Schedule - How to fill state requirements

Art, Foreign Language, Music, Nature Walks, as well as general ideas and encouragement
Sue in MN
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Joined: Sat Mar 24, 2007 12:01 pm

Schedule - How to fill state requirements

Unread post by Sue in MN »

State History
Kelley wrote:Usually 4th graders study their state's history. How do you do this while using MFW?
In my state it is not required in 4th grade. Are you sure it is required in 4th grade or is that just when the public school studies it? I plan to study state history the last year of the 5 year cycle because that is when MN came into being. Also, I am a member of the MN Historical Society. Our family visits lots of state historical sites for field trips and vacations. Once we get to officially studying state history my children will have had a background of lots of hands-on history.
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Re: State History

Unread post by Marie »

We plan to include state history in the Five Year Cycle, in the final 4-6 weeks of Year 4. That way you have the option of using the summer to continue field trips to local sites of interest. It's also a great idea to begin those trips now, too.

Check on your state's specific requirements. Usually the requirement is flexible concerning what grade state history must be taught, and some states don't even require it, so you do have some flexibility in teaching state history.

Please keep praying as we develop these program. God is faithful and is showering us with ideas. We need wisdom to put it all together and His continued guidance. And the ability to efficiently accomplish all that He gives us to do!
Julie in MN
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Location: Minnesota

Re: State History

Unread post by Julie in MN »

I am always amazed that Marie has thought of everything! But if you are worried about state history now, there are optional weeks given at the end of ECC -- you could either use them at the end, or add them to your study of the U.S. Or you could just focus on books about your state in the book basket when you are studying the U.S.

Also as Marie mentioned, even if you're not doing ECC, traveling even to grandma's or wherever is a great opportunity to add state information. Even if it's not your state, you can compare states!

We often bring a book about our state or the state we are visiting. Or you could create or purchase a packet about your state, and do a little before, during, or after each trip. There are state worksheets online at About.Com or other web sites. Or a journal could be kept, including travel brochures etc. Another option is a writing assignment or oral presentation -- have the child research & teach the family!

Even a Travel Atlas has loads of info to jump off from. Which state do you think is bigger, ours or theirs? What's the state capital? Was it always the capital? Is it the largest city in the state? Was it always the largest city? How does it compare to our city? What's the state tree & why might they have chosen that -- beauty, industry, history, common, uncommon? How far from here to there? Etc.

It's more fun to learn state facts/trivia when actually seeing the state!
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002+)
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Unread post by LSH in MS »

Posted: Wed Jun 06, 2007 8:01 am

State history is included as a 6 week study in EX-1850, as well as how to write a state report.
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Unread post by kellybell »

Posted: Wed Jun 06, 2007 8:42 am

One nice thing about MFW in general is that it is not so demanding that your family has no time for extra studies (or extra hobbies). With light Fridays, it's easy to take field trips to state parks or historic sites.

So, yes, the subjects are covered, but you've also got time for elaborating on them (or on any subject that you wish).

State History

Unread post by cbollin »

Margaret Schrock wrote:In talking with other mothers I've been hearing that fourth grade is the time to do state history. Since I have a fourth grader I'm a little stunned at this news. We are doing CTG this year. Do I need to add state history in too? I wasn't expecting this so soon.
Just one opinion... It depends.

If you are at risk of violating state homeschooling laws if you don't do state history in 4th grade, by all means add it in on light and independent Fridays. Maybe you live in a state that it is required in the elementary years and 4th grade is just a convenient time for some to do it.

On the other hand, if it is just the tradition that your friends are doing (vs. a legal requirement) and you want to do some fun field trips with them, then have fun on the field trips and read some trivia books and travel brochures from around your state. Plan some field trips for fun as a family. The more formal aspects can wait a bit. In MFW scope and sequence, you'll have the opportunity to do formal state history as a 4-6 week unit in EX1850 by doing a research report with a book called Writing a State Report.

We do "state history" all the time just by reading markers around town, and visiting the historical museums, and participating in the downtown shopping district festivities, and visits to state park nature center, and then once in a while, we drive near the capitol to see the sights. Oh yeah, and we mention things like sports in our area too. That's part of state history too. In other words, it can be very informal this year. hmmm..... maybe I should take the kids to that museum this Saturday.

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Unread post by Toni@homezcool4us »

I learned state history in 6th grade and have heard this from folks in other states as well. It's a good age for taking it in.
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Unread post by TriciaMR »

Being a Military Brat...

I got European Art and Architecture when we traveled Europe when we lived there.

I got Utah history in 3rd grade, when I lived in Utah. This was scattered around through the school year.

I got Texas History in 7th grade, when I lived in Texas - a whole year. (And, Texas history incorporates about 1/3 of U.S. History, plus Utah and Colorado History.)

I got Colorado History in 8th grade - half a year, when I lived in Colorado.

In Colorado, we are required to teach Colorado history some time, but it is not specified when in the state law. I was going to hit it when we did modern times.

I don't know if there is a *best* time to teach it. You can see, I got lots of states histories at different ages. Just do it when it works best for you, unless state law requires it.

Trish - Wife to Phil, Mom to Toni(18), Charlie(14), and Trent(14)
2014-2015 - AHL, CTG
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Julie in MN
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Location: Minnesota

Unread post by Julie in MN »

I just want to repeat what has been mentioned about EX1850. MFW dedicates 4 full weeks to a state study at the end of EX1850. And it's the perfect time in history -- just when all the states are being formed.

Also about the field trip ideas you have already gotten -- we did a LOT of field trips in earlier years & I created a Minnesota history notebook. After each field trip, ds would type up a summary, I would add specific dates for the sites, we would include any good photos, and voila! A very nice state history study :o) I'm glad we did that during those years, since we are busier now in 7th grade when we will do the state report.

Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002+)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs
Margaret Schrock
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Unread post by Margaret Schrock »

we have no requirements in our state,
we've been a natural history museum, historical museum,Native American Cultural center and state heritage museum in the past few years,
we love reading true stories like The Abernathy Boys about people who lived here long ago.
I was taking for granted that EX1850 would round us out nicely.
It sounds like a notebook of our activities would pull it all together .
Thank you ladies.
Margaret,Mom to dd 10, ds 9, ds 7, dd 5. Wife of a wonderful man.
'09-'10, Rome to Reformation and Kindergarten.
Completed: Kindergarten 3 times, 1st three times, Adventures, ECC, CtoG.
Jenn in NC
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What to add to MFW's recommendations?

Unread post by Jenn in NC »

Jamie wrote:I have a son who will be starting 4th grade this coming fall, and in our state, we have a required amount of hours to fulfill. When I figure it all out, he'll need about 6 hours/day.

From what I've read, it sounds like ECC (what we'll be doing starting in the fall) would take around 4 hours/day. I know that we have some "life projects", music practice, etc. that can count for hours, but does anyone have more suggestions? What are some other things that your family has used that have been beneficial, both academically and in their walks with the Lord? What are some of your favorite resources? Thank you!!
Phys Ed? Something light and fun, something active. Boys need it anyway! May as well count toward school. :)
mommy to four boys & two girls... and another boy on the way :)
completed K, 1st, ADV, ECC, CTG and RTR
2009--2010 Enjoying Exploration to 1850
Julie in MN
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Location: Minnesota

Re: What to add to MFW's recommendations?

Unread post by Julie in MN »

I wouldn't underestimate the power of those life lessons you mentioned. Service, chores, music, and foreign language take time if they're going to be mastered.

I also would look at whether a child can realistically absorb more than 4 hours of focused lessons per day. In public school, they certainly cannot provide more than that. You could always take attendance and make announcements :-) (just being silly here).

That said, here are things that come to mind that use up our extra minutes:
* field trips and related learning about what we are going to see (e.g. orchestra visits come with curriculum and homeschool classes)
* nature walks - really commit to them
* add Drawing With Children to ECC, to help with science drawing (if you haven't finished it already)
* hymn studies are recommended as an extra in ECC
* stamp collecting is also suggested in ECC
* phy ed -- from chin-ups in the house to homeschool days at the ski hill or bowling alley, and these can also be paired with a short "lesson" about rules of games & such, easily found online
* board games and videos and building kits that relate to school topics
* one year we kept a weather chart (I think it was from )
* this year my son's doing a "shop class" with dad, and sewing classes could also be done
* more ideas are here:

Have fun with your extras!
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002+)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs
LA in Baltimore
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Re: What to add to MFW's recommendations?

Unread post by LA in Baltimore »

I always add a subject called "life skills" to my homeschool.
Everything my children will need to be all God has called them to be in life.
Depending on age it has included:
setting the table
clearing the table
making breakfast, lunch, or supper
sorting laundry
doing laundry
folding laundry
raking leaves
mowing the lawn
cleaning the house (dusting, vacuuming, dishes,...)
car maintenance
projects with dad

You get the idea.
From year to year, they probably have over 20 items on their list.
All of this is part of school.

Also, all their service opportunities are part of school hours.

Hope that helps!
Only by His grace,
LA in Baltimore
Currently enjoying Rome to the Reformation
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Re: What to add to MFW's recommendations?

Unread post by HSmommi2mine »

Don't forget to count church, cooking, letters to grandparents exc. for your school hours. Also, your hours can count for a whole year. You don't have to fit them all in in 9 months. Museums and learning about nature during the Summer count too.

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Mom to 3 great kids
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Finishing early? What do YOU do?

Unread post by Fly2Peace »

rawbanana wrote:Ok, so I am gearing up to start ECC this fall (first year doing MFW). This past year has also been our first year of 'Aug-May' school year and we are taking the summer off for the most part.

So. What do you do if you finish early with MFW for the year? Say we start end of August (we dont really take breaks during the school year but we do have 1-2 days off a month for playdates and craft days with friends) and we finish early, like in March or April...would you go ahead and start the next year (which would be CTG) or would you wait til the NEXT official school year starts?

I love the idea of getting ahead of the game and that is what we have done to this point (sometimes my girls do a weeks worth of lessons in a day in LA or math just because they 'get it' and can move on)

mom of 5
in NE
My thoughts... I wouldn't want to get too far ahead of the game. I mean, I don't want a young high school graduate, that then is considering college young. That is a whole new world of peer pressure. Not that I am not trying to prepare them, and gently introduce such things, but, the reality is, they haven't faced that kind of pressure, and won't until they are on their own and in college.

So, what would I do if it seemed we were going to finish early, or were likely to do so.... I would let the rabbit trails lead a little more into interest directed studies. I would expand on book basket and library time. I would spend an extra week on a country that fascinates my children for a variety of reasons (interested in serving as a missionary, interested because that is where the ancestors are from, interested because you support a missionary there, etc). I would make sure and do the activities to their fullest. Take your time to do them, as they truly add to the memories, and tie in the learning. Try new recipes from different countries.

And, I would be so thankful to be in such a position, because I think for many of us, life, and illness, and moving, and taking care of extended family, etc. get in the way, and we would love to be ahead, but struggle to stay current. :)
Fly2Peace (versus flying to pieces)
Wendy B.
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Re: Finishing early? What do YOU do?

Unread post by Wendy B. »

I have always been a fan of get ahead and stay ahead.

With my olders it meant that we had time in the middle school years to do an extra study. I had a rule in place that I would not graduate them until their 18th birthday so even though they worked through the bulk of their studies in 3- 31/2 years, they had time to explore other interests and develop other skills before worrying about college and career. Being ahead also helped when I spent 15 weeks bedrest during their middle school/highschool years!

I'll probably just keep cycling the littles through the MFW History cycle until their 14th birthday when they will start the highschool cycle.

Wendy B.
Graduated ds '08 & dd '09
Homeschooling ds 11 & dd 8 using RtR
completed: MFW 1, ADV, ECC & CtG.

Re: Finishing early? What do YOU do?

Unread post by cbollin »

In general, while they are in grades 2-8 --- you can re use any of the MFW programs for unit studies. Then, you can keep on with language arts and math by just reading more books. If they are a really advanced reader and you hit 8th grade and need to fill in because you finished early (whatever early means.....)

*can that kid do something else like community service for the rest of the "school year" (that can apply at many ages)
*can the kid do a beginning level "career" prep course (applies more in jr. high)
*what about doing various electives for the rest of the school year like archery, or home ec, or something like that. or starting to learn various computer stuff.
*what if your advanced 8th grader is really good in language arts and starts the SAT Prep study book a semester early? (ok... we haven't done that, but it was an option we considered. We opted to more yard work and gardening instead. we have so many flowers and plants in our new house that we have to figure it all out. somehow reading from SAT prep just didn't seem as exciting.....
*field trips!
*reading some state history stuff in our new state. hmm.....

I like having a little bit of break on me at the end of one of the MFW years to have a "vacation" from it and do something else. I also like the flexibility of a unit study like MFW that you can start and stop it whenever.

Like Wendy, we do get ahead in some things, but that doesn't mean they have to start or graduate high school early. And especially with a multi level unit study program like MFW, you don't have to start them in high school until they are 9th grade age even if you get ahead in a history cycle.

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Re: Finishing early? What do YOU do?

Unread post by tiffany »

It doesn't hurt to have a bit of a cushion to help in cases where circumstances are beyond your control, like illness or moving. If you get too far ahead, you can always schedule more vacation days- or cleaning days! You could even have a longer summer break!

I myself am behind right now, so if I were you, I would have a party first and then stay ahead of the game. :-)
Wife to Tim ('88)
Mother to Sophie 16, Jonathan 14, Joey 12, Noah 10, Matthew 8, Eli 4
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Re: Finishing early? What do YOU do?

Unread post by meagabby »

I love field trips. They give me a break and we get out of the house to do something other than grocery shop or have lunch and Mickey D's. :)

My family is usually in the 'behind' group because of moving so much. But by having taken the time to do some field trips that are educational but not always within our study year, give them the benefit of recalling that info when we study it and also remembering the city/states we've been in. I understand if you wait until the end of your year to do the extra things like that, for us it has also been a way to get to explore our new surroundings.

Last year we moved and one group was going to the birthplace of Helen Keller. Not really in our CtoG studies, but I was also unsure how long we'd live in AL. We drove 3 hrs one way to meet this group and tour the grounds. Most of our day was spent in the car, but we had a wonderful discussion on the way home and my oldest 2 took in so much information they occasionally bring it up 15 months later.
I remember alot of my own elementary school field trips, and that was a long time ago.

Maybe you could find some local things you haven't done and do them. My husband and I never thought we'd move from our hometown and now that we've moved 6 times we wished we'd seen some of the historic places that people take vacations to see.

** and assuming you live in a state that doesn't require a certain number of school days or between certain months**

Loving learning with MFW!
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Re: Finishing early? What do YOU do?

Unread post by RachelT »

We will be "finishing" our 180 required days of school - and our ECC materials - earlier this May than we ever have before. Partly because we have traveled less than in past years. Anyway, even last year, when we finished up around the same time as the other local schools we did a few more weeks of study during the summer. We did a short Bible study and workbook for younger kids about money and stewardship. We had time to read more library books and we always do the summer reading program. They took swimming lessons. We worked on 4H projects. One child went to an art camp one week. We also had a week of Vacation Bible School. We continued to do math 2 times a week and reading two times a week. We continued with our musical instruments and my son still had Tae Kwon Do. We could also go outside more easily for many more walks and bike rides. So we had lots of fun, summer activities, but we were still learning.

So many of these "fun" summer things are also very educational and we really like being able to do some of these "other" things that we just can't fit in during the school year. I also heard Marilyn Boyer speak at our homeschool conference in Feb. and she said that each summer is when she trains her children in learning new chores or tasks, then they are responsible for those for that coming school year. They change chores again the next summer.

I do like to keep a morning routine and a rough schedule and we don't want them to forget everything, so last summer we did math 2 mornings and reading/writing 2 mornings each week, but that didn't take a lot of time. Of course we read the Bible and other books each day, too. I think there are still lots of ways to learn during the summer, but they don't have to be a full curriculum.

Rachel, wife to Doug ~ 1995, mom to J (17) and B (15)
MFW K (twice), 1st (twice), Adv., ECC, & CtG 2006-2010,
Classical Conversations 2010-2016,
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MFW and MO 1000 hour requirement

Unread post by sojen »

300sms wrote:Does anyone know how, with MFW being in MO and all, I can reconcile the schedule with MO's 1000 hour requirement? I'd like to use just the grid for my record keeping and pencil in the hours spent for each lesson but since there is a 600 core / 400 non core stipulation I am not sure how to do this or if it will work. I just keep losing track of our time no matter how much i try to keep up. That and I seem to spend a lot less time on NCore than I feel we should.
Sorry, I don't live in MO but a math challenge always grabs my attention :) Thinking out loud:

In Ga the law states we are to complete 4.5 hours a day for 180 days on academic subjects. The curriculum brings me up to 170 days and I add 10 more for field trips. (or extra projects, etc.) Each day we work approximately 4.5 hours (3.5 in the morning and one in the afternoon). Fridays are light days, but with math, LA and any extra projects or science experiments during the week it usually averages out just right.

So 4.5 hours a day for 180 hours equals 810 hours. When you say non-core can that include recess, sports, music lessons, etc? That's a little more than an extra hour a day. I'm not exactly sure, but if non-core is a loose term that can include all sorts of things our kids do during the day- reading, playing games, helping with the grocery shopping, crafts, etc.

I can't get it to work out exactly, but if you do 5.5 hours a day for 181 days you get 1001 hours. You could count 3.5 for core and that puts you at 633.5 for the year. Will they complain if more than 600 is core? That would seem silly, but the law of the land, especially for homeschoolers, is often silly :~ Then two hours a day non-core. (again, depending on what this entails it could easily happen.) In addition to the 34 weeks written in the TM you would need to add 11 more days. When we take a field trip we often print notes from the location website ahead of time to make the visit more academic.

This probably didn't help you at all, but thanks for giving me something else to count. Now how many light bulbs in the chandelier. One, two, three...
Jen in GA
mom to dd 11, dd 8, and ds 5
traveling through the medieval world with RTR.
Slowly starting kindergarten with my little guy.

Re: MFW and MO 1000 hour requirement

Unread post by cbollin »

I have several friends who live in Missouri. Some use MFW Some don't. Many of them use some kind of literature and unit study kind of stuff. So, they tend to use more of a spreadsheet (either computer or paper) to track hours instead of using the MFW teacher's manuals that way because the MFW manuals are designed to track days. So even if it might seem a little bit more paperwork, it seems in the long run to make it easier to know that productive hours are in the core stuff over the day and just easier to track.

Lots of people I know in Missouri recognize that homeschooling hours in core vs. non core goes well beyond what they are doing in curriculum stuff. So it's the perennial debate in Missouri about clock hour vs. academic hour, and what if they are reading a book while cooking supper, or listening to a classical music CD while in the van and all of that. What about learning that happens in evening or weekends? It's the perennial debate: if the family is together, then does it count as hours in the school, or away from the school?!?!?! blah! it's nuts. I continue to pray for good changes in those laws.
sojen wrote:Sorry, I don't live in MO but a math challenge always grabs my attention :) Thinking out loud:
Jen, if you are interested in playing with it..... check here
let's just say even though we would have liked to have moved closer to family and friends in st. louis, I'm thankful to homeschool in a different state. ;)

lots of the hours can be meet throughout the whole calendar year and don't have to be confined to "academic 9 month"

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Re: MFW and MO 1000 hour requirement

Unread post by 1974girl »

I have never figured out the whole time requirement thing. My kids were in public school for a while and they did a lot of wasted stuff. Her second grade teacher flat out told me that they wait in line for an hour every day. Wait for lunch, wait to get into the library, wait in line to go to the bathroom, wait in line for the bus, etc. Then they have recess, PE, Music, Art all as special classes, lunch, etc. Her teacher also told me "You can do in 2 hours what I try to do all day." She knew the struggle with the class and was supportive of us homeschooling actually. SHe had taught over 30 years and this was her worst class so far. it better for your kid to go to school for 7.5 hours a day when they can't learn because the kids are disruptive and the teacher is doing good just to teach "the middle of the road" to the kids? Or is it better to have 2-3 at home with mom one on one where they are safe, loved, and learning way more than in public school? Just my 2 cents.
LeAnn-married to dh 17 yrs
Mama to Leah (14) and Annalise (11)
Used from Adventures on and finishing final year (1850-modern) this year
"When you teach your teach your children's children."
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Re: MFW and MO 1000 hour requirement

Unread post by 4Truth »

MFW user in MO here! Now, keep in mind that I'm not a lawyer and you might want to call HSLDA just to be sure..... In the meantime, I can go ahead and tell you how we do it.

Easiest way I've found is to photocopy the weekly grid, one per child, and keep those in their 3-ring binders. (Since we have to have a portfolio of their work, the way MFW does this serves that purpose beautifully.) That way I can fill out their individualized lessons completed for the 3 R's and enrichment right there on the grid, without having to re-write all the "together" stuff that we did. I write down start and stop times at the top of each day, and then mark each subject C or NC (Core or Non-Core). Then total the time spent on both Core and Non-Core subjects and write that at the bottom. Then in another place (could be a calendar or a special form just for this purpose or anything), I keep track of total weekly hours, both for C and NC, and keep a running GRAND total from one month to the next.

Not sure if that makes any sense....

If you find you don't like photocopying the grid x number of children and doing it that way, here's another pencil-and-paper resource that works great for those of us who have to count hours: She has the special forms for running totals at the back of the book, and she has a few different layouts that you can choose from, depending on your schooling style and # of kids.

I encourage you to join FHE, Families for Home Education in Missouri, which is our state lobbyist group that actively works to keep it legal AND to keep current homeschooling laws friendly for us. You'll find some links to recordkeeping resources on the FHE site, but if you get a copy of First Things First, it has samples of recordkeeping forms (recording those beasty Core and Non-Core hours) to show you how it should be done. FTF has a lot of other helpful info in it, too.

Amanda, how old are your kids, and which year of MFW are you doing? Maybe we can help you figure out how to build your Non-Core hours?

[editor's note: be sure to read the copyright page at the front of your MFW teacher's manual if you decide to make copies of your grids]
Donna, with two MFW graduates and the "baby" in 11th grade! %| Using MFW since 2004.
Posts: 1
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Re: MFW and MO 1000 hour requirement

Unread post by 300sms »

Thanks everyone! I have 3, 15 and 8 boys and babygirl is 20 months. We are doing ECC this year. I think my problem this year is that since using MFW we are doing less of the Home Ec than I was doing last year. I need to try to figure out why. I think part of it is just not keeping track since it is not set apart for a weekly class like last year. On Friday I would rotate each week but this year it is just getting done whenever because baby girl is 20 months and all over the place. I am just not in a groove this year at all. :(

I did ok last year with the hours and such but the way I did it took forever and just won't work with this year. I basically broke everything down into how much time each week we needed to do but since ECC has so much more that is Core I am really finding us short on NC. Perhaps i am just not thinking clearly about what to count as core. For instance I just remembered typing would be NC. Maybe if I could see someone elses list of Core vs Non core my brain would engage properly again, lol.

I am so grateful we live in MO as it is one of the most flexible states to Home School in. I do a portfolio but was not aware it was mandatory only one of the options in the laws. I belong to HSLDA and have thought about FHE as well but not sure, I will have to check out their site again.

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