Monday, August 14, 2017

My Top Ten Homeschool Resources (5 Days of Back to Homeschool)

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Are you here for the Blog Hop! Welcome...This week, in honor of our 10th year homeschooling,  I'm sharing my Top Ten homeschool resources, school supplies and more! You can click here to get schedule for the week. 

True confession time.

When I first started brainstorming around the topic of “curriculum” for this post, I just knew that I needed to share my favorite Top Ten homeschool curriculum products or resources of all time.

After all, I am a curriculum reviewer and have had A WHOLE BUNCH of curriculum find its way to my dining room table. I surely have a lot to say.

The problem started when I just couldn’t narrow things down to the Top Ten.  It was making me crazy. So I thought I would put all of us out of my misery and narrow things down.

Instead of me unloading all that crazy on you, I am going to share only things I am using for our upcoming 2017-2018 school year.

Now keep in mind that I don’t use a box curriculum. And while Josiah is a sophomore this year, we are rather fluid with our grade level suggestions. I don’t believe in a one-size fits most education.

Here is what I look for in curriculum when planning for a new school year.
1.      Does it meet Josiah where he’s at?
2.      Does it challenge Josiah to improve?
3.      Can I adapt it to meet his learning needs? (he is dyslexic and has dyscalculia)
4.      Do I have something on hand I can utilize?
5.      Will we be able to eat and pay the phone bill if I choose this curriculum?
6.      Does it meet my own educational philosophy standards? Or Does it focus on what I think is important?

So here are my FAVORITE treasurers I found this year. Remember…you don’t have to have a child in High School to utilize many of my choices.

1.      History has always been a favorite part of our homeschooling day. I have reviewed a lot of neat homeschooling resources, but I am in LOVE with Diana Waring’s History Revealed series. This year, we are going to study Ancient Civilizations and the Bible. You can use this series with a group of multi-aged children AND Diana has suggestions and assignments for all styles of learners.

2.      Apologia Science is so well done. This year I am actually using the Anatomy and Physiology book from the Young Explorers series. I know! To be honest with you I could have used this book before running with the big dogs in college. My A&P I class was a nightmare….I received my only “C” in college in that class. Josiah is fascinated with how the human body works. I am capitalizing on the fact that I have had the book sitting on my shelf for a few years now (my sister passed it on to us) AND that Josiah is excited to go through it. I also downloaded the audio version of the book from Audible. And I am so excited to use this Netter’s Anatomy coloring book. I’m telling you. I would have aced this class in college if I had had access to this coloring book and few sparkly pens.

3.      One of the secrets of our Homeschooling success is really no secret. I have made a conscious effort to fill our days with good quality literature. A big tool in my efforts has been the trusty Audio Book. We LOVE Audio Books. In fact, there were many years we didn’t leave the library without choosing one or two to enjoy. Frankly, if a product has an audio component with it I’m more likely to use it. I like to use the IEW Reading list every year to help me make my choices.  On the list this year? …David Cooperfield, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Watership Down…though I’m still on the fence about Watership Down. It made me cry. You do need to create an account with IEW. It's free to do so, but you have access to some great talks from Andrew Pudewa, plus the reading list...It will be located under the FILES tab in your account. 

4.      So you know this the stage of our schooling career that we indulge in electives. to the rescue! We are using it to help us with Spanish I, Personal Fitness and some math review.  There isn’t actually a course called Personal Fitness, but I am using portions of the Family Fitness and Family Nutrition courses to help me through the night.

5.      I have to share this site with you. If you are homeschooling in High School or have students that are quickly approaching High School, you need to take a look at this list for tons of course ideas.  For those of us who like to tweak and twerk our curriculum around to meet the needs of our kids…I guarantee that the ideas here will help you. We are actually going to do a course this year called Film as Literature.  So much fun!

6.      I am going to admit something here that is downright shameful in some homeschool circles. I really don’t like reading Shakespeare. Sure. The guy is responsible for adding around 1700 words to the  English language and he did come up with some compelling stories and poetically they are quite beautiful to hear spoken…BUT. My brain doesn’t want to work that hard. Give me a novel any day. We have read portions of several of Shakespeare’s works, but I can’t really call myself a true homeschool nerd unless Josiah knows what’s what in the world of Shakespeare. So I found me a novel! Yes I did! It still uses that flowery language, but it reads like a novel. It’s called Shakespeare Stories.

7.      I’m a BIG fan of FREE. And I like FREE even better when it’s done well. Have you checked out the stuff at The Good and the Beautiful? The Language Arts levels are free from Levels 1-5.  But even the other products she has isn't all that pricey. You really need to check her stuff out. It is very well done.  

8.      For YEARS, I drooled over the fantastic timeline resources at Homeschool in the Woods. And because of a very generous review, I actually get to use them this year. Now if you are of the timeline tribe you understand that all you really need is some paper and historical information about folks and major events in history, but I’m here to tell you that these resources are PRECIOUS! And yes…I’m yelling. PRECIOUS!

9.      So you probably know about this next resource and use it quite extensively. Don’t underestimate the learning power of Youtube. MY PEOPLE!  Sure, Youtube is filled with strange and disturbing videos of people doing dumb stuff, but there is a plethora and I mean, PLETHORA, of cool stuff to watch that can help you along your homeschool journey. There are not only specific homeschooling channels, but Youtube is a great resource for all things educational. I generally spend some time making playlists…I have a playlist for composers we are listening too, cook science experiments, random lectures and even art lessons. This way I don’t get lost in the quagmire that is Youtube. There are also tons and tons of great audio books to found, as well.

And speaking of…

10.  Heirloom Audio Productions have a special place in our home. We all love them. They are audio dramas based on the books written by G.A. Henty. Some of our favorite actors have voiced the characters and they all have inspired my adventure loving boy. Josiah’s favorite was In Virginia With Lee. The Muffin’s favorite (aka my hubby) has been Beric the Briton. I can’t choose a favorite. They all feel like my children.  I do know for sure that we are listening to The Cat of Bubastes again during our study of Ancient Egypt AND I am going to be reviewing a brand new production for Heirloom Audio! Stay tuned. 

So that's all I have to today. Stay tuned though...all this week I am joining up with my friends on the Homeschool Review Crew for the 5 Days of Back to School Blog Hop. Come back tomorrow and I'll share 10 homeschool supplies I can't live without. 

Back to Homeschool Annual Blog Hop - 2017

1 comment:

  1.'ve managed to intrigue me....going to check out some of those resources.


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