Thursday, January 3, 2013

What Grades Are Your Kids In ?

O.K  I may be officially a Montessori Junkie!! Because I am up way too late due to Montessori inspiration.

Has anyone been homeschooling long enough that you have actually forgotten what grade your kids are in? LOL.

I was thinking as far as required work goes I could  have some sort of system that they would use to fulfill some of the state standards according to the work that is available on the shelf. As I was reading the standards I noticed that I was in the wrong grade level:)

DJ specifically is all good if we are talking about age. If he was to attend public school  tomorrow he would be placed in fourth grade based on his last attendance in school ( he skipped kindergarten:) Anyways, he does mostly fourth grade work with the exception of his reading which is pretty high.
We live in Michigan. The standards aren't that high! LOL. It is also a non reporting state, WooHoo!!

Ken is doing sixth grade work with room for improvement in the math department. Everything else is all good.

I need some ideas or suggestions to keep these kiddos on top of their game and still allow me to do less presentations so they can repeat some work, go deeper with work, and not get interrupted so much by me.

Any suggestions, any thoughts?


  1. We realized a few weeks ago that Me Too is telling everyone he is in Kindergarten when in reality with his summer birthday we would have held him back a year and he would be in kindergarten next year. Kal-El told him he was a kindergartener. Thanks kid. We laugh about it right now, but hope it doesn't bite us in the rear sometime in the future if we decided to send him to school and he thinks he has already done the grade we planned to put him in.

  2. That's a tricky question as homeschoolers isn't it? I find that the kids are on different levels depending on what subject we're talking about. My daughter still shrugs when people ask her what grade she's in (2nd... sort of!). You mentioned, "I am up way too late due to Montessori inspiration." I'm excited to see what you come up with... I always love checking out what you've been up to. Oh, and I can relate to being up too late!

  3. It seems, from what I've read, that your children are very goal-oriented. What do you think about showing them the standards for their grade level (one at a time, or for one subject at a time, perhaps, so as not to overwhelm?) and just having a quick conversation with them about what material they think could help them meet the objectives defined by the standard.

  4. My son has been telling everyone he's in 4th grade for about 2 years now ;)

    All children, even children in public school, have skills that are all over the place. Wouldn't it be great if all those children were in multi-age classrooms where they could work at their own pace and have time to master the lower level skills while still proceeding further ahead with the higher level skills? Hm. One of my reasons for homeschooling ;)

    The elementary theory album covers this topic perfectly ;) There are the 'public school curriculum' requirements that I have re-named 'local educational requirements' to suit a wider (ahem, homeschooling) audience ;) Basically, what happens if someone is following the guidelines to a T, in a classroom setting, is that the 3rd grade and 6th grade public school state standards are posted somewhere in the classroom. The 3rd and 6th grade (approx. age 9 and 12) children then are shown how to look it over and use it as a guide to make sure they have all the noted skills and experiences. The adult should make sure there is enough material available that the children CAN gain the experience they need, but without the adult filling in just everything (the children should be creative and find their own ways). However, there may be times that the adult does need to give some presentation or another. It is not supposed to be used as a checklist, but as a guide. Part of me says "same difference" - but I do understand the nuance on one level.

    What it means in general terms is that the child's potential final year in a Montessori environment before transitioning elsewhere, they will check where they are at and be responsible for getting themselves filled in where needed; and have the confidence going to the new environment that they have everything they need.

    In practical homeschooling life, you modify according to your own needs. As long as my son and I stay where we are, we'll use it for the ages where my son would be 3rd and 6th grade (we are also in a non-reporting state, but we don't even have to cover specific subjects - only attendance!). But some people live in areas where they need to meet certain standards every single year (certain Canadian provinces come to mind), so they need to have each year's out - at that point, I recommend the *teacher* be responsible for the first two years at each level and still only post for the children's responsibility the 3rd and 6th grade. And the requirements will just have to be built=in to the child's day.

    Also - in practical homeschooling - those requirements include family requirements. Our household is based on Christian faith, thus there are some requirements along those lines; increasing chore responsibility over the years; subjects that particular families value; study of particular foreign languages because of family situations.

    Sometimes in the state standards there are things that only show up in 2nd grade; or 4th grade; so it's a good idea to browse through them all. But for the most part, they simply build on one another - and there is a lot of repetition I have found. Also, not every curriculum aligns with the state standards, so no state expects the child to know everything in the standards of a particular year. However, the way it is described in the theory album and in the lectures at my training is that Montessori classrooms are supposed to ensure that ALL the standards are met. How that plays out in real life is different for every school ;)

    So that is how we approach it! We use the state standards in those years; and I do have one homeschool programs set of lesson plans we use for about half of each school year (really it's less than half, but I still say half), just to record progress that way too - just in case there is any "trouble" with particular individuals.


  5. Wish I lived in a non-reporting state! We have to report our progress every quarter. It's such a pain. I only keep track og grade level because of that, otherwise I wouldn't care as much what level they were working at! I wish I could be a total unschooler, but NY makes that hard!

  6. Thank you everyone for your comments and suggestions. Lots of great ideas and I used them all. We are ready to rock 'n' roll tommorrow!!


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