Wednesday, February 8, 2012

What I can say about homeschooling so far

I have had so many people ask me about homeschooling so I am just going to post a few of my favorite material here and offer some good advice ( even though I still need lots of good advice myself:)

If you are new to homeschooling, I want to tell you that it is challenging! But if homeschooling becomes the best option for your family (and it is not always the best fit), and you really pour yourself into it, your moments of trouble will be overshadowed by the triumph of learning alongside your little ones. If I can home school successfully ( a highschool drop out and an extremely scattered type B personality) than anyone can home school, anyone!

My best advice in three sentences: 

1.)Remember that your main goal it to facilitate a love for learning, once you have done that, you have done your job! 

2.) Don't compare yourself to another family and their homeschooling achievements, the whole point of homeschooling is that it caters and facilitates your children on a personal and unique level, do what works for your family!

3.) Surround yourself with some sort of support, a home school  group or just another home school family. 

Take it one day at a time with Grace and a good sense of humor. It will be so rewarding, and I am not just saying that. You will love looking back at the years and saying, "I taught all my kids to read!" There is something super satisfying about experiencing that:)

Here is a random list of some of my favorite books and curriculum we have discovered over the years:

Full curriculum: 

This is a full curriculum or you can just use it for individual subjects. The main part of the Sonlight curriculum that I love is their readers, the book list for each grade is the best! We were exposed to such great literature through their book list, you can also view Sonlights book list for each grade and just order the books on Amazon or check them out at the library. The curriculum as a whole is pretty packed full and thorough and at times way to much, so I would feel free to skip a few things and cater it to your needs.

Here is a link to some of the literature:
Grade 1

Grade 2
Grade 3

Grade 4/5

Readers D 

Readers E

All the advanced readers are here:

Language arts:

 Sing, Spell, Read and Write
This is a super retro reading and early language arts curriculum from the 80's, but I swear by it!  My kids loved it! And the learning process is fun and engaging and thorough. 

Teach your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons
Pretty simple, 20 min sit down lessons to teach young kids  to read.

 Bob Books


Spelling workout
My favorite spelling curriculum, and we have tried a lot!


Grammar Songs
Grammar memorization songs and workbook.



  Beautiful Feet: History through litterature
These are the greatest history books and my favorite curriculum for history in the primary school years. I love all the Beautiful Feet history books, they are amazing!

Story of the World Vol. 1-4 (available in audio as well)
Fun narrative history accounts that entertain lots of ages. This is great to do as the main history but to supplement with other books and stories from the library.

There is also activity workbooks to go along with the reading:
Story of the World activity books


Beautiful Feet; Geography Through Litteratrue
Fun stories that also take the reader on a clear, descriptive geographical journey.  My kids love these stories!

the Geography Coloring Book

Geography Songs
memorization songs and workbook and map to go along...I find myself singing these and it is really annoying! But it works:)

Window on the World
a peak into the lives of children in different countries around the world.

Trail Guide to World Geography


Creative writing is important. Giving them a few writing prompts and letting them loose is so fun. Here is a links to a good writing prompt and idea site: In our Write Minds

I have had each of my children keep a journal since they were 5. I like these journals with blank pages because of the room to draw pictures. We have fun looking back at the old entries:

Hard Covered Blank Sketch book/ Journal

Poetry is endless....Get frequent poetry books from your library. Remember the classics as well as the modern poetry.


Not my strongest subject, but all my kids have loved anything scientific I have done with them.  We have tons of science book....Tons! And they learn from those. I would also recommend finding hands on science classes and field trips.


Sonlight Science kits and curriculum
We have had success with these kits and curriculum. 

My Body
I did this work book with all my kids in their first years, we loved it!


We use Saxon Math....Saxon Math


Just read the bible, simple as that. We have some great bible history books and field guides, but I like to just have new scriptures and books that we go over together.

Well there you have it!  There are tons of great ideas out there and amazing books etc. You just have to find your families favorites.

Have fun, and when your not having fun, take that day off to go on a field trip. It is sometimes best to put everything down and go play!