Sunday, December 23, 2007

Homeschool Music Curriculum

For many years I have gone back and forth with if I should be having an actual music curriculum. I love music. I have played the piano since I was about 4. Although I am rusty at it now. I played the alto saxaphone in band for 4 years and was first chair. My family are muisicians/singers on my mother's side. Although I was taught music in public school, I really think that music is something that can be taught without using curriculum. Even if you are not musically inclined. Music lessons is a good way to start. Singing around the house. Getting a recorder and a recorder lesson book is also another way to incorporate music in your homeschool day.

I came across two really good sites today, which will give you a good resource for music.

The first one , has piano music on it from various composers.

The seconde one, which is where I found the first one, is called Garden of Praise. This lady has put together a whole bunch of resources for you and the majority of them that I looked at were FREE. Free bible lesson pages that you can print out too on various books of the bible. She also has a website link with composers and the eras they were from. There is a lot of help on this site and I will be adding it to my favorite sites!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Calvert it worth taking a look?

I just came across Calvert. I have to say that it looks like a rounded curriculum for homeschoolers.

It has lessons already planned out. What could be better than that?
I have also heard that students using the curriculum test very well on standardized testing.

I am going to be using it with one of my kids and will let you know how I like it.

Have a GREAT day!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Writing Ideas for Homeschoolers

Need a writing idea? Have the kids pretend they are a reporter and go get the latest scoop from family members. Help them write down 5 questions they can ask each person in the family. When you are done, go and put it together in some newsletter form. There are great programs for this right on your home computer. Print it out and have them mail it to Grandma and Grandpa and other family members. You can even start doing it quarterly and it can count towards a lot of their subjects. Writing, Grammer, and Spelling. There can even be more subjects woven into it depending what the contents are about. Eventually, who knows they could even start selling them online and offline and make some money.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Yearly Testing Resource

I always buy from the same place every year for my yearly testing requirements. I buy from Christian Liberty Press. If you click on the link it will take you right to the testing page. They have the nationally-recognized California Achievement Test (1970 edition). You purchase the test from them, they mail it to you and then you mail it back to them, they score it and send the results back to you very fast. They are reasonably priced. What I like about CLP is that there is no time frame to get the test back to them and you can order it any time of the year, not just in April. You also do not have to have a degree to administer the CAT.
At the time of this post it is only 22.00! Here is the direct link to the form.
Have a GREAT day and Happy Homeschooling!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

ATTN Home School MOM's

Do you shop online? If you do, would you like to receive money back on your purchases from selected stores? If you would, then check out MY Power Mall. Alpha Omega is just one of the stores in the Mall. There are over 1,000 stores to choose from. IT IS FREE to sign up. Check it out!

Friday, June 15, 2007

Homeschool Site with LOTS of IDEAS

I just found this new site that has FREE worksheets, lessons and inspiration!
Garden and Hearth. Make sure you have some time to spend on this site, because there is a lot of stuff on it! Make sure you bookmark it so you can find it again.
Have a GREAT day!

Friday, May 25, 2007

Math U See

Well I have to give Math U See the greatest recommendation. I just ordered it to try it with my kid and it went great! We have been using Saxon for many years and there has always been a struggle. We have gotten math done now for two days in a row and no complaining. 100% on first assignment we did. I truely recommend them. You can check them out at They have placement tests online for you to do. Also, you can order a sample DVD to check them out. If you have a struggling child, or a hands on child, I would recommend it to you. I will keep you posted as we are doing math over summer break, but it truely is enjoyable to do. I love math and have always been good at it, but it is even cooler to SEE the math in action.
I purchased ours on Ebay and got a great deal. You can also check out the stores links on the side of my blog to purchase it too. Look around till you find the best deal.
Have a great day!

Monday, April 23, 2007

PACEs Math- School of Tomorrow

PACEs are from School of Tomorrow and are similar to Lifepacs. There are 12 paces per subject, per year, where with LIFEPAC there are 10 books per subject per year.

We used PACEs for a half year to review fractions. PACES go over math in great detail, if you have a slow learner, this is great. There is lots of practice. If you have a fast learner, you can move fast through each math pace. You do not want the child to become bored, yet you want to make sure they are grasping the concept. They do have a placement test here which is online so you can find out where exactly to place your child in their math program.
You might also want to look at LIFEPAC to compare the two. Lifepac is having a 20% off April Sale. There aren't too many days left in April so if you decide on Lifepac, you have a few days left to get in on their sale. I have used Lifepac history and science but have not used the math. They do have a placement test online, which you can find at LIFEPAC website. Just don't forget.......
All Horizons Math and Language Arts Products Are 20% Off During April!

One more thing before I go, you can always order a book from each company and try them you can order them individually. That way you can compare the two side by side.

Happy Math Curriculum hunting!

Friday, April 20, 2007

Saxon Math

Saxon Math is a good program. In each lesson, they review other lessons, so the child doesn't forget. In each lesson, next to each problem is a reference lesson number, so the child can go back and find that lesson and review if they have forgotten. This has come in handy for us.
With Saxon in the upper grades, you have Geometry already incorporated in so there will not be a need for you to use a separate Geometry course. Cathy Duffy covers this in her curriculum manual (see link in previous blog or see home school stores links on right) However you will need to go up to Algebra two for a complete Geometry course. You can skip the Geometry problems and then in between Alg 1 and Alg 2 Get a Geometry course. Cathy Duffy does cover this information, she is a great resource and has been for me for many years.
You can order a DIVE CD to go with your Math Curriculum starting in 54. DIVEs are very reasonably priced for $50.00 at the time I am putting up this blog post. For those of you who are familiar with Video Math programs, you know this is a GREAT price. My daughter has reviewed all of the other math video programs and doesn't want to venture away from the DIVE. The teacher is humorous, a christian, and he doesn't sound like a "machine" as my daughter says.
For those unfamiliar with Saxon, when picking which curriculum your child should be in, please go to Saxon Home school and complete a placement test. This will insure that your child is starting Saxon in the place they need to. This is very important in math as you do not want to create any gaps in their education. Saxon 54 means it is for the average 5th grade math student or an advanced fourth grade student.
Saxon online also has an email set-up for students with questions on their math problems, which is great! Sometimes in math if someone else explains it, it finally clicks.
If you have any other questions regarding Saxon Math, please go to their online site Saxon Home school they have a great FAQ page.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Math Curriculum

Math is definitely a subject where you should not be jumping around in curriculum as this can create HUGE gaps of learning. If you are going to be switching see if the program you are interested in has a placement test so that you can place your child where they belong in that curriculum. Each math curriculum has different scope and sequences.

I am going to be taking a look at Math over the next few days and look at each curriculum that I have used and tell you my opinion. I will then go over some other math curriculum's that I think are excellent. If you want a good resource for math curriculum the books below are a great resource. I have used these and highly recommend them.

Christian Home Educators' Curriculum Manual 1997-98 : Elementary Grades (9th ed)

Christian Home Educators' Curriculum Manual : Elementary Grades (Chrisitan Home Educators' Curriculum Manual (Elementary Grades))

Monday, April 16, 2007

Curriculum Planning Time

Well it is the time of year for us homes choolers to start planning for the next year. Most of us are administrating our yearly tests (if required by state) and looking at new curriculum.
My advice is to make sure you don't become a curriculum junkie, what is a curriculum junkie? It is a home school Mom who keeps changing curriculums every year thinking she may have found something better. If you have something that works, why change it. If you change curriculum too much you will create gaps in your child's education. Especially in Math, English, and Reading curriculum's. Science, history, and health are subjects where you can explore different avenues without affecting the child's education. In the younger grades, stick to just reading books on history, science and health and get them from your local library. Then about 4th grade level, switch to textbooks if you like. You can design your own curriculum with books from the library using Kathryn Stout's Design a Study Guides. You can get them at Rainbow Resource for a decent price too. This is one of my favorite places to shop. Request a catalog from them, it is jam packed with information about every kind of curriculum you could imagine.
Another type of curriculum that home schoolers love is Sonlight curriculum. It is a literature based curriculum and all of the planning is done for you. You can just concentrate on your children then and not the planning. A lot of the books you can get from the library and they code those with a certain code so you know which ones ahead of time you need to buy and which ones you don't. It helps save you money in the meantime.

Over the next week, I will pick each subject apart and tell you what has succeeded for us and what hasn't and why. Have a great day and happy homeschooling!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Laws For Homeschoolers

If you are new to homeschooling or you want to review the laws in your state, the one place to go is , Home School Legal Defense Association. I would suggest becoming a member because they can help you with any legal matter that comes up. They also have updates on laws being passed, which is very useful.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Why do I homeschool?

Well I have home schooled now for 8 years. My daughter was in second grade when we started. She is now in 9th grade. I decided to pull her out of public school because she was gifted and talented and they had cut the program in her school due to funding. I also wasn't happy with the morals and values the school was teaching her, but that wasn't the only reason.
I also have a son who is 8, but he goes to public school at this time. Each kid is different and you have to make that personal decision about what is best for them.