Thursday, August 26, 2010

Ohio Homeschoolers are trying to get their notifications in before the start of the public school year. I wrote about this a little bit here and also here and I'm adding a bit more information.

The notification form for Ohio Homeschoolers is available here.   This is the standard form for the state. Some school districts (like mine) send their own form.  Just ignore it.  The standard form is compliant with the Ohio law and that's all the school district is really entitled to.  YOU ARE ONLY REQUIRED TO GIVE THE INFORMATION ON THE FORM.  Do not give any additional information like social security numbers.

The first five items on the form are pretty easty to comply with. I also make a list of the books and courses that I am going to useas required in item #7.  This year's book list is here. However, I always ran into a little trouble with the #6 in the list of required documents.

(6) Brief           outline of the intended curriculum for the current year. Such outline is for           informational purposes only

I wasn't sure what a "brief"outline was exactly?  Wouldn't my list of books and resources pretty much suffice as an outline of what I hoped to cover?  No.  Because when I sent I sent in just the book list with the forms, I got a letter back that they needed an outline. For years, I took every textbook with me down to Kinkos and copied all of the tables of content.  It was a lot of work, a lot of money and a lot of paper! Plus, I'm pretty sure they never even looked at them as I totally forgot to put Calvin's math book contents in with the packet one year and no one ever questioned it!

So a few years ago I tried putting the list on line on one of my blogs with links to each book.  In my cover letter I mentioned that this was to be my "brief outline."  That's the year I learned they don't read the cover letters either.  I got a form letter in the mail a few days later asking for my outline.

What to do?    I wanted something I wasn't going to slave over, something that wouldn't require LOTS of copying and would satisfy the regulations.  That's when I found the Typical Course of Study Site by the folks at the World Book Encyclopedia!

They have all of the grades through 12th grade and they are easily copied and pasted into a word document where they can be easily adjusted and changed to meet your needs.  They met the requirement of a "brief outline" for my school district!  If you're a newbie in Ohio, or if your state requires an outline, maybe this will work for you too.

There are other options too. The Ohio Department of Education Standard Guides.  This isn't as easy to use for a quick cut and paste, but for parents that want to come up with a goo doutline, this is a useful tool. 

This year I also purchased Cindy Down's Check list.  Here's a summary:

The Checklist contains 194 pages and includes:

step-by-step directions

a checklist (scope and sequence) of topics that students study from K - 12th grade. Unlike other scope and sequences, The Checklist is not organized by grade level. Instead, the topics are listed sequentially or by subject matter so that you can teach the subjects you want, when you want. For example, the history topics are listed by time period from creation through modern times; the math topics are listed by skill development; and the science topics are listed within subtopics such as oceanography, astronomy and meteorology.

lists of major events, important people, important places, discoveries and accomplishments, and/or terms to know for each history topic.

lists of important people related to each topic along with their country of birth, date of birth and death, and a brief description of their contribution.

lists of explorers of the world, countries of the world, U.S. symbols, U.S. States and capitols with their abbreviations and the dates they entered the Union.

lists of well-known authors, artists, musicians, and missionaries

recommended books for primary and secondary students (both American and world literature)

lists of reading, math skills, writing skills, grammar skills, art skills, and MUCH MUCH MORE!

There is no need to purchase more than one copy. There is room on The Checklist to keep records for two or three children. Purchaser is granted permission to make copies of The Checklist for additional children, if needed. (This permission is restricted to purchaser's immediate family.)

I have this on my computer and can print out any pages we are working on at the time.  This too is a good resource for coming up with the required Ohio outline.

Speaking of lists - this book is helpful.  I saw it at the CHEO convention and it is on my wish list!
Homeschooler's Book of Lists, The: More than 250 Lists, Charts, and Facts to Make Planning Easier and Faster

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