Welcome to my little homeschool world. On the side you will see numerous free or low cost resources to educating your kids. I update the links often. But due to my busy schedule with family and life, I don't get to post little blurbs or reviews as much as I would like. So, if it's been a while, please excuse me. I'm probably busy with our own schooling or part of our lives. But you will find lots of websites and blogs in the links that I'm sure will give you hours of online exploration and reading!
Have a blessed day!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Site of the Week - School Express.com

School Express.com

School Express is a great resource for any home educating family who is working with a small budget. They have over 16,000 free worksheets and printables. And there are online math activities and games. You can also download a very good thematic unit and workbooks for inexpensively from their online store. They give one unit away for free each week.

Don't see a worksheet you like? They offer an online worksheet generator.

There's really not enough I can say to describe how great this site is. Just check it out for yourself!


Monday, August 16, 2010

Book of the Week - Beautiful Stories from Shakespeare

Shakespeare was a wonderful writer who instructed with delight and amusement. His writings are full of wisdom, proverbs, and witty little gems. It is easily argued that his works are the highest esteemed of English Classical literature, aside from the Bible. And that Shakespeare was the world's greatest dramatist of all time.

A few months ago I shared Tales from Shakespeare by Charles and Mary Lamb.

Recently we found another version of Shakespeare stories written for children by Edith Nesbit.

Beautiful Stories from Shakespeare was written in a simple style, easily understood by children, yet still retains the wittiness and wisdom that delights and entertains so many.

I downloaded this version for my family to listen to on our road trip to Colorado while on vacation. We listened to this most of the way there, and my girls enjoyed it immensely.
So far our favourite Shakespeare story is "As You Like It".

An audio version is available Librivox.org. You can go to the Beautiful Stories from Shakespeare archive page for the chapter by chapter playlist or MP3 download. Or click play below to hear Beautiful Stories from Shakespeare from the beginning.

You may also download the Ebook version for you to print out, or read on ereader, at the Project Gutenburg Beautiful Stories from Shakespeare page.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Blog Worthy of Note: Charlotte Mason in NW Arkansas

While I don't totally pattern our home education day after one of a Charlotte Mason Philosophy, I still do read a lot of Charlotte Mason's materials and follow several blogs of Charlotte Mason support groups. I have gleaned lots of wisdom and ideas to help me make our home education smoother and more enjoyable.

I recently came across a blog of a Charlotte Mason in NW Arkansas support group. The Charlotte Mason in NW Arkansas group blog appears to be mainly for a record of monthly activities, but there are a few ideas and resources they have shared, such as a Narration Jar and a list of handcrafts in the bible.

I have added this blog subscription to my google reader feed, in hopes that as the education year gets under way they will update more frequently with more ideas.

I hope you find it useful to.


Monday, August 9, 2010

Book of the Week - Raggedy Ann Stories

Image Source
Raggedy Ann Stories by John B. Gruelle

Almost every grown up girl remembers having their very own rag doll. If not, then it is very possible that they are living a little vicariously through their own little daughters, or little nieces.
Whether it's having tea party, dress up, doctor and nurse, tomboyish romps through the fields, or pretending to be little mommies, most little girls have a little doll friend to accompany them.
The stories in Raggedy Ann strike a semblance in every little girls childhood. Whether it's playing tea party, dress up, doctor and nurse, tomboyish romps through the fields, or pretending to be little mommies. It's a good chance that you can identify with at least one chapter within this book.
If you haven't ever read Raggedy Ann, it's time that you do. If you've never had a little rag doll, relive a second childhood just a bit and find yourself a little rag doll friend.

An audio version is available Librivox.org. You can go to the Raggedy Ann Stories internet archive page for the chapter by chapter playlist or MP3 download. Or click play below to hear Raggedy Ann Stories from the beginning

You may download the book version for your E-reader or to print out here at Project Gutenberg Raggedy Ann Stories Page

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Reading is a Blast with A Shufflebook

I love thrift stores. They have such great finds that help make education easier or more fun. Sure you have to be picky, really look through a lot till you find a gem, and discipline yourself not to buy a lot of other things you don't need. But I really find that it's fun to sift through thrift stores to find a few treasures.

I recently found one that I know I'm going to use a lot this next year. And it only cost me $.25!

It's called a "Shufflebook" and was created by Richard Hefter and Marin Stephen Moskof, the publication date on this particular package is 1970.

It contains 52 large double sided cards. Each side of the card has words with large, colorful, pictures. The words are either nouns, simple verbs, or nouns with pro nouns.

The object is to simply create your own fun and crazy story by starting you sentence with "Today I" or "Yesterday we" (or get creative), and pulling cards out at whim to make a long ongoing sentence that forms a completely random story.

We did this today during our read aloud time, and this is what we ended up with:

Yesterday we went to the zoo,
and the turtle
and 8 ants
and she
got kissed
and the chicken
and the astronaut
and 5 cows
and he
and the dog
and I

Isn't that a riot?!

These cards could have many applications. For a beginning reader they could be used for help with fluency in reading.

For a more advanced reader, these cards could be used as language arts aids by creating a sentence, and then using it to learn about subjects, predicates, verbs, nouns, pronouns, punctuation, etc.

I believe these are out of print. I found 2 for sale on Amazon.com, but these would be very easy to make on your own with index cards, a sharpie, and lots of cut out pictures from unwanted catalogs and old magazines.

Take this idea, and run with it to make learning in your home more enjoyable!