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December 7th, 2013, 05:31 AM
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Frackel Frackel is offline
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: In my house :p
Posts: 1,288
Originally Posted by Sassalota View Post
I don't have anything to add to your question as I just wanted to say that I also would like to know the same thing you have asked. It is so confusing.

My question to add to that and it is probably pretty obvious and depends on the state but how do you do your record keeping with the curriculum you do on your own? Do you have grades? What if your child wants to go back into an online school after doing a year of your own program? Would he have a transcript? I know the online school have the same transcripts as regular but it just confuses me how you do it if you use your own curriculum. Would your child have to rely on placement testing to enter school?
I can answer that part

I keep all of my own records. The work the kids do tends to go into a binder. We don't necessarily keep everything(in the same way you wouldn't keep every single paper you ever got from any school, lol). But we do keep a lot of it. I keep every school year together until we're finished. Then they get put into folders and boxed up.
I keep a, I guess you'd call it a list, or schedule, of everything we're doing. It's not necessarily too specific, but it does break things down by subject and then topic. Like for example I might have written down Literature-and under that, what literature we cover. For Math I'd have Math-and then further break it down by subject from there. It's more of a checklist, I suppose. I don't keep it necessarily for record keeping sake, more or less to keep us on track, so I know we've covered everything we wanted to cover. Most curriculum programs have it all spelled out for you pretty well. You go from the beginning, to the end, all lessons (for the most part) figured out, all subjects "in order"..things like that. If that makes any sense.
When putting together your own curriculum, however, you won't likely have that organization if you use multiple sources, so you have to create it yourself. I honestly think it took me longer to do that part, than it took me to figure out what we planned on covering for the year, lol. Sometimes organization isn't my favorite thing in the world. I prefer organized chaos. We understand it, but it's not likely anyone else ever will, haha.
I don't give letter grades, if that is what you mean, but then again most schools don't offer them anymore either. At least not in the traditional sense. They've changed how they grade over the years, well it's ever changing, but even more in the last few years.
I do give them percentages though, at least on some things. Mostly that's just for big tests though. For the most part it's just me grading their work, letting them know what they got wrong, why they got it wrong, and in some cases them re-doing the work if needed. As long as they understand the subject, and we're both comfy going on from there, it works for us. If I can see they're struggling with something, we'll focus on it a bit longer. That's one bonus of some online schools. They can tell by your child's answers whether or not they need to perhaps do a little more work in that area. Unfortunately in a brick and mortar school, for the most part, wrong is just wrong. There's not a whole lot of room for going back over something, fixing it, or trying a different method until the child actually understands it. There's just not enough time in the day for that kind of thing.(add in 20+ other students, and that's exactly why there isn't enough time in the day, lol)

But, this kind of record keeping can, and will help, if needed, should one of my kiddos decide at some point they want to return to either a brick and mortar or even an online school. Sadly, most online schools don't require much in the way of placement. Then again, neither do brick and mortar. It's more or less based on age, or assumed grade level. If a child shows that grade level is far too difficult, or easy, then they'll address a new placement. Until that point, it's mostly based on assumptions though. I say sadly because some parent do truly know what grade level a child is at, whether or not a school(any school, of any sort) agrees. Sometimes parents don't get much of a say. I think that happens more with brick and mortar schools, but really it can happen with any. I had that issue with our online school. My children were working at a much faster pace than they anticipated them being able to. While we were able to go grades ahead on some things, we weren't on others. It turned into a big disappointment in some areas, which can be problematic. Just as with any children stuck in an environment they feel is, educationally speaking, behind them....the kids tend to goof off, not do the work and generally not have the bets attitude when they're stuck doing something they really don't need to be doing. Again, that may not make sense anywhere but my own head, lol.
At least when I do it myself, even if I weren't completely piece parting everything together and using a full curriculum from one source, I can still cater to their exact needs. Some online schools will only allow so much wiggle room. That was what we ran into. Wiggle room here and there was ok, but if we tried to create too much wiggle room, it became a problem. I realized that halfway through our first year doing it, but decided to try and go for a second anyway. A good experience overall, but not ideal for us, at least not now.

Some schools, brick and mortar are more known for this, will allow testing for placement. Not all will though. That is totally dependent on the school itself. There is no all across the board answer. Most schools don't need transcripts at all and even if they ask for them, rarely get them. Even between different public schools, actually getting a full transcript record isn't all that common(it should be, but it's not).
You can keep your own transcripts if you want though, it's not hard to do. Even if you choose not to do letter grades for the most part, you can still do letter grades(or percentage, or whatever other grading system you want to use) for the nine weeks/semester/year(or however else you break it down). For instance, if I had been doing letter grades for our first year, my son would have gone through the first nine weeks with approx a C in language arts, because he was playing an awful lot of catch up at the time. I would have put that in my records, but I would have also had files in my records to show why/how that grade came to be. Not quite the same as a traditional transcript, because they don't tend to back up the actual grades with physical proof of them. They're simply a letter, or percentage, in some computer program. That's part of why I don't like transcripts. They give the absolute most minimal look at a child's education possible. I would never let a school use a transcript alone to place one of my children, should they ever decide to go to one again. Because of the simple fact that, they're minimal and say very little, if anything, useful. Actual work in hand, more in-depth records, could easily tell a completely different story.

I apologize for the length, I talk too much
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