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Sometimes, when you want to submit a more minimalist Portfolio to your school district at the end of the year, one consisting of only a handful of samples, it could be a good idea to also include a "Summary." This is pretty much what it sounds like- you summarize what you did for each of the "required subjects" and submit it with your samples and the rest of your portfolio.

Pauline has some great examples of different types of Summaries on her website (see AskPauline.com).

Here is the one I ended up submitting with Alexa's third grade portfolio. This one does not list any specific curriculum materials, because that was the year I pulled her out of public school and only homeschooled for a few months, doing our own eclectic thing.

This, of course, is assuming you live in an area where you have to submit samples and a portfolio to begin with!

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LOG OF READING MATERIALS AND SUMMARY OF WORK IN REQUIRED SUBJECTS
FOR ALEXA (LAST NAME), 2008 - 2009


“At the elementary school level, the following courses shall be taught: English, to include spelling, reading and writing; arithmetic; science; geography; history of the United States and Pennsylvania; civics; safety education, including regular and continuous instruction in the dangers and prevention of fires; health and physiology; physical education; music; and art." --PA Home Education Law


SPELLING

Alexa was given third-grade level spelling words, obtained from the internet, on a regular basis. She did such things as alphabetize them and use them in sentences, and took quizzes on them.


READING

Alexa is an enthusiastic reader who makes weekly visits to the public library. She reads silently on her own, we read aloud together, and I read to her, both fiction and nonfiction. See book log, attached.


WRITING

Alexa was given third-grade level language arts worksheets, obtained from the internet, on a regular basis. She did some creative writing pieces. She keeps a journal. She writes letters and emails to family and friends.


ARITHMETIC

Alexa was given third-grade level math worksheets, obtained from the internet, on a regular basis. She reviewed her Times Tables on a regular basis via flash cards. She used math in practical situations such as during shopping, having her own lemonade stand, receiving an allowance and saving money for an item she wanted, measuring in the kitchen, etc.


SCIENCE

Alexa did various kid-friendly science experiments, such as using baking soda and vinegar, cornstarch and water, viewing optical illusions, etc. She utilized the books "175 Science Experiments To Amuse And Amaze Your Friends," and "The Ultimate Book of Kid Concoctions," and "Science Magic With Air." We visted the Da Vinci Science Center. She also did various science-related worksheets obtained from the Enchanted Learning website, which is part of her regular curriculum. She did a butterfly project wherein we obtained tiny caterpillars and saw them through to butterflies and released them after observing and caring for them for a few days. She likes to use her binoculars and magnifying glass while exploring outdoors.


GEOGRAPHY

Alexa did various map activities centered around other states and countries, obtained from the Enchanted Learning website. She has been systematically learning and reviewing the states and their capitals in alphabetical order with the help of flash cards, "The State Sticker Book," "Exploring The 50 States," and maps. She is also currently doing a "Flat Stanley" project wherein we have mailed out 66 Flat Stanleys to other states and countries. When people return them, they tell us more about their location and the things "Flat Stanley" saw and did while he was with them.


HISTORY/CIVICS

Alexa is learning history through "The Story Of The World," beginning with "Volume One, Ancient Times." We also use the accompanying Activity Book and "The Usborne Book of World History" for this. She learns more about U.S. history based around holidays, and Enchanted Learning often provides history-based reading material with quizzes centered around the anniversary of major events. She learns more about PA history by going on frequent field trips and exploring our state, conversation, etc. Civics is integrated into social studies/history via holidays, writing letters to our representatives pertaining to proposed budget cuts to our library, accompanying her mother and grandmother when we went to vote, etc.


SAFETY EDUCATION TO INCLUDE FIRE SAFETY

Alexa read about fire safety and prevention on various websites, such as smokeybear.com, firestories.com, and sparky.org. We discuss fire safety in our home. We walked through our home reviewing a fire escape plan, and Alexa drew her own fire escape diagram. She's done such activities as fire safety crossword puzzles. We also discuss such things as outdoor and street safety, the importance of seatbelts, pool and water safety, electrical hazards, and have age appropriate discussions on the hazards of smoking and illegal drugs.


HEALTH & PHYSIOLOGY

We discuss the importance of proper nutrition and food groups, getting enough rest and fresh air and exercise, never smoking, brushing teeth and other hygiene, etc. Alexa read and answered questions in a booklet about the flu. She sees her doctor and dentist regularly.


PHYSICAL EDUCATION

Alexa attends gymnastics class on a weekly basis and participated in the "Class Olympics" there. She attended a week long girls' basketball camp. She is currently taking two weeks worth of swimming lessons. She has regular opportunities to ride her bike, ride her scooter, play with her pogo stick, and run and play and swim and climb outdoors, at home and at playgrounds. She sometimes borrows kid-friendly exercise videos from the library and does them at home.


MUSIC

Alexa has attended parades with live marching bands, listens to the radio and the Kids Tunes station on TV, she watched "Riverdance" and went on Youtube to see more of Irish instruments, she made her own Maracas for Cinco de Mayo, she has watched musicals on film, attended a Girl Scouts dance with a DJ, plays with her flutophone and makes up her own songs.


ART

Alexa has a multitude of arts and crafts material that she makes frequent use of. She enjoys drawing (and sometimes utilizes books such as "1-2-3 Draw: Pets and Farm Animals, A Step By Step Guide," and "I Can Draw Forest Animals." She is signed up for a drawing and painting class later in the summer. Once or twice a month she attends a Lowe's Build & Grow Clinic and makes something out of wood. We usually do a craft project at the conclusion of each chapter of "Story of the World" (such as a model of the Nile River, a clay tablet with her name carved into it using the Cuneiform Alphabet, scented oil, etc.)
THINGS YOU MIGHT WANT TO KNOW ABOUT:


THE FAMILY:

Shawn - 40, Husband, Dad, Tattoo Artist, Body Piercer, Business Owner, Saltwater Aquarium Enthusiast, Cook, Mr. Fix-It.

Nance - 41, Wife, Homeschooling Mom, Bookworm, Writer, Field Tripper, List Maker, Planner, Chauffeur.

Melissa - 22, Special Needs. Is in a sheltered workshop/life skills day program. Likes music, movies, shopping, and reading.

Alexa - 14, Left public school in March of 2009 and has been home since, happily homeschooling with Oak Meadow and an eclectic mix of other things. Currently in 8th grade. Enjoys reading, writing, arts and crafts, Girl Scouts, Judo, singing and music, doing her nails, and sleepovers with friends.

Ben - 8, Has never been to any outside school. Currently doing 3rd grade at home. Enjoys computer, video and board games, especially Minecraft and shooter games, silly jokes, soccer, rough-housing, and occasional cuddling and reading.

Adelaide - 13 months and my little ray of sunshine. :)

We are a relaxed/eclectic, secularly homeschooling family living in Pennsylvania and thoroughly enjoying Life Without School!

CURRENT CURRICULUM/MATERIALS:

Alexa is using: Oak Meadow 8 Civics; Oak Meadow 8 English; Oak Meadow Basic Physical Science; Story of the World Middle Ages; and Teaching Textbooks Math Pre-Algebra.

Ben is loosely using the Oak Meadow 3rd Grade curriculum (minus the math), Teaching Textbooks Math 3, and Reading Eggspress.

I've always been a fairly relaxed homeschooler. While I've buckled down more this year with my 8th grader, in general we do school around life, not life around school. We use mainly a fun, hands on curriculum that isn't overly time consuming and isn't dry or textbookish, and we're always willing to drop it for the time being if something fun, interesting, or educational comes up outside the house. Living is learning!


ABOUT ME & MY BLOG:

Welcome To My Blog!


MY ARTICLES, ESSAYS, & RAMBLES:

The ABCs Of Relaxed Homeschooling

A Perfect Day

Affidavits, Objectives & Samples, Oh My!

A Kindergarten Dropout

Homeschooling, A Year Later

Preschool Or Not?

I Wouldn't Have It Any Other Way

A Day In The Life Of A New Homeschooler

Homeschool Poem

What Does A Homeschooler Do Every Day?

What Does A Homeschooler Do Every Day Part 2

What About Socialization?

Why Homeschool?!

Dear Judy Molland

What I Really Mean When I Say I Homeschool


MY REVIEWS:

Funnix Beginning Reading Program Review

Getting Started With Spanish Review

Growing, Growing Strong Review

Insect Lore Negative Review

Life of Fred Math Review

Little Passports Review

Meet The Masters Review

Movie Review: Snowmen

Oak Meadow Review

Sentence Composing For Elementary School Review

Story Of The World Review

Teaching Textbooks Math Review

Times Tales Review

Typing Instructor For Kids Platinum Review


OUR BOOK LOGS:

Alexa's Third Grade Book Log

Alexa's Fourth Grade Book Log

Alexa's Fifth Grade Book Log

Alexa's Sixth Grade Book Log, Year 1

Alexa's Sixth Grade Book Log, Year 2

Alexa's Seventh Grade Book Log

Ben's Pre-K Book Log

Ben's Kindergarten Book Log

Ben's First Grade Book Log

Ben's Second Grade Book Log


SCHEDULE SAMPLES:

Oak Meadow Kindergarten Schedule Sample, With Pics

Oak Meadow 4th Grade Schedule Sample, With Pics

Oak Meadow 5th Grade Schedule Sample, With Pics

Our 6th Grade Stretched Over Two Years Plan

Some Of Our Most Fun/Interesting Projects & Activities, Oak Meadow 5th Grade


USEFUL FORMS & THINGS:

Homeschool Affidavit

Homeschool Objectives, Elementary and Secondary Level

Homeschool Portfolio

Summary, To Include With Portfolio, Example 1

Summary, To Include With Portfolio, Example 2

Standardized Test Results


MISC:

Books Featuring Homeschooled Characters, Titles A-I

Books Featuring Homeschooled Characters, Titles J-R

Books Featuring Homeschooled Characters, Titles S-Z

52 Books In 52 Weeks, Mom & Daughter Style, 2011

Homeschooling Quotes & Funnies

Our Fresh Air Fund Experience

Funny Things Alexa Has Said

Funny Things Ben Has Said

My Favorite Links

How I Got Alexa's Eczema Under Control!

My TTC, Pregnancy, and Miscarriage Saga, PART 1

My TTC, Pregnancy, and Miscarriage Saga, PART 2

UPDATED!My TTC, Pregnancy, and Miscarriage Saga, Part 3UPDATED!

The Family Who Wouldn't Change The Toilet Paper

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