Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Homeschool Favorites--An Easy Beginning

I was asked by a friend, who is just getting started homeschooling, what books do I recommend that she read.  I responded with, "well what are you looking for?" and her response was, "I don't even know where to start."  So I thought I would share some of my favorite books, blogs and resources.  This list is by no means exhaustive but the tools I have come across that have either inspired me or I have returned to time and time again.  This is a  great review for me as I have a little one I will be starting Kindergarten with in the fall.  However, if you have older children you will find this information useful as well because it spans many ability levels.

I have read many homeschooling books and these are my top three encouraging and inspirational selections:

Real Learning: Education in the Heart of my Home by Elizabeth Foss

I read this book 2 years ago, I think when hubs and I were in Napa and it was like my heart had been written on the page by someone else.  I love, love, love this book.  It is full of life experience, methodology and book lists for you children on various topics.The bummer thing is this book is out of print but if you find one get it, read it and mark it up.  Here is Elizabeth's blog

I Saw the Angel in the Marble and I Carved and Angel in the Marble.

These books are a compilation of essays published by the Elijah Company catalog many years ago and were so inspiring to me. I want to add these books to my summer reading list, again, but there is so little time.

There are so many other books I have found helpful in our homeschooling but these are my favorites.

If you are starting with preschool, kindergarten or first grade here are my favorite blogs filled with ideas and free printables.  Between these 2 blogs and a public library you could be all set.


Confessions of a Homeschooler

These 2 blogs will supply you with all you need to learn the ABC's and 123's in a fun and hands on method.

Here at the Middle of Somewhere we plan lessons with 2 things in mind, hands on(Montessori) and the use of a lot of literature (Charlotte Mason).  Here are my top 2 sources for planning literature based studies:

Home of the Alphabet Path and wonderful studies in history and geography.

Homeschool Share
A wonderful site to explore whether you know what topic you want to cover or if you just want to do lessons based on great stories.

Keeping in line with our hands on learning here are 2 resources I return to over and over again to teach basic skills for all of our children:

Take it to Your Seat Phonics
Take it to Your Seat Math

The above resources are produced by Evan Moore and are available in all grade levels beginning with preK to 6th grade, so be sure to search for the level that you need.  Phonics and math are just the beginning of what this company has to offer they also have Take it to Your Seat for science, geography and writing, to name a few. If you are going to invest in these books, think about getting a laminator to make your folders more durable, especially if you hope to use the material with more than one child.

File Folder Fun
This is a free website with many hands on games to download and print for a variety of ages and topics.

If all of this looking around wears you out and you want an "out of the box" curriculum to guide you look at;

My Father's World
Heart of Dakota

There could be so much more to include and research and purchase (like all the Montessori things I didn't mention) but this is just a look at an easy beginning.  Each family is different and finding what works for you and your children often involves a lot of trial and error, that's okay, that's normal.  The material we like and where we find inspiration also changes with our family's season of life, interests and ages so be free.  Don't make the same mistake I did and think you should be able to pick material once, and set up a routine once, because if you do you will find yourself frustrated and scratching your head, thinking "I must be doing something wrong."  Flexibility is very important when planning each course of study. Above all seek the Lord for what and how he wants you to teach your children.  He will lead you, just follow.


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