April 30, 2009

Registration Letter

Outline of Proposed Program – ISHTAR LINTNER
Aims and Purposes of the Proposed Education Program.
We believe that Home Schooling Ishtar is the best option for our family to maintain a trusting and healthy relationship with each other. We are of the opinion that we are better equipped to maintain a stimulating environment for our daughter to learn things appropriate to her age and skill levels. Home educating Ishtar will give her more opportunity to learn using tools that interest her, in a more stable one on one environment.

General Outline of the Proposed Program.

Given that a lot of Ishtar’s learning will take place informally, we are not planning to adhere to a precise timetable and intend to be flexible in order to take advantage of learning opportunities as they occur. This will also help to give Kurt an opportunity to play a more substantial role in Ishtar’s learning experience. We have come to the belief that the best approach for Ishtar is to follow her lead in learning, by using her interests as a basis to any structured learning. Our entire family will be involved in Ishtar’s learning experiences, focusing on her reading, writing, mathematics and sciences.

Planning and Research Undertaken to Prepare for Home Schooling
As the main care giver for Ishtar, I have put a lot of thought and research into our homeschooling options over the last year. I have considered Steiner, Charlotte Mason, Montessori, unit studies and unschooling. I have looked at the Tasmanian school curriculums, as Ishtar has been enrolled at West Launceston Primary School for 2 years and 1 term. We are planning to start our journey at the beginning of term 2 this year. I have had many discussions with other home schooling parents both locally and nationally, via internet forums and in person. On a practical level we have been doing ‘home readers’ with Ishtar for 2 years through her primary school, and she has shown interest in doing printed out word puzzles and mathematics based games.

Literacy Skills Development
As Ishtar has already started literacy development from her time in the public school system, she is doing very well and enjoys reading, writing and learning how to spell. We plan to continue her learning in this area via the use of daily reading, writing projects relating to day to day tasks, story writing, weekly journal writing and spelling using word lists over a 1-2 week period. We will also complement these with the use of internet sites, such as www.starfall.com and www.pbs.org/parents. We also plan to use some educational computer games such as Reader Rabbit.

Numeracy Skills Development

Ishtar uses basic maths skills daily without prompting, so we anticipate that much of her learning will continue to be self-directed. Using day to day tasks such as cooking, gardening, temperature and rainfall record keeping, we will continue to provide her with ever increasing difficulties. Which will be supplemented at a later stage of development with various texts, internet sites (www.kidzone.ws) and other maths based computer games and programs.

Use of ICT
As Kurt’s work is ICT based, Ishtar will have access to her own computer set up for educational and fun games. She is competent in the use of mouse and keyboarding skills and will have monitored access to ADSL internet for use with research and information collection. She will also have access to a printer for printing pictures and information she finds, as well as worksheets or games she would like to have access to, away from the computer.

Other Learning Areas
There is a range of learning areas Ishtar is interested in, which we will encourage her to explore.

Science, through gardening, pets and composting. She is already interested in using a microscope she was given as a Christmas gift this past Christmas.

Music, through her own exploration of guitar and the limited knowledge that Kurt has in this area, and recorder playing by the use of books and Katie’s knowledge of this area. This may extend to formal lessons at a later date, if Ishtar becomes confident and interested to that level.

Arts and Crafts, through a range of different products. Ishtar has continuous access to a range of craft supplies. As well as drawing, painting and collage materials, Ishtar will have access to pottery and sewing materials and will be encouraged to include artwork in any and all projects she undertakes.

At this stage in her development we do not see the need for any sort of structure for other subject areas, as she develops interest in other topics we will change her learning experiences to suit her interest.

Social Interaction

This will include group activities/projects with other home schooled children and participation in community/voluntary activities, as well as frequent contact with family members and friends with both home educated and conventionally schooled children. She has also shown interest in joining team sports, like Hockey, as well as becoming part of a Pony Club. We are yet to investigate extensively into the options she currently has to participate in these activities, but she has previously been involved in Swimming, Dancing and Cricket outside of her conventional school hours. She also receives social opportunities most weekends when going to watch Kurt play Hockey, as there are many children around for her to interact with.

Evaluation and Record Keeping Strategies
We plan to record Ishtar’s progress in a combination of different ways listed below.

Journal entries: Initially hand written on a weekly basis, both by Ishtar and Katie/Kurt. Via a Blog specifically for Katie to record various things associated with our home schooling journey.

Photo’s: Photography is something that interests Ishtar so we will be using her own photography as well as the pictures we take to build up a folio of work.

Seasonal work:
We will have a seasonal project involving literature, numeracy and art works which will help build the folio along side the photography.

We will evaluate the level of work Ishtar is doing on a regular basis and set harder/more complex tasks as her skills in certain areas develop. We will also change the areas of learning we focus on, according to her changing interests and skill levels.

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