Saturday, February 23, 2008

Favorite Homeschool Products

This week, Heart of the Matter is asking

What is Your Favorite Homeschool Product?

Computer - If I had to homeschool with only one item, it would be my computer (with high speed internet access, of course). It is a library at your fingertips - encyclopedia, thesaurus, Bible, English handbook, atlas, cookbook, travel guide, literature ( complete books online), art and music history, etc. etc. There are so many sites with free lesson plans and unit studies and lapbooks and e-books and video clips and virtual tours and music files, that you could pull together a complete curriculum from online resources!

One of my favorite educational websites that I use often is Enchanted Learning. I pay for the yearly subscription, but you can also use parts of the site for free.

Copy Machine - second to my computer would probably be my printer/copy machine. I use it nearly every day! I copy workbook pages, assignment sheets, BINGO boards, outline maps, drill sheets, puzzles, copywork, and more.

Senior High: A Home Designed Form+U+La is one of my favorite "homeschool" books for preparing for and succeeding with the high school years. It not only includes tons of reproducible forms to help with course planning, grading, and record keeping, but also addresses the heart of homeschooling, which I found to be hugely encouraging!

Fourteen years ago, when I was just getting started in homeschooling, I devoured the curriculum guides by Mary Pride ( Big Books of Home Learning ) and Cathy Duffy (Christian Home Educators Curriculum Manuals). I appreciated how these two women not only listed the various materials, curriculums, companies, and programs available for homeschoolers, but also described the type of approach and type of learner these would appeal to. Since the homeschool market continually is flooded with great (and some not so great) new materials and companies, a recent book is necessary. I recommend Cathy Duffy's 100 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum: Choosing the Right Curriculum and Approach for Your Child's Learning Style.

Last but not least, I'll put in a plug for my favorite curriculum. A few years ago, I found Tapestry of Grace, and was delighted to find something that I could use with all my children, that combined a Classical Approach with a hands-on unit study approach, could be adapted easily to include Charlotte Mason ideas in early grades, had a strong Christian emphasis, and included many of the wonderful books that I had already collected over the years! My dear children laughed at me. "Another new curriculum, Mom?" But I knew that this was one that would serve us well for the rest of our homeschooling years, as a foundation for what we did in our homeschool. We add math, grammar, art, phonics, science, music, and foreign language. Tapestry covers history, geography, philosophy and worldviews, literature, writing, Bible & Church History, and Fine Arts.


Creech Family said...

Ditto. Except for TOG which you know I really like and may switch over to when EO begins reading. Renee and I are talking about trying to get a group together to do some things next year and we're both praying about whether it's going to be just one subject or something like Keepers or TOG. I'd love to hear your comparisons of the pros/cons for these. Tell E to have a great weekend at the Tournie!! Go Eagles!!!!!

Tina said...

We were just at the copiers the other day and my dd said, wouldn't you love to have one of these at home? I would LOVE to have a big copy machine so I can scan and print things easily.

I love your list of fav's. :o)


gupton said...

I am praying about Tapestry. I feel that I need something...I am coming to the tea. Also, I would love to pick your brain about a copier. It is on my wish list but I do not know which one to get. Any recommendations? I enjoyed a little of the tournament yesterday with my kids. Looking forward to picking your brain soon. Becky

LisaWA said...

Hello my fellow TOG blog roll buddy! *Ü* Love that last pick! heheh... It was one of mine too.. go figure hu?

I read barbs book some time ago... Im not sure how long... but I love her... She came to a local convention in our county and spoke... she is a breath of fresh air... Honest and true... she was one of those women I met and right away I wanted to be her friend..... I wish I could be! *Ü*

Glad you shared! This has been one fun meme! I’m loving it....


Dee F said...

It is good to find another Tapestry user! Don't you just LOVE this curriculum! Thanks for sharing about your studies. Blessings, Dee