Sunday, August 23, 2009

Activity Points

I have always wanted to do projects with the kids, but never seem to get around to them. They don't ask for them, either, so I've never been too concerned with it. However, I do believe they have some value. I want the kids to think more about what we're studying, and I think these would help. I also think having them do some long-term (3-4 weeks) projects will help them learn how to schedule and some time-management skills. While thinking this through, though, I came to realize that I don't want to just assign them different projects. I want them to have some choices and some personal investment in what they choose. With that in mind, I came up with what I call "activity points".

For a 9-week term, I am requiring 30 activity points. These are divided into two different categories - hands-on projects and books. Since my children are not crazy about projects, I wanted to give them the opportunity to earn some of them by reading extra books. They have to do one long-term project that is worth 7 points. They also have to earn 5 points in books. Other than those requirements, they can earn the 30 points in any combination they choose.

BOOKS I went through TOG's alternate book selections and Sonlight's booklist. I had quite a few of these on the shelf already. The rest will come from the library. I made sure I had several biographies on the list, because Robert really enjoys those. My list of books for term 1 are the following:

I chose point values based on Renaissance Learning's Accelerated Reader program. We are not using their program, but I did find it a handy way to assign points to the books.

PROJECTS I went through TOG's guide and made a list of all the activities they suggested, broken down by week. From there, I assigned them anywhere from 1 to 7 points, depending on the difficulty of the project. Unfortunately, I can't share that list here because it is part of TOG's curriculum. For example, though, the drawing that Ruthie did our first week of the Model T was 3 points. I do plan on adding things that are not associated with our history study at some point. I know that I want the kids to do a science fair type project in the spring, and that will be a high number project.

After compiling all this information, I made a chart and printed it off for them. They are in charge of choosing their activities and making sure they have the correct number of points by the end of the first term. Of course, since this is new for them, I'm doing a lot of hand holding at this point. My hope is that by the end of the year, they will be working on this completely on their own.

1 comment:

Contessa Kris said...

Just checking back in with all the homeschool blogs I follow, now that we're back into homeschooling for the year.

I like the idea of a point system and making part of the schooling their choice. I just wouldn't know where to start on organizing that. We're using the Sonlight curriculum this year. Should I assign points to books we're going to read anyway or should this all be just extra stuff on top of regular school? I'm curious. Talk to you soon!