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If I would have started this in 9th grade (even 7th in PA)


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my life would be so much easier now (that I'm trying to do transcripts).

 

What I wish I would have done is: At the beginning of each school year....

 

Buy Large manila envelopes for each subject (large enough to put spiral notebooks in).

 

Type up a paper listing all the items that could be in that envelope and tape it to the front of the envelope - ie:

 

Photocopy of:

Title page for each textbook being used, with the page after which has ISBN, copyright, etc.

Table of contents for each textbook used

Also

Course description downloaded from internet sites for online courses (instead of waiting til 3 years later) (These can change over time too)

Tests

Sample of work

External grade copy (eg for online courses, etc), (esp remembering to get this from dc periodically for online work)

Spaces to list all other books used

Spaces for other resources

Letters of recommendation from the course

Papers or presentations given

Copy of hours done for course

Grade page

Copy of lesson plans at the end of the year.

 

Check off items as they are added - like the TC's etc.

 

As new books get used, just add them to the list.

 

As it is now, I'm trying to dig up old textbooks (thankfully I haven't sold them yet) from here and there. I had put tests and sports info in his portfolio. Other lesson planners were in the storeroom. It would have all been so much easier than to wait for a couple of years to amass this stuff. I just kept putting it off.

 

In 9th grade I'd had the idea of doing a portfolio, and then keeping other stuff in other places. In reality now - one notebook portfolio is not nearly enough space, having everything spread out is a nightmare later on, and keeping the coursework as individual units instead of in year portfolios, seems more flexible.

 

I did have the envelope idea last spring, but I didn't have the idea to start the year with them, nor the idea of putting a sheet on the front to check off as I go....

 

For whomever it can help, I just had to share,

Joan

(Since we may move back to PA where they look at what you do in Jr. Hi, I'm going to start now for my dd in 7th)

 

(ETA from later post)

Some other items to add to the list (some are ideas from a document I got from Lori D. - thank you Lori).

 

For the courses -

 

SAT II/AP/CLEP scores for a subject (these are photocopies of the real document which I keep in a special binder for safety and easy access for the few pages of external really official records I have)

 

Certificates of achievements, honors, awards (copies of ones in binder)

 

Lab reports (or sample of) and photo of a lab experiment being done.(some colleges have asked for this - but not all)

 

Photos of exceptional pieces of artwork

 

Brochures (within reason, for very special events) from field trips, concerts, educational programs or activities attended (where it was not the whole course, just additional)

 

 

For CAS (Creativity, Action, Service - taken from IB presentation) and work -

 

Theater/performing arts - printed program from play, recital, etc.,

 

Service/volunteer work - photos and documentation (see other threads)

 

Sports team - record of wins/losses

 

 

For the work experience envelope - besides the usual documentation and resume of work experience - photos

 

Other extracurricular activities - certificates of participation

Edited by Joan in Geneva
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What I wish I would have done is: At the beginning of each school year....

 

Buy Large manila envelopes for each subject (large enough to put spiral notebooks in).

 

Type up a paper listing all the items that could be in that envelope and tape it to the front of the envelope - ie:

 

Photocopy of Title page for each textbook being used,

Table of contents for each textbook used,

Tests

Sample of work

External grade copy (eg for online courses, etc)

Spaces to list all other books used

Spaces for other resources

Letters of recommendation from the course

Papers or presentations given

Copy of hours done for course

Grade page

Course description (if this is not altogether with other stuff on the comp)

Copy of lesson plans at the end of the year.

I have about a third of all that in files.... tests, course descriptions/ syllabi, projects, and then a list of books for the whole year (not by course though...) But I like the list you've come up with -- I've always meant to do the title page/ table of contents thing, and collecting letters of recommendation as we go is a great idea!

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Good idea!

I have a notebook that I keep these sorts of things in, but I have been thinking recently that I had better xerox title page and table of contents. If I ever had to do a proper bibliography-style listing, I would have a job of a time trying to retrieve all those library books, etc. I keep track of what mine read and what projects they do, but I tend to just write the title and author of any books and which chapters he read/used. The notebook worked well. And I keep all the work. But I, too, can see myself crawling around in a sea of boxes.

-Nan

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I should have said too -

 

any Internet course descriptions should be downloaded right at the beginning as they can change or even disappear (that happened with one course taken in 9th grade).

 

I've also been bad at getting my son to pass on his grades from internet classes over the year. So I need to get him to start forwarding me those, as well as copies of papers written...reconstructing from his old emails is such a pain...and he had papers lost when they reformatted his computer...

 

Joan

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Thanks! I love your idea and list, and I'm going to do this, too.

 

How do you handle letters of recommendation? A friend told me that the letters are supposed to be confidential and that she never handles them. When her older daughters completed a course, she sent the instructor a cd and a stamped envelope. She asked him to write the recommendation and store it on the cd. When it came time to apply to colleges, she then asked him to print the letter and send it directly to the college in the envelope she provided. This way the recommendation was written when the student's work was fresh in the instructor's mind, but she didn't compromise the confidentiality of the process. Is this reasonable? Four years seems like a long time to ask an instructor to store something like this.

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How do you handle letters of recommendation? A friend told me that the letters are supposed to be confidential and that she never handles them. When her older daughters completed a course, she sent the instructor a cd and a stamped envelope. She asked him to write the recommendation and store it on the cd. When it came time to apply to colleges, she then asked him to print the letter and send it directly to the college in the envelope she provided. This way the recommendation was written when the student's work was fresh in the instructor's mind, but she didn't compromise the confidentiality of the process. Is this reasonable? Four years seems like a long time to ask an instructor to store something like this.

 

While I don't have personal experience getting a homeschooled student into uni, (so someone with experience please pipe up), what I have started doing, is just getting a letter from the outside teacher that I can put on file. Hopefully, there will be better teachers down the line. But this temporary letter has several benefits:

 

if ever we do need the letter from the teacher, we could send him back a copy of this letter so it would refresh his memory. (Your friend's idea sounds interesting too - has that worked well for people? But the teacher might never get around to writing the letter if you are not waiting for it. Maybe other people have some more LOR experiences to add)

 

it helps the student start to see how this process works - I don't want glorified letters..it helps him see what they are looking for...

 

for things like sports classes, it is not really a recommendation, but it documents their participation. Looking at umbrella schools, some of them want actual classes, not just participation in a sport, for the PE credit.

 

for internship experiences, my ds2 got an amazing letter and it helps ds3 see what they are looking for - more than if it was a letter in a book...

 

I might be overdoing the documentation, but it is just so much easier to get it at the time, than to go back and try to get it when the standards change, etc.

 

It turns out that for my ds1, who just did 9th grade at home (other 3 in an international school), his transcript from the international school does not count the subjects he did while at home, even though they were all through accredited schools (I thought the credits had been transferred somehow) and he got a diploma. So I have to remake his 9th grade transcript - not for university - from which he already graduated, but for his applications to masters programs! I don't know if they require high school records in the US for masters programs, but they do over here. Now I have to reconstruct his program from 10 years ago!!! Talk about headache!

 

Joan

Edited by Joan in Geneva
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Great idea!

 

I had to turn in portfolios when we lived in La. Here in Tn. I have to turn in grades.

 

On Friday I got a manially envelope and labeled it "graded papers". Now, as I record grades in an Excel spreadsheet I can put the papers into the envelopes.

 

Last year I think I spent a week pulling together papers and grades. I am NOT doing that again!:tongue_smilie:

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but what I do have is a student plan book for each year of high school that lists what was scheduled/accomplished each day. When I was preparing my oldest's transcript & course descriptions, I had to dig these out to make up his reading list.

 

One other thing I'll add to the list of things you should keep are syllabi from your student's outside course work. When my son applied to transfer some of his CC coursework to his 4-year school, the course description info was referred to a professor to review. He requested more information from my son for his Chemistry course. Thankfully, he still had the detailed syllabus the professor had followed and was able to scan that and email to the prof. The course was eventually approved for transfer.

 

HTH,

Brenda

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Also get course descriptions from the Teaching Company before they change the edition...

 

And I imagine any other software as well where the edition changes as well as the material taught...

 

Economics 2nd ed has just been replaced with the 3rd edition...so now I have to find and type in the info from the older edition instead of just taking it from the site...

 

Older book editions - these descriptions can be hard to find too if I wait too long, so I'm just having to use the Table of Contents...

 

Joan

Edited by Joan in Geneva
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I always participate because it forces me to not only complete a student portfolio every year but to do it in an organized manner since many people will be looking at it! In a 3-ring binder I have pages listing the curricula used, the books read, a sample of work from every "subject" and print-outs of pictures taken throughout the school year. I know I wouldn't do this on my own -- I know this because I didn't do it until we started these Showcase Nights. :001_smile:

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This is a great idea, this I can cope with!

 

Big envelopes and a nice list of what goes in it!

 

I'm going to start this next school year (I am almost at the end of the school year here, new school year starts early Feb, although we will start mid jan I think)

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Great information! Sorry if I missed it but, what do you include in the portfolio for sports? My daughter participates in the homeschool program at the Y. It is very instructional in nature so I feel it should be included. Also she is joining a local theater group, would I just ask for a letter from the director outlining the program and my daughter's involvement?

 

Also for lesson plans, do you use the yearly syllabus or daily/weekly plans?

 

Thanks for all the advice, I really want to take record keeping more seriously this year! :001_smile:

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what do you include in the portfolio for sports?

 

Also she is joining a local theater group, would I just ask for a letter from the director outlining the program and my daughter's involvement?

 

Also for lesson plans, do you use the yearly syllabus or daily/weekly plans?

 

 

Could I first say to all with more experience than I, please add any insights or better ways of doing this. I am not an expert!

 

Sports - We have used various types of classes and teams.

 

For squash which was a once a week class, I typed up a letter which had the teacher's name and the sports facility address and date (of the end of the course) in the heading, then in the body explained what they did and how often - y number of hours x b number of weeks for total hours. Then I typed a separate letter asking the teacher to sign this (since my son went alone to the course - the public transport system is really great here) and send it to us - including a stamped self-addressed envelope. My son gave it to him on the last day (so that the hours would be correct in case of any absences). The teacher just signed and stamped it (with the center's stamp) right then and gave it back.

 

For track (even though it is not a class, I have gotten a letter just in case we would need justification down the road), I asked the teacher to write a letter with the hours of training each week and the dates. I should have done the same thing as for squash, as he didn't really give back what I had wanted. (Ds has been doing track all year long for a year and a half now and the letter only talked about 2010). But now it is too late to ask again for this past school year. But after another year, I'll have another opportunity and then will put the whole participation in one letter with very clear dates, times etc. that I type up myself.

 

For other classes, I had forgotten to do this and since they were classes through the 'state', communicating with these teachers will be very hard as they have probably completely forgotten my son. So at this point I am saving whatever papers I received telling about the class. And if need be, I will hunt down these people. Right now at least I still have the papers with their phone numbers etc.

 

Theater - That reminds me of my ds1's class. At the time, I did not keep anything, though there was hardly any paperwork. If I had to do it again with people who don't give much paper, I would try to write a little summary (couple of sentences) of what was done each week. Then maybe write it up in a letter at the end with what you notice that your daughter has done? You don't want to ask the teacher to do too much or they might never do it. On the other hand, if they have a syllabus already worked out, then you would have that and just get a letter of the hours of participation...

 

Maybe people with more experience can say how they have done it or would do it in this case?

 

Lesson plans - I have yearly syllabi for courses which ds takes online where the teacher gives out a semester or yearly plan....Also in courses which basically follow just one textbook, the year is before you in the table of contents....(In 9th grade, the composition syllabus had ended up in some other notebook at the end of the year. Now I will put it in the envelope right away, instead of letting it get lost).

 

Some subjects are messier than others - because they use a variety of resources...starting in 10th grade we used HST+. If only we would have had that in 9th grade.... Right now, in the topic part, for subjects which we invent the path (history for example) I put 1-5 words about what was studied. For Egyptians for example, it goes for a couple of weeks...For math, it is the subject of the lesson. If this is the same as the Table of Contents of one book, then it is probably not really necessary. At the end of the year, I will just print up the lesson plans for the "messy" courses, or courses where dc deviated from the textbook, with additional materials.

 

What I've done then at the end of the year for these messy types of classes, is write a summary of what we have done as the course description....

 

I have a general history plan from the WTM books, what I want to cover, but the details just never worked out the way I had planned. (In earlier years, I would spend weeks putting together all the materials for all the topics in huge lists. Now I find it easier to just group all the books, eg on Romans, on the bookshelves. When we get to that topic, depending on which books appeal the most, those are the only ones I include in the lesson plan).

 

All that to say, I think, that we use both (yearly and daily), depending on the subject...(I find English to be a messy subject too - with all the support for literature. Science was a messy topic in the younger years, but in high school, we go more with a textbook and just a few other books.)

 

HTH (but I am still no expert),

Joan

Edited by Joan in Geneva
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For my oldest, the people who were recommending him gave us the letters, enough for one for each college he was applying to. I then compiled an envelope of recommendations and sent them on to the college. I don't think confidentiality is a big issue for an undergrad college. Now when I was applying to grad school umpteen years ago, I had to sign a paper giving up my right to see my recommendations, but one of my professors cc'ed me a copy when he was mailing it anyway.

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Thanks for posting this Joan. My daughter is in 7th and is taking outside courses this year. I had this nagging thought in the back of my mind about documentation, but I didn't give it much thought.

 

Well, your post has been the answer the for. I am actually excited about getting all of this done for her.

 

Thank you so much for posting this!

 

Kimberly

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While I don't have personal experience getting a homeschooled student into uni, (so someone with experience please pipe up), what I have started doing, is just getting a letter from the outside teacher that I can put on file. Hopefully, there will be better teachers down the line. But this temporary letter has several benefits:

 

if ever we do need the letter from the teacher, we could send him back a copy of this letter so it would refresh his memory. (Your friend's idea sounds interesting too - has that worked well for people? But the teacher might never get around to writing the letter if you are not waiting for it. Maybe other people have some more LOR experiences to add)

 

it helps the student start to see how this process works - I don't want glorified letters..it helps him see what they are looking for...

 

for things like sports classes, it is not really a recommendation, but it documents their participation. Looking at umbrella schools, some of them want actual classes, not just participation in a sport, for the PE credit.

 

for internship experiences, my ds2 got an amazing letter and it helps ds3 see what they are looking for - more than if it was a letter in a book...

 

These are great reasons. Thanks, Joan.

 

For my oldest, the people who were recommending him gave us the letters, enough for one for each college he was applying to. I then compiled an envelope of recommendations and sent them on to the college. I don't think confidentiality is a big issue for an undergrad college. Now when I was applying to grad school umpteen years ago, I had to sign a paper giving up my right to see my recommendations, but one of my professors cc'ed me a copy when he was mailing it anyway.

 

This is good to know.

Thanks!

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For my oldest, the people who were recommending him gave us the letters, enough for one for each college he was applying to. I then compiled an envelope of recommendations and sent them on to the college. I don't think confidentiality is a big issue for an undergrad college.

 

Thanks cathmom! I'm very curious if this is standard practice. That would alleviate some concerns.

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Some other items to add to the list (some are ideas from a document I got from Lori D. - thank you Lori). I will also edit these into the original list...

 

For the courses -

 

SAT II/AP/CLEP scores for a subject (these are photocopies of the real document which I keep in a special binder for safety and easy access for the few pages of external official records)

 

Certificates of achievements, honors, awards (copies of ones in binder)

 

Lab reports (or sample of) and photo of a lab experiment being done.(some colleges have asked for this - but not all)

 

Photos of exceptional pieces of artwork

 

Brochures (within reason, for very special events) from field trips, concerts, educational programs or activities attended (where it was not the whole course, just additional)

 

For CAS (Creativity, Action, Service - taken from IB presentation) and work - envelopes...

 

Theater/performing arts - printed program from play, recital, etc.,

 

Service/volunteer work - photos and documentation (see other threads, for example this one)

 

Sports team - record of wins/losses

 

For the work experience envelope - besides the usual documentation and resume of work experience - photos

 

Other extracurricular activities - certificates of participation

 

Joan

Edited by Joan in Geneva
faulty editing :-)
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My daughter is in 7th and is taking outside courses this year. I had this nagging thought in the back of my mind about documentation, but I didn't give it much thought.

 

Kimberly, if you are in PA - I think there are only certain courses which need to be documented for 7th and 8th grade...Let's see, from one site I found this - PA History/Geography, Public Speaking, Music, Art and some others are courses which fall into this category. So there are others but I'm not sure which...but one umbrella school I saw in PA wanted a list of all the courses taken in 7th and 8th. I'm not sure how much documentation is needed for the 7th and 8th grade courses....I'm just keeping it all in case. If you are in PA and find out, could you let me know (PM if need be?).

 

Thanks!

Joan

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I think there are only certain courses which need to be documented for 7th and 8th grade...Let's see, from one site I found this - PA History/Geography, Public Speaking, Music, Art and some others are courses which fall into this category. So there are others but I'm not sure which...but one umbrella school I saw in PA wanted a list of all the courses taken in 7th and 8th. I'm not sure how much documentation is needed for the 7th and 8th grade courses....I'm just keeping it all in case. If you are in PA and find out, could you let me know (PM if need be?).

 

Thanks!

Joan

 

You are allowed to count course work during 7th and 8th grades toward PA graduation requirements in some subjects -- but you are not required to do so and cannot award high school credit for them. For example, you can check off the 1/2 credit health requirement if you complete it in 7th or 8th grade but you won't be accumulating the 1/2 credit itself. The benefit of doing the things you are allowed to count in junior high is that you can fulfill grad requirements without having to pack even more into the 4 high school years. There are some things you cannot count in junior high, too. I think the best sources for what you can do when are the various diploma programs like PA Homeschoolers (http://www.phaa.org/ ) or Mason-Dixon (http://www.mdhsa-pa.org/Program/Diploma-Program.php). But keep in mind that they have their own additional requirements to issue their diploma added to what PA actually requires for graduation. You are allowed to issue your own diploma without going through a diploma program in PA.

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Thank you Monica! So I found on the MD site you linked that these can be done in 7th or 8th.

 

Geography, Civics, World History, General Math, Algebra, Geometry, Music, Art, Physical Education , Health and Physiology, History of the U.S., History of PA, Safety Education/Fire Safety, and 15 hours of Public Speaking

 

That is a lot!

 

Your explanation is helpful too because now I see that even if done, if they are done then, they don't get credit. So Algebra can be taken in 8th, but it is not given a credit... Very useful to know!

 

I grew up where you live now.:001_smile:

Joan

Edited by Joan in Geneva
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  • 3 years later...
I'm doing my manila folders now - (I do really like this system - just haven't always followed my own advice timewise!)

and it's already too late for the course description from PA Homeschoolers (for last year)!

I should have taken the description off when I signed up dd....Seems like already in Feb or March the new year was posted....
 
For anyone in CH....keeping receipts of courses and exams has been very handy in proving home education for 'allocation familiale'!
 

Also for Europe - I think it's not in this thread but in the 'credit for 8th grade work' thread where I found out that we basically couldn't get credit for the languages and math done earlier - over here - due to the percentages of branches required for the 'general education' (they think that the liberal arts education should be done in high school and 'college/university' is for focusing in the field)....So I have some manila folders of 8th grade work that are put aside just in case I need to reissue the diploma with other credits if applying in the US.....

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I'm doing my manila folders now - (I do really like this system - just haven't always followed my own advice timewise!)

 

and it's already too late for the course description from PA Homeschoolers (for last year)!

 

I should have taken the description off when I signed up dd....Seems like already in Feb or March the new year was posted....

 

For anyone in CH....keeping receipts of courses and exams has been very handy in proving home education for 'allocation familiale'!

 

Also for Europe - I think it's not in this thread but in the 'credit for 8th grade work' thread where I found out that we basically couldn't get credit for the languages and math done earlier - over here - due to the percentages of branches required for the 'general education' (they think that the liberal arts education should be done in high school and 'college/university' is for focusing in the field)....So I have some manila folders of 8th grade work that are put aside just in case I need to reissue the diploma with other credits if applying in the US.....

 

 

Joan, thank you! This is so incredibly helpful. With regards to the course descriptions, would it be problematic to pull the 2015-2016 AP English Language description and apply it to this year? The work looks roughly the same. While I am at, I will now being pulling the descriptions for his courses from PA Homeschoolers for next year. I would never have thought to do this on my own.

 

 

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Joan, thank you! This is so incredibly helpful. With regards to the course descriptions, would it be problematic to pull the 2015-2016 AP English Language description and apply it to this year? The work looks roughly the same. While I am at, I will now being pulling the descriptions for his courses from PA Homeschoolers for next year. I would never have thought to do this on my own.

 

 

 

Generally I would think the course descriptions would be the same, except

 

1. if there are major changes to the AP exam itself (some of the revision schedule - previously they did French, German, and maybe others?)

 

2. if the teacher changes texts...of course you can go through and check what has changed, but that involves going back into files. (I just tried to do it for Eng language texts....two are the same but it seems like there were others so I have to look back through emails as last year more works were posted either from the welcome email or somewhere along the line). One warning....sometimes they change texts even from the initial course description. So you might want to just check in the fall, if the course description has stayed the same...

 

Glad to help as so many on this board have helped me!

Joan

 

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my life would be so much easier now (that I'm trying to do transcripts).

 

What I wish I would have done is: At the beginning of each school year....

 

Buy Large manila envelopes for each subject (large enough to put spiral notebooks in).

 

Type up a paper listing all the items that could be in that envelope and tape it to the front of the envelope - ie:

 

Photocopy of:

Title page for each textbook being used, with the page after which has ISBN, copyright, etc.

Table of contents for each textbook used

Also

Course description downloaded from internet sites for online courses (instead of waiting til 3 years later) (These can change over time too)

Tests

Sample of work

External grade copy (eg for online courses, etc), (esp remembering to get this from dc periodically for online work)

Spaces to list all other books used

Spaces for other resources

Letters of recommendation from the course

Papers or presentations given

Copy of hours done for course

Grade page

Copy of lesson plans at the end of the year.

 

Check off items as they are added - like the TC's etc.

 

As new books get used, just add them to the list.

 

As it is now, I'm trying to dig up old textbooks (thankfully I haven't sold them yet) from here and there. I had put tests and sports info in his portfolio. Other lesson planners were in the storeroom. It would have all been so much easier than to wait for a couple of years to amass this stuff. I just kept putting it off.

 

In 9th grade I'd had the idea of doing a portfolio, and then keeping other stuff in other places. In reality now - one notebook portfolio is not nearly enough space, having everything spread out is a nightmare later on, and keeping the coursework as individual units instead of in year portfolios, seems more flexible.

 

I did have the envelope idea last spring, but I didn't have the idea to start the year with them, nor the idea of putting a sheet on the front to check off as I go....

 

For whomever it can help, I just had to share,

Joan

(Since we may move back to PA where they look at what you do in Jr. Hi, I'm going to start now for my dd in 7th)

 

(ETA from later post)

Some other items to add to the list (some are ideas from a document I got from Lori D. - thank you Lori).

 

For the courses -

 

SAT II/AP/CLEP scores for a subject (these are photocopies of the real document which I keep in a special binder for safety and easy access for the few pages of external really official records I have)

 

Certificates of achievements, honors, awards (copies of ones in binder)

 

Lab reports (or sample of) and photo of a lab experiment being done.(some colleges have asked for this - but not all)

 

Photos of exceptional pieces of artwork

 

Brochures (within reason, for very special events) from field trips, concerts, educational programs or activities attended (where it was not the whole course, just additional)

 

 

For CAS (Creativity, Action, Service - taken from IB presentation) and work -

 

Theater/performing arts - printed program from play, recital, etc.,

 

Service/volunteer work - photos and documentation (see other threads)

 

Sports team - record of wins/losses

 

 

For the work experience envelope - besides the usual documentation and resume of work experience - photos

 

Other extracurricular activities - certificates of participation

 

I've been homeschooling in PA for 14 years, and most likely have 5 more to go...

 

WHile I like the idea of an envelope for each subject, I just gotta ask, WHY ALL THE WORK?  And what are you talking about, "Where they look at what you did in Junior High?" WHo looks at it?  You get an evaluation every year. The state law lists reqirements to issue a homeschool diploma, and none of that references 7th/8th grade work.

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Kimberly, if you are in PA - I think there are only certain courses which need to be documented for 7th and 8th grade...Let's see, from one site I found this - PA History/Geography, Public Speaking, Music, Art and some others are courses which fall into this category. So there are others but I'm not sure which...but one umbrella school I saw in PA wanted a list of all the courses taken in 7th and 8th. I'm not sure how much documentation is needed for the 7th and 8th grade courses....I'm just keeping it all in case. If you are in PA and find out, could you let me know (PM if need be?).

 

Thanks!

Joan

 

The PA law says there are subjects to be taught.  NOTHING in the law says how long, how much, or how often. Not every subject listed has to be taught every year. Some paid diploma programs set their own guidelines for their specific diploma, but those are optional to homeschool in PA- i never used one.

 

Here is what the law itself says: (Secondary is 7th grade+)

(1) 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.

(2) At the secondary school level, the following courses shall be taught: English, to include language, literature, speech and composition; science; geography; social studies, to include civics, world history, history of the United States and Pennsylvania; mathematics, to include general mathematics, algebra and geometry; art; music; physical education; health and safety education, including regular and continuous instruction in the dangers and prevention of fires. Such courses of study may include, at the discretion of the supervisor of the home education program, economics; biology; chemistry; foreign languages; trigonometry; or other age-appropriate courses as contained in Chapter 5 (Curriculum Requirements) of the State Board of Education.

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You are allowed to count course work during 7th and 8th grades toward PA graduation requirements in some subjects -- but you are not required to do so and cannot award high school credit for them. For example, you can check off the 1/2 credit health requirement if you complete it in 7th or 8th grade but you won't be accumulating the 1/2 credit itself. The benefit of doing the things you are allowed to count in junior high is that you can fulfill grad requirements without having to pack even more into the 4 high school years. There are some things you cannot count in junior high, too. I think the best sources for what you can do when are the various diploma programs like PA Homeschoolers (http://www.phaa.org/ ) or Mason-Dixon (http://www.mdhsa-pa.org/Program/Diploma-Program.php). But keep in mind that they have their own additional requirements to issue their diploma added to what PA actually requires for graduation. You are allowed to issue your own diploma without going through a diploma program in PA.

 

There is no "1/2 credit health requirement" Health and safety education must be taught in the secondary years (grades 7-12) but nothing in the law specifies how much, how long, or how often, and it is not part of the graduation requirements.

 

ALso, the PA Law says the following courses must be done in grades 9-12 to "count" toward graduation.

(d) The following minimum courses in grades nine through twelve are established as a requirement for graduation in a home education program:

(1) Four years of English.

(2) Three years of mathematics.

(3) Three years of science.

(4) Three years of social studies.

(5) Two years of arts and the humanities.

That's it!  Most of us do far more than that, but it;s always good to be aware of what the law actually does and does not require.

 

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There is no "1/2 credit health requirement" Health and safety education must be taught in the secondary years (grades 7-12) but nothing in the law specifies how much, how long, or how often, and it is not part of the graduation requirements.

 

ALso, the PA Law says the following courses must be done in grades 9-12 to "count" toward graduation.

(d) The following minimum courses in grades nine through twelve are established as a requirement for graduation in a home education program:

(1) Four years of English.

(2) Three years of mathematics.

(3) Three years of science.

(4) Three years of social studies.

(5) Two years of arts and the humanities.

That's it! Most of us do far more than that, but it;s always good to be aware of what the law actually does and does not require.

 

Yes, that's true. I don't mean to mislead anyone on what the law requires. Although I am planning on a parent issued diploma, I survey the various diploma programs for their basic standards. After all, I may find myself in a position to actually want to use one of those programs for reasons that I don't now know. If I am not planning with those requirements in mind, I could very well close off that option entirely by not documenting the hours or sessions for health or geography. I know a number of homeschool moms who found out that a specific college would have awarded more scholarship money with a PA Homeschoolers diploma, but their students didn't have a 10-pg paper one year...they had plenty of writing documented, but no single paper was at least 10 pgs. Seems kind of silly to me not to be aware of these toes of requirements. As the pp mentioned, most of us exceed the legally required minimums-- after all, the minimum would only result in 15 credits.

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How can I save this post for 13-14 years and still find it?   I really like this idea and have used something similar for things like SS cards, insurance papers, passports, marriage certificates, etc.

 

I'd just copy it into a document....

 

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Hi Rebel Yell,

 

I think Renaissance Mom answers the question really....it's about keeping options open. Maybe the situation of your children is very clear with no earthquakes that can come down the road like international moves, etc. But for us, we've had to be looking at various possibilities and how to keep the options open for as long as possible....

 

WHile I like the idea of an envelope for each subject, I just gotta ask, WHY ALL THE WORK?  And what are you talking about, "Where they look at what you did in Junior High?" WHo looks at it?  You get an evaluation every year. The state law lists reqirements to issue a homeschool diploma, and none of that references 7th/8th grade work.

 

 

. Although I am planning on a parent issued diploma, I survey the various diploma programs for their basic standards. After all, I may find myself in a position to actually want to use one of those programs for reasons that I don't now know. If I am not planning with those requirements in mind, I could very well close off that option entirely by not documenting the hours or sessions for health or geography. I know a number of homeschool moms who found out that a specific college would have awarded more scholarship money with a PA Homeschoolers diploma, but their students didn't have a 10-pg paper one year...they had plenty of writing documented, but no single paper was at least 10 pgs. Seems kind of silly to me not to be aware of these toes of requirements. As the pp mentioned, most of us exceed the legally required minimums-- after all, the minimum would only result in 15 credits.

 

Yes, this was exactly my thinking at the time....thank you for summing it up so well.

 

Rebel - to answer about 'all the work' - it's not that much work to just put the stuff in an envelope as you go.

 

The longer you wait - I can guarantee from experience - the more work it becomes.

 

When we started 9th grade for my 3rd, I didn't know for sure what we were going to do, we were doing one year at a time. But then in the fall of 11th I realized that ds could graduate early if I organized it properly but we needed an external diploma, so then we had to go to a 'school'. To get the credits, I needed certain documentation....Sometimes I had to reconstruct... and that's where those documents come in handy...But trying to fish out books you used, years later, is really a nightmare - especially if you've sold them or given them away!

 

It's like having food in the storeroom for me - I feel secure and therefore don't have an internal drive dealing with the anxiety of not knowing the future....I've saved as much as possible and can morph it without deception depending on the needs of the future.

 

But you might not need what I'm doing at all. You know your situation best - my message is only for those who don't know the future/ don't know where their children might end up...

 

Joan

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Hi Rebel Yell,

 

I think Renaissance Mom answers the question really....it's about keeping options open. Maybe the situation of your children is very clear with no earthquakes that can come down the road like international moves, etc. But for us, we've had to be looking at various possibilities and how to keep the options open for as long as possible....

 

Rebel Yell, on 02 Jun 2014 - 11:10 AM, said:snapback.png

WHile I like the idea of an envelope for each subject, I just gotta ask, WHY ALL THE WORK?  And what are you talking about, "Where they look at what you did in Junior High?" WHo looks at it?  You get an evaluation every year. The state law lists reqirements to issue a homeschool diploma, and none of that references 7th/8th grade work.

 

 

Renaissance Mom, on 02 Jun 2014 - 5:52 PM, said:snapback.png

. Although I am planning on a parent issued diploma, I survey the various diploma programs for their basic standards. After all, I may find myself in a position to actually want to use one of those programs for reasons that I don't now know. If I am not planning with those requirements in mind, I could very well close off that option entirely by not documenting the hours or sessions for health or geography. I know a number of homeschool moms who found out that a specific college would have awarded more scholarship money with a PA Homeschoolers diploma, but their students didn't have a 10-pg paper one year...they had plenty of writing documented, but no single paper was at least 10 pgs. Seems kind of silly to me not to be aware of these toes of requirements. As the pp mentioned, most of us exceed the legally required minimums-- after all, the minimum would only result in 15 credits.

 

Hi Rebel Yell,

 

I think Renaissance Mom answers the question really....it's about keeping options open. Maybe the situation of your children is very clear with no earthquakes that can come down the road like international moves, etc. But for us, we've had to be looking at various possibilities and how to keep the options open for as long as possible....

 

 

 

 

Yes, this was exactly my thinking at the time....thank you for summing it up so well.

 

Rebel - to answer about 'all the work' - it's not that much work to just put the stuff in an envelope as you go.

 

The longer you wait - I can guarantee from experience - the more work it becomes.

 

When we started 9th grade for my 3rd, I didn't know for sure what we were going to do, we were doing one year at a time. But then in the fall of 11th I realized that ds could graduate early if I organized it properly but we needed an external diploma, so then we had to go to a 'school'. To get the credits, I needed certain documentation....Sometimes I had to reconstruct... and that's where those documents come in handy...But trying to fish out books you used, years later, is really a nightmare - especially if you've sold them or given them away!

 

It's like having food in the storeroom for me - I feel secure and therefore don't have an internal drive dealing with the anxiety of not knowing the future....I've saved as much as possible and can morph it without deception depending on the needs of the future.

 

But you might not need what I'm doing at all. You know your situation best - my message is only for those who don't know the future/ don't know where their children might end up...

 

Joan

 

:thumbup1:  There are so many people in PA who seem to thrive on fear- my early years of homeschooling were founded on fear. I was so afraid of some official boogeyman coming to tear my kids out of my home that I saved everything they ever did. I tried to do everything every day of every year, and it was a nightmare. So I get a little twitchy when I keep seeing things listed as requirements when they really aren't. Better if we all phrase them as "As required or desired for certain dimploma programs or evaluators."  For example, there is a gym nearby that promotes itself to homeschoolers as fulfilling the PE requirement. Nice, but not possble since there is nothing in the PA law spelling out what exactly is required of PE, KWIM?

 

I'll say again, I DO like the envelope system much better than my "STUFF IT ALL IN A BOX AND SAVE EVERYTHING" method, which was a raging disaster. Although Diamond didn't need anything I had saved for graduation/diploma/college, I knew there were at least 5-10 papers/assignments/projects from each grade that I wanted to keep, so I've spent the past year slowly wading through 13 giant boxes to sift them out. I HIGHLY recommend doing it in a more organized manner- but again, based on FEAR, I felt like I had to keep everything.

 

:willy_nilly:  I'll be spending a good part of the summer sifting through the younger two's boxes.

 

 

 

 

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 my early years of homeschooling were founded on fear

 

I know what you mean about that....but there was so much unknown back then....Over here now, there is still a lot of terrible unknown and the EU is really clamping down on HE....
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