Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Five Favs: Homeschool Additions

How is your year going?  Can you believe we are already a month in?  Time is flying!!

Here are my favorite five additions to our home school this year.  Linking up with Jenna.

Last year, I purchased Fix It by IEW.  One night, in March, I shot up in the middle of the night and realized that I had totally forgotten to use it.  I decided it didn't make sense to start at that point in the year.  Although, I am glad that I waited.  Cowgirl is better equipped to do the tasks and can complete the assignments independently.

Speaking of IEW, Cowgirl began Phonetic Zoo.  I am so happy with the program.  She is doing very well and definitely learning.  The program is completely self contained.  She independently listens to the lessons, takes the test, and grades herself.  The pressure of learning to spell has completely dissipated and it is one less subject that I have to teach.  A win all around.  I may have to send Andrew Pudewa a Christmas card!


Science read aloud in the morning may be the best idea I have had this decade.  I always felt like we were behind on science and there never seemed to be time enough to get to it.  Adding science to morning meeting has been a life saver.  We get it in every day!  Yes, there are no flashy experiments, but I do plan on doing some, seem like a good snow day plan.  My favorite morning meeting science resource is the Catholic Science Stories for Little Folks.  I picked it up at a homeschooling conference for under $1.  I admit that I have learned a lot from those little stories, too.  

On the topic of science, we joined a Forest School.  They say the road to hell is paved with good intentions. I always intended to take a nature hike each week, but let's be honest it never happened.  Spending three hours in the woods is exhausting, but the children are enjoying it so much and learning about so many creatures and plants just by being in the woods.  I don't know how I will feel about it come winter, but I am committed to making it to as many meetings as possible.  I think Miss Mason would be happy that my children begin their homeschool week out exploring nature. ( I also think that the two to three mile hike is the type of extra exercise I need but never make time for.)

The Children's Dictionary we were using just isn't sophisticated enough for the level of vocabulary presented in Fix It.  Would you expect anything less from IEW?  So, we switched to a collegiate dictionary.  This posed a problem for my dyslexia child.  Very tiny print, multiple columns, it was all too much.  Enter the Merriam Webster Dictionary app.  It isn't perfect, but when it works it makes a world of difference.  It is like having a regular dictionary entry magnified to the size of my Kindle screen.  She still needs to decide on the correct definition to copy into her workbook, but is no longer spending a half hour finding the word.

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