Helpful Hints and Best Practices

Setting Up Your Home-Based Classroom
  • Establish a dedicated area for schooling, and if possible, let your child personalize it.
  • Avoid distractions. Let phone calls go to voicemail, and try to schedule appointments outside of your family’s school hours.
Planning Your Day
  • Review lesson plans the night before or a few days ahead when children are not around.  In addition, make sure to gather any necessary materials that may be needed ahead of time.
  • Take time to reflect on what strategies are working or not working with your child when deciding on which strategies to use for the next day’s instruction.
  • Encourage older students (sixth grade and above) to follow their own schedule. They should continue working from subject to subject if they do not have questions about their work.
  • Schooling multiple children? Try staggering the start time of lessons for each child, beginning from oldest to youngest, allowing the oldest child to work independently while you teach the younger child. Keep a library or resource bin nearby and teach your older children to grab a book when waiting for you.
Keep It Fun and Flexible
  • Apply lessons outside of the classroom. For instance, you can easily apply many Math, Science, and Social Studies concepts at the grocery store.
  • Keep things engaging by varying the routine once in a while. For example, if your day usually begins with English Language Arts and ends with Math, reverse the schedule.
  • Look for ways to bring lessons to life. Over dinner, have the whole family take part in discussions about key concepts and ideas covered in lessons.

Helpful Hints

Print vs. Digital

With the new addition of Calvert’s digital only option, there are some resources to note that are still provided in the print format for all users. Conversely, there are some resources that are only available online. These Print vs. Digital Helpful Hints lists give insight into the nuances to make your  Calvert experience seamless.

  • Print Resources Provided to All Users
    • GK MIFO –  Math in Focus Workbook
    • GK ELA – Alphabet cards
    • 6-8 Science – Physical lab materials for each grade
    • G6-G8 ELA novels not available digitally:
      • G6 – Anything but Typical; Bud, Not Buddy
      • G7 – The Outsiders; Hatchet
      • G8  – Ender’s Game; Night; 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
  • Online Only Resources
    • All Electives
    • QuickChecks
    • Unit Quizzes – Either to take the assessment directly online, or download and print a PDF of the assessment to then submit using file upload (same for Verticy and Calvert Math Tests)
    • Interactive Activities
    • Digital Resources – Open Educational Resource videos, premium resources (e.g., BrainPOP, Discovery Education)
    • G3 Social Studies Unit 2 – The textbook for this unit will not be included in the offline add-on package and will need to be viewed online.
    • GK-G5 ELA – Print add-on package will give the student access to the full novels necessary for the learning/reading component of the course. The “Leveled Reader Library” texts necessary for completing some of the Use for Mastery assessments will not be included even with the print add-on package, and students will need to go online to view these texts.
    • GK ELA
      • Sound-spelling cards (but can download and print)
      • Alphabet cards (but can download and print)
      • High-frequency word cards – added language to Getting Started lesson Selected High-Frequency Word Cards. (You can make these yourself by writing each of the indicated words on its own blank note card.)

Additional Information

  • Differences between printed lesson manual and digital lesson content
    • If changes need to be made to the lesson content after the lesson manuals are sent to the printer, we are documenting it here – Changes from Printed Lesson Manual. NOTE: This is currently an internal page but we will need a public facing version.
    • Aha Math – for Math in Focus, Aha Math links will be replaced with an equivalent resources. For Calvert Math, the links will remain in the courses but will stop working on 07/31/2018, but they are all supplemental links.
    • Collaboration activities are included in the printed lesson manual. For private pay families, this group collaboration will not be available, but the activities could be used to promote discussions are home.
  • All assessments are available to all families.
    • QuickChecks are auto-scored, and the score will calculate as soon as the assessment is completed.
    • Use for Mastery, Projects, and Unit Quizzes require manual grading. For students enrolled through a school or with ATS, they will be graded by their teacher. For traditional homeschool students not enrolled in ATS, a grading rubric will be provided online to the Learning Guide to assess how the student did, but the score cannot be updated online.
  • Some content is Flash-based, and Flash will need to be enabled to view it. A full list of courses/content will be provided.
  • Digital only option is not available for Calvert Math or Verticy.

Best Practices

Setting Up Your Homeschool Classroom

  • Establish a dedicated area for schooling, and if possible, let your child personalize it.
  • Avoid distractions. Let phone calls go to voicemail, and try to schedule appointments outside your family’s school hours.

Planning Your Day

  • Review lesson plans the night before or a few days ahead when children are not around.  In addition, be sure to gather any necessary materials that may be needed ahead of time.
  • Take time to reflect on what strategies are working or not working with your child when deciding on which strategies to use for the next day’s instruction.
  • Encourage older students, sixth grade and above, to follow their own schedule. They should continue working from subject to subject if they do not have questions about their work.
  • Schooling multiple children? Try staggering the start time of lessons for each child, beginning from oldest to youngest, allowing the oldest child to work independently while you teach the younger child. Keep a library or resource bin nearby and teach your older children to “grab a book” when waiting for you.

Keep It Fun and Flexible

  • Apply lessons outside the classroom. For instance, you can easily apply many Math, Science, and Social Studies concepts at the grocery store.
  • Keep things engaging by varying the routine once in a while. For example, if your day usually begins with English Language Arts and ends with Math, reverse the schedule.
  • Look for ways to bring lessons to life. Over dinner, have the whole family take part in discussions about key concepts and ideas covered in lessons.

 

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