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