When do you begin using My Student Logbook with your children?
I wait until mine are old enough to read their assignments and figure out which box to check all by themselves. For us this has been around second grade.
Is My Student Logbook a homeschool planner?
No, not really. Homeschooling parents still need to plan out their long-term, yearly, and quarterly or monthly goals and plans. This could be as complex as purchasing an expensive planner or as simple as writing a list down on paper or the computer. My Student Logbook is the daily implementation of those plans.
Will My Student Logbooks work for everyone?
OK, so call me really bad at advertising, but I’m going to have to say that, apart from the Bible, there is nothing out there that is right for everyone. Our families are just too wonderfully varied (bringing glory to our creative God) for there to be any “what-every-family-needs” product.
(That being said, My Student Logbooks might come close!)
What does your husband do?
My husband is a Materials Scientist in private industry. His BS degrees are in Physics and Engineering Physics and his PhD is in Physical Chemistry. He absolutely loves it.
Yes, he is a geek. He once brought me daisies in an erlenmeyer flask (it’s what he had on hand) and will ask for things like a “monolayer of noodles” for a toddler’s plate – not thinking anything of it. He is constantly thinking outside-the-box and has a little bit of a very cute absent-minded-professor personality (he will often walk into a room and have no idea why he is there or sometimes wander around looking for something he is already holding in his hand). He also has a great sense of humor and doesn’t seem to mind when we tease him about it. He reminds us that some of the greatest scientists tended to be absent-minded (he’s convinced this also goes along with having a messy desk). He is also the most loving, Godly man I have ever met. And yes, I’m in love – can you tell?
Our dinner table conversations are quite loud (usually with multiple people talking at once) and tend to revolve around the topics of science, politics, and theology (all discussed at a child’s level) with a heavy dose of silliness thrown in. Even our 8 year old knows the theological implications of the second law of thermodynamics and that circles have infinite sides – poor kid.
Since your husband is a scientist, does your family believe in evolution?
If the word “evolution” were used properly (it means change over time), we would say, Yes, the biological world has definitely changed over time – resulting in quite a loss of genetic information since creation. But evolution is usually used to mean molecules-to-man evolution and we find that way of thinking both academically and theologically dissatisfying. It’s also one of our favorite topics – who doesn’t love a good debate?
Where did you get the idea for My Student Logbooks?
Ann’s Corner and my husband. You can read Ann’s encouraging organizational ideas here: http://www.robinsoncurriculum.com/view/rc/s31p429.htm (Check out her other articles, too!)
Ann drew columns on a spiral notebook, filled in all the dates for the year, and left one sheet for assignments sticking out the side. I immediately liked the idea, bought notebooks and went to work with my ruler and pen. Unfortunately I found I am not very good at either drawing columns or filling in dates. After messing up about three times, using tons of white-out, and realizing I was only through the first two weeks of the first notebook (I needed 4 at the time), I was practically in tears. My husband stepped in and said, “You can get a computer to do that for you.” So, with my wonderful husband’s help, we made My Student Logbooks. At first we made them just for us, then we made them for us and a couple of friends, and then it just grew from there.
Has anyone ever told you they didn’t like your product?
Yes! Several years ago my husband and I took My Student Logbooks to the Oregon Christian Home Education Conference. We had a great time, wonderful conversations, and still sell logbooks each year to some of the precious families we met there. One of the funniest things though was one lady who stopped by our booth and spent about 30 seconds looking at My Student Logbooks. She matter-of-factly said, “Not complicated enough,” and walked off. It still cracks me up. Since “not complicated” was what we were going for, we took it as a compliment. 🙂
What are some of your favorite websites?
In addition to those listed in other tabs, we also use:
and many others I am sure I am forgetting.
What curriculum do you use?
We loosely follow the Robinson Curriculum philosophy – that school should be simple, focused on math, writing, and reading (reading being a very large catch-all category), and that students can learn to read directions themselves (self-teaching). However, we don’t tend to follow the Robinson Curriculum book list very closely because we are very delight-directed and have many other books of our own choosing we like our children to read.
Spell to Write and Read by Wanda Sanseri
Simple math flash cards and manipulatives
Play games (learning to follow directions is SO important!)
At first, we use simple math workbooks I pick up at any one-stop store – mostly to practice reading and following directions.
When they become solid readers, we begin Saxon 5/4 math – usually around 2nd or 3rd grade, but we only do 1/2 lesson a day until they get the hang of it.
Spell to Write and Read by Wanda Sanseri
After they are able to write individual words, then they write a sentence of their choosing each day. Next, a couple of sentences a day, then a paragraph or a letter to someone, and finally they need to write a page a day (usually around age 11). Most of the time, they write on topics of their choosing.
Easy Grammar grades 3, 5 and Easy Grammar Plus (high school level)
Bible: We start with 10 minutes per day, then 15, and finally working up to 30 minutes each morning when they become proficient readers. They can also pray Scripture and memorize during this time.
Lots and lots of books – mostly of their choosing largely focusing on whatever area of science, history, or how-to they are interested in. We emphasize non-fiction much more than fiction. (My husband and I read almost no fiction).
McCall-Crabbs Test Lessons in Reading Comprehension
This is when things are getting more formal for us. We checked out the admissions requirements of a couple of universities we might be interested in (primarily based on location) and are following them plus what we feel will be most beneficial to our children as they prepare to operate as Christians in the spheres of their vocation, family, church, and government. As our oldest is in high school (we have not graduated anyone yet) we are still working out all sorts of details. I’ll try to post more details as I have time.
We are blessed to live in a college town and have decided we would much rather our children stay at home and go to a secular college than go to a Christian college and live in the artificial college-environment among peers (we are not interested in ivy league schools at the undergraduate level, either). We plan to keep our costs low using CLEP and AP exams as much as possible. We most likely will follow that with taking as many online courses through the university toward their degrees as we can, and finishing with the few classes they will actually need to go to campus for.
We have already told our children that their degree options are limited. (My husband once told them they were welcome to get any degree they wanted in addition to their physics degree – and I’m not sure he was entirely joking!) We have pretty much told our children they need to get a degree in science or engineering (though if they think God may be calling them to a different path we will certainly be praying with them and try to always follow His leading). The reason for staying within science or engineering (besides the fact that they are incredibly useful, fun, and God honoring) is that while many non-Christian world-views exist in a secular university, they are mostly taught in the liberal arts departments. Professors in science and engineering may hold non-Christian views, but they still have to operate from a mono-theistic worldview or they couldn’t do science or engineering. The harder (meaning more mathematical, not necessarily difficult) the science, the more this generalization holds true.