Sunday, August 21, 2011

Homeschooling the Free Way

So I have been gearing up for another fun year in homeschooling. Last year was sort of a blur, with a new baby and getting Gabby to simply enjoy learning again... it was fun, but sort of challenging to find our groove. We are still going to have an eclectic type of schooling going on, but with a little more structure from all over since I have discovered that left to her own devices, Gabby really doesn't put forth any real effort. (AJ on the other hand is downright pissed that she can't read yet, so she is jumping on the school wagon!)

This year I want to get Gabby in the habit of not only putting forth her best effort, but also taking the time and patience to look for answers herself instead of waiting for me to feed them to her. We are also going to add in an into to a foreign language- Italian, as well as violin lessons and swimming. But, I wanted some more resources and some sort of list for myself to keep track of the topics we are covering so I went in search of some free curriculums and resources... man, oh man, did I find some!!! Here are my favorites so far:

Scott Foresman Math and Science Curriculums: First off, these are absolutely FREE work books and sooooo nicely done! While I may not do these page for page, at least I can have some order in the topics that I introduce and a starting point for our explorations.

Lesson Pathways Guided History Lessons: Again, we may not follow this exactly, but I like having a weekly focus so that I can get out the appropriate books to spin off of, for instance, we can read The Little House series while studying early American history. (We didn't focus a lot on specific history themes too much last year so I am going to cover the year 1 lessons this year...)

Spelling City: One aspect that Gabby really enjoys is writing so this year I am trying to expand her written vocabulary and spelling. She is great at spelling words phonetically, but likes to have a word bank to work off of if she is writing something important.

The Learning Page: I am a sucker for wacky holidays like Hug Your Cat Day and National Clown Week! This site has the traditional and wacky holidays plus lessons to go with them!

Finally, have you ever heard of the Daily 5? Basically it is a way to get kids to become better readers by approaching the process from different angles, something that is important because not every kid learns the same way. Everyday you have the kids:
1. Read to themselves
2. Read out loud
3. Listen to reading
4. Practice writing and
5. Do word work.

Now, we were already doing everything on the list, just not every thing every day. I am going to try to not only have Gabby do these, but myself as well since it is good to model the process and let's face it- I love books!

If you are a teacher and prefer a more formal classroom setting, be sure to check out my sorority sister Katy's Pinterest board for the Classroom. She is a teacher and is finding some really cool posters, organization techniques, and neat ideas to implement!

                                                    Source: via Katy on Pinterest

(I have updated my homeschool resources, so be sure to check them out! Lots of free fun stuff to be had!)
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