That would be September. Which is why I have been sitting at my dining room table, books piled to the cobwebbed hanging lamp, for the past few weeks. Not heady reading (that’s my husband’s department), but picture books, curricula, catalogs, and my trusty IBM Thinkpad.
I’m coming up on my first year homeschooling, and had to hammer out a plan for September for St. Nick. I need to stimulate his interests (boogers, vomit, amputations, monsters) while teaching a few basic things he might need to know later in life (reading, and which insects are poisonous to baby sister and which are not, and why he ought not feed any insects to sister regardless of toxicity).
And since it’s Friday, and for lack of anything intelligent to say, beyond the names of all major Pharaohs of ancient Egypt, I will share my favorite online homeschool resources.
Starfall. A website dedicated to helping children learn to read. It utilizes phonics, stories, games, and all things interactive. And it’s free.
Better Chinese. This is a free demo of their online program (lessons 1-3). If the rest of the program is like this, my whole family will be speaking Mandarin by the end of the year. Fish is already singing songs in Chinese. *sadly, this site is no longer available*
Singapore Math. The math curriculum for Moms who detest all things rote and boring.
Sonlight. A literature-based whole-book curriculum. My fallback option if I can’t figure out how to use the curriculum below. Fantastic packages for individual subjects like math and science.
Tapestry of Grace. A literature-based curriculum that combines historically organized unit studies with classical methodology (i.e., the trivium). And it’s Reformed. Do you know how hard it is to find homeschool curricula that is Reformed?
Last, and I wish least, the website that will give St. Nick the motivation to read:
Captain Underpants. Who knew sounding out the words: Booger, Vomit, Underpants and so on could be so engrossing?
September's Ivy Kids box (made possible by our Hamilton Schools homeschool partnership!) featured Chicka Chicka 123, a book about counting! My first surprise: the format sent was a board book.
This is our first year working with a partner public school for a few fun educational extras. My favorite addition? The subscription boxes! Sure, foreign language is fun, and art (things the older kiddos are doing through the school), but what's better than your own personal activity kit, new every month? I have a thing for subscription boxes, I'll admit.
How we made our downloadable timeline figures super cute!
When it comes to homeschool technique I've tried everything. Work boxes? Tried it. Digital planners with printed-out schedules? Been there. Pre-planned curriculum packages that cover all subjects? Done it. Totally online learning like Easy Peasy? Yup. The non-homeschool option: Public/Charter school? Yes, even that.
And no matter what I did, every day was a whirlwind of...
Last summer I went a little nutty. See, I was SO excited that our curriculum recommended a timeline. SO SO excited that timeline figures came with it. Until ... I opened the packaging. The timeline figures were ... ugly. So I made ancient history timeline figures using classic art! And now I'm sharing them with you, free!
I used to hate read-alouds. My neck would get tense, my throat would feel stiff and sore and my voice would hurt. (And if you say a voice cannot hurt, I assure you, it can.) Here's my story of how diagnosing and treating Hashimoto's changed my life in an unexpected way.
In honor of the last week of our homeschool co-op, I'm going to give you an inside peek at what we do all day. Like the reason I don't answer the phone, respond to emails, keep my house clean (enough), and say "No" to (almost) every invitation. Because when I answer the phone, respond to emails, clean the house, or volunteer for whatever-the-h@ll-someone-thinks-I-ought-to-have-time-to-do-since-I'm-just-a-stay-at-home-mom...
At least once in any lifetime we'll meet someone who instantaneously irritates every nerve in our bodies...
For several years we sort-of-happily used Tapestry of Grace as our main humanities curriculum. Until the sort-of became not-very and slid into not-at-all.
So in typical Me fashion, my first order of business after deciding to homeschool was to obsessively organize, plan, and pretty much avoid thinking about what I would actually be doing every day.