Change of Plans in Homeschool

I love that I CAN have a change of plans in homeschool, either after much pondering, or on a whim and of a sudden. I have no need to contact a teacher, a principle, a common core standards creator or implementor or any government leader. Yesterday  was nauseous and vomiting. By mid-day, I was fairly sure it was a virus. By evening when my husband started vomiting, I knew for sure it was a virus. However, from 5 am until 10 am, I suspected it was because of anxiety over political things, things about the future of our nation and homeschooling. 

     One thing that came of it was a journal entry about how I need to make homeschooling easier on me and on the kids. The big thing I decided was that my child will not be taking any tests for college credit this year. Possibly, she will not next year, either. I am glad there are people who homeschool who can do that kind of thing and I am glad to know about the option t get college credit while a child is young. However, it is not for us right now. Still, we will learn the things about history because the DVDs and books about ancient world history I bought are great. The childrens’ fun “interactive notebook” (lapbook) and Power Point Presentations Bundle from a Teacher’s Pay Teachers store are also great. I will use them. The difference will be in my anxiety level and the anxiety level of my child. We will do it more slowly, more casually and more enjoyably! We will do it at our own pace with no pressure or worry. We will be enabled to enjoy the journey more.

     Another thing that came of it was a decision to write down one or just a few things, to focus on for each child in our homeschool. That is pretty much what we do at the beginning of the summer and I like it. I focus on their biggest needs and do not worry about anything else. They do a lot of teaching themselves based upon their interests, either intense or “on a whim.” I have come to see that the latter is how they learn more and learn more intensely.

     Recently, for example, my son learned Power Point from his cousin, so yesterday, he got on the computer and made something in Power Point. He really is doing things he could d better in Photoshop, so I need to teach him Photoshop! My daughters learned more about sculpture by making sculptures. She wanted to sell them on Etsy but I told her that making ten good sculptures and submitting slides to galleries will be a better way to go. She seemed upset, but I told her she could sell her sculptures for more that way. I also told her I did not learn that until I was thirty years old, so she is blessed to know it sooner. That is fodder not taught when you get a Bachelor of Art Degree in Visual Arts. It should be. One of my children has also been working much on learning to follow recipes and is having much learning happen there. Another really wants to learn many things but I have been too worried about other things to get to any of it nad help him. 

     I am still going to keep my rules for them, which rules regard television and technology, which I have listed in another post at length. I do not believe in having kids do whatever they want all day. I do believe in telling them they must be doing learning, housework, yardwork or doing something productive. I consider much play to be productive, too, which is crazy. I think they will understand Physics when we watch the physics DVDs and read the physics books I have on my amazon wish list, better after all of the playing they have done this past week. They learned much about gravity, acceleration and safety hazzards after their recent intense play as a group of siblings. I also taught them a lesson about wisdom and discussed with them how I was a child like them once and did learn by getting injured, just like them. I told them that people who have more years on them were always once children and that much of what they tell you, such as not to do this or that because they could get hurt, comes from learning that happened in their childhoods.

     I am eager today and tomorrow to learn, without throwing up, from the leaders, apostles and Prophet of God in the General Confence of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I hope everyone is healthy today. I am grateful I am not throwing up!

Relax, Homeschool Lesson-Planning-Obsessed SuperMom!

     Last night I was so upset and worried because our “REA GUIDE to CLEP Western Civilizations I” book was missing. I have been using it to plan how and what to teach my daughter for Homeschooling Early College in Homeschool High School (9th grade). I told my husband last night, “I am so messed up!” He asked why and I replied, “The Western Civilizations I is missing, and it is my latest obsession to work on that for homeschool. I do not know what to do with myself!” This was at 8 p.m. He said, “Find a new obsession, then.” 

     Honestly, I cannot relax even at 8 p.m.? I resolve to relax after 7:30 p.m. every night. If nothing else, it will help me re-charge for the next day and be forced to enjoy my children instead of worrying about homeschool.

     I found the book in the van this morning. Whew. I had said many prayers. I know Heavenly Father was probably trying to tell me to relax, but it was not happening. I have a hard time relaxing. I am obsessed with lesson planning. I am always lesson planning. 

     I found this article in my E-mail box this morning. It was great. A Post About Relaxing Your Supermom Obsessions

Quick DSST Tip Video

I have been looking at videos about CLEP and DSST prep. Here is a good one. It is quick. This will help my homeschooled kids get college credit by exam for Weber State University. Please enjoy. It is about 2 minutes long, tops.

DSST Tip with simple strategy.

Weber State University General Associates Degree Using Many CLEP & DSST Exams

Weber WSU General Associates with CLEP and DSST Exams (Download entire document for free here)

Weber WSU General Associates with CLEP and DSST Exams_Page_1

Page 1 of the Document: Weber State University Associates Degree Guide for Homeschoolers 9th-12th Grades (Early College for Homeschoolers in Northern Utah)

Weber State University Credit by Exam

I hope these links help you to give your local Utah homeschooling kids an edge on life. You will be homeschooling college! That is just as normal as putting your public schooled high schooler in a concurrent enrollment or early college class at their high school. It is not weird. They do it. Why shouldn’t homeschoolers also do it? Here are some links you will need about Credits by Exam (for anyone, but especially for Homeschoolers) from Weber State University in Ogden, Utah:

General Requirements at Weber State University (requirements for every degree)

Questions about Generals at Weber State University

General Questions about Degrees at Weber State University

CLEP Tests Accepted by Weber State University (and what each gives credit for)

DSST (Dantes) Exams Weber State Gives Credit For (and which credits you will get for them)

DSST Testing Center Guidelines

CLEP Testing Center Guidelines WSU

WSU Testing Centers (click tabs to get to each testing center)

GED testing center guidelines WSU  — (In case you want to do that, too)

Video: Weber State University: How Our Testing Centers Operate

CLEP Official Study Guide at Amazon.com

DSST Principles of Public Speaking Exam Wise Owl Study Guide, Amazon.com

WSU Public Speaking HU 1020 book I bought

Info. on WSU Bookstore, where you could also get study books for the exams

CLEP Western Civilizations I Exam Study Guide by REA at Amazon.com

“The Great Courses: Foundations of Western Civilization I” (Search at Amazon.com)

I bought Parts 1-3 for $30 used. I am using this to teach my kids and help them prepare for the CLEP Western Civilizations I Exam.

The Great Courses: The Foundations of Western Civilization This is the same DVD from the creators’ website.

You can find study guides for any CLEP or DSST test at Amazon.com or wherever you buy books. (I buy them at Amazon.com).

Weber State University Credit by Exam

Homeschool Early College / Concurrent Enrollment at Weber State University

G.E.D.: 10 College Credits? Really!? That’s Great!

00195-037-2017-CLEP-Official-Study-Guide-Cvr.indd

DSST image

 

Utah Relaxed Homeschool High School 9th Grade Battle Plan

“Relaxed Homeschool” means sort of halfway between “Unschooling” style and “School at Home” style. I am aware that a marriage between the two styles is impossible. However, my personality makes it work. Sometimes, we go weeks on unschooling style alone. Then I get steam and may have an hour, a few hours or a couple days of “School at Home” style academic stuff. I am not going to tell you that the latter is the most academic, learning-productive, rigorous or challenging. Surprisingly, the former is. I just cannot keep up with it fully as it is a lot of work for the mama. That is why sometimes, I take a break from the rigors of “unschooling” and do some “school at home” style.

I plan to have my child focus on the following for homeschool 9th grade Homeschool High School Early College & College Preparation. Please do not think I will do any of this with my child on a set schedule or routine. We do not work that way here. The exceptions are the following, which are at certain set days and times: Northern Utah Wildlife Rehabilitation Center volunteering, LDS Seminary, Intermediate Speech & Debate, swim lessons, swimteam and sports recreation leagues. The rest are just done throughout the year whenever I feel like they should be done or whenever my child does them.

If you are locals and you drop in on a family at home doing things that look nothing like school, don’t be shocked. It is normal for us. Perhaps we are learning through play. Perhaps we are cleaning the house. Guaranteed, the more rigorous, more challenging, uncontrolled, unassigned, unmanaged “unschooling” learning is occuring. If you drop by and we are not home, then perhaps I am a chauffer to LDS Seminary, swim lessons or swimteam, local sports recreation leagues, Intermediate Speech & Debate  or volunteering with my kids at the NUWRC. Perhaps we are just hanging out with friends, on a picnic, on a field trip, shopping or running errands.

  • TABE Test Prep Level A: Score high on home-administered, correctly timed Tabe A practice tests. In Utah, passing TABE  level A in all 4 areas is required to take the GED test. A person must be age 16 to take this test. They must have a letter of withdrawal from the latest district school attended, on official letterhead if possible, signed by the school principle and secretary, stating when the child withdrew from school. Before the TABE there is a “Locator test” which is 37 minutes long. The Locator Test determines which level TABE test the student should use in each area. There are 5 levels of TABE tests. A= Advanced, 9-12 grades; D= Difficult, 6-8 grades; M= Medium, 4-5 grades; E= Easy, 2-3 grades; L= Literacy, 1st grade and/or non-reader. A person scoring 9.0 in Math is at the A, Advanced, 9th grade level in Math. A person will take 4 different level TABE tests to create one full TABE package. The TABE tests are in the following subjects: Reading, 50 min., 50 Q’s; Math I, 24 min., 40 Q’s; Math II, 50 min., 50 Q’s; Language, 55 min., 55 Q’s.
  • GED Test Prep: Score high on home-administered, correctly timed practice tests. A person must be 16 to take this test and in Utah, must take the TABE to qualify to take this test.
  • ACT English Section Preparation. A composite score of 21 on the ACT is required to be admitted to Weber State University when there are not 30 CLEP and DSST credits. (GED not required to be admitted into Weber State or to take CLEP or DSST exams).
  • World Civilizations I CLEP test prep. Take test at Weber State University when ready ($90). Passing the test gives the student 3 Social Science credits and replaces the History of the Western World I class at the University.
  • DSST Principles of Public Speaking test prep.  Take test at Weber State University when ready ($90). Passing the test gives the student 3 Humanities credits and it replaces Communications 1020: Public Speaking, at the University. This test has a speech portion, wherein the student gives a speech either to judges present or recorded on video and shown later to judges; and a written exam portion. Each section is given 50% of the test value.
  • Rosetta Stone Spanish Levels I & II
  • LDS Seminary
  • Volunteer at (NUWRC) Northern Utah Wildlife Rehabilitation Center approximately 3 hrs./ wk.
  • Intermediate Speech & Debate (This is a class we registered for, taught to a class of 15 homeschoolers by a really great local Speech & Debate Teacher).
  • At age 15, get a learner’s permit and practice driving in remote areas where no cars or pedestrians are present
  • Career and College Major/ Minor Planning and Research
  • Life School LDS Homeschool Curriculum Year 1, Parts 2 and 3 with the family, top level
  • Math: TABE, GED, ACT study & practice tests
  • Math assigned by me from themathworksheetsite.com, workbooks and textbooks I have in our homeschool library
  • Do Math in your head & everyday life math practice and learning
  • Math DVD series: Complete Basic Math & Pre-Algebra
  • Chemistry 101 DVD and workbook/ assignments
  • Complete the “Cover Story” Creative Writing DVD with lesson books series 
  • Various U.S. History DVD’s
  • Read 2 of the U.S. or World History books on my list
  • MyGeography app–100% on all exams
  • 2 countries research reports
  • 1 U.S. state or region research report
  • 1 State of Utah or 1 county in Utah research report
  • Literature: reading of 4 classic novels
  • Swim lessons pass level 5 and swim with swimteam
  • Softball with city league
  • Attend a play at the Shakespearean Festival with Grandma V.
  • Piano Lessons: complete Primer Level & Level I
  • Sewing Lessons from Grandma K.
  • Gardening
  • Cooking, Nutrition, Menu Planning, Shopping
  • Home Canning, Food Storage
  • Budgeting, personal finance
  • Attend church dances
  • Singing: church choir, family devotionals

Homeschool Early College / Concurrent Enrollment at Weber State University

Early College / Concurrent Enrollment at Weber State University is only done one way. I discovered this with much research. I know they have even a link on their Early College page for you to watch a video FOR HOMESCHOOLERS about early college, but this is the catch. 

Your HOMESCHOOLER must (o.k., sorry, I have to tell you I am laughing out loud as I type now)—

Your homeschooler must take the early college or concurrent enrollment classes from a high school.

I don’t know–Maybe some of you really do not “get” it because you think that being enrolled in a high school is a normal part of homeschooling, but I just do not see it that way. In my opinion, that means you are dual enrolled (enrolled in high school and homeschool high school at the same time).

I am not a dual-enrolling homeschool mom. I do not want my kids in the public high schools at all, so this whole idea just makes me laugh so much!

O.k., but there is a way for your child to get an Associates Degree in General Studies from 9th to 11th grade at home and then attending 2 full time semesters at Weber State their senior year (12th grade). When they Weber State, they will not be in the “Early College” program nor in the “Concurrent Enrollment” program. They will be full-fledged, full-on college students. When they do the work (mostly) from home in 9th to 11th grades, they will be full-on, full-time homeschooling kids. 

How is this? This is done by a few very time-consuming but money-saving steps:

1) Figure out by learning about your child and talking with your child, what his or her interests are. Figure out which degree program would work best for your child (I am talking Bachelor’s Degree). Don’t worry about the costs or your child’s age at this time. Don’t worry about admissions just now, either. Pretend your child is 18 and admitted, for now. Just figure out the degree thing right now. There are career interest tests online that are free. Google them.

2) Figure out what are the requirements your child will have to meet. I am referring to the “GENERALS” or general requirements. There are choices, such as which life science to take, but you will see in another step, I will narrow your choices a lot more. Sorry! It will save money (maybe $25,000 to 30,000 dollars). If you have tons of money, then, by all means, just don’t heed this post at all–Go with the CHOICES because you can afford to.

3) Search on weber.edu for the CLEP list and the DSST list. Print the lists. You need them. These are lists of $90 tests your child can take to gain 3 credit hours per test. Normally, 3 credit hours at Weber State would cost you and your child $500 or more per credit hour ($1500). I say $90 instrad of $80 because there is a test proctor fee. (I am guessing it is ballpark $10, but I really don’t know).

4) Figure out which requirements for Associates (and which will be able to help toward Bachelors, too) can be fulfilled by the CLEP and DSST tests. 

5) This one will be very time-consuming. Figure out the whole Associates (every class) and the whole Bachelors. This will require asking your child about some preferences, reading the class descriptions to him or her. This, for me, took a lot of searching, researching, printing requirements and phone calls to Weber State. I copied and pasted class numbers, titles and descriptions, pasted them into a plain text file and edited them. If you did not know, I am a Graphic Designer, so then I used InDesign and made it look really spiffy. lol. I am sure you can make it look pretty good in Word if you are not a graphic designer. Don’t feel bad if not. You have important and awesome talents, too.

6) This step took repeat tries to work it until I felt it was at the pinnacle of perfection from my point of view. I had to get it to where it was realistic to the unschooling-ish lazy style we have around this house. What I mean by this is, I did not want to rush in a study plan for any of these tests.

I do not have it in front of me, but I believe that I wrote something like this down.:

  • General Math and Pre-Algebra
  • Chemistry 101 homeschooling DVD and the work that goes with it
  • “Cover Story” DVD series (English Language Arts)
  • various illustrated and fun (made for kids aged 9-15) books about the Western Civilization I test time periods
  • CLEP Western Civilizations I Test Prep book
  • DSST Principles of Public Speaking test prep book

With the taking of the tests after studying for a while, one could get 6 college credits.

Hope is not an evil but a good thing. This is the only way to do the the “Early College” program at Weber State University as a full-time homeschooled child. Granted the books, workbooks, textbooks and DVDs do cost money. Homeschooling IS still cheaper, though. I maintain that claim. (Read my post about that.) It is also cheaper to homeschool college near unto full Associates Degree. You can do it! I believe in you!

Your child’s Associates Degree will be your child’s official High School Transcript (9th -12th Grade) from an accredited school (yeah, a University.–Beat that!) If your reason for not wanting to do it this way (LDS followers) is that you want BYU (Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah) for your child, don’t fret. This will be an impressive, knockout High School diploma to show BYU. Then you will just have your child start at BYU as, guess what—an incoming freshman. (Sorry, but, hey, on the bright side, this child could be an incoming BYU freshman with a job that pays better because of the Associates Degree).  Your child will likely get a great scholarship also, to help you with the expense of BYU.

Anyway, check this out. BONUS! If your child graduates with his or her Associates Degree from a Utah Higher Education School listed by the time he or she would have normally graduated from High School, your child comes closer to qualifying for the New Century Scholarship. The Universities listed are the 7 big Universities in Utah and one College (Westminster). There are a few other details (such as University GPA, # of credits taken in a certain semester with a different certain GPA and a 26 composite on the ACT by June 15 of the High School graduation year). This will save you even more money if your child gets that scholarship. Not only that, but doing this will likely help your child qualify for even more scholarships on top of that one!