Middle School Resources and Materials (2011 Curriculum Fair)

Written by contributor Heather Bruggeman of Beauty That Moves

My Child’s Age: 13
Educational Philosophy Influences: Montessori, Classical, Relaxed

Our family is in its first full year of homeschooling. My girl is an academic who enjoys lessons, grades, and TESTS. As for me? I would call myself a relaxed homeschooler. Somewhere in the middle is where we meet and spend our days.

In the interest of this month’s Curriculum Fair, I’ll focus this post on what we have used this year for our formal curriculum. This includes pre-packaged curriculum as well as various resources that are of high quality and see regular use in our homeschool.

A brief background: My daughter spent her elementary years attending a private Montessori school where learning was celebrated and the idea of school was very positive. Each child felt successful and confident as a contributing member of the classroom community. We did not decide to homeschool because school didn’t work out. We chose it because after graduating from that special school, nothing else could possibly compare.

So, we decided to homeschool.
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Resources for Early Learning (2011 Curriculum Fair)

Written by Jamie Martin, editor of Simple Homeschool and founder of Steady Mom

Ages of my children: 7.5, 6.5, and 6
Educational Philosophies I Pull From: Waldorf, Leadership Education, Unschooling

When I had two children, both still toddlers, I planned out their entire education for the next 15 years. I spent hours drawing charts, researching, thinking about socialization, and narrowing down curriculum options.

We haven’t followed any of it.

Since then I’ve found a better strategy is to plan for tomorrow, not next week or next year. I don’t mean you should never look ahead; I just mean that when stress or overwhelm kick in, that’s your clue to stop.

Today I want to share not only the resources we’ll be using in the upcoming year, but also what we’ve used in the past. Hopefully this will help those of you with younger children as well.
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Changing Curriculum Mid-Year: Knowing When It’s Time

Written by contributor Heather Bruggeman of Beauty That Moves

Of the many gifts that come with homeschooling, the one I am truly loving right now is the freedom to make changes as needed. Doesn’t it seem rather impossible to sit down over the summer and plan an entire school year, sight unseen, knowing how the whole thing will unfold?

Despite careful research and planning, the science curriculum we chose was all wrong for our daughter.

And it wasn’t for lack of trying. Several approaches, on our part and hers were put forth in an effort to find a workable place with this text. We very carefully considered the idea of switching before doing so. Sure, we invested good money in the book; but more importantly, we value commitment and dedication, and do our best to instill those same values in our daughter. We didn’t want to send the wrong message.

You can’t walk away from everything in life that isn’t super fun.

I don’t expect her to feel warm and fuzzy about every single part of our school day. As humans we need to grow and stretch ourselves in new directions. It’s okay to be bored sometimes, to persevere at other times, be diligent, work hard. As a family, we value all of that.

However, it is also important to know when your child isn’t persevering, they’re enduring. There is a difference. 

The writing on the wall says it’s time to make a change.

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Giveaway: Curriculum Package from Oak Meadow

This giveaway has ended. Check back on Saturday, December 4 for the winner!

Welcome to Simple Living Media’s Home for the Holidays! We’ve got 25 giveaways across the entire network this week to give you plenty of chances to win a great gift, just in time for the holidays.

Today I’m giving away a complete curriculum package (valued at over $300) from Oak Meadow Curriculum and School. Oak Meadow has offered innovative, creative, and independent learning materials for homeschooling families around the world for over 35 years.

I wasn’t actively looking for a new curriculum for our family, but back in the summer when I had the chance to review Oak Meadow’s First Grade Program I truly felt drawn to their approach.

For today’s giveaway Oak Meadow generously sent me their Kindergarten program to review, and I’ve been using it with my kids for five weeks now. It meets a real need that I didn’t even realize was lacking in our homeschool–the need for creativity.

Learn more about Oak Meadow and how to win.

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Oak Meadow Giveaway: Back to School Week

This giveaway has ended–thanks for entering.

Welcome to Day 2 of Back to School Week here on Simple Homeschool!

Today I’m absolutely thrilled to introduce you to one of Simple Living Media’s sponsors, Oak Meadow Curriculum and School.

Oak Meadow offers two excellent choices for homeschooling families: PreK – Grade 12 curriculum packages you can purchase and use with your children, or the ability to actually enroll in their accredited school via distance learning, thereby receiving full academic credit and transcripts for your child’s work at home–as well as the support of an experienced teacher.

Oak Meadow has been in business for over 35 years, and their materials offer that wealth of educational experience to their customers. Their approach is simple: give children a safe, nurturing environment; provide creative activities for head, hands, and heart; offer each student respect and time to unfold naturally.

The staff at Oak Meadow are not just employees showing up to get a paycheck. Instead they are individuals who really embody the creative philosophy and passion for education that Oak Meadow stands for. This post, written by Heather at Beauty That Moves, describes her inspiring visit to the Oak Meadow offices in Vermont. Reading it gives a lovely glimpse into the ethos and values of this company. [Read more...]


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