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Monday, August 26, 2013

Finding are way and Growing as We Go

We are now 5 weeks into our school yr if you want to keep track or like me have to for reporting reasons. Yet really life is always teaching and we are always learning. I started out our 3rd yr as homeschoolers with a predesignated curriculum that I chose for each kid based on one what I feel they should be working on, two what type of learner they are, and 3 some influence based on what society says they should know. I felt confident . Had my schedules made but something happened. I can't really say how or when. Maybe it has been in a since eating at me for the last 3 yrs. I felt that children in general will learn no matter what. They will learn when they are ready or want the information. In other words they are interested. I also found my self saying learning happens outside the book, away from the desk. It seemed that we learn everywhere and at all times. I can't say I 100% agreed with the unschooling way that some homeschoolers had taken yet I knew I leaned more that way than overly structured. I have been reading everything I can get my hands on to try and figure out exactly what is the best route and I have decided there really is no one route that fits my family or our needs and desires completely. So we are going to make this journey what we want. I know I feel strongly that my kids should learn math, reading, and grammar yet I do not care at what pace. Those subjects we will do in some fashion every single day. Everything else will be based off two other educational models they are Waldorf and Sudbury.  I like the natural hands on and nature aspect of Waldorf but I like the democratic nature of Sudbury. What I mean by that is the children get a vote and seeing they are of two totally different ages it could be interesting to see the way they may come together on the daily life in our school.  

Here is an idea or rough draft on how I would like to see this going.

Monday morning meeting- This is where we will decide by vote what topics we cover this week, what projects we will do, family projects,  What movies will be watched during Movie learning Wednesday, What nature inspired theme or place to visit on Thursday ,what field trips we may take, Rules of how issues are handled. I think this will be a good experience for the kids to learn to come together on dissension making topics and allow them to build a better relationship with each other and myself. I believe this meeting could take a few hrs and therefore the only other areas covered subject wise on Monday will be math, reading, grammar. I will read to them from our living science book and they will complete notebook. Each child will also work on their individual creative project. This could be anything from cooking, art, editing videos what ever they feel inspired to do.

Tuesday- Tuesday's are special because Daddy is home. This allows a great opportunity for as to do things as a family. Tuesday morning 2hr block of math, reading, grammar. Then we as a family will work on the topic or unit of study that was chosen on Monday by vote. The idea is to dig deep and branch that topic out as far and as wide as we can as a family and all members will be a part of that process. I imagine us spending at least 3 hrs working on the project. The rest of the day will be spent enjoy family time be it through games, play, or what ever life brings at us.

Wednesday- Wed. morning 2 hr block of math, reading, and grammar. Then we will pick back up on our topic project for about two hrs. We will then spend about 1-2 hrs on the topic project. Last we have a special theme for Wed. called movie learning Wed. the movie or movies picked would have been chosen at the Monday morning meeting. Each child will also have time to work on their creative projects.  

Thursday- Thurs. 2 hr block of math, reading, and grammar. Then 1 hr spent on topic project. Then we will either work on a nature inspired theme or we will weather permitted go out on a nature walk to learn from nature. All children will keep an on going nature study notebook. 

Friday- We call Friday fun day Friday it is set aside to first finish up and work we still need to do on our topic project for the week. Attend field trips or park days with other homeschooling families. This is the day where the children are learning from life, there is no set guidelines of anything we need to cover or accomplish. We may go to the zoo or even a movie. It could be a trip shopping or out to eat for pizza. I leave the ideas up to the children as long as we have the funds to pay for it. 

Any topic project the children feel they want to continue on into the next week will be allowed. Reason being I dare you to pick any topic that you know everything there is to know on that topic. I beat you can't do it. That is because there is always more you can learn on any given topic. I am hoping that this will not only instill a love and desire to learn through out our homeschooling yrs but also through out their lives. I hope this will help bring them closer together and allow them to find constructive ways to handle any issues that may come up between them therefore building a stronger relationship as brother and sister. It will allow them the experience of working with others of different age range as well. By giving them a voice in all we do it allows them to see that even if they are children they are human beings and will allow them a way to express any concerns or desires. I hope by exposing them in this way they will be better suited to life in an adult world. 

In case you may be wondering about life skills all the children have chores actually all family members have chores. They are each taught to cook, clean, do laundry, sew, mow the grass, ect that is part of our normal daily life just as much as it is most everyone else.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Relaxed Homeschooling is relaxing and fun

The only structured schooling we did today was math. It took a total of 35 mins. Oh boy you are saying. She hasn't taught her kids diddly today. Sure I have. We learned how to make french toast for breakfast. Then we piled in the van and head to grand daddy's house so we could harvest the garden. Do you realize how much learning takes place if you are out in nature. I learned beans will mold if they have to much water. That corn can get a fungus on it that looks like a brain. Seriously it looked like a brain. We discovered so many creatures. Snails of all sizes eating away at the leaves. Baby lizards jumping from one plant to another. My kids got a kick out of them. Spiders and ants every where. We talked about all these living creatures. What classification we would put them into. What they ate and why a garden seemed to be a perfect home to them. We talked about good bugs in a garden and bad bugs in a garden. Then I explained the difference between bugs and insects because not all insects are bugs.Then we learned how to shuck corn and even found some worms to add to our list of living creatures that live in a garden. On the way home we played the adjective game. This is game to see who can use the most adjectives to describe something. We talked about the water cycle and how we have had so much rain that it is now harming the garden. We came home and the kids decided to find out how snails get their shells. After lunch it was time to sit down a do a little reading and the two oldest are off in the rooms engrossed in their books. I am sure we will find even more to learn before this day ends. Remember the world is your classroom and there is always something to learn. 

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Let's See Where This Adventure Will Take Us

Don't fall out of your seats but every since I started homeschooling and learning about all the different ways families homeschool the have been two things that have kind of kept coming back to me one is Waldorf style and the other is unschooling. So I have decided to squash a good bit of how and some of the whats or our homeschool as a trial run. I am not going full on unschooling so don't freak,lol. I guess you can say I am going to move to a more relaxed eclectic way of doing things. If you think about it I am sure some of you already do this in some ways. Do you cover every subject every day? No then you are in a since relaxed. Do you maybe let one subject be more child lead then you are some what relaxed. Anyway. I am throughing the schedule out to the trash and I am going to see where it leads us on this path. What is the worst that can happen? Next year we might have to work a tad bit harder. Ok I am fine with that. I am going to be spending a good bit on adding to the already large amount of education items in my home. Maybe more hands on, more movies, more crafts, that kind of thing. I just wondered if any of you have experienced moments were you question is they way you go about homeschooling the best fit. Have you wanted to just break free and see if maybe there is something to this unschooling. I am going to try and document this journey and the things I see them choosing to learn. How ever math will remain the same because if this fails it is the one area that will be the hardest to catch up on.

An Unschooling friends wrote this and I wanted to share.... We intentionally strive to allow our curriculum to be interest-driven; that is, based on the interests of each child. With our guidance, our children decide what, when and how they will learn. We want them to be active participants in their education, not passive receivers. It is our belief that through this process, their self-esteem will be preserved and they will be empowered to make good choices throughout their lives.
We have access to and knowledge of typical public school curricula and take those into consideration as we offer social, developmental, and educational opportunities to our children (which we do in abundance). We believe that the most developmentally appropriate curriculum for our children is one that is based on their current interests and needs. Because our children do not naturally divide the world into curriculum areas (for example, language arts, math, etc.), our curriculum is inherently integrated. The children may pursue interests for varying lengths of time (hours to months) and one interest often leads naturally to another.
For example, an interest expressed in the history of the state of Ohio might lead us to: read the World Book section on Ohio; read books on Ohio History and famous Ohioans available at the public library; discuss the authors, artists and artistic style of the books we read; visit major historic sites around the state; write letters to congressional representatives; draw maps of places we have been to in Ohio; go to metro park presentations on the history of Northwest Ohio; study the birds of Ohio; discuss the science and mathematics of building bridges across the Maumee River or skyscrapers in Toledo; and visit manufacturing plants in Ohio. From this might come other interests as diverse as air pollution or the Civil War.
When it is time for our children’s portfolios to be reviewed by a certified teacher, we will collect our many journals, photographs, scrapbooks, and projects that show all the interesting things the children have discovered and the skills they have acquired in the process. This is our course of study – it is an “after the fact curriculum.” This type of “curriculum” is inherently more useful for it provides an accurate record of what our children have actually achieved.  

If you are interested in unschooling I suggest you read some books by John Holt and Jogn Gotto as well as join a few unschooling groups . 

Here is a wonderful video to get a better idea 

and another great video 


Again at this point I am not saying we are unschoolers I am going to say we are very relaxed eclectic homeschoolers. I am very excited to see where this adventure will lead my family and to compare the differences in homeschooling. At this point we have attended publicschool, online virtual publi school, traditional homeschool, and now we are going to attempt a relaxed more child lead, interest lead way of learning. I am a true believer that the world can be your classroom as are many homeschoolers so why not take it a step further and see where life leads us. 

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Successful First Week

We made it through the first week with no major issues, no break downs, and lots of fun. The software I bought for covering Doug's high school course seems to be working out just fine. I was a bit worried about that one. I am happy to as it takes a load of my shoulders and allows me more time to spend with Maverick my four yr old. We do a 4 day book work schedule with the 5th day being left open for hands on learning, field trips, and extra time to work on projects. In the four days of book work Alyssa completed 8 grammar lessons, 4 voc. lessons, 4 reading comp worksheets, 4 spelling lessons, 36 review worksheets, 4 handwriting lessons, 9 math lessons, read 3 chapters of elemental science zoology, read 5 science related living books, completed 6 notebooking pages in science, completed 1 lesson and 2 labs in science Odyssey, read 3 living books on Colonial times, read 2 ch in history text, completed the first section of Colonial times lapbook, watched 5 science videos, watched 4 history videos, 3 art lessons, 1 cooking lesson, and she has worked half way through her state unit on Alabama.Maverick has continued to spend about an hr on educational websites like abcmouse, starfall, and pbskids. He has started to trace letters and numbers. He doesn't like this so I bought these dry erase boards that have the letters and numbers to trace hoping this makes it funnier for him. We started the basic of adding blocks like 2+3=4. He has read 2 phonics books and learned the words, DOG, HOG, FROG, CAT,RAT,SAT. Other than that he sits in when he chooses to on science and history . 

I did notice a few areas that we need to address. We will be going back to daily multiplication practice. I will be adding in more writing projects. Plus we will be doing more handcrafting projects in the afternoon time to give them more of a natural Waldorf  learning experience. We do not completely follow a Waldorf style education but we do try to incorporate many Waldorf aspects. We do keep subject notebooks and add art to those notebooks. We Do use a lot of hands on learning. We also want to add in handcrafting. If you are not familiar it simple are things made by hand. Like crochet , sewing, wood working, ect..I think we will switch up the schedule to a block schedule which will allow us to give more focus to the subjects on any given day. Monday and Tuesday will be science and cooking while Wednesday and Thursday will be History and crochet/sewing.So we will have 3 Blocks a day. Block one- 1 and a half hrs long, will be language arts and daily review- this will cover grammar, reading comp, spelling, voc, and daily review practice. Block two-1 hr long, will be math only. Block three -3 hrs long, will be science and cooking or History/geography/ crochet/sewing.  By block scheduling it will keep us from having to change subjects so many times and allow us to dig deeper in the ones being covered. 


Saturday, July 27, 2013

The Extreme Faces of Homeschooling

We are on our 3rd year homeschooling and have pretty much found our own grove when it comes to the style of homeschooling and curriculum that work for each of our children. Yet, for those who are just now researching homeschool as an option for their children it can be very overwhelming and down right scary. I think that is because there are so many extreme ways to homeschool. I thought I would list a few that I found interesting and my take on them.

Lets start with what has historically been the number one type of homeschool family, Those who homeschool for religious reasons. Even in this one area you have two major extremes that tend to fight each other a bit when reading blogs or articles. You have on one hand Young Earth believers- they believe the bible is 100% literal. The world was created in 6 days. Dinosaurs and man lived along side each other. They tend to use a good bit of Apologia curriculum. On the other hand you have Old Earth believers, they want to incorporate a strong biblical moral life in their children. Yet they except a good bit of modern science and believe the Earth is millions of years old. There is a big difference in a world that is a bit over 6,000 yrs old and one that is millions of years old.

Now lets move on to one of the most controversial and in some cases the most extreme form of homeschooling, The Unschoolers. I will be 100% honest here no one seems to agree on what this is or how it is done. It seems to look different to each and every family that call them selves Unschoolers. For the point of my own post I am going to focus on what I believe it to be. First let me say it is a bad case of just all out bad naming. Unschooling makes people think the kids are learning nothing. That is not the case. If I were to name it I would have named it Natural Learning or Interest Lead Learning. In my opinion that is what I see when I have encountered an unschooling family. They do not set up their homes like a school room, They do not in general have a set curriculum. They do not believe their children must learn a set of skill or concepts by a certain age . They do how ever see the world as their classroom, life as a never ending learning experience. Most unschooling parents are some of the most engaged hands own teachers out there. They strive to not just give their children a book on any given topic that child is interested in but to give them a real life lived experience of that topic. They will use anything and everything to not only teach but bring that tpic to life for the child. They do however not demand or push certain topics that are the norm for education on the child.

Then there are the Secular bunch. These are homeschool families that like to keep the separation between church and state literally. The want no religious dogma  in their general every day  curriculum  . They tend to be more on the side of science. Some will cover religions but not just one but all. They like to look at religions a lot like mythology and give their children a basic understanding from a more geographic or cultural view point not from a belief view point. They do not generally homeschool for religious or spiritual purposes but for more personal ones like bad schools or more time with family.

Last but not least we have the Eclectic homeschoolers.These are the ones that have the view point if it works for my child I do not care if it does or does not have religious dogma in it. They tend to pull from just about everywhere, Most piece together or create their own curriculum using everything from text books to movies. I fall into this area of homeschooling. For me it is important to not worry about religion but to worry about whether or not my child masters any given concept. I like to use everything from literature to visual and hands on materials to cover most topics. For us personally it is about the love and excitement of learning the topic.

If you are just now starting to research homeschooling as an option I would first look at what type of homeschooling fits your family. Then I would narrow down the curriculum to the ones that are geared toward that type/style of homeschooling. If you know you do not want a religious based curriculum you can right off the back wipe out all curriculum that is religious based. If you really feel drawn to unschooling you may not need to research curriculum at all but will need to have an arsenal of material/websites/ projects to cover any given topic. For the unschool family let the library be your book store. Not matter what style of homeschool family yours is I hope you find the journey with your children as rewarding as I have. I wish you all the success in the world. Just know you are truly the best teacher for your children. You not only love them more than anyone you know them better than anyone. You will one day look back on these homeschooling years and they will be some of your most treasured memories with your children. You will also know that as their parent you gave it your all to not only protect and love them but to give them the best education available. I say this because homeschool children have out scored their peers for many many years both in the public and private school domains. The latest comparison I read scored homeschool children against public school. In all ares homeschool children scored between 86%-89% and the public school children scored 49%-50%. That is a huge difference and just goes to show that homeschooling is the best educational option.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

4 Days and counting

We are down to the last 4 days of our summer break. I have finished my lesson planning and all materials for this yr have arrived. It is a good thing because the kids are getting restless and bored with all the rain we have had in Ga. this summer. I am pretty sure it has rained at some point almost every day in the last 6 weeks. Some of the exciting topics we will cover this year are Colonial America. This one I am super excited about. We will learn some basic sewing, canning, farming, healing herbs. Another one that the kids are excited about is Zoology. We will be using a mixture of living books and Elemental Science book 1 Zoology. If you have never heard of this curriculum you might want to check it out. We will also be covering plants and anatomy. The kids will be building their own terrarium and I found some awesome anatomy models that blow up through Oriental Trading . One of them is the digestive system and the other is a label skeleton with all the major bones labelled. I think we are all counting down the days until we start our next school year.

My pre-school has a huge selection of fun learning manipulatives that I have collected over the summer. As you can see from the picture I have plenty of things to keep him busy and learning. Biggest goal for him this year will be learning to write his letters and numbers and really reading. We have been working on the reading already. He is doing very well with reading from memory now to move on to sight words.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

How we get through all our work so fast in any given day.

With three kids and a home to care for time management is very key. I have already wrote a post about the rhythm of our family daily but this one is more just focused on how we cover our actual lessons. I have 3 kids at 3 very different levels. They are 12th,4th, and preschool. So as you can see not real easy to always teach one thing to all 3 at the same time. How ever there are days we do that very thing. Thank Goodness my oldest is nearly 100% independent learner. I can pretty much give him is schedule of daily work and unless he has a technical issue I don't need to worry about him again until I go back at the end of the day to check his work.

My younger two I do combine history, science, art, music, and story time.Coming up with a system that works for you and your family is the key. I know a good bit of homeschool families who use the workbox system. It is a great system and most kids do really well with it. However to me personally I found it to take up a lot of time, money ,and space. I took the same general idea of the workbox system and made a binder/folder system. Everything we need for the week is in a binder and each binder has a daily work folder. I also place in the binder any books we will need you can buy binders with pockets or just add in a folder with pockets to hold the books. There is also a weekly to do list for each binder. For example lets say History. When she first opens it up first she would see her weekly to do list that has everything she will do each day for history. Then the next thing is her daily work folder. If she has worksheets , research , ect that would be placed in this folder. Then she has her book folder. Inside this folder are any books to be read independently or with me that week for history. We do Unit Studies for history and science so she tends to have a good bit of smaller living books to read each week. Last she would find any printed out reading material. She also has a morning independent binder. There are five folders inside this binder all labelled a day of the work week on it. Inside each folder I place her morning independent work. This is creative writing prompt, cursive, voc, reading comp, math practice, and spelling. Each binder is also numbered so that she knows when one is finished to start what she can on the other.

Pretty much our day goes in this order.
Binder 1- independent work-writing, cursive, voc, reading comp, math practice, spelling,
Binder 2- science
Binder 3- history
Binder 4 - geography
Binder 5 - religion/foreign language ( we alternate)
Last is math which is done online.
Reading is done at family reading time at 8:00p.m.
Art, music, home ec. , crafts are done after all book work is finished.

Time usually spent looks like this.
 Binder 1 -40mins
Binder 2- 45mins-hr
Binder 3- 45mins-hr
Binder 4- 30 mins
Binder 5- 30 mins
Math 40 mins
Reading 30-40 mins

On Avg we spend 5 hrs a day doing book work. That does not count any art, music, home ec., crafts. We usually will spend another hr or so depending on the project in these areas.Having a system like this set up has cut back on the time spent getting materials, or children asking what is next. It also allows for them to become more independent workers.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Thinking Ahead for High School

I have been thinking a lot about Alyssa's course of action when it comes to high school. Where Doug has no desire to go to college Alyssa does. She wants to veterinarian or a Marine Biologist.She is also interested in Religious studies and I plan to address that using an at home study course through the University of Sedone. This would allow her to obtain a B.A. in Metaphysical Science .  So I know now I need her math and science to be strong and that means I to will need to learn this material ahead of time or at least a good general understanding. I have also been thinking about covering a few course in 8th grade that could be counted toward high school credits. Which means we would be doing a 5 yr high school plan instead of  four year plan.This would allow for a lighter course load during high school and allow us to take more time with the material. I am going to list the possible course and then the ones I am pretty sure we will use. Those will be listed yr 1, yr 2 ect..

 Grammar and Comp I
Grammar and Comp II
American Literature
World Literature
Creative Writing

Algebra I
Algebra II
Consumer math
Personal Finance

Ancient History
Medieval History
American History
World Geography
World religions
 Alternative History Theories

Physical Science
Life Science
Earth Science
 Marine Science
Forensic Science
Veterinarian Science ( this could be taken through a distant learning program and hands on volunteering at local vet) 

Spanish I
Spanish II
Culinary I
Culinary II
Art History
Music History
Metaphysical Science(this can be done through distant learning at University of Sedona )
ACT - Test Prep

 Now I will list the course I am pretty sure she will choose or will need to take

Year 1- 6credits
Ancient History-( Susan Wise Bauer)
Spanish 1
 Culinary 1-( I already have two year study books from culinary school to use)
Pre-Alg-( A+tutorsoft)
Art History
Physical Science
Grammar and Comp I

Year 2- 7 credits
Earth science-(CK -12)
Medieval History -( Susan Wise Bauer)
Spanish 2
Algebra 1-(A+tutorsoft)
Culinary II-( Culinary School Text)
Garmmar and Comp II

Year 3 - 6 credits
Algebra II-( A+tutorsoft)
American History
American Lit
Photography-( online free course along with a course given at local rec center)
World Religions- ( Anthropology of Religion offered online through Utah State if still available)  

Year 4 -5 credits-( Note she would actually have enough credits to graduate this yr)
Creative Writing
Life Science
Act- Test Prep
Preforming Arts- ( local Preforming Arts studio)

Year 5- 3credits and first yr toward B.A. in Metaphysical science
Veterinarian Science-( hands on working at local vet. and distant learning course from Stratford Career Institute )
World Geography
Personal Finance
Metaphysical Science-(distant learning from University of Sedona, we will actually start this course mid year of the 4th year and will finish the course 6 months after finishing high school)

This should give her a total of 27 credits, 1 yr toward diploma in Veterinarian Assistant  and  a B.A. in Metaphysical Science.  Math credits-4, English credits- 4, History credits-6, Science credits-5 making 19 core credits.  I am not giving credits for Pre-Algebra, ACT test Prep, or the Metaphysical Science course, or Veterinarian Assistant . She would continue the Veterinarian Assistant program at home after high school for another 6 months to a year. It is a learn at your own pace program. I will add a link and info below. Since I am a Certified Pet Groomer I will be teaching her that as well as her volunteering at a few different Vets. Locally that I have a good relationship with and said they would love to give her the hands on experience.
If she chose to then enter into an actual state college she would already have a degree as a Veterinarian Assistant and a B.A. in Metaphysical Science.

Stratford Career Institute Vet. Asst. Program information

Veterinary Assistant Tuition: $1089.00      

Stratford Career Institute's pricing is simple. Our all-inclusive tuition fee includes everything you need to graduate. No fine print. No hidden charges. .

You have two convenient payment options available to you:

Full Payment:
   A single payment of $789.00 by check, money order, or credit card.

Interest-Free Monthly Payment Plan:
   Down Payment: $20.00    Number of Monthly Payments: 21    Monthly Payment Amount: $36.61


Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Do You Have Any Teaching Credentials to Homeschool?

I know I have heard this myself a few times. First off I feel your best and most important credential is the fact that you are the child's parent and no one knows them or cares more about them than you do. God gives you this credential when he placed that spark of life in your womb .Do you need to have a teaching degree or even experience to homeschool? In most states the answer is NO. But there are a few where you do need these so please make sure you check your state laws. I do not personally believe you need to hold a degree to be a successful homeschool family. I do how ever feel that if it is your desire to do so you should do nothing more than reach that goal in life. I have personally taken 2 workshops in Waldorf Education and plan to in the near future hopefully be certified as a Waldorf teacher. That is only because I desire to incorporate a more Waldorf style education with my own children. That being said there is no better way to be a great teacher  than first hand experience and the desire to be your child's best teacher.  Your everyday experience teaching your children will in fact turn you into a world class teacher.

 My personal credentials besides being their parent are these

Tonya Cater is a high school graduate (1996) in the state of Georgia. She holds a Masters Degree in Metaphysical Science. She is continuing her  education and is currently enrolled at University of Sedona's Doctoral Degree Program and work on a Ph.D in Pastoral Therapy. She is a certified pet groomer through , The International Professional Groomers, Inc. She has 9 yrs experience running her own business. She has 6 yrs experience as a Library Aid in Coweta County School System along with 6 yrs as a parent classroom aid. She held a PTA office for 2 yrs at Atkinson Elementary School. She also has two years experience in Early Childhood Education. She has taken 2 workshops in Waldorf Education and plans to get certified as a Waldorf teacher after completing her Doctoral Degree.

Nurturing the Spirituality of Your Children

As Parents for most of us religion or spirituality is a huge part of our lives and are experience with our children. As a person who believes deeply we are spiritual beings I knew from the get go of being a parent that instilling that in my children would be a huge focus of how are family unit experienced the world. Just like I am a eclectic homeschooling mother I am also very eclectic spiritually. I knew it would not be as easy for me as it would for a mother of a family that believes in one set religious dogma. I am not a Christian yet I have many very Christian beliefs. I also have many beliefs that fall under other dogmas. My own spiritual journey has been long and I hope it will always continue to unfold for me as I grow and experience. I wanted that amazing wonder for my children as well. As a homeschooling family it allows us more freedom and time to focus on those believes. I also knew I didn't want to be the parent that said this is the only path or even the only correct path. That all other paths where incorrect. I knew I wanted to instill an awareness but not a control of what my children should believe. I truly believe as parents we do not own our children. We are their guides not their controllers. We have to allow them the experience of finding their path while at the same time exposing them to what we personally believe and why we believe this. Allowing them to develop a free thinking mind and to experience the divine in their own way. The first step I took to feel I could help my children in this way was to actually help my self on my own spiritual journey. So, I went back to school for Metaphysical Science. I am actually still in school now 4 yrs later . I have learned much and I am still learning. The 2nd step was for me to read everything I could get my hands on that taught about spirituality of children. I am going to list a few of my favorite books on this subject at the end of the post for others. The final step was to have  spiritual practice in our home. To allow my children to be exposed to the spiritual practice I use everyday. Practices like meditation, chakra balancing, affirmations, prayer, intentions, ect. My hope was that by them seeing how I connect to the Divine they would realize that they are and always will be connected to the Divine as well. I also feel that reading books and watching spiritual movies is a good way to help your children understand and learn to feel the divine connection and love in their lives everyday.  

Living The Wisdom of The Tao - Dr. Wayne Dyer verse 29....Do you think you can take over the universe and improve it? I do not believe it can be done. Everything under heaven is a sacred vessel and cannot be controlled. Trying to control leads to ruin.

Allow your children's life to unfold naturally. Know that they too are a vessel of perfection. A divine being with all the knowledge of the universe within. God blessed us with a job not ownership to control. Have faith that their lives will play out exactly as it is suppose to. 

Books I recommend there are many many more and you should choice ones that feel right to you.

Nurturing Spirituality in Children by Peggy Jenkins
The Joyful Child by Peggy Jenkins
The Wise Child by Sonia Choquette
Curriculum of Love by Morgan Simone Daleo
Children's Spirituality by Rebecca Nye
The Seven Spiritual Laws for Parents by Deepak Chopra
Empowering Your Indigo Child by Wayne D. Dosick
What do You Really Want For Your Children by Dr. Wayne Dyer
Mountain, Meadow, and Moonbeams by Mary Summer Rain
Sara Learns the Secret About the Law of Attraction by Esther Hicks
How To Talk To Your Kids About the Law of Attraction by Robin Hoch
If the Buddha Had Kids Raising Children to Create a More Peaceful World by Charlotte Kasl
My Helpful Healing Touch: A Guide For Empowering Children by Karen Daughtry
All Year Round by Ann Drutt, Christine Fynes-Clinton, Marije Rowling
Festivals Family and Food by Diana Carey and Judy Large

Monday, July 8, 2013

I Scream, You Scream ,We all Scream for ICE CREAM

Ever year we start the first day of school off with something fun. Last year it was pizza themed. This year we are going all out and covering ourselves in Ice Cream. I have collected math and grammar games that are ice cream themed. We have two books to read. One is on how ice cream is made, the other is a 200 page book on historical facts about America's favorite dessert. We will be doing ice creamed themed water color paintings. Writing about their own made up flavor of ice cream. We will also be watching a video that shows the making of ice cream from milking the cow all the way to in your local grocery. The kids will be making cookie dough ice cream bowls and home made ice cream using a youtube video that teaches about the chemical reaction that takes place . I am super excited and even have about 6 different topping for them to cover their frozen treat in. The kids will also be getting their first look at this years curriculum line up and we will be taking the time to look through each item and talk about the different topics we will be covering this year.

Rhythm of Our Family

Having a family rhythm is a bit different than what you may thing but it may also be a bit similar. It is in a since similar to a family schedule but for us it is not about set times wrote down on a chart. It is about the flow of moving along from one natural activity in our home to another. I feel having a rhythm in our home is very important to the stability, spirituality, and over all family unit. Every family and home environment is different this is just how things work for us. My entire family have been for years early riser. I think this is in part to daddy's work schedule. He leaves the home around 6:30 a.m and everyone wants to make sure they get a hug and a kiss from him before he leaves. So this is a look at what an avg day looks here in our home.

6:00-6:30 wake up and spend time with Daddy before he goes off to work
6:30-7:30 free time usually they spend this time playing with toys or watching their favorite cartoon
7:30-8:00- breakfast
8:00-8:30 morning affirmations, prayers and story. We spend this time addressing the things we are grateful for, those we want to send love to, or things we would like to spiritual work on. Then we usually read a short story that revolve around either creation, myths/legends, or fairy tales.
8:30-9:00- morning circle time we do 15 mins of meditation and then 15 min of free dance/movement
9:00-12:00 homeschool studies
12:00-1:00- lunch and art
1:00-2:30- homeschool studies
2:30-3:30- Is nap time for my toddler and spiritual studies with my older too
3:30-5:30- free time
5:30-6:00- chores
6:00-7:00- cook and eat dinner
7:00-8:00- family time - usually we spend time playing games or watching movies or just sitting around talking
8:00-8:30 - family reading time. - Some days we read one book as a family other times each child is reading a book on their own.
8:30-9:00- bath and bed time.
9:00-12:00- momma and Daddy time. It is very important to make time for your partner everyday.

Some days we finish early some days we go over. There are days when the weather is great for having circle time outside and we take advantage of those as much as we can. A few days a week we spend our homeschool time out side or at a park as well. The point is not to stick to the actual time clock wise but follow the flow from one activity to the next. It really does help make our home run smoothly. We do not have a chart wrote down with times on it. My kids just know what comes next.

Time4learning my Review Review I was given a chance to review time4learning for a month with my 3rd grade child. I would for sure say that the curriculum offered here are well rounded materials. The curriculum is presented in such a way where the lessons are fun, colorful and entertaining. The character who is doing the speaking does not talk down to the student, or treat them as lesser person, but as a teacher that enjoys their job and that can't wait to share their information with the child. I thoroughly love that. This works very well on lower grade levels say from preschool on up to 4th grade. I love the set up and the fact that you not only get access to your child’s grade level but the grade level above and below as well. We personally used the website along side our normal curriculum as a kind of review of the concepts we had covered earlier in the school yr. I found the math and language arts to be very animated and just what my daughter enjoys . We decided to only use it for math and the language arts programs, but the social studies and science areas are good too. They just don't quite fit for DD's learning style. We needed more color, more visuals, less text. My suggestion would be to add in some imbedded videos or game simulation type material to the science and history. For anyone just now starting out as a homeschool parent and not really sure what to cover or even how to keep records this site can be a life saver. You not only get a clear laid out plan of what is covered in most state standards you get a printable grade book that can be by the day, week, or month. I found the parent forum to be a great place to visit not just for time4learning information but over all homeschool ideas and or websites. I personally would not recommend this as an all inclusive homeschool curriculum for a few reasons. One I think that kids not only need to learn state standards but they need access to material that allows them to follow their own interest. Two for the hands on child this may not be the best way for them to learn. Three even though the curriculum covers a good bit I don’t think it gives enough review in some areas or digs deep enough in others. I would love to see them add more animation to the science and history areas as well as more review in math. Overall I would recommend the website to any homeschool family starting out and not sure what to do or ones lookinf for an affordable site to use for reviewing concepts. I feel it is well worth the $20 dollars a month but I could see where it could be costly for parents with multiple children. Maybe a bigger discount would help there. …… Rayne Cater

Added on Note New to Time4learning this yr High school courses. I have not actually checked these out yet but wanted to let you know they are starting this coming school year 2013-2014.

Wild at the Zoo Educational park from Kidquest Science Adventures

So a new member on my favebook group is starting up a business making curriculum and I am review his first product for him. I just printed out to look it over and this is what I think so far based on looks alone.... BTW his name is Jason Grooms and here is a link to his site. .... I will post my response to him on just looking it over below and I will give a better review once we actually complete the unit .....   

wow Jason so I went ahead and printed them out and I have to say I am very impressed. They are both set up very well and have a good bit of information but not so much that it feels overwhelming at all. I think it could easily be used for multiple grade levels. My 3rd grade daughter came in and said oh are we doing that tomorrow. I said sure are and she was super excited just by seeing the pictures alone( she is a huge animal lover) I love how the parent book gives you just the talking points you need to cover the material that makes my job a lot easier. Over all awesome job I will post again after we complete the unit study and I can't wait to see you create more of them.... Just so you all know this unit is on the zoo.
I have seen curriculum that are not even close to being presented as nicely as this is done. I love the photos great job there for sure. This seriously looks like something you would find off science a-z and a membership to their stuff is almost $100 a yr.    

After we had completed the before you go to the zoo part of the unit study..... So yesterday we completed the first half of the " Wild at the Zoo" educational pack and it was great. Not only did my 3rd grader learn a few things about animals and insects they we have not covered yet but my 3 yr old was able to really enjoy doing the unit with us. I printed out multiple copies so they could each have one. We learned different scientific names for different feeders. We learned a bit about classification of animals and we are very much looking forward to using the 2nd have on our trip next week to the Atlanta Zoo. Jason has made it very easy for me to turn the worksheets into a notebook that gives you multiple maps, and file pages to check off and fill in what you have learned about different animals. Again I printed off extra copies so we can have a page for each animal we see. I am so impressed with this unit study and looking forward to others he will make. I def. will be a long time customer. 

Homeschool Groups/Co-ops/ Meeting new people

   One of the many intruding things family, friends and even strangers in the checkout line will say to you when they hear you homeschool is what about socialization. First let me say I have seen the Village and I don't want them raising my children. I have never thought of school as the main means to socialize children. Even in the days mine went to public school it was for education not socialization. That being said guess what! Homeschool children just might be some of the most socialized young men and woman out there.While most American children are sitting in a classroom where they are only allowed to ask questions at a certain time and where you get sent to the principles office for talking to your peers, homeschool children are encouraged to ask many questions and to interact not only with their peers but with everyone everywhere they go. Be it the 90 yr old veteran at the senior center who tells of the times he spent during WWII  or the zoologist teaching them about endangered pandas. Now here in my home the socialization issue has been very much like a roller coaster. At first I was very much fine with little interaction outside the home. The way Iseen it then was if I stick her in this safe bubble I won't have to worry as much about all the scary paths she could end up on in life as a teenager. No one would be around to offer her drugs, there would be no way she would end up knocked up at 16, no bullying, no need to wear all the high dollar name brand clothing to fit. You see where I am going and I am sure you have thought these very things a time or two.
     As the time went on I seen her need for friends her own age and I realize my own parenting mistake in keeping her in that bubble. Slowly we connected with other homeschool families and we went on field trips from time to time (once or twice a month), yet it still didn't seem enough. Plus most of these wonderful families I know call my dear friends all lived well over an hour from us. I started to look for families closer to home and for months I really felt like our county most have no homeschoolers( we most live in the most non- homeschooling county in the state). We would go to parks, and be the only ones there. We would go to libraries and yet again no one. Where could they be? Finally I found a facebook group of homeschooling families in my county. If you are looking for homeschool connections let me say let facebook be your friend. I am naturally a bit shy until I get to know someone and so getting to know these families face to face took me sometime. There were so many and I had to find the ones that felt like we could connect on a personal level, find the ones I had common interest with. Over the course of a few months I did find those that share a few interest with me and seemed down to earth. Last night I finally got to meet some of them face to face at our first homeschool planning meeting this yr. with my tummy in knots and my nervous a wreck I but shy Tona in the closet and but on my big girl panties and went to the meeting with a room full of parents I had talked to many times online but did not know them at all in person. Let me say I am so happy I did. I meet some of the most interesting, friendly, down to earth homeschool parents last night. It was a huge success and I already can feel God working and leading us to take part in this homeschool group. They were just what I was looking for not a classroom type co-op were each parent takes turns teaching all the kids a subject , but they were a true socialization group. As Lisa the lady who started the group said it last night we are the party group!! I love that ! We planned park days, talked about field trips, geography fairs, and even Christmas party. We all had a voice in setting in stone a few dates for these events to take place. I also finally meet Kerstin a lady who has been attempting to pull away my shy layers and get me to come to her wilderness classes she puts on at her home on Saturday's. Needless to say tomorrow we will be there learning how to make a solar oven. Yay!! and in two weeks we are going to learn how to use herbs for medicine. She just so happens to have the 411 hook up on a real fossil dig site homeschoolers can go to here in Georgia. I definitely want the kids to experience that one. Those types of adventures that could spark an interest that sets the entire life path of a child.
     Think about all the grand adventures that homeschool children get to take. These once in a life time memories they are making that not only educate them with hands on  experiences but they make life long lasting friendships. It makes your heart break not for those unsocialized homeschoolers but  for all those children sitting in a class right now being told what to think, when to think it, and how to be very much like robots. So in closing yes, we may not get hrs of socialization everyday in a public school class with all it's glory but we do get God centered adventures with amazing friends. We get real life hands on. We get parties and field trips. Heck we even get to dig fossils. I like to see public school beat that one,lol. Just for all the other socialization questions out there let me say if you take the time to look and put your shy self away you will find a world of fun social adventures waiting on your homeschool family.

A list of adventures that most areas have for homeschool families.
1. sports ) yes there are homeschool sports)
2. drama
3. dance
4. swimming
5. youth groups
6. 4-h
7. scouts
8. most museums have home school days each yr
9. capital days
10. free field trips
11. art class
12. robotics class
13. chess class
14. co-ops
15. community projects

16. Prom yes there is even a homeschool prom

The list goes on and on. So you can see homeschool children are in no means lacking socialization. If anything in my opinion most turn out to be very well rounded socialized members of their community. They have learned to not only interact with their peers but people of all ages and walks of life.

My part of a homeschool book my group is writing

My part for the book my homeschool group is writing about homeschooling

by Tonya Mahlmeister Cater on Wednesday, May 9, 2012 at 8:41am ·
Oh homeschooling are you!! Yeah, If you had asked me just a few short years ago if I would every homeschool my children I would have looked at you like you were crazy. I had only known one family in my entire life who homeschooled. They were a kind and loving Christian family or at least I believe they were. You see I knew them when I was like 8 yrs old. We would go and visit them and their whole house was full of books, games, toys, chalk boards (this was way before white boards were around,lol) you name it if it was fun or educational they had it. When I first started thinking about homeschooling my then 2nd grade daughter it was not for reason like religion, or bullies at school, or even that I felt her school was a bad school. NO, it was more the reason that over the years my two oldest children then 15 and 14 had been in public school I had slowly lost faith in the system. More and more I seen the decline in good teachers, lack of books, it even got to the point where one teacher told me the children were not allowed to ask her questions. What! Wait children in schools are not allowed to ask teachers questions. What if they are not getting the concept? She told me they need to get with their peers. So now the other children were expected to do the teachers job. WOW! I came home that night and I said there is no way my little girl is going to that school. I had seen the advertisements for K12 program in Georgia. It was a public school free of charge done at home over the computer. I thought oh this sounds perfect. I decided to enroll her for 2nd grade with the cyber school. I even spent the entire summer watching about 200 videos that the school had posted to learn the system, how to schedule our courses to fit our needs, How to address learning issues. You name it I watched a video about it. We received our books in July and both she and I were excited to get started. The school it’s self did not start for another three weeks so I just kept track of what we had completed and by time the first day of school started we had 15 days of attendance and were well into the 3 months work. I found out real fast that when you are homeschooling just one child you can cover a great bit more material and have fun doing it. By Nov. she had completed the entire yrs. Course work for the cyber school and I found myself at yet another crossroad. Should I stay with the cyber school and only have access to math and language arts for the next grade level or should I take the jump head first into traditional home schooling. I’ll be completely honest I was scared to death to do it on my own. At least with the cyber school I had it all laid out for me and a teacher I could run to if I needed help. It took me about a month of looking into what all it would take to do this on my own. A wonderful friend I had meet through the cyber school had started a facebook page to help other homeschoolers with support and resources she had asked me if I would help her admin the page and I said sure. I never realized then just how much that would change my life.The more people who joined the page and the more I read about homeschool the more I saw myself wanting to teach my children this way. I slowly begain to realize that by homeschooling I could teach my children what I thought was important to know, I could use any curriculum, I had the freedom that most American’s give up everyday to the state they live in. By the first of Dec. I had made the jump I sent in my intent to the county and it was official we were homeschoolers. Real homeschoolers not public schoolers at home but real homeschoolers. I had slowly been collect educational books and materials everything from textbooks to games. I was ready to fully be the mother who instilled a love of learning in their child. By Feb. we had covered yet another entire curriculum. I was blown away by how fast my daughter caught on. Sure we had bad days everyone has bad days from time to time. The point was she was learning, I was learning and even the 2yr old in tow was learning. Best of all we were loving what we were doing. I found my self moving further and further outside the textbooks. We wanted to learn about the first forms of writing so we made our own clay tablets. We wanted to learn the life cycle of a frog so we caught tadpoles. While learning about plants, rocks, and soil we grew a garden. Sure we still read from our textbooks and did worksheets, we even took the test at the end of the chapters. Yet we had the freedom to dig deeper and get our hands dirty in the process. Who doesn’t love playing in the dirt. I started having her keep a journal or what most homeschoolers now call a notebook of everything we did. She would write what she learned and then draw a picture to go with it. Not only did we have a way to show her work and what she learned but we had this beautiful keep sake that both she and I could look back on in years to come. Over the months I found my grove in homeschooling I also found that there is a world of free education out there just waiting for people to use it. I bet you there are a million websites that are free and educational on every possible subject and concept you can come up with. As we posted the websites on our facebook page I started to keep a file with them in it. Slowly more and more homeschool families joined our group and by March we were well over 300 members from all over the world. We all became wonderful friends supporting each other day in and day out. We didn’t just support each other in homeschool but we prayed for sick children, we laughed over a drink which we call cyber girls night in,lol. We meet each other in person and went on field trips with our children together. We became each others backbone, a shoulder to cry on and a life long friend to laugh with. These women have changed my life for the better in so many ways I don’t even know how to truly express it. They call me the village queen because for some unknown reason I seem to have a nack for finding these great resources when every someone is looking for material on a certain concept. I just send google working away for me and within a few minutes I have found enough sometimes way more than enough resources to teach the concept. I laugh about their nick name for me. Never was I the popular one in life more of the outcast always a bit different than the rest , never really fitting in with any group. I felt I had not only found true friends but I found a true calling in life. I found that small way that I could help others on a daily bases. It feels good to help others. It makes you have hope that we can change the world and make this a loving caring place for our children. I started to realize that homeschooling for me was not just about learning to add or read it was about life. When you homeschool you are not just addressing your childs education you are addressing and modeling the whole child. Whole child, what do I mean by that you may ask. I mean that as humans we are not just one aspect we are a physical, mental and spiritual being. When you homeschool you have the chance to model all levels of the being you love so dearly, your child.  Some homeschoolers use the Bible some use pagan text for us we use what ever feels right in our hearts. My children not only learn math, reading, grammar, science, and history, they also learn what I call spiritual work. They learn to meditate, they learn bible stories, they even learn Native American stories. I don’t push one religion on my child because I feel they have to find their own path to GOD. I just give them the skills and knowledge to research all the paths until the find the one that feels right to them. I teach them what I believe and what others believe and I point out how they are different and how they are the same. I have learned a lot about education and about life over the last year of this journey that we call homeschool and I would like to leave you with a list of some of the things that may help you also on your journey.

  1. follow your heart, trust that as a mother you always have been and always will be a teacher in every since of the matter.
  2. don’t be afraid to think outside of the box. Life is all about learning from the day we are born to the day we die. It doesn’t always have to be done with a textbook.
  3. Let google be your friend, there is a world of knowledge out there all you have to do is go look for it.
  4. FREE! FREE! FREE! It does not have to break your bank account to homeschool there is more educational material available than you could ever use to educate your child. Libraries, websites, even companies that will send you free material.
  5. SUPPORT you will feel much more supported in your journey if you have that support. Join a homeschool group that fits your family. Get your family  involved. Have grandma teach a cooking lesson, have grandpa read them a book or tell a story about when he was young.
  6. Give them time to be children, life should not always revolve around what lesson comes next or how they scored on a test. Play with your children , they will be grown in a blink of the eye.
  7. Don’t compare your children to the level of others, address their individual needs at the level they are on. Who cares if they are above or below level. If you have a child that is above in reading then teach them from that level if they are a grade level below in math teach them from that level.
  8. Homeschooling should not be stressful it should be fun. If you are the child needs a break take it. You have 365 days in a yr and you only need to teach on 180 of those days.
  9. Don’t move on until they get it or master it as I say. Trust me even if you don’t finish the textbook in the yr you will be doing them a much better services allowing them the time to master a concept than you would forcing them to move on before they truly understand it. This is homeschool not public school you have the freedom to spend as much time on a concept as they need.
  10. Play is an important part of the brain development , don’t think they are not learning when they play because they are.

In closing I just want to say I hope if you make the jump that you are as blessed in the journey of homeschooling as I have been. I promise you I have not meet one single homeschool family that regrets their decision. They all feel they have done what is best for their children. As the months turn into years it will all be worth the time and effort you put into it and you will look back one day wishing for a  way to turn back the clock.

                                           By: Tonya Cater

Tricks of the Trade (Spelling Words)

Yesterday after it taking an hour for Alyssa to complete her spelling practice it hit me. Tonya Anne Cater! You have done it again! Fallen back into the same old same old of what public schools says you should be doing. Yep! Here I was once again having my 8 yr old daughter do what I had done at 8 yrs old in public school, write those dreaded spelling words 5 times each. She was bored and I was getting frustrated because she had been at it for an hour. So I said put your pencil down please. We moved on to something else. That night I decided to send google working once again for me and see if I could come up with some outside the box ideas for learning them spelling words. I am happy to say google did not let me down,lol. ( This is why I am called the google Queen) I figured how many other momma's and children out there might be just like me looking for a way to perk up the spelling practice.I might as well share some of the tricks I found.

1. invest in a set of rubber alphabet stamps and some colored ink. allow them to stamp out the words.
2. have them take a white crayon on whit paper and write out the words, then take water colors and paint the paper. Watch the words come alive.( I really like this one for Alyssa as she is my artsy child,
3. pass a ball back and forth as you spell the words, if the get it wrong have them do 5 jumping jacks( this burns some energy in the process)
4. something they call step or pyramid spelling. It goes like this, take the word Hello
hello.... you can also do this in the shape of a pryamid
5. use dry erase markers and write the words on windows or mirrors
6. magnetic letters and a magnetic board( a dry erase board will work as well
7. finger paint the words ( who doesn't love finger paint)
8.try color spelling....have them take 3 different colored pencils and spell each letter with a different color
9. This one will add spelling and math together... Give each letter a $ amount..ex.. A-$1,B-$2 and so on the not only spell the words they add the total dollar amount for that word,
10. use stencils to spell out the words
11. Sidewalk chalk this one is perfect on a nice day go out side and allow them to write the words on the driveway with sidewalk chalk

So as you can see I found a good bit of different ways to practice spelling words. I know I hated spelling as a child and I don't want my children to follow in those footsteps so I plan to switch it up from time to time and see what works best for them. Maybe along the way we will come up with some different ideas to add to the list.
Free Homeschooling List

Homeschooling can cost you as much or as little as you want it to. I know homeschooling families that spend thousands and ones that spend nothing except for maybe some ink and paper. Most homeschooling families live off one income so we tend to go about it as cheaply as we can while still attaining materials that fit our children's individual needs.  For those of you looking for more free resource here you go.

Early Learning:
1. Starfall - Teaches alphabet and early reading skills.
2. Brightly Beaming Resources - Letter of the week, sound of the week, science of the
week, etc. This is a good all-around site for early learning.
3. Rhyme a week
4. Enchanted Learning - Not really free, but a lot can be accessed without paying
(membership is $20 donation/year per family)
Whole Curriculum:
1. Ambleside Online - Charlotte Mason. Wonderful resource that includes lots of info and
is really a full curriculum option. Great booklist!
2. An Old-Fashioned Education - Another really complete option. LOTS of stuff to look
at and use here!
3. Puritans' Home School - I have never used this. VERY religious site, but it does
appear pretty complete.
4. Core Knowledge lesson plans - Tons of lesson plans on lots of subjects from PK-8. I
have not used this, but it looks really good.
5. Homeschooling section (not really a whole curriculum, but TONS of stuff)
6. Tanglewood Education
7. The Baltimore Project
8. PASS Materials (FL)
9. Paula's Archives
10. EdSITEment
11. Mater Amabilis (Catholic Charlotte Mason Curriculum)

Unit Studies:
1. Homeschool Share - Lots and lots and LOTS of projects and unit studies.
2. A Journey Through Learning Inventor unit study and lapbook. Click on Free products
3. H.I.P. Pocket Change. Several Lesson Plans revolving around money
4. Homeschool Helper
5. Oceanography
6. SCORE Cyberguides
7. Eyes
8. Birds Notebooking pages
9. Nature Study
10. Canada

1. Ray's Arithmetic - 1885 math book on google books. Thorough and "back to basics".
(click on the icon on the page and scroll down to read/print)
2. CSMP materials - K-6
3. First Lessons in Arithmetic - 1878 math text
4. NC public school math program K-2
5. Centre for Innovation in Mathematics Teaching (UK) - AKA MEP
6. Living Math History (lessons on right)
7. Pearson Scott Foresman K-5
8. Geogebra (Algebra and Geometry)
9. Oakes Math
10. Eduplace printable workbooks _ 4.html
and activities that coordinate with this program
11. Middle/High school math
12. McDougal Littell Math Course
13. Missouri Schools program (including TM/answers)
14. Glencoe Workbooks
15. Public Schools of NC math program

Math Drill:
1. Math Magician Games
2. Printable math worksheets
3. Math U See (online)
4. Math worksheets to create and print (some portions pay)
5. Timez Attack (multiplication video game - way cool) - basic is free
6. Harcourt activities
7. Learn to play chess (I guess this is math...haha)

1. Word Mastery
2. Starfall (learn to read online)
3. Blend Phonics
4. Sadler-Oxford
5. Progressive Phonics
6. Society for Quality Education

Literature/Reading Guides and Units:
1. Novel Study Guides for the Classroom Teacher
2. Reading Units by Gay Miller
3. Garden of Praise
4. Glencoe Literature Guides
5. Literature Activity Guides by Nancy Polette - These are samples, but are in depth
enough to test if your child understood the story.
6. SCORE Cyberguides (California schools)
7. Dangerous Journey (Pilgrim's Progress for kids version) study guide
8. Course in nature study: for grades one and two - Detroit Public Schools
9. Nature-study: a manual for teachers and students
10. Readquarium (mostly games)
11. Harcourt Guides
Grade 1
Grade 2
Grade 3
Grade 4
Grade 5
Grade 6
12. National Park Service

Free Books:
1. Classical Education Library
2. Kids4Classics
3. Project Gutenberg
4. Online Library of Liberty
5. Google Books
6. The Baldwin Project
7. Planet eBook
8. 19th Century Schoolbooks
9. Librivox - Free online audiobooks
10. Storynory - Free online audiobooks
11. Free Books online
12. Magic Keys
13. Fun Brain
14. Interactive Story Books
15. Stories about American Heroes

1. Awesome website where you can input a list or
click on
someone else's list. Games and quizzes, etc.
2. Zaner Bloser Spelling Connections - practice pages
3. Splashes from the River - free spelling course
4. Webster's Spelling - 1824 spelling book
5. Merriam Webster's daily Buzzword (and games)

1. Zaner Bloser online
2. Writing Wizard Make Handwriting Worksheets - ESL Writing Wizard
3. Custom Tracer Pages
Grammar and Creative Writing:

1. Harvey's Grammar,M1
2. Young Novelist Workbooks. There is a workbook for elementary, middle and
school. Designed to go with national novel writing month, but can be used any
3. English Banana Elementary Workbook. For individual pages go to:
For complete download go to:
4. Scott Foresman
5. KISS Grammar
6. Daily Grammar
7. Book Adventure
8. Read-Write-Think
9. Grammar/Writing 6-12
10. Eduplace
11. Writing Templates
12. Writing for the Grammar Stage

1. Scripted 'People of America' History lessons
2. Little City Kids K/1 History/Geography plans
3. American Heritage. Uses teacher jargon, but is complete.
4. American History (WONDERFUL SITE)
5. Mosaic Introduction to World History
6. World History Outline
7. Animated Atlas of US history
8. Myths, Maps, and Marvels - Ancients lesson plans
9. Colonial Williamsburg
10. Ancient Mesopotamia unit

1. Countries and Cultures around the world. Elementary age.
2. Sheppard Software Geography (Online)
3. Discover America State by State. Uses the C is for...... book series.
4. Outline Maps
5. Nat. Geo. Xpeditions for Geography
6. click on downloads, give the info, click on downloads
A countries and cultures curriculum at your fingertips with all the activities and
fun right
there...and enough to last a couple years! It's good for youngers too but it's quite a
bit of
info to take in, so there's plenty of "meat" in there for olders as well. You could
some library books to go along with it for whichever country you are on.
7. Adoption/Cultures
8. Growing Up Around the World: Books as Passports to Global Understanding
Children in the United States is a project of the International Relations
Committee of the
Association for Library Service to Children

Current Events:
1. TIME for kids.
2. NY Times Learning Network. Updated daily and many archived lessons 

1. High school music ed
2. Classics for Kids
3. Piano Lessons
4. Guitar
5. Music Theory
1. Dick Blick Lessons
2. Meet the Masters
3. A Lifetime of Color
4. Teach Art at Home

Administration: Planner Software:
Administration: Planners, Info, Lessons (K-12):
Fine Arts: Art (K-6)
Fine Arts: Art Appreciation Games from the National Gallery of Art (K-8):
Fine Arts: Art History (3-12):
Fine Arts: Art Lessons (K-6):
Fine Arts: Art Lessons (K-6):
Fine Arts: Art Prints (K-12):
Fine Arts: Artist Study (K-6):
Fine Arts: Artist Study and lessons (K-6):
Fine Arts: Classical Music (K-8):
Fine Arts: Music Theory (3-12):
Foreign Language: French (K-6):,223-
Foreign Language: German, French, Spanish (K-12)
Foreign Language: Japanese (9-12+)
Foreign Language: Spanish (K-2)
Health: Health and Safety topics (K-12):
History: American History (3-7)
History: Ancient History (K-6):…s-and-marvels/
Kindergarten: Lessons (K-1)
Language Arts: Aesop Stories and Lessons (K-6):…8ac5c6116dd093
Language Arts: Audio books (K-12): Librivox
Language Arts: Daily Grammar (K-12):
Language Arts: Dolch Word Lists (K-4)
Language Arts: Early Reading (K-2):
Language Arts: Early Reading (K-3)
Language Arts: Early Reading- I see Sam (K-2):
Language Arts: Grammar (K-6):
Language Arts: Grammar and Spelling  (?)
Language Arts: Grammar Handbook (3-8):…anics-handbook
Language Arts: Grammar- Mad Libs (K-12):
Language Arts: Grammar Textbook (?):
Language Arts: Grammar, Spelling Workbooks (K-6):…/national.html
Language Arts: Handwriting (K-6):
Language Arts: Handwriting , D’Nealian (K-2)
Language Arts: Handwriting help (K-2)
Language Arts: Literature (K-12): Manybooks
Language Arts: Phonics (K-2):
Language Arts: Phonics (K-3)
Language Arts: Phonics (K-3)
Language Arts: Phonics (K-3):
Language Arts: Picture Books (K-4):
Language Arts: Reading and Grammar (?)
Language Arts: Reading, word families (K-3):…FamilyBooklets
Language Arts: Spelling (K-12)
Language Arts: Word Families (K-3):
Life Skills: Character Education (K-6):
Life Skills: Financial Literacy from the Actuarial Foundation (grades 9-12)…urFuture.shtml
Mathematics: Algebra from Purple Math
Mathematics: Comprehensive School Mathematics Program (full curriculum; grades K-6)
Mathematics: Explorations and Fun with Math from the Actuarial Foundation (grades 3-8)…_academy.shtml
Mathematics: Games (K-12):
Mathematics: Games and Lessons (K-12)
Mathematics: Games from Big Brains (multiple grades)
Mathematics: Living Books (K-6) and Ancient History
Mathematics: MEP Full Curriculum (K-12):…ry/default.htm
Mathematics: Various topics from the Actuarial Foundation (multiple grades)
Mathematics: Virtual math manipulatives from Utah State University (multiple grades)
Multiple Subjects: BBC (k-12)
Multiple Subjects: CM curriculum (K-12)…urriculum.html
Multiple Subjects: Free Textbooks, mostly science and math (9-12)
Multiple Subjects: Full Curriculum (K-9)
Multiple Subjects: Full Curriculum (Pre-K-5)
Multiple Subjects: Full Curriculum program from Ambleside (multiple ages)
Multiple Subjects: Games (K-12)
Multiple Subjects: Games (K-6):
Multiple Subjects: Lapbooks (K-12)
Multiple Subjects: Lesson Plans (K-12):
Multiple Subjects: Resources and Lessons (K-12):
Multiple Subjects: Teaching Resources (K-12):
Multiple Subjects: Topic Links (K-12)
Multiple Subjects: Unit Studies (K-9)
Multiple Subjects: Units (K-12)
Multiple Subjects: Videos and Lessons (3-12):
Preschool: Full Curriculum, Letter of the Week
Preschool: Montessori:
Science: Animal Science (K-6):
Science: Archeology, Dinosaurs and Fossils (3-12)
Science: Astronomy (K-12):
Science: Biology (9-12)
Science: Chemistry (grades 3-6)
Science: Chemistry, Periodic Table (K-12):
Science: Coloring Pages (K-12):…-pages/c/1112/
Science: Computer Programming (K-12):
Science: Computer Programming (K-12):
Science: Computer Science (K-12):
Science: Elementary Science (K-5):
Science: Elementary Science (K-6):
Science: Engineering (K-12)
Science: Evolution (k-12):
Science: Evolution, Tree of Life (?):
Science: Experiments (K-12)
Science: Free Course (?)…le-classes.htm
Science: Full science courses (grades 6-9)
Science: Games (K-6):
Science: Geography (K-6)
Science: Geology (K-5):
Science: Human Evolution (K-12):
Science: Life Science (1-6):
Science: MIT courses (9-12):
Science: Multiple Subject Curriculum (K-12):
Science: Multiple Subjects (K-12):
Science: National Geographic (K-6):
Science: National Geographic (K-9)
Science: Nature Study (K-6):
Science: Physical Science, various ‘ologies’ (K-12):
Science: Physics (K-9):
Science: Projects (K-6):
Science: Satellite Earth Science (K-12):
Science: Science Fair (K-9):
Science: Science Textbooks (?):
Science: Videos (K-12):
Science: Virtual Museum (K-12):
Science: Zoology Links (K-12):
Social Science: American Folklore (K-12):
Social Science: American History (3-9):
Social Science: American History (K-3):…erican-history
Social Science: Current Events (3-12)
Social Science: Geography (K-6):
Social Science: Government (K-6):
Social Science: Greek Myths Flashcards (3-9):
Social Science: History Unit Studies (2-12)
Social Science: History, National Archives (3-12)
Social Science: Human Trafficking from Free the Slaves (grades 6-12)
Social Science: Multiple Subjects (3-12)
Social Science: Mythology (3-9):
Social Science: Narrative History (K-12):
Social Science: Talking Pyramids (K-9):…-games-online/
Social Science: US History Timeline (3-9):
Social Science: Vikings (K-9):
Social Science: World History (K-12):
Social Science: World History (K-6):
Supplemental Resources: Information (K-12):
Supplemental Resources: Maps (K-12):
Supplemental Resources: Worksheets (k-12):
Supplemental Resources: Logic (7-12th):
All in One Easy Peasy Homeschooling -
 High School and College: HippoCampus Free Courses Mixed Courses in many subjects Free-Ed.Net Printable Courses in all subject areas. Not sure who funds this one, but I like how the curriculum is laid out. Study Notes Hoagies Gifted. Tons of Free high school curriculum links National Repository of On-line Courses University of Berkley Courses. Tons of Free Courses available here. webcast.berkeley | UC Berkeley Video and Podcasts for Courses & Events Yale University Open Courses. Nicely done and easy to access IMO. Online Video Lectures and Course Materials — Open Yale Courses University of Washington free courses. OpenUW Free Courses M.I.T. open Courseware. Tons of completely free courses in many subjects. Free Online Course Materials | Courses | MIT OpenCourseWare Open Courseware Consortium Academic Earth AP and College Prep Courses