Curricula bliss: 12 products we couldn’t live (or learn) without

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Curricula bliss 12 products we couldn't live (or learn) withoutJamie Martin, editor of Simple Homeschool, also blogs about motherhood at Steady Mom

Our family spent the first two weeks of September on vacation–something we’ve made a tradition of. When most people head back to the grind of school and work routines, I love that we can celebrate our homeschooling freedom on an empty beach together!

Now that we’ve settled in back at home, the leaves are changing color around their fringes and we’ve pulled out our jackets. Something about autumn calls us to new beginnings, to crack open dusty books, clear off shelves, and get to work once more.

Instead of sharing with you a curriculum plan for our year, I thought I’d share our curricula bliss. In all honesty, I don’t do much traditional homeschool planning–I refuse to map out a game plan for a whole year because I always reserve the right to change my mind along the way.

But I have come up with some overarching guidelines and goals–and right now these twelve products/programs have us pointed in the right direction.

We inspire, not require when it comes to academics–so the resources below are not essential elements in my kids’ education, but ones available for them to choose from.

I’ve marked the resources that we do together as a group with an (*) symbol. Those without an asterisk the kids can choose (or not)–many of these I gathered as a result of their homeschool compasses.

I call them curricula bliss because, well, for the most part, they make us happy!
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When you have no money for homeschool curriculum

no money for homeschool curriculum

Written by contributor Jamerrill Stewart of Free Homeschool Deals.

I have shared the journey of my family living on one small income to accomplish our homeschooling dreams. It’s what many families do, and they do it willingly for the joy and vision of being together as a family.

It was during these same years of growing our family on a super-tight budget that it became normal to find myself at the beginning of a homeschool year with no money for homeschool curriculum.

I was greatly encouraged during that time by reading amazing homeschool books such as Educating the WholeHearted Child and The Three R’s by Dr. Ruth Beechick. Those books helped me realize that I was not going to be successful as a homeschooling mom based on what curriculum-in-a-box I bought.

I would be successful just by learning alongside my children, going on nature walks to fill baskets full of pinecones for craft projects, and loading up a laundry basket full of enriching books at our local library.

My children could have a powerful education even if I didn’t have the funding to make big homeschool purchases, and the same goes for your children.

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10 inspiring book titles that model love of learning

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10 inspiring book titles that model love of learning
Jamie Martin, editor of Simple Homeschool, also blogs about motherhood at Steady Mom

We all want our kids to fall in love with learning, don’t we?

And we can always use a little help as we press toward that goal. Instead of constantly telling our kids how important learning is, let’s show them–through our own example, of course, but also through the books we bring into our home.

After curling up with Abe Lincoln, Booker T. Washington, Ben Carson, and the other protagonists featured here, we just may find our kids appreciating their education–and eager to learn more–than they were before.

The following ten titles feature main characters who discover just how important learning is, and who grow to love the doors it opens for them.

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Preschool at home

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Preschool at Home

Note: This sale is over, but you can still order these resources individually!

Though it now seems long ago, I remember perfectly when my oldest two kids were preschool-age. Steve and I had just made the decision to homeschool, and I couldn’t wait to get started!

Now, years later, my views on preschool have changed. I no longer believe an academic version of preschool is necessary; I believe a child can pick up the same skills that will prepare him for future learning just by being in a nurturing home environment.

But I don’t regret our preschool at home at all – it was fun! While my youngest napped, Trishna, Jonathan, and I sat together at the dining table reading or coloring or crafting or talking about letters.

It was the perfect time to capitalize on my newfound homeschool enthusiasm and their boisterous energy.

There are several helpful resources in this week’s Ultimate Homemaking Ebook Bundle for those of you who feel similarly.

Maybe you want to purposely carve out one-on-one time with your resident preschooler so she doesn’t get forgotten in the hustle and bustle. Or maybe you’re hoping to keep your little one occupied while you spend fifteen minutes on a lesson with older children.

Whatever your needs, here are a few resources that may help.
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Create your own Little House unit study

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Create your own Little House Unit Study ~SimpleHomeschoolJamie Martin, editor of Simple Homeschool, also blogs about motherhood at Steady Mom

We are currently inhaling all things Little House, in preparation for our upcoming site tour this summer. Every day we learn something new about Laura and the Ingalls family, and for this homeschooling mama it’s a dream come true.

In a few months our family will be visiting three Little House sites: Pepin, Wisconsin; Walnut Grove, Minnesota; and De Smet, South Dakota. If you want to take a sneak peek and visit them virtually–as well as all the other Little House sites, make sure you check out the virtual field trip I created earlier this year.

Right now we’re rereading all of the books–one each month–and creating our own unit study to go along with them. This has sent me on a search for the best books, sites, and resources to help us learn more, and I thought I’d share my discoveries with you.

If you’re looking to get the most out of Little House, here are the resources we’ve been using:
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