I’m excited to introduce Tara to you today! She is sharing with us how she created independence in her homeschool, and I just know her insight will help you out!
We use a lot of technology in our homeschool day. From You Tube videos to online articles to vocabulary review, it was getting hard to keep up with all of the links I needed my fifth grader to access throughout the day. Not to mention, I hated having all those tabs open on my desktop. So, I came up with a great solution! I created an assignment blog for Emma. She can use the laptop or the Kindle or the iPad to access the links she needs. An added bonus of the assignment blog is that it has enabled Em to work independently on quite a bit of her assignments. I just make a note on her daily checklist when she needs to check her blog.
On her blog, I am able to create a place to keep her reading log. She likes looking back through this to see what she’s read throughout the year. I can also create pages for web quests. For instance, right now she is studying Lewis and Clark. I have put all the links and pages of instruction in one place. We’re also working on a “Famous Ballets” unit study. To supplement this study, I found clips on You Tube from each of the ballets we’re reading about. At the end of each lesson, she goes to her blog to watch the video from that day’s ballet.
I can put lengthy copywork passages on her assignment blog and save on printer ink. You can see, I have also created a page for bracelet tutorial videos for her Rainbow Loom bracelets. This keeps her off of You Tube, but it gives her access to new techniques. I know that is totally unrelated to homeschooling, but I thought I’d take advantage of that opportunity since I had a safe place to compile those videos.
This is a snapshot of a typical day on her assignment blog. For record keeping purposes, the title of the post is the current date and # of days in school. You can see that for history and vocabulary, I linked to activities outside the blog. I make sure all my links open in a new screen. That makes it easier for her to navigate back to her home page. If possible, I embed videos on her blog. It’s easier that way.
When I sit down and prepare my lesson planner for the week, I go ahead and draft her daily posts. Once the draft is complete, I schedule it to post early in the morning the day it should go live. This keeps the current day’s post at the top of her blog.
This assignment blog has been a real lifesaver in our homeschool day as Emma thrives on the independence this gives her throughout the day. It is also a nice little reflection of what we’ve accomplished day-to-day and throughout the school year.
Tara Mitchell is a wife and mom to three beautiful children ages 19, 15, and 10. She enjoys reading, cooking/baking, and crafting. When she’s not driving to and from her children’s activities, you can find her blogging at This Sweet Life. You can also connect with her on Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, and Facebook.