Curricula bliss: 8 resources we couldn’t live (or learn) without

Curricula Bliss: 8 resources we couldn't live (or learn) withoutWritten by Jamie C. Martin of Simple Homeschool

How is your homeschool year going so far? Usually by this time we begin to sense what’s working well and what isn’t. What we want to continue–and a couple of things, perhaps, that we’d like to drop.

Two years ago I wrote my first curricula bliss post, in which I shared the curricula bringing joy into our learning atmosphere at that time. Because sometimes you want to smile instead of sigh when you pull something off the shelf, you know?

Now that my kids are a little older I’m back to share the new resources we’re loving most this homeschool year. I hope they give you some helpful ideas and point you in the direction of joyful learning as well!
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How to use Give Your Child the World in your homeschool

How to use Give Your Child the World in your homeschool
Written by Jamie C. Martin of Simple Homeschool 

What a beautiful ride it’s been since Give Your Child the World came out a few months ago!

Thank you, thank you for all the support. I can’t tell you how much it’s meant to hear that so many of you find the book useful and inspiring, exactly what I hoped for during the five years I worked on it.

Some of you have written with another question as well:

What’s the best way to use Give Your Child the World in our homeschool?

Glad you asked! I purposely made the book so it could be used several different ways, and I’d love to describe those for you here. (And for anyone wondering: Yes – the print above is THE Eiffel Tower I mention about in Chapter 2 that meant so much!)

What’s this all about?

Photo by Luke Price

Give Your Child the World: Raising Globally Minded Kids One Book at a Time is a reading treasury that guides you to the best global children’s literature (over 600 hand-picked titles!), allowing your family to read your way around the world. Perfect for the book and travel lovers among us.

All the hard work has been done for you, so you can get right to the fun part! I organized the reading lists by region, country, and age range (ages 4-12). Each listing includes a brief description of the book, its themes, and any content you might want to have a heads up about.

For the cost of a single paperback, the book gives you a geography/history/literature resource you can use for up to 8 YEARS with multiple kids. Read an excerpt here.

Check out the three main ways I imagine families putting it to good use:
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What’s so great about Life of Fred?

What's so great about Life of Fred
Written by Jamie Martin of Simple Homeschool and Steady Mom

If you’ve been homeschooling for long, you may have run across a math curriculum called Life of Fred. All of a sudden it seems to be taking the homeschooling online world by storm!

Here’s a short description of it:

Life of Fred is a series of math books that break the old pattern of drill and kill. Instead of nothing but dry exposition and endless exercises, they contain fun stories about Fred Gauss, a child prodigy math genius.

During his hilarious adventures, he encounters natural situations that call for solving math problems. Children actually want to read these books!”

I first mentioned Life of Fred on this blog back in 2012, and what I said then I still agree with:
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15 school supplies that just might change your life this year

15 school supplies that just might change your life this year
Written by Jamie Martin of Simple Homeschool

The days are upon us: days of newly sharpened pencils, out-of-the-box crayons, and spiral notebooks waiting for original ideas to be added to their pages. Even those of us who school year-round or non-traditionally sense that fall cries out for new beginnings and fresh starts.

The shopping this time of year can be pretty fun for homeschool parents, too. We grab deals and stock supplies, all the while getting ourselves psyched about the learning coming up in the months ahead.

And while school supplies may never have actually changed someone’s entire life, I know I’m not the only one to feel a kind of thrill when stumbling upon the perfect tool that I know our family will use regularly in our pursuit of knowledge.

A couple of weeks ago I asked readers on my Facebook page to tell me the school supplies you just can’t live without.

Here are some of your top responses, along with links for where you can order them online if you can’t find what you need close to home. Many of these are available via Amazon Prime, meaning they could be on your doorstep in two short days!
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The Big Fat Notebooks you’ll want on your shelf this year

The Big Fat Notebooks you'll want on your shelf this year
Written by Jamie C. Martin of Simple Homeschool

I first heard about Big Fat Notebooks from LeVar Burton of Reading Rainbow (you guys know I am a fan!), who tweeted a photo of them. I was immediately intrigued, drawn to their bright colors and concept.

So when the opportunity came my way to partner with Workman Publishing and share them with you in this space, I gave it a definite yes. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this series, and now that we’ve had them in our home for a few weeks, I’m just as excited!

Since my kids hit double-digits, more than once I’ve looked nostalgically at our shelf of encyclopedia-type titles (like the Core Knowledge Series/Childcraft books), wishing there was something similar for older ages. Well, the folks behind Brain Quest have created it!

Here’s an overview:
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