Me? I needed more. So where do I get my stuff? There are so many resources. So many. I think I got all of mine from that Dummies book.
Here is my fave: I get almost everything from Rainbow Resources. I get a catalogue once a year...almost 1000 pages. It looks a lot like a phone book. Anything I could think of using from games, to early reading books to actual text books.
I own other "how to" books on homeschooling. I have other catalogues. But really - I get everything from the dummies book and this ordering catalogue. Now - there may be a homeschool store close by. Or a Homeschool Expo - even better. If you could possibly look at or hold an item in your hand...that is ideal.
Back to my list of things I want the kids to learn - here is my reference book / text book for each subject item: Adventure Bible Study: My Bible. My husband. Ideas from thier Sunday school class. I didn't buy anything for this. (SO we call it Adventure b/c we have it in a fort we made. We read by flashlight. It just makes it more interesting and blocks out distractions for them. Adventure = fun.
Pledge & memory verse: I bought a small flag that the kids take turns holding as we say the Pledge. I looked the Pledge up on line...Hey, I know it....but just not something I wanted to accidentally teach them wrong.
Memory verse - my Bible. So far I bought a flag.
Journal / Calendar / Weather: Journal = those black and white bound notebooks. They started by just drawing a picture based on a question I asked. Sometimes I got my questions based on what we learned the previous day (draw a pyramid, etc.) Sometimes it was just to know what they thought, to solve a problem about sharing, things that related to our family at the time. I would write what they said. Now they do some writing too. This was one of those long term skills of writing daily / creatively/ expressively that I wanted to start working towards early.
Cal & weather - kept track of that with a big desk calendar from Wal-mart.
Math U Can See - Yep - the first chink in my armor of knowledge. I stink at Math. This has a DVD for me, manipulatives for the kids and books at diff levels. web site: www.mathusee.com 1-888-854-math (6284) Some companies have local reps that you order thru (Usborn books is like that...like Tupperwear) This company is like that too. So, local person to talk to...nice. There were cheaper programs than this - but this was a weak point of mine - so I needed extra help for ME.
Art - my computer, my kid's magazines like Family Fun, Martha Stewart Kids. I am using this year Drawing with Children by Mona Brooks. Got it at Barnes & Noble. Broken down into lessons. This is one of my strong areas - so not a lot was invested in this. I did make a list of artists and then showed my kids their style. We would each week pick a diff one. Like Jackson Pollack was our first one. We just happened to have a children's story book about him already. I took old wrapping paper (UGLY stuff for 90% off a few weeks after Christmas) and rolled out on the yard face down (white side up). And I let them fling paint to music just like JP did.
Def. make a list before you go to Michael's because it is easy to rack up a big bill there with lots of $2.99 items. I stock up when they have sales. Pipe cleaners can be used to teach ANYTHING:)
Creativity - fun thing on Fri, I keep two big containers of mostly recyle items, show boxes, etc. The kids get to just build, create, paint whatever....I help - but they have to pick what to make and figure out how to make it work. Creativity, scientific method, simple machines, self expression, role play all have come into play when letting them work on this. Then they have a show and tell for Daddy (public speaking:) that night. Warning - boys WILL make guns at some point. So - bought nothing really.
History - www.susanwisebauer.com or www.peacehillpress.com That is where I got the Well Trained Mind book (which is an over view of classical ed. for k-12) I use her The Story of the World books. The history of the world in 4 years. Literature, history religion all tied in with stories, crafts and skits and food. I took a humanities course in college that combined all three of these primary subjects together and it really made sense to me to learn about all three at once. Now - my kids' peers in school are not learning some of this stuff right now. They are learning about the USA, their neighborhood, maps, etc. That is ok. We will get to that. This is the main area we have that doesn't match up with reg. school. I bought reference books - atlas, history time line books for this. BUT - these are reference books I will use all 12 years.
Spanish - I stink at Spanish. I taught the kids this year ok. But I want them to learn from someone who can really pronounce things properly. My kids are going to take a class one day a week for an hour. There are most likely lots of these classes the kids can take in your area. We checked with out city and county first, YMCA, homeschool groups and then finally, a friend who already knows the language is a resource. Not a huge deal to me - I NEVER learned another lang in elem. school. So I consider this a luxury item.
Science - At this age - science = FUN! I want the kids to love science way before we get to the heavy stuff. The Well Trained Mind suggests who to plan for each year and topics to explore. I bought an animal encyclopedia. Science projects are way easy to find on line and at Family Fun mag. We subscribe to National Geographic for Kids. The web site - www.nationalgeographic.com/ngkids
Social - I keep track of this b/c I want to be able to show anyone who is worried about my poor sheltered kids that they are out there and a part of society. Any place where they interact with kids, or have meaningful interaction with adults counts for me. Their Bible study at church, play dates b-day parties, teams they play on, clubs, etc....I write it down.
Reading for David - my practical kid. $20 for Teach Your Child to read in 100 Easy Lessons by Englemann, Haddox & Bruner. It took us a lot more than 100 days to do these lessons. A LOT MORE. I started using Bob books (sold in box sets that are super simple early readers) about half way through.
Reading for Alex - loves interaction. I just broke down and bought Hooked on Phonics for him. $$$ - yes. There were lots of these sets on e-bay. But really - it was the timing and his love of computers and sticker charts and bells and whistles (which this has) that works for him. I had tried several other programs and they just were not working for us.
PE - Ick. We have a trampoline outside, a small one inside (fidgety kids have to jump and count to 100 on it for me if they are having trouble paying attention...pe and math:) We go to the pool in the summer, the kids do stretching with me in morning (my exercises...just making them do it too) They have taken gym classes and played soccer and karate. They just haven't found a sport they love. We try to get them, with us, to do athletic stuff. There are classes they can take that are like sports basics kind of classes. Alex will probably take golf lessons this fall from Daddy and a tennis clinic. David doesn't care a thing about sports.
Extra - Ya know - only in elementary school and Jr high do we expect kids to excel at everything. When else in life is any person...adult...expected to do well in every subject and do ok in each sport? When I declared my major in college, it was the first time that it was acknowledged that I stink in higher level math and science. "OH, you want to be an English major? Well, are you interested in this science class for NON - science majors? We have a math class for math loosers...I mean, non - math majors as well." IT ROCKED. I learned the important stuff. There just wasn't the expectation that I should be an A student in everything anymore. I got to specialize in my areas of interest while still learning important stuff across the board. I want my kids to get a chance to specialize now.
Alex is gonna learn step by step with me how to run the Adobe software I just got. (E-bay and then bought the upgrade.....saved $100's) Last year, I gave him lessons with my video camera and my digital camera. Alex is going to take gutar lessons from the teenager down the street.
David loves to draw and build. I try to get him around local artists. He had art lessons this past year. My kids are going to take art lessons from a local artist this year along with another family.
Ok - so that was a lot. These are my resources. There is so much out there. It is easy to get bogged down in choices and spend money unwisely. That is why I made the list and filled in the blanks. And you don't have to learn everything right this minute. Look through your house - I bet you have cookbooks, games, toys, books that are educational in some way. In the early freak out phase - it is easy to forget how much YOU already know and how much you already have. I freak out every year. It is ok and normal.
At least that is what I keep telling myself:) kelli