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AK homeschoolers-Allotment!

post #1 of 52
Thread Starter 
This is my first year getting the allotment. I'm stoked! :

How do you use yours? Aside from standard curriculum and classes(art, music, gymnastics etc) what do you spend it on? How have you creatively spent it?
post #2 of 52
lots of art and science projects!
post #3 of 52
also german by rosetta stone
post #4 of 52
We buy a lot of books with it. Twindly has a book fair at least twice a year and we can have the cost of books taken right out of our allotments. We bought a bunch of stuff at Learning Essentials in Wasilla last year -- games, art stuff, etc. This year we bought a computer with Aiden's allotment. I don't have to really buy any curriculum for either kid, so am not sure how I'm using the money this year. I am hoping they can do swimming lessons with it, but I have to look into that one.
post #5 of 52
Thread Starter 
Cool! Do any of you purchase *toys*? Marble runs, Legos, board games? If so, do you get any flack for doing so? Is it easy to justify the use of these items?
post #6 of 52
We have tons of homeschoolers that use part of theirs on our programs (science), which are almost always organized through your HS office (Idea, Twindly, CSS, etc.)
post #7 of 52
I'm sure she'll respond herself but I know spruce has gotten legos and thing with it with I believe no problem...
post #8 of 52
I didn't get any toys with it last year because I didn't really have the money left to do so by the time I did Aiden's stuff out of Autumn's allotment (he was considered preschooler last year). I know you can get certain toys no problem, though. I was going to buy some Legos at Learning Essentials, but they were out of the regular ones and only had Duplos, which I didn't want.
post #9 of 52
we got toys (counting animals, board games, etc...)
post #10 of 52
We've filled up on Legos, K'Nex, etc. There are some awesome K'Nex sets for learning about how different machines work, and they come with instructions, worksheets, etc.

Elliot got underwater Legos, Mars Mission Legos, and Castle/Knight Legos with his allotment. We studied all those things.

We buy lots of science and art stuff, pay for our sports, and spend a lot at the bookstores. Tons of pencils, good desk supplies (for some reason, we had a heck of a time finding a decent stapler for YEARS!), boxes of printer paper, ink for the printer, etc.

Books on CD, that's another big hit. Some computer stuff, like a typing tutorial, etc.

Muzzy German. Rosetta Stone Latin.

love, p
post #11 of 52
If you write up a quick paragraph, or put that your history or LA studies include things like knights, you can buy puppets, a puppet theatre, costumes, face paint, etc. We've done that, and the kids get a TON of use out of their puppets and costumes.

Other parents have had issues getting stuff passed through (usually the teacher just wants a quick jot of what class it's for--like rocket kits for science, dress-up for history, etc).

We also turn in receipts for things like the four boxes of corn starch I bought for doing different experiments, huge bags of epsom salts, borax, etc.

A good way to ask yourself if it will be acceptable use of your allotment is to picture a K or 1st grade classroom. Do they have that stuff? They have Legos, costumes, blocks, puppets, even train sets. If you can figure a way to tie it in (blocks are math, puppets are history or LA, costumes are history, LA, even science, Legos and K'Nex are science, etc), then it should be acceptable.


If it ties to anything in your curriculum, run with it!

love, penelope
post #12 of 52
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the info penelope. I get how to fit Legos and much of the stuff you mentioned into a curriculum. Like my boys are into construction vehicles and dinosaurs and it is easy to fit that stuff into science, LA, history etc.

What about a play kitchen? I'd like to get them one and honestly I am not sure how I can involve it into my ILP. I was thinking about sorting food, counting etc but that seems like a long shot. I wish *pretend play* could be a part of our ILP. Certainly, kindergarten classroms in public schools have play kitchens. Are they used for learning or simply as something to enjoy in an imaginative way?
post #13 of 52
I know that IDEA specifically says that the allotment can't be spent on kitchen supplies. I'm kinda bummed about that too. I think there are a lot of lessons to be learned in the kitchen. I imagine it's the state that imposes that restriction though.. I doubt it's IDEA's choice.
post #14 of 52
Could you write a quick paragraph explaining that you're studying health and nutrition as part of your science curriculum, and that the play food and equipment is for that purpose? (It's what I would do...but we've bought play wooden food w/ funds in the past and nobody has questioned it, just like they didn't question the puzzles that teach latches, shoe tying, or buttoning).

Good luck!

love, p
post #15 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by harpyr View Post
I know that IDEA specifically says that the allotment can't be spent on kitchen supplies. I'm kinda bummed about that too. I think there are a lot of lessons to be learned in the kitchen. I imagine it's the state that imposes that restriction though.. I doubt it's IDEA's choice.
I think they mean actual kitchen supplies, not play stuff.

The reasoning for that is that lots (LOTS) of people were trying to write off things like Pampered Chef equipment, grocery lists, etc.

You can have your kid do "Home Ec" as a course, and then you just write up recipes, equipment, etc. I've bought a kitchen scale for science and it went through just fine (but I'm with Raven).

love, p
post #16 of 52
A quick BTW, from what I heard from a few other moms lately, IDEA is much more strict with things that might have a "toy" value than is Raven. So, not knowing which CS everyone is with, I can't say if your particular school will pass anything.

The best way to go about it (if you don't want pre-approval forms involved), is to write a paragraph about how you are going to use the item in a school-related manner. That frees the teacher and supervisors of any possibility of being seen as supporting frivolous purchases.

love, p
post #17 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by unfrozncavegrl View Post
Certainly, kindergarten classroms in public schools have play kitchens. Are they used for learning or simply as something to enjoy in an imaginative way?
Not anymore, unfortunately. KItchens used to be one of the most successful K centers; ie. language arts--labels, lists & oral language; math--counting, inventory; teamwork/conflict resolution; & just plain old creativity. You may still find kitchens in the K room but sadly, they're used very little.

How about a Learning Tower? YOu could bill it as a desk, etc but they are AWESOME for real kitchens. Ours is still used daily after 7 years
post #18 of 52
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the replies everyone. I will update when I figure out what to do and how it goes over.:
post #19 of 52
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BusyMommy View Post
Not anymore, unfortunately. KItchens used to be one of the most successful K centers; ie. language arts--labels, lists & oral language; math--counting, inventory; teamwork/conflict resolution; & just plain old creativity. You may still find kitchens in the K room but sadly, they're used very little.

How about a Learning Tower? YOu could bill it as a desk, etc but they are AWESOME for real kitchens. Ours is still used daily after 7 years
Wow what a great investment. I never got one because I thought they would not last very long.
post #20 of 52
When our kids were little, they seemed to live in/on/around it. Now, it still gets pulled out daily but that's b/c they like to help in the kitchen or try to steal snacks off the top of the fridge. It is advertized as a desk, fort, etc as well.

Our other investment was Stokke chairs. Boy, those are fabulous. GOt those instead of high chairs and yes, 7 years later, still in use.
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