Friday, July 26, 2013

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Hope Is My Anchor: Catch me on the radio!

Hope Is My Anchor: Catch me on the radio!: Friday afternoon, from 5-6 Eastern time (4-5 Central), you can hear me on the Dr. Katherine Albrecht show for her "Good News Friday" Segment! Click the link to find out how you can tune in to this live call-in show or listen to a recording later.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Review: Lee Binz Transcripts, Comprehensive Record Solutions

I've enjoyed a number of seminars that Lee Binz has created on how to determine grades for high school, how to create transcripts, what records to keep, course descriptions, and more. A couple of years ago I purchased her Comprehensive Records Solution, which came with a whole bunch of freebies at the time (access to seminars about transcripts and grading criteria, transcript templates, record-keeping tips...)  It also came with lots of examples of course descriptions and other material.  I've found this invaluable!

Ever wonder how to calculate a grades?

Or how to present your child's accomplishments in a way that colleges are looking for?

Or what records you need to keep and how to organize them?

Check out Lee's FREE webinar for answers to these questions and more! 

I love her transcript samples, and she has forms you can download right to your computer to fill in. Very professional looking. I enjoy making templates for various forms in Word, but this is one time that I really appreciated having something already set up for me and easy to use. (If I remember correctly, there were other formats to choose from--Word is just easy for me, so I chose one formatted in Word).

Lee's Total Transcript Solution also includes access to a lot of great bonuses online, including a free 20 minute consultation call and a month's access to her Silver Care Club. You can see those at the end of the webinar.

With the Comprehensive Records Solutions, I also learned how to make course descriptions. If you have a student who even wants to TRY to apply for scholarships, this is an important step to take. However, even if not, I still find it helpful personally.  This is the one place where I keep a record of all the books we read, what the course was about, what grading criteria I used, what my student's grades were for tests, papers, discussions, lab reports, reading lists and so on. I can at any time look back to see how I calculated last year's math grade, or what books my son read for history to compare to what I'll have my next child read, and so on. The seminars and examples helped me see exactly how to decide grades and organize our records.

If that sounds like a lot of work--it's truly not. I jot down my kids' grades throughout the year--I keep a simple record in my Teacher Binder. Then, at the end of the year, I make a list of all the classes we did. (I also keep a list of any extra activities as we go, and keep this list in my records file--some of those activities might make nice "extras" on a transcript or might turn into classes worth credit--Lee explains how to do that, too.)  I often find a description that is exactly what I need (including examples of what to base grades on), or close to it, and then just type up reading lists and other info. Each year, it literally only takes me one evening (about 2-3 hours) to fill in the transcript and make a complete record of all the classes that my oldest did--and it's such a relief to do this as we go and not have the stress of waiting until his senior year and then wonder what to do!  My son's only going into his Junior year, but already I have looked back at his Freshman year and forgotten things he had done or books he read.

If you are wondering how to grade a subject that doesn't have tests (which happens here because we use a lot of Sonlight materials), or how to best present what your student has accomplished to prospective colleges, this training  webinar has great info to help you.

A friend of mine has Inge Cannon's Transcript Boot Camp, which also had some helpful information, but with the "rubber meets the road" stuff, I find myself using what Lee set up for transcripts, grading, and course descriptions. She had things so well organized, that once I found what I liked and needed, it's been easy to adapt for our homeschool.

In my case, I'm not sure I'll ever need to send more comprehensive records to a school, so the Total Transcript Solution probably would have worked just fine for me. I like having the extra info though, and feel it's kept me better organized, and I'm glad to have the records if I do need them. Even just for my own use year to year, I find I've referred to them often. Lee saved me tons of time and worry by showing me what records to keep and how to keep them, and I'm so thankful!

I don't do lots of affiliate programs, but when something really changes my homeschool for the better, I like to share about it, in hopes that it will help someone else and possibly help me with a few expenses too! So, this is one program I did decide to become an affiliate for. Check out her free webinar and see if it might be helpful for you too, and let me know what you think.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Free Summer Reading Printables

If you're looking for some fun reading practice for younger students this summer, you might enjoy some of the free printables from AALP.

All About Reading Activity Bundle

Have fun!