Monday, July 25, 2011

One year down- PA Home Education Portfolio (First Grade)

Summer has flown by, any other summer hasn't had near as much significance for our family as this one. We've been out of town for family emergencies, we've had our ear infections, we've gone through the essentials of summer chaos and more importantly, this year was our very first summer off from homeschooling. I feel like a kid again, the anticipation of the school break! No long days of arguing, no days of working on school stuff at 9 at night (because we spent the day running necessary errands), no early mornings fussing over school plans...just good old fashioned summer vacation. With that said, obviously we made it through our first year of home education.We had our very first home school evaluation, our first portfolio and our first approved review. Some days it seemed to really go by slowly and painfully, other days seemed to pass before I knew it. Riley truly is thriving best at home and he's a million times happier, he's a totally different kid. 

Unfortunately, I've come to realize that most of the difficulties of homeschooling involve the paperwork. That seems to be life, dealing with the government is always the worst of it. It's not really a huge deal but it is stressful for me to have these expectations and it can be a pain to document things so thoroughly. Its the paperwork that intimidated me the most in the beginning and its the red tape that continues to frustrate me today. The only benefit of this mess is that we're SUPPOSED to have  textbooks and curriculum provided free of charge. Although I would gladly give it up if they'd give me back my tax dollars, I'm currently dealing with the school district about what they are choosing to lend. Legislation says they owe it to me, they're saying this district does not actually use text books for social studies, science, history etc. Its baffling that law dictates "appropriate education" with an extensive subject list, but they don't have books? I guess we'll see. With that said I did compose Riley's portfolio for the year, it was emailed to the school district as a PDF file, (easy peasy!) and we received our approved review from the superintendents office. Score! The bulk of the portfolio follows, hopefully it is useful for someone who may be wondering about what they need to do for a "state approved" portfolio. 
In addition to the following summary, I also attached my documented days of instruction (required), evaluators evaluation (required), some pictures and examples of projects, and the work sheet examples. I enjoy looking at the extensive list of things we accomplished this school  year. Its a good way to document your child's education whether its state law or not. Although I did enjoy the final result, I can't say I'm not looking forward to the day when Riley puts it together himself. 
Approved Home Education Review
Riley Morrow completed 70 days at East Stroudsburg Elementary School. From December to June we have completed his total requirement of 180 home education days. English and Math are the core of our learning each day with additional work in Geography, History, Science, Health, Gym, Art and Music. English, Science and Math he has a consistent routine of worksheets and write outs. For subjects such as history and health we rely mostly on library books and educaional television. In addition to at home physical activity Riley participates in Sport activities run by the Pocono YMCA. His education was based upon standard first grade curriculum objectives. He exceeded standards in some subjects such as math, Geography and science. His reading and writing has improved greatly since the beginning of the year however, he has a tendency to read words more easily than spelling them from memory. Due to his hearing impairment Riley continues to struggle with pronnunciation, phonics and vowel sounds.

First Grade Objectives, Summary of topics covered-

English and reading
Expand sight word vocabulary, spelling
nouns, adjectives, verbs
consonants, vowels, vowel sounds
contractions, compound words
reading comprehension, Recall the sequence of events in oral and written stories
Discuss story elements such as plot, character, events, and setting
Understand basic punctuation (capitalize first letter of a sentence, use periods and question marks, etc.)
Identify the main idea and details in a story
Print legibly
Recognize single and plural forms of nouns
Write in complete sentences
Differentiate between fiction and nonfiction stories
Memorize and correctly spell between 130-150 words

Riley is able to read the Provided English books for his grade level. His writing and forming sentences needs improvement however he clearly comprehends and relays details of stories. He continues to improve on his reading. He can not pronnounce or comprehend many consonant combinations and vowels due to his hearing but he does show that he can read the words fairly consistently. We have completed all English work provided by the school district as well as purchased work books. His reading improves greatly with practice and completed reading tasks.

Understand greater than, less than, lighter than, heavier than, the same as, etc.
Order Place, higher, lower, heavier, lighter, least to great.
Recognize Odd and Even numbers
Recognize and write numbers up to and well beyond 100
skip counting, Count by 2s, 5s, and 10s to 100
Mentally add numbers to 10
Add and subtract to 20
Add and subtract with pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters
Tell time to the hour and half hour (riley can tell time to the closest 5 minute mark)
Fractions, ¼, ½, 1/3, etc. (One part shaded, x of y equal parts)
Recognize shapes, plane shapes
Identify, describe, and reproduce patterns with number, shapes, colors, or words
Uses simple graphs, and charts to record information
Recognize simple mathematical symbols
Read thermometers and use measuring tools like rulers

Riley is able to tell time on a standard clock, he can add hundreds, count money, repeat patterns and is beginning multiplication. Math is a subject he shows consistent improvement in. He can count well beyond 100, and he can add and subtract. double digits as well as hundreds. We have completed all of the given Math books provided by the school district as well as purchased work books. He's currently practicing his subrtraction and learning early multiplication.

History, Social Studies
Locate the United States, the seven continents, and the four oceans on a large map or globe
Construct and interpret simple maps with cardinal directions and map key
Directions, North, East, South, West
Types of Land and bodies of water, mountains, hills, desserts, plains, rivers, lakes etc.
Demonstrate awareness of current news
Understand traditions that reflect American ideals and influences from diverse cultures within the nation (dumpling soup, chinese new year, holidays, traditions)
Pilgrims, mayflower, first thanksgiving
colonial america, school, food, houses, jobs
george washington
benjamin franklin, inventors, electricity
Abraham Lincoln (and presidents day)
Declaration of Independence, The constitution
American History
Military Appreciation, Air Force, Army, Navy, Marines, Veterans Day, Memorial Day,

The pilgrims and colonial America was discussed in great detail. Pennsylvania's history was discussed, the liberty bell, and Independence hall. Honor and character was discussed, George Washington and Benjamin Franklin were personalities we discussed repeatedly. Character content is discussed frequently and it is the foundation of our day to day routines. This year Riley studied social behaviors, emotions and senses. The constitution, freedom and constitutional rights was emphasised greatly. For geography we completed a Geogrpaphy work book as well as read multiple library books. He's learning about the continents, reading maps of cities, states and the world map. He recognizes the compass rose, map keys and directions.

Science and Health
seasons, weather, lightning, snow, percipitation, clouds
planets, solar system, orbit, days, years
plants growth, edible plants, plants as medicine
irreversible and reversible change
solid, liquid, gas
gravity, sinking, floating
where does food come from?
the food pyramid
animal behavior, habitat, needs, growth
feelings, behavior
safety, fire safety, strangers, safety on the internet
Explore the senses — hearing, sight, smell, touch, and taste
life cycle of living things, such as plants, frogs and butterflies

Riley shows a good deal of interest in science. We regularly watch cat in the hat knows a lot about that, as well as sid the science kid. He has a great understanding of animals, the seasons, and growing cycles. He's learned about decomposition, solids, liquid, gas, irreversible change, solutions as well as a great variety about animal behavior and natural farming. As a family we are very involved with nature. He observes animal behavior day to day from chimpunks, to deer, bears and turkeys. Every year we are involved with local agriculture, Riley is able to pick apples, blueberries, cherries, pears and a variety of produce directly from the trees.

Other Subjects
Art: crafting, Mix primary colors to make secondary colors and describe the process
Music: Use hand percussion instruments to learn rhythmic patterns, high and low sounds, rhythm
Physical Education: Improve eye-hand coordination, balance, flexibility, and ball handling

Riley has an acoustic guitar that he strums on. He can replicate rhythms and beats. He can recognize primary colors and mix colors some. He loves to color and draw. For physical education we walk frequently, recently he learned how to ride a bike. On days when weather is poor he plays wii fit and is active with his brother playing. Riley also participates in YMCA sports activities such as youth soccer.

Computer- Riley is learning to type and he visits sites such as PBS kids and Fraboom. He uses interactive games as a tool for learning as well as fun. He understands how he's “supposed” to type, how to turn a computer off and on and understands the difference between the internet and computer programs. Riley has also learned the importance of privacy and not talking to strangers online.

Riley's First Grade Curriculum, 2011 (finished reading list)

Provided By Our Local Public School
We were given a Math worksheet book as well as a Language Arts package. The Language Arts package includes text books as well as multiple workbooks. This is the core of Riley's English and Math work. He has completed reading all of the provided Language arts books and he has completed all workbooks, both the ones provided by the school district as well as the ones purchased. Samples of his work will be attached.

enVisionMath (Math)
ScottForesman Reading (Language Arts, includes 5 textbooks and 5 work books)

Purchased Work Books-
School Zone Beginning Reading Grades 1-2
School Zone Addition and Subtraction Grades 1-2
Scholastic Grade 1 Writing Practice
Scholastic Success with tests, Reading workbook
Evan-Moor Read and Understand Science Grades 1-2
American Education Publishing-Grade 1 Comprehensive curriculum of basic skills
spongebob phonics (wipe off erase, vowel sounds)
scholastic maps workbook grade 2
Completed Reading List- (In addition to workbooks and English package)

Buzz Aldrin Reaching for the Moon by Buzz Aldrin
Weather, Clouds By Ann Herriges
Weather, Lightning By Ann Herriges
cycles- pumpkins by robin nelson
apple trees by robin nelson
Pumpkins by Cynthia Klingel
Whats so good about vegetables by Ron Randall
Postcards from pluto, a tour of the solar system By Loreen Leedy
The planets in our solar system By Franklin M. Branley
Nature Books- Snow By Kristin Ward
Sunshine By Ann Herriges
Living on a mountain by Joanne Winne
Earth by Arthur Henry Pluckrose
Seasons By Jim Pipe
Penguins by Emily Bone
North America by Virginia Mary Fox
mother earth and her children by sibylle von olfers
Oceans by Emily Green
Forests By Emily Green
Deserts By Emily Green
What is a solid? By Jennifer Boethroyd
What is a Gas? By Jennifer Boethroyd
What is a liquid? By Jennifer Boethroyd

Health, Social Studies & Other
The New Food Guide Pyramid, Healthy Eating By Emily K Green
eating right By Helen Frost
Soccer by Bert Rosenthal
Little Squarehead By Peggy O'neil
Stop, Drop, and Roll By Margery Cuyler
Lets Talk about Keeping Safe by Sarah Levete
Tolerance by Lucia Raatma
Respect by Lucia Raatma
Peacefulness by Lucia Raatma
Jordan has a hearing loss by Jillian Powell
From Grass to Milk by stacy Taus
From wheat to bread by stacy taus
Dumpling Soup By Lillian Hsu-Flanders
Odd and even socks By Melanie Chrisner
Thomas goes Fishing
I love hugs by lara Jones
Cat in the Hat by Dr Seuss
Knights of the round table Adapted by Gwen Gross
Frog and toad all year by Arnold Lobel
All about money by Erin Roberson

...If you sailed on the Mayflower in 1620 by Ann McGovern
pilgrims in america,by lily melinda
George Washington by Philip Abraham
Benjamin Franklin By Phillip Abraham
The declaration of Independence by Melinda Lilly
The Boston Tea Party By Lilly Melinda
Abraham Lincoln By Pamela Walker
Presidents Day By Laura Aldon
Land Preservation By Christine Peterson
Pilgrims before the Mayflower By Susan Whitehurst
The folks in the valley, A pennsylvania Dutch ABC by Jim Aylesworth
Food in colonial america by mark thomas
work in colonial america by mark thomas
Homes in colonial america by mark thomas
School in colonial america by mark thomas
fun and games in colonial america by mark thomas
America A patriotic Primer by Lynne Cheney
The Plymouth Colony by giana Polac Williams
Pilgrims of plymouth by susan e. goodman
Colonial Cooking by susan Dosier

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