Thursday, January 24, 2008

Homeschooling post

Ok, here is the post of our schooling books. I just put up the links I found off the internet. Now most of them will of course show you the price, after all homeschooling is not free! But for those "keeping" a total, we didn't purchase these all at once, nor did we purchase them at the regular price. There's that very wonderful place called e-bay! MUCH cheaper. We feel bad that we are not able to afford to support our local homeschool store. They are actually going out of business soon if they do not get more business. If you take Saxon math for example. The lower grades are about 95$ and the middle grades are 75$ at regular price. Thankfully we can just buy the workbooks for each child down the line as we now have the teacher's manual for Isabella's level and lower. But on e-bay we can get the 75$ books for about 35 to 40$! If only money grew off of trees :-)

Phonics Pathways: This is what I use to teach the kids how to read. It is very simple and easy, and does not require any prep time at all! There are only so many hours in the day/week, and spending hours planning out lessons is not one way that I can use that time. The simpler the better.

Spell to Read and Write: This is the next step up once they are reading. I use the phonics cards with the young reader to gain the understanding that there are more ways to spell a sound. Then as they get more proficient I switch over to this program. I think it really helps them to think through spelling. I really wish I had this growing up. I am learning a lot of it now, but old spelling habits are hard to break.

Saxon Math: We have been very pleased with this program. I like how they introduce the concepts. The funny thing is that in the first few years with Isabella I would do ALL the lesson with her. It literally took 45 minutes just to teach math each day with just her! Now I just go straight to the main part of the lesson and the worksheet. No, my kids may not turn out to be geniuses in math, but they'll be able to balance their budgets and make their way in the world :-)

Spelling Workout: We just picked this up this year. The program we are using for spelling is great, but there isn't a lot of practice with it and I found that they needed more. They are really enjoying the short, fun lessons. It really takes the drudgery out of spelling.

Easy Grammar: Just as the name implies....easy, easy, easy. Ok, I confess, I hate grammar, I am sure none of you have noticed as I am sooooo eloquent in my writings! This is literally one page a day, one small concept at a time, precept upon precept. I am learning things right along with them. They start them off with learning the prepositions as your subject and verb are not likely to be found there. That makes identifying everything else much easier. There is another program that has high acclaim, but it is teacher intensive. Again, I just don't have the time to take hours planning for a weeks worth of grammar lessons. And in case you may think our kids are getting short changed since I keep saying I don't have the time for these lesson plans I assure you they are not. We spent a lot of time finding these programs to work with our family dynamics. Now they might not be geniuses, but they'll have the tools they need to learn what is important.

Sonlight: Our new history and language arts (science is still on hold). I am really excited about this program! This incorporates a lot of real books on the subjects of history and geography. I hated learning history as a list of dates. I'll be looking for a large box coming to my door in the next week or two. I am sure once the girls see ALL the books (I think Jerry said there was 60 of them!) they are going to go goo-goo gaa-gaa! We are getting the intro to world history, years one and two, all rolled into one year. We will have Isabella and Moira using it together. It was unclear as how to proceed with the language arts as Isabella is ahead of Moira. However the readers for the language arts coincide with the history. We'll just have to play it by ear and see how each of them is able to handle the program.

Although we do not have a formal science curriculum, the girls love reading up on animals and how the body works. They have been most recently interested in fetal development :-) They also watch some science videos from time to time. Hopefully next year we will be able to get into it more formally.

Aside from these we also have a handwriting book, Math-it (to help with learning those wicked math facts), French Learnables (we use on and off), and various flash cards and what-nots.

We are using a couple of things for their spiritual training as well (the most important education they need in our opinion):

Polished Cornerstones: We just bought this this year and I am really excited about using it. It is HUGE! It is also for all ages. Each topic has a multitude of "lessons", readings, activities and such for each age. I really need to make sure to make this one of our first "subjects" for the day. I have slipped into getting all the "school" stuff done first, leaving the spiritual things for last. Which we usually don't get around to. But somehow if I use it first we are able to get all the schooling done. Hmmmm, go figure.

Instructions in Righteousness: This is great if you want some specific Bible verses for a particular situation (lying, arguing, sharing...)

Our 24 Family Ways ( this must be a newer version as we have a cross between the coloring book and actual devotional book)

And of course the MOST important instructional and educational guide in our house is the Bible. But I know most of you have seen one of those :-)

OK, that was a lot of stuff. But that is what we use daily around here to educate the children. I need to get us all ready for our Bible study tonight. I made our yummy, yummy meat loaf. No, really, it's really, really yummy :-)

Oh, and please check out the girls' blogs. Isabella has been itching to see if there have been any comments....hint, hint :-)


Tracy said...

Hey there! Wow! 2 postings since my last visit...I can't keep up! I LOVE your links...they are going to be very helpful as I am looking for other curriculumns to teach my unbalanced children! LOL

Kerri said...

Ummm, if your kids are unbalanced what are mine? Hee, hee...I know what you are talking about ;-)

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