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  1. Does your child use binders or spiral notebooks for their high school coursework? (This probably seems like a silly question, but if we go with binders, I want to invest in nice ones that will last the long haul of high school. I'd need 5-7 total, so it's not an insignificant investment, financially. I also want to think ahead to long-term record-keeping, and which format makes the most sense in that regard.) Spiral notebook pros: Portable (easy to move through the house and to activities with these) Folds back on itself for easy writing Everything is bound together, so it stays in one place and in chronological order (notes won't go mysteriously missing like loose leaf paper on a clipboard tends to do) Easy to study from/easy to look back at previous work and notes Spiral notebook cons: Size (# of pages) is pre-determined and inflexible. Would need a separate folder for labs and papers, etc. (or to tape them in) Once ripped out, pages can't go back in Binder pros: Can add loose sheets and extra handouts easily Can rearrange materials and add sections as needed I love the tidiness of page protectors Durable Binder cons: Takes up tons of space (both shelf space and desk space). My kids hate how big and bulky binders tend to be and how much table space they take up when opened flat. Leaves little room for writing and other books. Much less portable. (My kids are less likely to carry binders around to their rooms, throw them into bags, flip through them, etc.) I'd love inspiration. What does your child use for their high school coursework? A separate notebook/binder for each subject? One giant binder with five or six sections? A notebook for notes and a corresponding binder for labs and papers? Some other system entirely? How do you store finished work for long-term record keeping? Thank you!
  2. My girls (13 and 11) both took the Babysitting Basics course this past semester and loved it. They each did it entirely independently and earned a certification that is good for two years. I can't speak to Red Cross's higher level classes, but we all thought this one was great. It was affordable, allowed me to count something new for health, and just a fun thing to do during Covid. Recommend!
  3. I am so glad I asked! (I knew the math mamas would have good insight!) Okay, we will definitely continue doing math without a calculator (except for test prep and the upper-level math that specifically requires one). I will use other strategies (e.g., assigning fewer problems, etc.) if/when her math workload becomes truly punishing or unmanageable. Thank you for the help!
  4. My oldest is just finishing 8th grade, and we've never used calculators in math. We've used Math U See the whole way so far, and my kids have done great with the program, always doing all calculations in their heads (or using manipulatives, where applicable). My purpose in holding off on calculators was to make sure my kids' math facts and figuring were deeply learned and solidly established. I'd say my oldest has definitely achieved that goal! Looking ahead to algebra I next year, I'm inclined to let my daughter start using a calculator for math. (At certain points throughout this past year, her current pre-algebra work has taken a very long time to complete each day. She is doing careful, accurate work, but I don't want math to become a grind she hates, so I'm inclined to let her use a calculator so she can work more quickly and efficiently.) I'm not a "math person," so I guess I'm just curious when others greenlit their children for calculators, and if there is any reason I should avoid them at this point? Again, I'm confident her math facts and understanding of math up to this point are solid. (I guess I'm just worried that calculator use might somehow weaken her established skills? Sort of like how now that I have a cell phone, I don't know anybody's phone number besides my husband and my sister, but when I was a teenager, I had dozens and dozens of my friends' and family members' phone numbers memorized....) Would love others' thoughts and guidance. Thanks!
  5. I can't speak to NY state, but last year we moved from Maryland to Ohio. Here is what I did: I informed the Maryland office (via writing and a phone call) that we were moving. (I don't think I was technically required to inform them of our move, but I did it as a courtesy. I think it's a good thing to do, because it ensured that I would be removed from their list and they wouldn't continue to send me correspondence. Plus, I didn't want Maryland to think I was suddenly failing to report to reviews or was otherwise negligent, etc.) Then, when we arrived in Ohio, I submitted all the necessary paperwork to our new superintendent (letter of intent, etc.) within a week of arriving. (This is something I HAD to do, because that is what the law requires in Ohio.) But none of it was a big deal and the move went very smoothly from a homeschooling standpoint. I had no issues! So, my suggestion is to send in your 4th quarterly reports to NY and include a simple, short letter informing them that you're moving to a new state on x date and will no longer be reporting to NY. Hope that helps! Good luck with your move!
  6. I'm considering investing in a binding machine for our homeschool (so I can print and bind digital curricula, etc.), but I'm not sure where to start. I'm looking for something pretty basic that will punch holes in standard printer paper and that has reusable bindings. I'd also prefer a system that offers accessories like clear covers. I don't want to spend a fortune on it, but I'd love to know the ballpark price you paid for yours and where you bought it, if you're willing to share. Thank you!
  7. This is great to know! Thanks for chiming in!
  8. I'd love to hear about your child's college admissions experiences. (My IRL homeschool friends seem to be having good experiences; one friend just happily shared that her son got a full-tuition scholarship to a small liberal arts school, and other friends have similarly reported great results, like full merit scholarships to multiple schools, etc.). That said, I sometimes hear horror stories (here and elsewhere) about homeschoolers being treated with hostility when it comes to college admissions. I guess I feel like I don't have an accurate picture of things; do colleges love homeschoolers or hate us?! Was your homeschooled child treated with hostility? I'd love to hear your first-hand experiences. Thanks!
  9. Thank you for this; I didn't see this. It does sound like they send all scores as one lump transcript. Good to know!
  10. I'm just starting to learn about CLEP tests and I'm wondering: Do you HAVE to submit CLEP scores to colleges? (I know, for instance, that if you take any dual enrollment community college classes, those grades are permanent and you HAVE to submit them to any colleges you apply to. Is it the same with CLEP test scores?) As we plan out high school, I'm considering having my daughter take CLEP tests at the end of the year for some subjects. (For instance, she'll be doing biology at home for 9th grade next year, so I'm thinking of having her do the biology CLEP test at the end of the year.) Our goal in doing this would not be to earn college credit (at least, this wouldn't be our main motivation), but more to substantiate the work we do in our homeschool. (That is, to have some "outside evidence," for college admissions purposes.) But, in the event that my daughter bombs the tests, I'm wondering if we'd HAVE to submit her scores during the college admissions process? (I certainly don't anticipate her scoring poorly, but I want to know what she'd be getting herself into.) If your child takes several CLEP tests over four years of high school, can you cherry pick the scores you report? Thanks for any insight!
  11. Hello! I will probably just end up making my own simple transcript, but before I take the time to do it, I thought I'd see if there are any amazing templates out there, for free or for sale. I'd be interested in something that looks great visually (tidy and professional!), and that I can just fill in digitally as I go. Does this exist? Thanks! ETA: Just to clarify: Thanks to the generous help of the people on this amazing board the past several months, I now know the information a transcript should contain and the different ways it can be set up. With this post, I am seeking a template with beautiful, readable graphic design. (Some of the transcript examples I've seen across the internet have great content, but are aesthetically unappealing and/or very difficult to read. Before I go to the trouble of designing my own, I just wanted to see if any individuals or companies are offering blank templates that have great graphic design.) Thank you!
  12. Thank you so much, everyone, for all the insight and suggestions! I appreciate it!
  13. Thank you, as always, Lori D! I will check out the Literary Lessons for sure--thanks for that link!
  14. Thank you! I love the idea of getting multiple copies and reading along with the audiobook. Is this the illustrated Hobbit you bought your kids? (It looks like a beautiful edition!)
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