People are often fearful of homeschooling in New York State due to the seemingly stringent regulations. When you enter the middle school years the stipulations become more specific in nature. One of the things that is special for middle school is Middle School Practical Arts. What does that mean? How do you fulfill that requirement?
The New York State Regulations State:
For grades seven and eight: English (two units); history and geography (two units); science (two units); mathematics (two units); physical education (on a regular basis); health education (on a regular basis); art (one-half unit); music (one-half unit); practical arts (on a regular basis) and library skills (on a regular basis). The units required herein are cumulative requirements for both grades seven and eight.
Having already been through this once, and beginning this again with my second child, I thought I would share with you what we do to fulfill our middle school practical arts requirements and offer a sample of how that looks on our IHIP (Indiviudalized Home Instruction Plan).
What to Include in Middle School Practical Arts
When it comes to practical arts I would include them in the life skills category. Life skills are things that are necessary to participate in everyday life such as cooking and cleaning. Practical arts fall withing in this and are practical skills to acquire such as keyboarding, carpentry, and sewing. To me these two represent an example of blurred lines, with so many general skills falling into these categories. To define a little more all these things would fall into the Home Economics and Shop Classes of old.
Middle School Practical Arts
- Operate a sewing machine
- Hand sewing – buttons, minor repairs
- Knit or crochet
- Organization of personal belongings
- Managing money – budgeting, keeping a check (or money) ledger, saving
- Babysitting and child care skills
- House cleaning – dusting, vacuuming, moping, bathroom cleaning, window washing,
- Washing dishes – loading/unloading/running a dishwasher
- Table setting and clearing
- Pet care – feeding, grooming, walking
- Bike care and maintenance
- Meal planning
- Basic cooking skills
- Laundry – washer, dryer, sorting, hand wash, iron, fold
- Resume writing
- Word processing
- Minor fix-it jobs around the house
- Basic tool skills – hammer and nails, screwdriver, saw
- Household painting
The suggestions above are some major examples, I am sure there are more. When my daughter wanted to paint her room, I had her participate. When we wanted a large bird house, we built it together, Need to change a light bulb? Teach your child. Are you doing a spring cleaning? Give your kids tasks to do. Any and all things that you are doing in and around your house as well as specialized skills can fall under practical arts.
Life Skills on Pinterest
Including Practical Arts on the IHIP
Here is sample wording for the IHIP:
(Students Name) _______________ will engage daily in activities of a practical arts nature including, but not limited to: meal planning, grocery shopping, cooking, laundry, personal finance, household care and maintenance, and child care.
He/She will also participate in computer keyboarding, maintaining her own blog, using photo editing software, basic computer skills including basic programming, safe Internet usage, and various library skills for research and aide in other subject areas.