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The week in progress- Oak Meadow History

Our homeschool is much more productive when I type up weekly assignment sheets for the high school students.  Not that I always do, ahem…but I should.  Here is what they look like, not high-tech at all…

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I type them up on google docs (it’s in the cloud so I can move around on different computers) and I don’t mess with tables or charts, just type them in and add big, bolded o’s for the kids to put a check-mark in when completed.

This is Josie’s sheet.  She is on week 16 of Oak Meadow World History.  I simply look through the OM syllabus and through the textbook and decide what she should do for the week.  There is a lot of reading and information to cover in the textbook and we have to keep moving, so I try to keep the work not too-involved most weeks.  Her Biola classes also keep her very busy.  This week, I pulled the bolded words out of the text and asked her to make a definition page, this is not in the OM syllabus.  The OM syllabus has a list of great essay questions after the reading, so I did assign one of them, and then asked her to think about another (because I know she has a lot of writing to do with Biola already)  As I was looking through the chapter in the textbook, my mind keeps wanting to go down rabbit-trails…so I did add in two documentaries from Netflix, and some extra reading and short 2 minute videos from history.com  -because I just have to do the rabbit trails… {help me}  I made an effort to keep it simple so we could move on to the next chapter next week, but it was an effort…

She has gotten behind in her Math, so I am assigning two pages most days.  Her Biola class syllabus are pretty involved, so I just ask her to check and follow them, and then check mark that she did so.

My younger students just do what I tell them to, though some weeks, I do sheet for them, too…but not often, it’s just a bit too much for A.D.D. mom

I am really enjoying Oak Meadow, I like that it keeps me moving, and that everything is in the textbook…as long as I don’t get distracted!

how’s your week?

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About the author: Jenn; writer, photographer, homeschooled five children and lived to tell the tale.

{ 7 comments… add one }

  • Theresa February 26, 2013, 11:18 AM

    My oldest is in junior high and we could be doing more. Do your older kids work independently? Do you watch the documentaries or read with them? Do you grade their work? If so, how?

  • Jenn March 1, 2013, 12:05 AM

    Hi Theresa,

    My two highschool students work independently, but my 7th grader still needs me to tell him what to do :D I do watch documentaries with all of the kids, and I do still read aloud some books to my two youngest- grades 7 and 5, but my highschool students do all of their own reading…though sometimes I catch them listening in when I am reading to the youngers. I only grade the highschoolers’ tests and quizes. It is fairly easy to factor in assigned work, for say, 20% of their total grade, but I tend to correct things and then make them re-do it if not satisfactory or if they missed too many problems, so it’s not really worth grading, in my opinion. My highschoolers take two outside classes each year with Biola Star, and they do grade everything, and use rubrics for essays. I get a very complete print-out each quarter of their graded work for those classes, and I go on to award the grades those teachers assigned. Up to this year, I have only done report cards with grades for my high school students, but starting this year I will be doing so also for my Jr. High students- again, using grades from tests and quizes but not for daily work. I hope that helped, but it was a characteristically “scattered” answer, now, wasn’t it?? :)

    • Theresa March 4, 2013, 11:36 AM

      Thanks, Jen! As my girls get older, I am trying to figure out how to best meet their needs as they become more independent. I have given a few tests and quizzes here and there, but we don’t do a lot of that. As they get older and we start thinking about college, I think it gets more important that they understand grading and testing more.

  • Hevel March 2, 2013, 7:49 AM

    That’s a really good idea! I use Excel to keep track of my home schooler’s progress, and the weekly/biweekly homework/project cycle for the kids in school.

    • Jenn March 20, 2013, 12:12 AM

      Hevel,

      that is really a great idea. I can’t figure out Excel, I asked my dh once to show me, but he thought about it and then abandoned me back to my notebook with sticky notes stuck into time-slots…he said I’d be happier with the notebook… :P

  • Nj April 15, 2014, 6:36 PM

    Dear Jenn,
    Your 2013 information re: Classical Conversations helped to solidify our guess that it would not be a good fit for us. So, I am wondering if you can tell me more about your take on Oak Meadow history. I am really considering it for 6th and 7th grade history. Some people said it is “light”. I really liked what I saw on their website, but a few samples doesn’t tell the whole story. Anything you can share would be helpful, but my main questions are 1) do you think it is comprehensive enough or is augmentation a must? and 2) are the teacher’s manuals a necessity for history?

    Thank you so much!

    • Jenn May 4, 2014, 6:06 PM

      Dear NJ,

      thank you for your comment :) I only used the High school Year of World History all the way through, and I’ve dabbled a bit, in and out with 5th grade; so my opinion is a bit limited. First, on the 5th Grade Curriculum which covered History, English and Science. I really like the Grade 5 materials, I do think you need the teacher guide to get the most out of it. I really like the gentleness of the material, that it interweaves themes and lessons between the subjects -like you will get some Science in the History etc. I like that their is a lot of hands-on activities and a lot of art. We are an art-loving family here. I did find the English to be too light, and had planned to use something more challenging. I did not make it very far with the 5th grade curriculum because life has been a big challenge for me the last year and a half, (depression is one big factor in that) and I’ve struggled to just keep up with the basics for my two kids, which for me is Math and History. My second daughter did work through the whole High School World History curriculum and it had a definite different feel than the younger grades. You will also need the teacher guides for it. The high school History used a standard textbook and went rather fast through it, I thought. There was a lot of reading assigned each week. My kids are all strong readers, so she was able to keep up with it, but I thought it was a dizzying amount of facts/concepts to absorb. The questions asked each week were great, very though provoking. There were also several project ideas offered each lesson that you could chose to do or skip and the I thought there was always at least one of two that were well worth the doing, and the choices included some that took more time/effort and some that were quicker to finish. It was a good curriculum, but too fast paced in my opinion. If I do High School World History with my two younger students, I will not be choosing Oak Meadow again. The syllabus was really very helpful and easy to align with using a public school charter- that part was great, but I would rather go with a more literature based program next time, that slows down in some important areas. I still have a whole year of My Father’s World World History I purchased and did not use much of, I think I will use that if we need to do High school World History. Here is a link to a blogger that uses OM and blogs about her days in great detail, you might find her blog insightful:
      Nancy at Home’s Cool

      I hope some of this was helpful, wishing you a great homeschool year,
      -Jenn

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