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*sigh* - reporting time again

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

Hi there have been SO MANY interesting conversations going on here and I haven't even had time to read through all of them let alone respond, even though I was practically jumping to do so!  

 

Anyway ... in the interests of not panicking come May when we have to report to our County, I am trying to figure out how to show evidence of our work in a few areas.

 

Math - dd loves math and does it all the time - of late she's been doing Khan Academy on line ad I am not sure if there is anyway to get a written report (printout) from that site.  They provide all kinds of data on what you've done that day / week etc but I could not even copy and past the "daily activity report."

 

 

Reading / writing - dd reads nonstop but has been resistance to the kinds of writing exercises the County Reviewer suggested last year like, "why do you think this character likes x" or  "how did this character face this problem, what would you do ... " or "what would have happened differently if she decided to do y..."  any such suggestion shuts her down.

 

Yet we have to document that she "thinks" and "comprehends" not only "reads"

 

In fact while reading aloud we have discussions on almost every page - everything makes her think about something.  Any tips on writing exercises that might be more interesting and capture what is already going on in her mind?

post #2 of 14

Must she write about her reading?  Could she draw a picture about a key scene?  Make a diorama (which you could photograph for the reviewer)?  Maybe you could keep a diary of field trip and activity ideas you guys get from your reading, and make scrapbook pages of the activities you actually do, or pretend scrapbook pages of some of the stuff you can't really do?  When kids do this stuff in school, it's considered wonderfully creative, right?

 

For the math, I'd make my own summary of her work on Khan.  Probably something like a list of the subjects which she has "passed" and an estimate of how many hours a week she devotes to it (if the number is more than @2 1/2, and less than @6-- I think outside that range might raise eyebrows, so I'd leave it out.)  Or: have you tried capturing a screenshot of the reports?  How to do it depends on your operating system: here's a link to how to do it on a windows machine: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/173884

 

Just some ideas.  If my kids had been expected to produce writing to prove reading comprehension at that age, it would not have gone well.  I always assumed that the only reason schools did that was because it's impractical to have the teacher sit and talk with every kid.  Actually the whole need to confirm that kids understand what they read is a product of an environment where kids are told what to read. Otherwise, kids would naturally migrate to the level of books they can understand.  (Sore subject with me, we have a teacher in the family who is CONVINCED that my kids don't actually comprehend the books they read, so she's always buying them stuff that much too easy).


Edited by onatightrope - 1/25/12 at 6:30am
post #3 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by rumi View Post

Yet we have to document that she "thinks" and "comprehends" not only "reads"


Then you should be able to type up her thoughts (take dictation) rather than have her physically write something.  Just a matter of being at a computer while she is talking about a book. Not ideal for regular bedtime reading and conversation but it shouldn't be too difficult to do a couple of times. If they want handwriting samples, it could be something simpler like a letter. Kids who find writing difficult sometimes dumb down their written language, figure out how to write something with as few letters as possible so they use simpler language and explain things less fully. So we keep handwriting and composition separate since ds hates handwriting. My ds's writing (composition) samples are always stories he dictates while I type.

 

With the math, can you do something called taking a screenshot? I know dh and ds do that with some things but I don't personally have any experience with it.  This website might be helpful: http://take-a-screenshot.org/

 

post #4 of 14

For math could you take a screen shot of the page that shows what she has done and print that out?

post #5 of 14

For comprehension, while I am not exactly a cheerleader of multiple choice tests, maybe this will be a painless way to meet the requirement.

 

You give her something to read and then hand her a 5 question multiple choice test that you made up yourself. Voila. Comprehension.

post #6 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by laohaire 

 

You give her something to read and then hand her a 5 question multiple choice test that you made up yourself. Voila. Comprehension.

That's how the standardized tests do it, after all!
 

 

post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 

Thank you ladies, I did screen print.   Easier done than said!

 

Now on to writing ... I hope they don't mind typed out stuff...

post #8 of 14

For language arts (what schools call reading) I use Edhelper.com  I actually bought the $20 or whatever annual membership this year (2012).  I print out the book tests for DS. He is older than you DD and I need something to start creating a transcript for him.  Edhelper has writing prompts as well.  DS has taken to the new format quite well- which is good because he doesn't have much of a choice  LOL.

 

There is also this site http://www.bookadventure.com/Home.aspx  which has some reading 'quizzes'.  I have not used it but several other families I know do.

post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 

Any ideas for quick ways to maintain a reading log?

post #10 of 14

Quote:
Originally Posted by rumi View Post

Any ideas for quick ways to maintain a reading log?

 

Put a text file on your desktop and add the names of books that have been every week or two? That's how I've done it in the past, when I've bothered. Takes just a few seconds a week.

 

My 9yo now maintains her own reading log at Goodreads.com, but that's because she enjoys the other benefits of the site (reviews, suggestions, etc.). It's not nearly as quick as just keeping a text file, and would only work if you or your dd enjoyed spending time at the site.

 

We report to an umbrella program that is supportive of unschooling. For reading comprehension I just report anecdotally about discussions I've had naturally with my dd about what she has read. I'll mention how she predicted a plot twist, or commented on a thematic similarity with another book, or her explanation of what she particularly liked about a character or story line. These are little anecdotes I "harvest" throughout the term and jot down, since I know they're evidence of the sort our homeschooling liaison teacher likes to be able to check off on his little list. I much prefer to make an effort at diligent documentation of natural learning throughout the term, since it means I'm not stressed at the end of term trying to squeeze evidence out of my child. It works for most subject areas for us.

 

Miranda

post #11 of 14

You could also just print the page or save the pages to your computer and print at a later date if you needed to do it all at once, like at a library, or send the saved webpage data via email.

post #12 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by rumi View Post

Any ideas for quick ways to maintain a reading log?



If most of the reading material is from libraries, and your library gives you a receipt that includes titles (mine does), you can just save them until you feel like typing up a list.  But I just do what Miranda said and type up what I remember ds reading every so often on TextEdit which seems to be a basic word processing that happens to be on my computer. 

post #13 of 14

Putting thoughts on paper can be a difficult skill for many children. Although they may be able to verbalize what they think, writing it down does not always come as easily. For reading comprehension-

 

1. Writing a letter to the author that includes comments and questions about the work can show comprehension.

 

2. Writing an alternate ending to a story can be fun. You could read The True Story of the Three Little Pigs by Lane Smith as an example. Then read another fairy tale and come up with a new ending.

 

3. Have you ever tried making a buddy journal? You and your DD pick a book to read separately (maybe a chapter book). After a certain number of pages (maybe after each chapter) you write in a common journal. For example, you might start the journal while reading Charlotte's Web. You would date your entry and specify the pages covered. Then you would write something like... "I have never really liked spiders but I do like Charlotte. She is a good friend to Wilbur. The way E.B. White describes her makes her sound beautiful, not creepy. I liked when White said _________ (quote and note the page number). I had never thought about spiders that way before. What do you think Charlotte will write in her web next?" You'd probably want to add another question or two.

 

Next your daughter writes in the journal about what she read. She should respond to your questions and talk about the text. As you do this you can model  descriptions, predictions, inferences, making self-to-text connections, text-to-text connections, and text-to-world connections. Eventually (and with prodding questions) your daughter will be able to express her thoughts in writing at a higher level. 

 

 

Hope this helps! Good luck!

post #14 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4evermom View Post



If most of the reading material is from libraries, and your library gives you a receipt that includes titles (mine does), you can just save them until you feel like typing up a list.  But I just do what Miranda said and type up what I remember ds reading every so often on TextEdit which seems to be a basic word processing that happens to be on my computer. 



My library actually keeps a log of everything we check out, that I can access online.

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