Monday, August 27, 2012

Artner's Reader's Guide to American History. . a find.

I love to go to thrift stores, church sales, and yard sales.  I was at a boy scout sale and found the book  War Chief of the Seminoles .
I did not have any apps on my very old flip phone to determine if this book was of "value."  I just had a feeling it might be helpful in our history studies.  Plus,  it was only $1.
I got home and showed the book to my husband.  He loves history books and keeps up with the ones we have and would like.  He looked at me with sheer amazement and excitement.  "That's a Landmark book. . let's see if it is in the Artner's History guide. "  Sure enough it was.  It was even an out of print book.  Kind of fun.  The Artner's guide is a great resource for teaching American history for grades 3-8. Many of the titles can be found in the library.  I know we have enjoyed using it with our kids.  It might be helpful for you this year. 


Sunday, August 19, 2012

Who Should We then Read?

At our homeschool convention this year we picked up the two books Who Should We Then Read? volumes 1 and 2 by Jan Bloom.  Both can be purchased from Jan Bloom at her web site.  Jan and her husband travel to homeschool conventions around the US and sell them there as well.  

The more I homeschool the more we appreciate compilations books like these.  I appreciate all the hard work someone else has done to help me choose good literature for my children.    I really enjoy  being able to read Jan's lists of books and choose quality ones for my children to read. I appreciate the background knowledge she provides to help me do this.  I have found these especially helpful as I look for books for my tweens and teens.

~ Becky

Monday, August 13, 2012

What can only I do?

I read this again myself and thought it was worth reviewing as I plan for the upcoming year.  I hope it helps you as well.

One of the questions I ask when planning  is "What can only I do?" There are activities, subjects, and skills that I can do, and others really can not fill.   But I can use assistance in certain subjects.   There are items on my learning agenda that I know I can use help with. 

I try to think what can I have someone or something else do.  I like to use computers to help with homeschooling.  For instance, I really do not like doing math facts with my children, or honestly any child.  I used to assign them to my student's parents when I taught school.   There is really no one to assign them to in my house.   Please note:  I have been trying.  Luckily, I discovered Facts First.  It is a computer program that teaches and reviews math facts.  It is available from the Homeschool Buyers Co-op.  The Homeschooler Buyers Co-op,  SHOP AT THE CO-OP on and Save up to 93% ,has many interesting computer programs, group buys on books, and different interesting products for homeschoolers.  It was one of the first things I signed up for at my first homeschooling convention.  Maybe there is something there you can take off your to do list. 

So my thought of the week,  think about what you can get help with.  Here are a few more ideas that may or may not work with your situation.  I know that everybody's circumstances are so different.  Maybe an idea will lead you to an idea of  something that will help you.

1.  If you can not read every literature or history book in your program to your child, can your child listen to them on CD?  The library has many of these. 

2. Can online classes be helpful?  We love the math class my son takes through AOPS. 

3. Can a spouse or grandparent take something on?  My dad takes my son to OT(occupational therapy) every week.  They have fun and it helps me.  Have a spouse or grandparent read to your child. 

4. Can you hire a tutor for one subject or gather a group of homeschoolers to make up a class?

5. Is there  a class on DVD your student can take?  Is there a good DVD series they could watch each week?  You can check out so many from the public library.

6.  Could  your kids take turns reading to each other?  An older one reads to a younger one or vise-versa?  My kids enjoy this and it helps me tremendously.

7.  Is there a high school person who you may be able to hire to help you?

Just a list to get your started.  Hope it helps you find someone or something to help you. 

Happy Planning!

Monday, August 06, 2012

Math About the House . . . Money-Elementary

More money! In Georgia I taught with a lovely lady names Trudy.   Trudy was always making something out of practically nothing for her students to use in her classroom.  I would pop over just to see what she had that week.   She introduced me to the money die.  She had her husband, Mr. Turner,( whose name we actually did not know) made these amazing money die for her.

They are scraps of wood cut down in 1.5 to 2 inch square pieces.  Mine are actually not exactly square.  You take a one inch drill bit and drill down 1/8 inch.  I used the following money combinations for my six sides: 1 quarter, 2 dimes, 2 nickels, and 1 penny. Then hot melt glue the money onto each side.  I used real money.  I think you could use pretend money, but I would use a different glue.

The object of the game is to practice adding money.  You can use one or two money die. Each person needs a piece of paper and a pencil. 

1.  Roll the money die. 
2. The player writes down the first amount that they roll.
3. The next player rolls and does the same thing.
4. On the second and subsequent rolls the player adds the roll to the current total on his/her piece of paper.  They are working towards doing this in their head.  They cross off the last number and write down the new total.
5. Both players keep going until one player reaches a pre-determined amount. I would suggest  $1.00.

Variations on this game are to use two money dice.  Follow the above directions but roll both at the
 same time.

I found the game Presto Change-O at a yard sale for $1.  My kids have really enjoyed it.

Another good money game  involving money is Monopoly.