|fresh home canned beans|
Now, let me clarify that I am not one of those mothers who tries to count every normal childhood experience as a "learning experience." I do believe that they are learning experiences, but I'm not writing them all down on their transcripts. But if students in the public schools are earning credit for classes in agricultural science, carpentry, and food prep, I think it is fair for my children to also get credit if they are doing the same work.
|onions drying on the sidewalk|
My husband grew up in a family that hunted and raised their own meat and he has passed this knowledge on to his children. They have all participated in the butchering and processing of deer, cows, and pigs. They've hunted and skinned small game, and cooked things that I was too squeemish to prepare. They have butchered chickens for our own family and they have helped friends butcher for their commercial enterprises. They have seen calves being birthed, they have bottle fed goats, and they have helped castrate calves and pigs. The older boys even researched tanning and attempted to produce their own leather.
My husband is a trim carpenter by trade (one of the best!) and he has also passed those skills on to his children. The older ones have helped him with various projects and know more about wood, stain, and joinery than some adults who make their living in construction. They've completed projects which were far more complex than what is taught in a highschool shop class, and they've had a wider variety of experiences than could be offered in a classroom.
In researching how to transfer this experience to their transcripts, I came across a simple formula for determining how much credit to award. (I wish I could credit a source, but I've lost track of where I saw it.)
I would also recommend that in planning "classes" for your child, you mix hands on learning with research (assign books or articles to read) and at least one written project to demonstrate mastery of the material covered.1 credit= approximately 120-180 hours of work
Lab science courses are usually closer to 180 hours, while English and history classes average 150 hours for a year-long class. 120 hours is usually considered sufficient for an elective class (art, music, sewing, carpentry, web page design, etc.)
Edited 2/6/12 to add: Cindy Downes of Oaklaholma Homeschool also has some good information on transcripts and giving credit for extracurricular activities.