Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Foreign Language Resources for Home Educators

Free Online Resources: 

  • Duo Lingo... This is a FREE, interactive program that's easy to use! Check it out first!!! It's even been suggested to outperform Rosetta Stone, which is a fabulous program with a hefty price tag.  
  • Live Mocha... A site for older students, where you can choose from a variety of languages to learn. The site combines the community network with language learning. You complete your lesson and it is reviewed by other volunteers in the community who speak the language (usually natives). Each time you submit an assignment, you're asked to grade an assignment in your own language and provide feedback. You may volunteer to grade more assignments if you choose. People learning your language may ask to chat with you. Most participants are adults and older teens. This is a great way to learn a new language and about other

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Science Resources for Home Educators

Nature Study:

The best science learning for youngsters is plenty of direct access with nature- wondering, noticing, examining, questioning, and thinking about what they see. Secondly, look for interesting books that tell them more about what they've seen, so they can narrate it back.  By allowing them to examine the world around them directly for themselves, they'll have so much more to draw from and build upon when they're older and ready for advanced studies. If possible, use tools to inspire fascination, like a magnifying glass, microscope, and telescope- from a young age. Read this post about outdoor learning! And here's one from SCM on Nature Study

Science Curriculum:
  • We are currently using "Science in the Beginning" from Berean Builders. They offer a hands-on elementary science course introducing science concepts using history as a guide. My sister-in-law has used it and liked it a lot too. 

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Geography Resources for Home Educators

Free Online Resources:

  • World Atlas... if you need a map, you'll find it here.  The choices are endless.
  • Shepphard Software has GREAT geography games for both world geography and US geography. Be sure to check it out! 
  • Free State Maps Request... Here's where you can request state maps & brochures for free, for every state in the US.
  • Mega Maps... This is so cool! You can print maps large or small here... you can make floor maps spread across 25 or 36 sheets of paper.

Free Printables:

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

History Resources for Home Educators

History Curriculum...
  • Mystery of History is the program we're currently using. It's a chronological history program for the entire family and it seems to be a great fit for us. I also really like the optional "extras" like printable lap books, audio books, etc. 
  • Simply Charlotte Mason's six history modules are a chronological study of history over the course of six years. Each module's teacher's manual is $10-15 (e-book or print), and can be taught to all grades from 1-12 b/c there are a few common books you read together as a family (all ages) and some that are based on grade level. 
  • If you're interested in either of those two history curriculums, read my review: "Comparing Simply Charlotte Mason History with Mystery of History."
  • I will also mention here one set of free lesson plans available as an online download: America's Heritage: An Adventure in Liberty... Free award-winning history lesson plans K-12 via free CD or direct download. I have not used it yet, but it appears to be mainly activities that were intended for a classroom but could work well for co-ops too. 
  • ****Regardless of what history curriculum you use, check out The Ultimate Booklist! I combined the booklists from Sonlight and Simply Charlotte Mason and organized them chronologically and by grade. This is the ultimate book list for studying history using living books. I use it to supplement Mystery of History. 

Timeline Notebook
  • History Through the Ages Collection CD of printable clip art images you can print out to use for any type of timeline. I print them small to use in a timeline notebook (here's my review post with pictures), but you can also print them large for use on a wall timeline, or small on notecards for review. They can be printed with or without the dates and summary text. Simply Fabulous! 
  • My FAVORITE timeline notebook: Amy Pack's History Through the Ages Record of Time which is a beautifully bound timeline in a horizontal three binder. 
  • Two free alternatives: Download Simply Charlotte Mason's "Book of Centuries", which is for use in a three-ring binder. OR try my Horizontal Notebook Timeline, which I made intending to custom bind it on the short side. This binding may be done for a minimal fee at Kinkos, or at home with a ProClick, which allows for re-opening the binding later to add or change out pages if necessary. Simply print either one on heavy paper (to allow for gluing) and add to it as you go along. 
  • Regardless of what type of timeline you make (notebook, wall, note cards, etc.) add references to it through the years of what ever you read or study. If you have other material you wish to include in the notebook that doesn't fit onto the page (like narration, travel photos, maps, reports, drawings, etc), then just add in a supplement page that's trimmed an inch shorter then the timeline pages, so the timeline pages still stick out past the supplement pages. 
  • I also really like our "Stick Figuring Through the Bible," from Grapevine Studies, which is a great way for early elementary children to begin making their own bible timeline. 

Memory Tools

Ancient History Resources

Online Tools...

  • A Book in Time gives book suggestions & activities & crafts, arranged chronologically for teaching history.
  • The Learning Calendar   - a free resource highlighting historical birthdays, anniversaries, and provides teaching resources to help you learn about each topic.
  • Animated War Maps from History Animated
  • Presidents Song  - a catchy tune to learn the US Presidents! You can also print out lyrics sheets & background info written by the author.
  • American History in Video  - a website w/ over 2000 videos covering American history from 1492-2000, airing on A & E and the History channel.
  • The Oregon Trail - lots of materials designed for home-schoolers & teachers
  • A Book in Time gives book suggestions w/ activities & crafts, arranged chronologically for teaching history.


Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Math Resources for Home Educators

We start out Right Start Math for math instruction, which takes a unique approach that just makes sense to me, and results in excellent mental math abilities. I wrote a review of Right Start Math here. I think it's given my boys a fantastic foundation in math! 

We switch over to Teaching Textbooks when they're ready for it, around second or third grade. It's an independent math program, done on the computer. I was pleased with our transition from one to the other, and I think it was made easier in great part because of how well Right Start helped them understand math to begin with.  

We supplement with Life of Fred, starting in first or second grade. It's an enjoyable set of books that kids can do on their own, so we use it in the summer and/or for car schooling. I wrote a review of Life of Fred here

Here are the math freebies and online resources I've found...

Free Math Games & Drills Online...