Tuesday, March 31, 2009

What are your favorite homeschooling tips, websites, books to read, etc.?

I'm just curious. It's a very rainy day and I'm taking some me time to blog today. So tell me what are you favorite things you use in your homeschooling routine? It could be anything from a smart idea that helped pull your homeschool together, your favorite curriculum, books you've read as a family, places you've visited. Some of my favorite things are Currclick . They have
Affordable curriculum, lapbooks, & homeschooling resources.
They also have a freebie every week. And I'm not talking about cheesy freebies. I'm talking about things like downloadable lapbooks. And if you sign up for their newsletter they will alert you of the freebie every week. I really like Sonlight for a complete curriculum. They believe in teaching through "Living Books". If you are like me though and can't afford to buy the whole thing I just piece mine together used. I also like a company called Beautiful Feet Books , they also offer a "Living Books" curriculum. Theirs is not a complete curric though, they are more the reading and history part. You have to add math science and such. A few other great resources are Latter-day Family Resources, and Tobin's Lab. LDFR has pretty much everything you need for HSing or it can just give you some good ideas. I take their books and look for them at the library or try and find them cheaper on Amazon.com, ebay, or local HS book sales. Tobins Lab is a great place to find
Hands-On Science Materials For Families
. Some great FREE resources are your local homeschool groups. And if you can't find any locally, you can always search yahoo groups for a HS group that tickles your fancy. Being able to get support and advice is invaluable when you are first starting out. In our local HS group we alert each other of field trip opportunities (usually free or inexpensive)and are try to help each other with any questions and/or concerns we may have. Its really nice to know there are others out there who have gone through the same things I am.
But my best piece of advice I can think of right now is...Things will not always be perfect, nor do I think they should be(there's no learning in perfect, we learn through mistakes), but that's okay! Figure out what works for you and your children. This may take months or even years,( I've talked to many veteran HS moms who, through the years, learned to keep an open mind when it comes to curriculum.) If it does work for your family find something that does. Don't buy anything pricey without getting it in your hands and really looking at it first. See if you can borrow it for a few days from a HS friend. Then if you still like it, pray about it. Again I try to get things used as much as possible. Any ways after you've gotten your routine down, RELAX and have fun with your kiddos. Learning is so much fun if you let it be.

Community Supported Agriculture ( CSA )

We have a farm down the road from us (Randle Farms) that allows those in the community who are interested, to be able to pay for a share of the farm's harvest. So I bit the bullet and went for it. I'm so excited to get fresh produce that still has its nutrients in it. Did you know that by the time most produce arrives at the supermarket it has lost almost all of its nutrients. And don't even get me started on pesticides. SO other than growing my own garden (WHICH I HIGHLY RECOMMEND) this is the next best thing. You may be asking yourself why I don't just grow my own garden, and my lame excuse is that I'm a one task at a time kinda gal. And with just starting Home Schooling this year, I'm not ready to start another project just yet. But I do intend on making gardening part of our HS routine in the near future.
If you are curious about CSA Farming, just click on Randle Farms up above, and it will take you to the page where they explain this service. Then maybe you'll want to google a farm near you. Its a wonderful thing, you get to support local farms and you get fresh produce. Truly a win/win situation.

From Snow one Week... To Swimming the Next

This is our creek. We are very lucky to have one. But it usually dries up in the Summer time when it would be perfect to go and sit in such cold water.

Real Live Miracle in Alabama....SNOW!!!

It's been about a month now but I wanted to post it anyways. It was like a dream come true for our kiddos. It was Sunday morning and my hubby had just gotten up to take a shower for church when he came back into the bedroom where I was uncharacteristically(wow that's a long word) sleeping in : ). And he says "You are not going to believe this!" Thinking this was an attempt to get me out of bed I groggily say "What?"
"It's SNOWING!!!"
"Come look"
And so it was. We decided to skip church that day just in case it would be melted by the time we got home. Which is what typically happens if we are lucky enough to even get flakes. So we went and gently woke up the munchkins and told them to look outside. They immediately became excited and wanted to run outside and play in it. It didn't look like it was going to last very long at first, so we decided to go further north to see if we could find enough to play in. But by the time we were able to dress everyone in layers and try to scrounge up and dust off the necessary gloves and hats, which luckily I had just gone and bought some because of the last cold snap we had. (Yes, that's all we usually get in Alabama A Cold Snap. They don't really even sell snow appropriate gear where we live.) Any ways by the time we got ready to leave it was snowing really hard. So we decided to call Granny and see if we could go over there instead. The drive over was like a Winter Wonderland. Every where you looked the world was blanketed in glorious snow!
The kids had a blast playing in it, so did Bryan. Rick stayed out in it pretty much the whole day. They made snow men and snow angels and had snow ball fights and even tried to make a few forts. But not being use to snow, they didn't realize how wet and cold it is. All and all I'm so glad Heavenly Father answered our children's prayers this year and let it snow. It will be a treasured childhood memory.
By the way the next week it was warm enough to go swimming. I know CRAZY!