours thing.  I always write on our homeschooling ed plan something to the effect of "We homeschool year round [this is true] and thus the hours of education easily exceed the 900 hours required by the State of Massachusetts."  If you keep any kind of log or decent portfolio, very few districts will call you on it or ask for a minute-by-minute breakdown--and, in fact, asking for a minute-by-minute breakdown would be exceeding their mien if you can provide a portfolio that shows your child is up to grade level.


Also, keep in mind that gym (phys ed) is part of those 900 hours, and that exercise=gym.  At the VERY least, you can count those weekly farm trips as gym.  And honestly, for a six year old, I'd be counting any farm trip as ecology/science on top of that.  Schools count field trips as educational hours, so shouldn't you?


An easier way to log hours is to "post-plan" instead of pre-plan.  At the end of the week, sit down and think about everything (whether overtly schooly or not) your child did.  Then write it all down using "educationese" wording.  When your kid is a little older and can read and write, she can even do this herself.  For instance, here's what my 13yo recorded for last week.  Note that only the math book is actual "curriculum"--the rest was just stuff she happened to do/learn and thought to write down after the fact.


Life of Fred: Pre-Algebra II – pages 14-21.
Karate class: 1 hour.
Watched Modern Marvels: The Telephone (documentary).
Learned about: astrological signs, gerrymandering, alternative voting.
Dance team practice: 2.5 hours.
Community volunteer work: 6 hours.
Vocabulary: Latin roots for “celestial” and “lunar”.
Learned a French phrase.


You do that every week, and at the end of the year submit the entire loooooooooong list to the school, I guarantee their eyes will bug out after about the tenth entry and they'll stamp their approval on your letter of intent.  You are underestimating when and what your child is learning, and overestimating the school district's interest in the minutiae of your homeschooling schedule.  Trust me.

post #28 of 28

Yes, a whole-hearted endorsement of the "post-plan." For us, this works better with near-daily writing down something, at least a few chicken tracks, and then cobbling it all together at the end of the month. I can't tell you how often I think, "Oh, this is going to be rough," if it feels like a light month, only to realize how much we have actually done when I glance back through my notes.


It also helps me to periodically skim through the standards so I have a feel for what is being sought--things like alphabetizing do come up spontaneously for us, but I wouldn't necessarily think to note them down if I weren't mindful of what formal topics are out there. 



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