Friday, December 2, 2011

Favorite Homeschool Resources

I am a curriculum junkie! I LOVE going to the homeschool conventions and looking over all of my options. And if that wasn't enough during the year, when I am not at a convention, I read through many many blogs to get even more ideas for curriculum. So of course I can not help but share what we have found that works well for us, and please if you have any suggestions that you have found work well for your family reply to this post.

Teach Your Child To Read In 100 Easy Lessons - I had found a Hooked On Phonics Pre-K program at Wal-Mart on the clearance rack for $18 when my daughter was about two and she loved it. After she learned all of her letters and sounds with the computer games I thought, "Now what?" I was looking at Barnes and Noble at their Hooked On Phonics curriculum and a wonderful lady came by and directed me to a book titled, "Teach Your Child To Read In 100 Easy Lessons". It was only $22 which you can use your homeschool educator card to get it for even less. I loved that the entire program is focused on phonics rather than a mix of phonics and sight words. I also loved that the lessons took us about 10 minutes to do while my daughter was snuggled up in my lap. She enjoyed her time using this book and she advanced pretty quickly. The book says that when you finish your child will be reading at a solid second grade level, and I believe them. She was reading really well when we finished and now she can read at a forth grade level. However, I think that I will have to take a different approach with my son. I might have to write the lessons on the chalk board and let him jump around and stand on his head while we go over our lessons. He just will not sit still for anything. Well other than chocolate on Sunday mornings.

Right Start Math - I am convinced that this is the most awesome math program ever! We absolutely love it. We saw it at the homeschool conference and I couldn't resist all of the neat manipulates they had set up. Manipulates were my favorite part of math. I still remember those white beans and the geo-board we used in school. Of course I purchased it, and I am so glad that I did. I love that the program is not centered around a textbook, but instead uses games and an abacus to help the children visualize the numbers in their heads. The program doesn't come with a textbook, but rather lesson plans for the teacher's use, and a book with worksheets which is called for in the lesson plans rarely. My five year old can add two digit numbers in her head at the current time, and has learned to read four digit numbers to me. My mom was amazed when she could tell her that there were 10 tens in 100 and 100 tens in 1000 today. Another added bonus is that I am also learning to visualize numbers in my head better which I think is a wonderful thing. I wish that I would have been taught this way growing up. - This website is one of the best ever! Or at least I think so. This is an Evan-Moor website. I love looking through their books at the book store such as "Take It To Your Seat" center books and "History Pockets". This website has the pages from these books and more. So far anything we have been studying I have been able to find some worksheets for it on this website. As a child I loved cut and paste worksheets and now that I am subscribed to Teacher File Box I am able to print as many of these out as I would like. Well, that is until the ink runs out.

Bible - I can not forget about the Bible. It is our most treasured homeschool resource we own. I try and have my daughter read to me from the Bible every day. We have a devotional book we bought at church that she is working through, and we will read from whatever book of the Bible the devotional is talking about that day. We do it each morning and it sure does make the difference in our homeschool. She is able to practice her reading while we all learn the awesome truth that the Lord has provided us with through his word. God is AWESOME and has blessed me incredibly with my husband and two children and has given me way more than I could ever deserve by calling me to homeschool them.

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