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Unschooling & Recording - Some Ideas for Collecting Samples of Children's Writing
by Beverley Paine, Oct 2018
Susan mentioned to me on The Educating Parent FB page that the "biggest problem [she has] is working out how to report without any physical 'written' samples."
Lists were probably my standby for checking how my children's handwriting and spelling were progressing. What the kids wanted for Christmas or their birthdays. Camping lists, what to take. Itineraries, what to do.
One year we had one of those calendars where you can fit a few words onto each day, and the kids would write (or draw) what they did that day. This made a fantastic record of a busy year filled with a huge variety of activities.
Another time I drew up a calendar (one month's duration) and we recorded the weather, with the children writing temperatures, humidity and drawing clouds, rain, lightning or a sun to denote the type of day.
I found science experiments often gave rise to opportunities to record, particularly change over time. Recording our expectations and then later revisiting them in light of what actually happened was often interesting!
I'd wish I'd kept up my gardening diary - I'd be a much better gardener by now if I had!
I've even taken photos of my grandson writing in the sand at the beach - some of his first attempts at writing were done in the sand.
I asked what other home educating parents do in my The Educating Parents Homeschooling and Unschooling group. Here are some of the ideas people use:
And finally, something I'd do when pushed for time and starting to panic because there really wasn't anything we could zip out and use to reassure the registration officer that home education was happening, I'd ask the kids if they wouldn't mind penning a story or something to satisfy the registration requirements. I'd let them know it wasn't necessary but would make the process flow more smoothly, and that they'd get another year of freedom to learn however they wanted... And I found that because the kids didn't have to write every day to prove they could they'd usually say yes, and we'd sit and brainstorm ideas.
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Beverley Paine with her children, and their home educated children, relaxing at home.
Together with the support of my family, my aim is to help parents educate their children in stress-free, nurturing environments. In addition to building and maintaing this website, I continue to create and manage local and national home educating networks, help to organise conferences and camps, as well as write for, edit and produce newsletters, resource directories and magazines. I am an active supporter of national, state, regional and local home education groups.
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We began educating our children in 1985, when our eldest was five. In truth, we had helped them learn what they need to learn since they were born. I am a passionate advocate of allowing children to learn unhindered by unnecessary stress and competition, meeting developmental needs in ways that suit their individual learning styles and preferences. Ours was a homeschooling, unschooling and natural learning family! There are hundreds of articles on this site to help you build confidence as a home educating family. We hope that your home educating adventure is as satisfying as ours was! Beverley Paine
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