Homeschooling: It's not what we do, it's how we live.

New This Week

We have a few new additions to our curriculum that I think are pretty cool that I’d like to share.

MES-English ,  FunFonix and Sight Words with Sampson

PeaGreen is having the worst time with self-confidence and reading. We’re over halfway through with 100EL, and he’s reading the stories in there just fine. We have Dolch flash cards, and he zips through those with only a few misses – but you give him a book or a sheet with more than a couple of lines to read and he’s absolutely overwhelmed.

He also reads backwards – with the ending sound first a lot of the time. I think that’s an age thing since he usually corrects himself. In any case, we’re working on building confidence and recognizing letter combinations and I think that these two sites will help that.

MES-English is a site for English as a second or foreign language, but it’s phonics section has a bunch of printable flash cards and handouts. We’re using the handouts as posters on the wall, and the flash cards I printed and cut to do drills. I had to re-size them to fit (2 per page) and it made nice-sized cards – about the size of a playing card. They’re easy for him to hold and flip through. I may get them laminated and put on a binder ring.

FunFonix has printable workbooks that are probably similar to other phonics workbooks, but you can print all or some of the pages. I printed out all of the first one, but may not for the others; it just depends on how quickly he moves through it. That’s part of the charm though – I want him to breeze through it to build confidence. We’re also still using Lesson Pathways and KISS Grammar for both boys, so this workbook is just a little extra for PeaGreen.

Sight words with Sampson is a flash site that I’m going to try out starting tomorrow. It uses 8 word lists and I think we’re going to use them as spelling words for now. Both of the boys find spelling to be a challenge, so maybe this will help since it’s more visual. I’ll let you know how that goes.

As usual, my additions are free to use  – I am all about the free resources. I found FreeHomeschooling101 a while back and LOVE their collection of links, and I also found Frugal Homeschooling ‘s article, Spending Time to Save Money. In comparing what she had to work with, I realize that we have many of the same resources here. Our library is great, we have more museums per square mile than any other US county (or something like that – there’s a TON of them!) and a relatively large homeschooling community (even if they’re not particularly open to ‘outsiders’ coming into their little groups) – but to give credit where credit is due, those homeschooling groups have done a lot to make homeschooling ‘normal’ in our community – no one bats an eye if we’re out and about on a school day during school hours because they figure we’re homeschooling.

I was reading somewhere that homeschoolers who want free resources are distasteful, but I disagree. I don’t expect companies to make their resources that others have to pay for free for homeschoolers, but there are plenty of resources – great resources – out there for homeschoolers to make use of without shelling out a fortune in curriculum. I also think of it as if I were wanting to learn something. Practically anything that I want to know more about, I can learn for free – all it requires is a little effort!

A couple more things I’ve found to be of interest, recommended by the lovely ladies over at Secular Homeschooling are Waymarking (similar to Letterboxing and GeoCaching, only different) and a really neat poster that talks about Forecasting the Weather.

Warmly,

~h

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2 responses

  1. I love that poster about forecasting the weather!! My science loving boys will get a kick out of that. We get asked ALL the time “why aren’t you in school?” when we head out during the day. I’m hoping it will eventually become normal enough that people stop asking that here…or at least I can get the kids to agree to stop saying “Oh, we don’t go to school!” LOL

    August 3, 2010 at 9:16 am

  2. Isn’t that poster neat?? We’re going to laminate ours and post it by the front door (or maybe the window).

    I like clever answers to that question – well, some would say clever, others might say ‘smart-aleck’… I think I’ll have to go start a tread on SecularHomeschool if there’s not one already, lol. Thanks for stopping by!
    ~h

    August 3, 2010 at 2:09 pm

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