July 29, 2010

These are a few of my favorite (homeschool) things

We are (sort of) coming to the beginning of the school year. It's the right time to think about what worked well this year and what needs to change. Recently, a friend emailed me with some questions about homeschooling and that got me thinking. I always enjoy hearing from others who school at home, because their experiences help me to determine what curriculum might work for us. What worked when I had one first grader and two toddlers won't necessarily work with a fourth grader, two second graders, barely kindergarten, and a toddler. Life changes over time! We have used Sonlight, Story of the World, and Tapestry of Grace. I've used exclusively Sonlight and then became crazy brave enough to build my own curriculum. By no means do I have it all figured out, but here are a few things I thought I might share.

Since my list of favorite things has grown I'm going to do a few installments.

Websites and Blogs:
Homeschool Share this is a neat resource for lapbooking--all free.
Dianne Craft I'm always looking for a new way to teach Ella. We haven't been able to discern what happens when she's learning, but traditional methods aren't that great. I bought Right Start Math for everyone a few years ago thinking that was the solution, but it wasn't. Dianne Craft's website has lists of ideas and tips that have helped me understand what I'm doing wrong (ie. Saxon just won't work for her) and how to fix that.
Nature Study I *wish* I could be this habitual about being outdoors.
Art Projects I am far from an artist. I wouldn't hesitate to say that I'm pretty far from creative. When I stumbled onto this website--an art teacher and her projects--I was delighted. It encouraged me to take on several projects that I wouldn't otherwise (paper mache and pastels to begin?).
Practical Pages I *wish* I could be this focused and organized! She uses Charlotte Mason's methods and has all sorts of wonderful downloads that are...well, wonderful. Studies of artists, projects, templates, timelines...all of those things you would like to put together if you were talented and had time. She does!
Homeschool Freebie of the Day Sign up, it's just what it says. FREEBIES. They send out an email at the beginning of the week listing freebies for each day. Audiobooks, e-books, cool websites...the freebies never end!
Spelling City Spelling is so. Boring. I use Spelling Power, but it's nice to have something else for practice. Free, easy to use, my kids think they are playing since they are using the computer...
Vegsource It doesn't make sense, perhaps it's a well hidden homeschool secret. This is a vegetarian website that has a homeschool forum for selling stuff. Used stuff that you buy right from that lady a few states over that used it and liked it but doesn't need it anymore so she's willing to sell it for CHEAP.
Curriculum Sites that I continue to visit (though we are using Tapestry, doesn't mean I stick strictly to their stuff, I *love* Sonlight's book lists...)
Tapestry of Grace
Well Trained Mind
Vision Forum
Veritas Press
Ambleside Online (this is a very cool group, free--seems to be a returning theme--curriculum based on Charlotte Mason's methods).

When the catalogs for these guys come, my boys sit down and circle everything they want.


Nadene said...

Thanks for your link and such kind comments! You have a lovely resource list and I trust that you all enjoy a fabulous school year together!

Anonymous said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you. I just sat down to read amblesideonline some more, and found my self checking blogs instead. It's that overwhelming moment of the season where I know I have to amp up my regular self times a thousand and get super organized. You've always given me good info! Love the post, will use it.

Apryl said...

Jen--I forgot about AmblesideOnline, I meant to put that in there too, it's a gem! I'll have to add it, I was so excited when I found that great group of gals!

ethiHOPEia said...

Thanks so much for sharing!! I am enjoying some of those links.
We are using Tapestry too and I love it. I was wondering what you ended up doing math-wise with Ella since Right Start didn't work. I am using that too, but have been unsure if I want to continue on next year. I have heard lots about Math-U-See, have you tried that one?
I think our blog link is broken on your sidebar! We changed our blog months ago and it must not have updated for some reason. :)