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) without
Jamie Martin, editor of Simple Homeschool, also blogs about motherhood at Steady Mom

Our family spent the first part of September on vacation–something we’ve made a tradition of the past few years. 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. 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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What’s so great about Life of Fred?

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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

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

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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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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Building your own curriculum under strict guidelines

davemainpicmo

Written by Dave Pommier of Bloke School.

There are quite stringent guidelines about how to build a homeschool curriculum where I live.

In New South Wales, Australia, everyone needs to be registered and assessed through BOSTES (Board Of Studies, Training and Educational Standards). They provide the framework a curriculum has to fit within. They follow this up with an annual meeting by an assessor to check the work being done.

This is our second year of homeschooling. A large part of the reasons behind why we chose to homeschool was that it allowed for individualised teaching.

Even working within the guidelines, there is still a good deal more flexibility to work around the rules than it initially seems.

If you too are homeschooling or planning to homeschool within strict guidelines, perhaps this look inside how we make things work will help:

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