28 September 2011

Homeschooling in Ten Easy Questions

I read Jimmie's Collage. Her blog is full of ideas for homeschoolers, and she also authors The Notebooking Fairy. Great resource! She invited her readers to post and answer the questions for this meme, so I decided to play along. And I'm going to follow her example and let anyone respond.

The Eight Original Homeschooling Questions

1.  One homeschooling book you have enjoyed.

It's impossible to choose just one! Our shelves are full of "living books." We love most of them, but one thing we agree on is the fact that textbooks are usually not that exciting.

2.  One resource you wouldn’t be without.

Art supplies of all kinds. And this is one area I try not to skimp on. I want them to love art, and that probably won't happen with inferior paint that is watery or clumpy, and pencils that don't make brilliant colors. Crayola markers are great, and we like their tempera paint. But for watercolor and acrylic paints we buy more expensive tube paint. (Good brushes are essential.) And water soluble colored pencils are fascinating for them. They also use real sketch pencils and good erasers.

3.  One resource you wish you had never bought.

I wish I had never bought Spelling Power. It works for lots of people, but it didn't work for us. It was a guaranteed tense time for the Straight-haired girl, and the Curly-headed girl preferred to avoid it altogether. I was trying to save money (it has lists for grades 1 through 12) but we just didn't enjoy it. We are doing Charlotte Mason style spelling this year with copywork and dictation. The girls enjoy it much better and are beginning to self-edit their writing!

4.  One resource you enjoyed last year.

We have come to love the Scripture Memory System described in Simply Charlotte Mason. It's useful for far more than Scripture memorization, too. Bonus: it's inexpensive to set up and the kids are thrilled when they hear someone refer to something they have already memorized.

We also loved A Reason For Handwriting.

5.  One resource you will be using next year.

I hope to try out the Art of Argument from Classical Academic Press. We love their Latin for Children series and I have high hopes.

6.  One resource you would like to buy.

A Pro-Click binder and a laminator. I dream of the day! I may have to laminate the furniture and the walls while I'm at it.

7.  One resource you wish existed.

A great gradebook that doesn't take up much memory on the computer and is customizable. I found it today! Here. I love it already and can't imagine how it's free, but this website is chock-full of great things in which to nose around. I already use her assignment chart, and this gradebook must be fairly new - because I didn't know it existed until today. Happy day!

8.  One (really, one?) homeschool catalog you enjoy reading.

Sonlight. Veritas Press. Cheap Joe's art supplies catalog has drool stains on several pages. Rainbow Resource Center is a great catalog, as well. If you can't find it there, chances are they don't make it...

Two Add-on Homeschool Questions

From Jimmie's blog: This meme is called Homeschooling in Ten Easy Questions, but...had only eight questions. To fix the discrepancy without renaming the meme, I’ve chosen to create two of my own questions. Sorry to end on a negative note, but the struggles are where we learn the most, so I don’t want to discount them. [Totally agree with this, by the way.]

9. What homeschool subject gives you the most frustration or anxiety?

Social skills. Just kidding. Probably Math. I don't have the energy to make it fun and exciting, because it's not something that I think is fun and exciting. But I don't want to pass that attitude on to the girls, so I get stressed about it sometimes.

10. What is your greatest challenge in homeschooling right now?

Making it work for two widely different personalities. I probably overthink this sometimes, but right now this is my biggest challenge.

Now it’s your turn! Go ahead. Copy the questions and do the homeschooling in 10 easy questions meme. It’s fun.

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