Monday, June 29, 2009
Emily tried out a new fourth of July recipe this weekend (a bit early). She mashed some blueberries and mixed them with blueberry yogurt, then mashed strawberries and mixed them into strawberry yogurt. Then she layered the blueberry yogurt, vanilla yogurt, and strawberry yogurt into plastic popsicle molds. This could be done as well in paper cups. Very easy for a 9 year old to do all by herself!
Friday, June 19, 2009
I'd like to share a resource that I've been using for several years now, Blackline Maps of World History, by Terri Johnson. It is published by Knowledge Quest and sells for $45 for the 240 page hardcover book with cd-rom. This is the version that I have. I love being able to grab the cd and print out a map to correspond to whatever we're studying in history. This collection of more than 200 maps covers nearly anything you could possibly want--from Barbarian Europe to Viking Expansion to Native American Tribal Groups to the French Revolution and so on! Every map is shown in a lableled and an unlabeled version and is accompanied by lesson plans that include map labeling suggestions. These are beautiful maps that would be a great addition to a history notebook or supplement to any history collection. If the book is purchased in instant download form, Knowledge Quest includes a second book, Blackline Maps of American History with an additional 81 maps for FREE! Being the curriculum junkie that I am (!), I have several outline map books and these two are by far my favorites. The maps are very nice, they include lesson plans, and the scope is greater than anything else I have found. You can read more details here. Free Map Sampler Here is a sampling of 8 Knowledge Quest maps to print and use to judge for yourself the quality of the product: Free Blackline World History Maps
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Do you ever wonder whether your child’s speech skills are normal? We don’t expect a three year old to have perfect speech, but we do expect it from a ten year old. Is your child developing articulation skills at a normal pace, or should you be concerned? Read more on this topic at my Super Star Speech blog.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Currclick is a great source of homeschooling resources, lapbooks, and affordable curriculum, all in e-book form. Some of the larger and better known publishers, such as Scholastic, Geography Matters, Even-Moor, and Amanda Bennett's products are sold here. In addition, there are dozens of smaller publishers, many of whom are homeschool moms themselves, that have written unit studies, lapbooks, and literature units, often at amazingly low prices! My Super Star Speech books are sold here as well. There is an entire section of FREE materials, and if you sign up for the weekly mailing list, you will be notified of sales and a new free product every week! I have found some real jewels here. Paperback Swap: According to the website, I have saved $513 here! I'm not sure how they count that, but it sounds impressive! PBS is a book trading site. Members list books that they are willing to swap. When a book is requested, the member sends it out, paying only the postage. The member then receives a credit that can be used to request any available book free of charge. I have cleared a lot of books off my shelves and am happy to see them go to good homes. Whenever I want any book--homeschooling or otherwise--I put it on my wish list at PBS. Some books are available immediately and, if I'm patient enough, most eventually work their way to the top of the wait list and become available. And for a bonus--list your first 10 books and receive an immediate credit! Econobusters I just discovered this site a month or so ago. Like many people these days, our family is under some financial strain, so I love to find help for saving money. Molly Green's Econobusters blog is full of great tips and information, from garage sale-ing to grocery shopping to innovative uses of things found around my home. Some of my favorites blog entries are the "freebies." Free fast food, free samples from companies--What fun! I try to check the blog every day or two so I won't miss out on a great timely deal!
Monday, June 15, 2009
I was just given the opportunity to review the 2009 Schoolhouse Planner, published by The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, LLC. The first thing I have to say is, "Wow!" This is an amazing 375 page resource for putting together a customized planner. I have spent a couple of days so far reviewing the resources and printing pages to begin my planner and have really only skimmed the surface. I'm sure that I will be returning to print additional pages throughout the year. The first section is really the "spine" of the planner, containing monthly calendars and additional educational resources for each month--a recipe page and articles and fact sheets. Many of these articles are written by authors well-known in the homeschool world, such as Steve Demme, Amanda Bennett, and Dr. Jay L. Wile, PhD. I think I will use some of these articles for some "bonus learning" for Emily and some will be for my personal edification. The Old Schoolhouse Magazine also publishes monthly supplemental modules for $7.95 each that are actual unit studies that can be added to the planner each month. Part two is entitled, "Miscellaneous Educational Information," and consists of 14 pages of lists, charts, and reference guides covering everything from kitchen conversions to countries and capitals to famous artists. Part three contains 121 pages of homeschool forms! Everything you could need is here, making this perfect for making a customized planner for your family! Some of the forms include grade record forms, daily, monthly, yearly, and even 12-year planning forms. The user will be able to easily keep track of chores, Bible memory work, field trips, books read, and much more. Most of the pages are for the parent to use, but there are some for the student as well--science lab reports, book report pages, and nature journal pages. The nature journal pages could be bound into a special book for each child. I think Emily would like this and I have been wanting to incorporate nature study into our schedule. One of the features that I like best in this section is that many of the forms have many style choices, allowing each family to choose the form that best meets their needs. The scheduling pages are designed for one to five children. Larger families could just use more than one form. The final section contains household forms. Planning a party? Go print out the party planning form. Working on Christmas cards? Designing a garden? Planning a vacation? There are forms for each of these, too. Keep track of medical and insurance information, financial records, daily and weekly schedules and chores, all in one place. I think that would be a good idea for any family! The file is set to print 2 pages per sheet, making a nice notebook size. After playing with my printer settings for a while, I found that the "booklet" setting enabled me to print double-sided as well, saving paper. Another feature that I really like is the ability to type directly on the forms before printing, enabling me to print the chore charts or schoolwork assignments already filled out and ready to use. In conclusion, The 2009 Schoolhouse Planner is a great resource for any homeschool family who wants to get more organized. The $39 price may sound a bit high for a planner, but this is a huge resource. I have not seen anything else this comprehensive. For more reviews, check out the TOS Homeschool Crew site!
Friday, June 12, 2009
I've been selected to be part of the 2009-10 "Homeschool Crew." This means that I'll have lots of new curricula to try out and review in the next year. I am really excited to be given this opportunity and am looking forward to a hectic, but fulfilling new year. Stay posted!