Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Advice for a First Time Homeschooler

My dear friend, Janae, texted me today asking advice for her adorable boys. She's pulling them out of public school. Now, I am certainly not the most experienced homeschooler around but I like to think of myself as a huge homeschool advocate. I honestly believe anyone who wants to homeschool can do it. So, Janae (and any other person who would like some suggestions) here is a huge list of resources: articles of encouragement, websites for kids, and my general advice. Loves to ya, and good luck!

Unschooling Articles: 
This gal has awesome articles about the subject. She herself was homeschooled and is very well written. Here are two great articles to get you started: New to Unschooling and The Reality of Structure in Unschooling. And this is a comic strip but if you think about unschooling and helping your child even though you may feel inadquate...I think you'll get it: Sense of Wonder.

Articles about schools around the world:
Finland's A+ Schools, Joyful Illiterate Kindergarteners, Characteristics of Japanese Math Lessons (to sum it up kids need to be involved in learning not just watching a teacher demonstrate, but you should still read the article), Less is More.

An article about how children learn: A Thousand Rivers.

Blogs and Sites about homeschooling with so many great articles and advice that I literally couldn't just pick one to share: Best Homeschooling, Simple Homeschool, Quill and Camera, Steady Mom, and Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers. These all give the reader a real look into real moms with real kids who aren't hiding the difficult and unpleasant days that we all sometimes have. They also share the joy that accompanies a simple homeschooling way of life.

Websites we love:
Kahn Academy: we use it for elementary math practice and interesting science videos.

Prodigygame.com is also a super fun way to practice math and you can customize each child's profile to practice the specific grade-level skills you want them working on! Also, it is free as long as your child doesn't want to upgrade to be able to get all the pets or wardrobe options.

For young kids learning to read we like Starfall (free) and ABCmouse.com (about $100 a year).

Bedtime Math: it doesn't have to happen at bedtime, but it's just a few minutes of fun math challenges to think about and spend time together as a family doing math.

I just started getting into Math Inspirations but it is definitely something worth checking out. It focuses on the student and helping them learn to think and problem solve and not just memorize their times tables.

Here are articles from my blog that contain links to other articles and ideas: Why I Homeschool, Homeschool Encouragement Part 1, Homeschool Encouragement Part 2From Public School at Home to Unschooling, Not a Competition, Advice and Community, Field Trips...yes that counts!, Successful Homeschooling, and favorite YouTube Videos.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Variety of activities from our week





These are the challenge questions I gave the the Bear and Buddy this week. This is my new plan for math each week. We'll spend time problem solving and thinking about numbers.


We finished James and the Giant Peach and moved onto the Indian in the Cupboard. Grandiose was our word of the week.


The Bear is working on the electrical set that goes with her Roominate Chateau and Buddy got to go to the Rattle Snake Museum.


We also decorated for Christmas and spent a lot of time with the geo-board.