Tuesday, December 8, 2009

A few great resources for your homeschool

I'm sooooo excited! Today I spent the day planning our next few weeks of school, before our Christmas break. I didn't originally plan to do that today. I'd simply planned to go through the mounds of books that clutter our motor home so that we can once again meander through the walk way without fear of stubbing our toes on the boxes or laundry baskets that hold the books in place.

In the course of decluttering, I found some really awesome books, resources and programs that I had planned to use someday. Items that made the cut and were actually stored on board the camper and not stored elsewhere, traded, sold, donated or tossed. There was a reason that I purchased them and now we're going to find out why.

Over the course of the next few weeks, when many families are slacking down on their workload and preparing for the Christmas holiday, we're adding to ours in preparation for a possible break after Christmas. So my kids can expect a more rigorous workload- as far as our Relaxed/Charlotte Mason/Unschooling philosophy goes...

Now, because I am sometimes great at planning, but not so great at following through with all my incredible plans, I've decided to blog about my intentions and hope that it encourages me to be accountable.

So, what are these awesome materials that I found?

1. Back issues of The Home Educator's Tutor

This magazine is one incredible resource! I have used it in the past and loved it. In fact, this was an indispensable resource when we first began traveling. It enabled me to pack some quality literature like Shakespeare and Plutarch as well as incorporate picture study, music study- complete with a CD and handicraft ideas in one slim publication and not a hoard of books. In fact, I enjoyed this resource so much, I don't know why we didn't continue to use all of the issues. So...this is one resource that I'm not ready to part with. I plan to go through each issue relatively quickly, in addition to the courses my children already take with Connect the Thoughts. Unfortunately, this great resource is no longer available in the original form, but you can find a similar item, The Tutor, which has replaced it here.

2. Learning Through History Magazine

Okay, I didn't really find these in my stash. I helped a friend declutter her shelves earlier in the week and walked away with four of these gems; Medieval Japan, The French Revolution, Colonial America and The Great War. Since my boys LOVE history, I knew this would be something they would really enjoy. I also plan to go through these really quickly, probably one every two weeks and though we'll do the crafts and literature study, we'll probably skip most of the extra reading. Partly because we are using this magazine in addition to our regular curriculum and partly because some of it will be a review. What isn't new will just help fill in any gaps my children have in their schooling. I think they'll really enjoy Medieval Japan so we'll start there and end with The Great War because I know we'll spend a bit more time on that one.

3. Kids Discover Magazines

These interesting issues are packed with colorful pictures, diagrams, maps and information about World History, American History, Life Science, Earth Science, Space, Physical Science and the Human Body. Though these are written specifically for 8-12 year olds, the subject matter is appealing to older kids as well. So if you have an older child that struggles with reading, I think these would certainly keep their interest. I've decided that I will part with these, but first, I'd like my kids to look through them one more time just to make sure they read all the issues before letting them go.

I plan to add more details about these products as we begin to use them over the next couple weeks. In addition to these three fabulous resources, I found several books that I will be reading and many that I will assign to the kids over the next month. But I'll comment on those later....

Have you used any of these products in your homeschool? Why not share your experience?


  1. You'd have had a hard time getting me to learn history as I have a terrible memory for names, dates and places, but I'd have loved some kind of science experiement...mum and dad would never let me do anything like that in their house though. Killjoys! LOL

  2. I'm going to google The kids Discover magazine right now. They look fabulous!

  3. We have used the Discover Magazines. I like the history issues far better than the science which are heavy on evolution.

  4. Ooops! I realized I forgot the link for the Kids Discover mags! Just added it. And yes, I agree with Karen, the history issues are much better.

  5. We've had some great issues of the Kids Discover Mags, too. I like the history ones the best, too. Our local library knew I checked them out often so when they had some older ones, instead of tossing them they asked if I wanted them...of course I couldn't pass them up. Karen M.


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