Thursday, November 8, 2012

My Favorite Homeschool Weapons

Cookie Cutters

I got this big ass box of plastic cookie cutters from Michael's for...I don't remember. Something not too bad, considering how much use we get out of them. They're great for cookies (duh), salt dough shapes, tracing, and occupying certain toddlers.

The Public Library

Our awesome library has saved us so much money. We get almost all of our books for just about everything there, plus we use the online videos and take advantage of the many classes and activities they offer (for free!). Some days we plan our library trip during nap time and Bug will sleep in his stroller while Bear and I sit and read in the peace and quiet.

Bear/Katniss at the library's Halloween party

Learnin' some horticulture at KCPL's Homeschoolers' Club

Pressin' the horticulture

Family Education

I love this website. They have tons of free printables, activites, and articles. I reference it a lot.

Time 4 Learning

Math was the one subject area I was somewhat concerned about teaching. Not because I don't understand elementary-level math, but because math was always my academic Achilles' Heel and it always took me a bit longer than (seemingly) everyone else to grasp the concepts.  We tried Life of Fred at first, but Bear really didn't like it at all. So I signed her up for T4L. We use the math every day that we do school, but for my $20 per month we have access to ALL of the subjects, and all of the curriculum for one grade below and above her. That makes it easy to tailor our lessons for her specific needs (which is sort of the point of homeschool). I also plan to use some of the social studies and possibly even science lessons this year. She enjoys the "Playground" section, as well as Time 4 Art. For one child it's very affordable and it works out great for us.

Crayola Washable paints

Adding some color to our fizzy paint
We do a lot of art projects because art is one of Bear's favorite things. She prefers science projects that double as arts and crafts, as well as doing something creative while we listen to an audiobook. Washable paints make it all a lot less harrowing. She has some acrylic paints and she's getting a very nice set for Christmas (shhh!), but for every day stuff, we stick with the washables. They come right out of our brushes, wipe up easily, and can be mixed with other mediums for various projects. The downside is that they also wash off of projects easily, and they tend to remove each other, so painting a color over another presents a problem. Still, they really work great for us for most things.


If you're not familiar with Playaways, check your library. They're wonderful. They're basically audiobooks, but instead of a CD (or ten), it's a single, battery-operated unit. Bear has listened to most of the Goosebumps Horrorland books on Playaway, and she loves to take them up in our front tree or listen while she works on a cross stitch project. Bonus? They require headphones, which means they're great for boring car trips or those times when you just need some peace and quiet.

They also make Playaway videos. We've gotten several of those from the library. They don't require headphones, but that's okay because they're really interesting. Bear watched/listened to the Greek Mythology Playways about ten times each before we had to return them.

These are some of the things that get us through each week. Also, wine. Lots of wine. 

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