Assessing my homeschooled children

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Assessing my homeschooled children

Assessing my homeschooled children

How do you assess your homeschooled children?
This is one of the questions I am often asked. How do you know your children are up to par with their Public/Private schooled peers. This is honestly one of the harder questions, I have found, to answer. Every family is different. Most homeschooling families I know, don’t believe in standardised testing and couldn’t point me in the right direction.

Upon many late nights staying up and researching how to assess the children’s education, I decided that my best course of action would be to have the kidlets do the Annual National Assessments (ANA), set up by the South African Department of Education.

Last week Koko completed the Grade three assessments and Fifi did the Grade one assessments for English and Mathematics. They did well considering we are following the Cambridge International curriculum.
Assessing my homeschooled children
There are a few things I picked up from the assessments that we need to work on. One aspect of the CAPS mathematics curriculum hasn’t been covered yet in the Cambridge International Grade 3 curriculum and, after going through the books we are currently working on, will be covered over the next few months. Koko also seems to forget how to do his multiplication tables, so we’ll be working harder on those from now on.

Fifi is doing remarkable well and I’m very happy with her progress. She is a perfectionist, so she tends to take longer than necessary on her work for the day. This may become a problem when she is older and her workload increases, but we are working on helping her work through that little issue and she is getting better.

They both seem to rush through reading questions and most of the incorrect answers were purely from not reading the whole question and as a result not understanding what is expected of them.

All in all, I’m very happy with their progress so far and aim to continue doing these assessments with them twice a year for the foreseeable future.

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Product Test Tuesday ~ Valentines Day No Prep First Grade Math

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product test tuesday 2015
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Erin from Royal Baloo has created this gorgeous Valentines Day themed No Prep First Grade Math pack just in time for Valentines Day and has given me the privilege of reviewing it.

The math pack consists of the following:
Number Bonds
10 More/10 Less
True or False
Spin the Time
Addition and Subtraction Word Problems
Heart Fact Families
Missing Addends
Roll, Add, Color
Roll, Subtract, Color
Decomposing Numbers
Heart Addition
Flower Subtraction
Heart Place Value
Measuring with Inches
Add or Subtract?
Greater Than/Less Than
Fractions
Addition within 20
Subtraction within 20
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Fifi absolutely L.O.V.E.S. it! With zero preparation required, just a simple click of the print button and we were rearing to go. I stapled the sheets together to keep them contained and printed a set for Koko too, to give him something different to do during his math lessons next week.
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Pop on over to Erin’s Teachers Pay Teachers Store and purchase the Valentines Day No Prep First Grade Math pack!

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Product Test Tuesday~ Gymathstics Clip Count Kit

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product test tuesday 2015
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I recently had the opportunity to review the Gymathstics Clip Counter Starter Kit and the kids love it!

Gymathstics Clip Counter Kit includes 200 inter-linking shapes and a Gymathstics work mat. The Gymathstics Clip Counter Kit provides endless learning opportunities for your child. Recommended from ages 3- 10 years. This is the perfect starter kit to introduce your child to whole new way of looking at mathematics. Each card has a parent guide at the back to spark your child’s creativity and stimulate logical thinking and problem solving skills.

Pixie (46 months old) has, kinda, hogged it and declared it her “school stuff.” It is great for teaching the different shapes, number formation and an awesome tool for fine motor control. Pixie spends ages playing with this set. At the moment we are focusing on number recognition and building, ie, 1 rectangle equals the number 1, etc. Our lessons are currently no longer than 10 minutes, as she gets bored and prefers to string all the shapes together in a long line.

Fifi (6.5 years old) loves building the shape of each number using the flash cards as a guide. These are great quiet time activities for her and keep her occupied. We have also used the shapes to “build” pictures. For example, a face with a smile using the ovals for eyes, rectangle for the nose and 3 hearts for the mouth. This is a great tool for creative play too!

All in all, I highly recommend this product for your children. It is both fun and educational and they learn without even realizing it!

****I found a gramatical and factual error while we were working through the cards, I have reported this to Gymathstics and have been assured that they have corrected the errors and will be sending me the new cards once they are available.

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What is Gymathstics®

Gymathstics® is an educational math program designed to meet each child’s individual learning style in a fun and easy way.Children learn through 3 learning styles and there are three types of learners:
Visual Learners
Auditory Learners
Kinesthetic Learners

History of the Program

The Gymathstics® Program is a new innovative and a developing concept. The Gymathstics® program was developed by a qualified educator. The classes began as a conventional math’s tuition with four learners. Through these classes she observed that they were aware of the steps involved in mathematics but experienced difficulty with mental math’s concept.

To help these learners she began using brain stimulating exercises to help them make connection between movements and remembering their mental mathematics. Within a week she saw an immediate improvement and within a month she saw an unbelievable improvement. This amazing achievement sparked an ambition in her to want to share this amazing process with every child. This is what led her to developing the Gymathstics® program.

She then designed the unique Clip Counter Kit and began with what she calls interval learning which is similar to interval training. Where we do physical movements to learn and then higher level activities with the clip counter kit. Research has found that learners learn best when they are given a variety of opportunities to learn the same concept in different ways.

Over 500 learners have experienced the Gymathstics® Program with success and are confident and independent learners in mathematics. They have developed a love for mathematics and being able to understand how mathematics can be used in real-life situations. Read our testimonial page for more information.

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2014/2015 Curriculum ~ Our final decision

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We have finally come to a decision on what curriculum we’ll be using in the next school year for Koko, Fifi and Pixie.

Pixie will continue with Totschool.

Language Arts

English

Fifi will continue with the Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons program by Siegfried Engelmann, Phyllis Haddox, Elaine Bruner. This program has worked well for both Noo and Koko, who are both avid readers.
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About the Author
Siegfried Engelmann is a professor of education at the University of Oregon, and has written many books on teaching, including Give Your Child a Superior Mind. He is the originator of Direct Instruction, the most successful approach to teaching, and he has developed more than fifty Direct Instruction programs.
www.zigsite.com

As soon as Fifi has finished the Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons, she’ll start on the Learning Language Arts through Literature Blue Set (Grade 1 Level). The curriculum consists of the LLATL Blue Set (Incl. Student Book), Who Took the Farmer’s Hat, Goodnight Moon, The Story of Ferdinand, Caps for Sale, The Snowy Day, Bedtime for Frances, The Little House, Old Hat New Hat, Make Way for Ducklings, Blueberries for Sal, Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel, The Runaway Bunny and Tale of Peter Rabbit.
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Koko will be working on the Learning Language Arts through Literature Red Set. The curriculum consists of the LLATL Red Set (Incl. Student Book), A Tree is Nice, Little Bear, Balto, The Fire Cat, Ox-Cart Man, Corduroy, The Little Island, Billy and Blaze, Harry the Dirty Dog and Abraham Lincoln.
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Afrikaans

Koko and Fifi will both be starting Afrikaans as a subject next year. We will start off with Afrikaans – Geniet Dit! – Werkboek 1 and work our way up to Afrikaans Sonder Grense 2nd language (Teachers Manual available here). Neither child can speak or understand the language, so we are going to start off with teaching the basics.
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Mathematics

Fifi will be using the Math-U-See Primer (Grades 0-1 Skill Level) next year. I’ve head great things about this curriculum. The curriculum consists of the Primer – Instruction Manual & DVD and the Primer – Student Workbook.

Koko will be using the Math-U-See Alpha Grade 2 Skill Level next year. The curriculum consists of the Alpha – Instruction Manual & DVD’s and the Alpha – Student Workbook & Test Book.

I’ve purchased the Math-U-See Skip Counting – CD and Songbook and Manipulative Blocks separately. I need to order another Manipulative Block for when the kids work at the same time
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Writing

We will be using the Italic Handwriting Series for writing. This curriculum comes with a Teachers Manual that helps a ton, Fifi will be using the Italic A and Koko will be using Italic B books and Italic C books.
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Life Skills

Fifi will be working on the Life Skills 1 workbook and Koko will be working on the Life Skills 2 workbook.
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Science

Koko and Fifi will be working on science together. I have decided on the Hands-on Science Foundation Phase (Grades 0-3) book. It comes complete with worksheets and experiment suggestions for each lesson.
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In addition to Hands-on Science, Koko will be working on different space worksheets (available here, here and, coming soon, here) to foster his love for all this astronomy related.

History

Koko and Fifi will be working on Story of the World together. The curriculum consists of Test Book Vol. 1: The Ancient Times, Activity Book, Vol 1: The Ancient Times, 7 CD Audio Set Vol. 1: The Ancient Times and Hardcover Text, Vol. 1: The Ancient Times. The curriculum has been ordered, now we play the waiting game till it arrives.
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Geography

Koko and Fifi will be working on the Pack Your Bags! Monthly Lapbook Series and Children of the World Pack, both from Enchanted Homeschooling Mom, together.
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Arts and Crafts

The children receive a monthly arts and crafts kit from Kidazzle Kids Club. These kits are awesome. Pixie will start getting a kit every month from January.
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Additional Activities

In addition to the above curricula, Fifi will also be working on the Kindergarten Literature Based Unit Studies from 1+1+1=1. I’m slowly purchasing all these books.
Kindergarten-Literature-Unit-Printables

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