Out of the box math inspiration

Out of the box math inspiration
Written by Jamie Martin of Simple Homeschool and Steady Mom

Two weeks ago I began a short series on math by explaining how our family decided to approach this subject in a non-traditional way.

If you missed that post, I’d recommend reading it first before continuing this one.

A different way to look at math

Today I want to continue by serving up more math inspiration. Several “out of the box” math links follow, which I hope will help you come to your own unique conclusion on this topic.

Many of these fueled our personal decision on when and how to teach math.

You can read the entire post I reference by clicking on the title link. I’ve also written a short overview as well as included excerpts. Enjoy!
[Read more…]

Kissing the frog: Our Latin curriculum hunt and what I learned

lora1picmo
Written by Lora Lynn Fanning of VitaFamiliae.

Professor Gerberding stalked into my Latin 101 class in college and slammed a brand new copy of Wheelock’s Latin onto my desk.

“Welcome to Latin! Learn it before you die!”

And I did.

Later, when I had kids, I wanted them to study Latin – and sooner than their poor Mama began to learn it.

The problem is, you can’t just throw a copy of Wheelock’s onto a 9-year-old’s desk and insist that they keep up.

I had no idea how to go about teaching Latin to younger kids. Hence, we kissed A LOT of frogs to find our Latin curriculum prince.

[Read more…]

5 tips for reading middle grade novels with your kids

sh575
Written by contributor Sarah Mackenzie of Amongst Lovely Things

When my oldest children were small, I couldn’t wait until we could read middle grade novels together. I enjoyed reading picture books with them, of course, but it had been Beverly Cleary and Roald Dahl who had sparked my own childhood imagination and turned me into a lifelong reader.

I couldn’t wait to introduce favorite books and characters to my kids.

The first novel I tried to read to my kids was Little House in the Big Woods. It was wildly unsuccessful.

I hadn’t yet developed my own read-aloud skills enough to deliver the long descriptive passages in an interesting way, and my girls hadn’t had enough practice painting pictures in their heads and following along with longer narrative to keep up with what was going on. It was such a disappointment.

Now, I maintain that Laura Ingalls Wilder has written some of the best books ever written (and we have gone on to read her entire series three times as a family), but I don’t usually recommend that parents just starting to read novels with their kids start there.

[Read more…]

Best books of the month

This post contains affiliate links. When you buy anything through Amazon after clicking these links, it benefits my family. Thank you for your support of this site!
best booksJamie Martin, editor of Simple Homeschool, also blogs about motherhood at Steady Mom

Sometimes the hardest part of choosing books for myself or my kids is the process of sifting through the thousands of choices available. But I find I’m much more likely to pick up a certain title if someone I know recommends it.

Maybe we can help each other with the book selection process. I’m introducing a new series today, and if you find it helpful we can do it on a monthly-ish basis.

book-buttonIt’s called Best Books of the Month.

Here’s how it works:

I’ll share a few of the titles we’ve enjoyed in our family this month, and I’ll ask you via social media what books you loved. Then I’ll compile the results into a handy list for you to bookmark and come back to when you’re in need of a good title.

So let’s get started! Here are a few recommendations from our family: (with short descriptions)
[Read more…]

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

This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for your support of this site!

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!
[Read more…]