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Jamie Martin, editor of Simple Homeschool, also blogs about motherhood at Steady Mom
Finding the right resource for your homeschool at the right time is a breath of fresh air. It can feel like the missing link, the answer you’ve been looking for, the perfect fit as you enter a new season.
In our home this year, Trishna (10) and Jonathan (9) have moved solidly into a new period of learning, called Love of Learning Phase. (If the phases of learning are new to you, you can find an overview here.)
This new phase has come with increased interest in academics, and therefore, more work for this mama as I try to keep up with them!
Through that work, we’ve come across six resources that are currently working really well in our home. Here they are in case they might work for you, too.
I’ve had my eye on Little Passports for a while, so I was excited to try it out as one of their affiliates. It hasn’t disappointed us!
Each month we journey the world alongside the imaginary characters of Sam and Sofia. In the mail once a month a package arrives containing worksheets, postcards, little trinkets, and a “boarding pass” for online games they can do relating to that month’s country.
What an awesome, fun way to learn geography–the kids and I love it! As well as the world edition, Little Passports has a USA version too. It explores two states each month.
The website recommends the world version for ages 5 to 10 and the USA version for ages 7 to 12.
I invited Trishna to learn cursive with me this year, and since she loves all things writing she gave an excited yes to the idea. So I started an online search to find the best way to teach her. I wanted a really simple method that would allow us to make a little progress each day.
We totally scored with our discovery of Teaching Cursive! This Method Works by Linda Corson. A simple, spiral-bound book, it starts with the easiest strokes and letters and proceeds to more difficult ones.
The lessons (56 in total) take only 10-15 minutes a day, and that has also been a great fit. It’s long enough to learn something, but not enough to feel overwhelming.
This book contains the instructions/syllabus for teaching – your child doesn’t write in it, making it good to use with multiple children. I enjoy these lessons, too (& that matters for keeping up the inspiration value in our home!)
Learning Ally, a God-send resource for our family, popped into our lives at exactly the right time. I had been praying for a tool that would help my daughter fall more deeply in love with books. She enjoys picture books, but due to a visual impairment needs large print to read.
Most chapter books for kids use standard small print, so that left her unable to read them independently. She isn’t ready for her own Kindle yet, so I had been on the hunt for something to help us through these middle years.
Then we stumbled onto Learning Ally and hallelujah! We found exactly what we needed. It’s an audio book resource for adults or children with visual impairments or dyslexia. Designed with those two groups in mind, you need a doctor’s note confirming your child’s diagnosis.
Once the proper forms have been completed and you’ve paid the annual fee, you have access to an entire library of over 75,000 books (!)–from young child through adult–to download and listen to on iPad, phone, wherever. Love this so much.
I plan to write more about this book soon, but thought it deserves a quick mention here. This scripted, formulaic approach to reading is not something I ever saw myself using as an interest-led learning mama, yet it has been the perfect fit for my Elijah (8).
And isn’t that what matters most?!
We started just over two months ago, and he’s already on lesson 80! Initially we tackled two lessons a day because of the letter sounds and combinations he already knew. Now that we’ve moved on to the more intense lessons, we’ve scaled back to one a day. He’s on track to finish before Christmas!
I’ve read the Bible all my life, and have read Bible stories for years to my little people. Yet this is the first children’s Bible that has actually made me tear up mid-sentence.
What an inspiring way to show how the Bible works together as one book, how it all connects and points to Jesus!
Stunningly beautiful and highly recommended.
“Project FeederWatch is a winter-long survey of birds that visit feeders at backyards, nature centers, community areas, and other locales in North America.
FeederWatchers periodically count the birds they see at their feeders from November through early April and send their counts to Project FeederWatch. FeederWatch data help scientists track broadscale movements of winter bird populations and long-term trends in bird distribution.”
This year’s bird count began earlier this month, but it’s not too late to join in! They ship kits out through February and counts can be submitted through April. This is open to bird watchers in both the US and Canada.
We’re having such fun identifying the birds at our feeder, counting them, and then reporting them via the online tracking system.
How about you? What resources have been working well and enhancing the love of learning in your home?