JUL
09
2013

Best Homeschool Printer Forum

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Hey ya’ll! Welcome to another homeschool curriculum forum. I had a specific request for a forum on printers, and I thought it was a great idea! After all, ain’t no homeschooler getting’ by without printing stuff and lots of it!   Right now I have a Brother 490CW. I’m sorry Brother, but I really don’t recommend you. Sadly this thing uses a ton of ink, and the quality just isn’t that great anyway. So as soon as that bad boy accidentally falls off my shelf and breaks, or gets lost in the move… I’m looking into the HP Envy 120 All-in-One printer. Pros: Inexpensive compared to others I like the smaller size, it won’t take up as much room on my shelves. Offers two sided printing, energy saver, ink cartridge recycling, can print from your smart phone. Printing, scanning, fax, wireless. Cons: I haven’t used it yet, so I’m not sure, we’ll see how it does on ink usage...   As a side note, I know most homeschoolers are printing fools, so I just … [Read more...]

MAY
29
2013

Homeschool Music Curriculum Forum

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Good morning all! Welcome to another homeschool curriculum forum. Today we’ll be discussing music curriculum!   Music has two parts as far as we are concerned. The first part I like to call “Music Appreciation”. To us that means studying famous composers and learning to listen to music critically. The second part encompasses actual music lessons whereby our children are learning to play instruments. MUSIC APPRECIATION: The goal behind the World’s Greatest Composers curriculum is to immerse students in the work of each composer so that they are well familiar with their style, methods and music. Much of your time studying will be through open discussion with students and listening to compositions. Upon completion of this curriculum, your student should be able to easily recognize the pieces from each composer studied. They will also have learned several different styles of music, vocabulary, as well as have gained an appreciation for music in general. What is included in … [Read more...]

MAY
15
2013

Physical Education Curriculum Forum

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Hi everyone! Welcome to today’s homeschool curriculum forum where we’re talking all about physical education!   I’ve received quite a few questions about how we are liking Family Time Fitness. And I have to say that we still love it! I did a more formal review and giveaway for Family Time Fitness back in October, you can read it here. If you aren’t familiar with Family Time Fitness, they are a physical education program. They provide daily lesson plans as well as video tutorials if you need them. Most lessons can be completed with very little preparation. Although they do give daily lessons, we typically do it 2-3 times per week time allowing. I really love their focus on physical education, and even get reminder emails sent to my inbox to encourage me to continue on with our lessons. How are we doing? The kids are STILL loving the activities, and I like that they’re super easy to do without a lot of prep work on my time. I simply print my lesson plans as … [Read more...]

MAY
14
2013

Homeschool Foreign Language Curriculum Forum

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Hi all! Today we’re talking about our favorite foreign language programs in the homeschool curriculum forum series! For younger students my favorite program is PowerSpeak. It is an online program with fun games and activities that help foster general vocabulary and sentence structure. My only issue with this is price and the lack of levels available. Currently they only offer elementary level 1 and 2, then the next one up is Jr. High which I thought would be too difficult for my 4th grader. Pros: Fun and independent curriculum. No experience necessary to begin. Cons: Fairly expensive, especially if you have multiple students. Limited in levels available. Only 5 languages available My next choice is Rosetta Stone. We tried to use this initially when Strawberry Shortcake was in 2nd grade and it just didn’t go well. The curriculum moved way too fast for her, and it assumed a certain level of maturity to infer differences in verb tenses and sentence … [Read more...]

MAY
13
2013

Homeschool Vocabulary Curriculum Forum

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Good morning all! Welcome to another homeschool curriculum forum. Today we’ll be discussing vocabulary curriculum! This upcoming year will be the first year I’m introducing a more formal vocabulary program into our homeschool. Up until now we’ve just been reviewing words that come with our spelling program and in our Abeka readers. However this year we’re going to be working through Wordly Wise workbooks just to include a little more vocabulary focused work. I’ve heard fairly good reviews for Wordly Wise products. However I’ve also been cautioned that they are a secular curriculum so some of the terms used might not be appropriate if you prefer Christian materials. Pros: Fairly inexpensive workbooks. Students work independently. Cons: Secular curriculum. TBD as we progress through it!   One other vocabulary curriculum I’ve had my eye on and planned to use this year, but haven’t been great at it are the Vocabulary Cartoons. It is a book full of funny … [Read more...]

MAY
08
2013

Homeschool Typing Curriculum Forum

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Hi everyone! Welcome to our homeschool typing curriculum forum! Obviously today we’ll be discussing various typing programs and I’m excited to hear your favorites.   We’ve been using Typing Instructor for a couple years now. We purchased the CD version which allows you to create several users. One thing I like is that there are several levels of courses to choose from depending on skill level. There are 20+ typing level courses total, you can start at the very beginning Ages 8-9 Course, the Home Row level, then go all the way up through to an Advanced Keyboarding Course. This makes me think I won’t have to search for a new typing program on a yearly basis. They also have fun games top play to help encourage speed and progress. I also like that the program includes a results section so I can see how my students are progressing. What’s The Cost? You can purchase a CD version for Windows or MAC for about $30 (You can usually get them at Sam’s, Costco, or online.) There is … [Read more...]

MAY
07
2013

Homeschool Writing Curriculum Forum

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Hi everyone! I hope you are enjoying the homeschool curriculum forums we’ve been sharing lately! I know I love to read everyone’s comments, pros, and cons for curriculum! Today we’re continuing on with our forum discussion with the subject of writing.   Teaching writing is one of the harder things for me. From encouraging younger students, to grading upper levels, writing is just not my strong suit. Ironic considering I have a blog and all isn’t it? But writing, and teaching writing are two different things!   Previously we’ve used WriteShop and it remains one of my favorite programs around! I love the scripted conversations, and my children have benefited greatly from the teacher led brainstorming and step-by-step process. We are finishing up with WriteShop D this year and have enjoyed the program quite a bit. I would highly recommend it to anyone needing more help with teaching writing. Pros: Affordable Great for struggling writers Cons: For younger … [Read more...]

MAY
06
2013

Homeschool Spelling Curriculum Forum

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Hi everyone and welcome to today’s homeschool curriculum forum! Today we’re discussing the every so popular subject of spelling.   It’s no secret that I LOVE All About Learning Press products. And I’m particularly fond of the All About Spelling program. I started using them last year for our phonics and spelling help and we’ve never looked back. One thing to note, there are only about 25 lessons in both the first and 2nd level books. I’m used to doing 1 lesson/day with my other curriculum, so obviously that wasn’t going to work. Some of the lessons for my 1st grader are pretty easy so we’re blazing through them quickly, but you are to teach to mastery with this program so after talking to the super nice people at All About Spelling I realized that you don’t need to go through 1 lesson each day. Instead you are to stay on that lesson until they’ve got the rules down pat, so we’ve slowed down a bit. Why do I love All About Learning Press so much? It’s easy to … [Read more...]

MAY
01
2013

Homeschool Science Curriculum Forum

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    Hi readers! Welcome to today’s homeschool curriculum forum on science! As most of you know, I am currently using Abeka science in our homeschool. I have to say that this has been a wonderful addition to our homeschool this year. Not only does it require very little planning on my part, but it does include some hands on activities as well. Since this program has a variety of resources included, I thought it might be helpful if I told you which things I purchase when doing Abeka Science. One thing I don’t love about Abeka are all of the little booklets that you have to purchase. It would be nice if they came all together to make life easier. But for the science I always purchase the teacher’s manual or “curriculum” as they are often called. The student work text, the student workbooks, and the answer keys if I am teaching an upper grade. I also purchase the tests and quizzes and answer keys to those as well. I do not always choose to purchase the … [Read more...]

APR
24
2013

Homeschool Reading and Phonics Curriculum Forum

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  Hi everyone! Welcome to the homeschool curriculum forum post series! Today we’re discussing reading and phonics. Since my children will be in grades prek, 2nd, 4th, and 5th this post will be geared towards elementary students. However feel free to leave a comment for whatever ages you are working with as I know it will help other homeschoolers out there!   For the early years I like to stick with basics and use Abeka for phonics and language practice. I prefer the more traditional approach to teaching letter sounds and blends as well as the reinforcing worksheets provided by Abeka.     I also like the various readers that come with the program as well as the comprehension questions after each story. You’ll want to make sure to get the “text questions and answers key” for the readers. I also like the “Read & Think” skill sheets that Abeka has starting in grade 3. They are timed reading exercises with comprehension questions at the end. … [Read more...]