Who says you can’t have school on the weekend? During the summer? At 6:00 in the evening? It’s homeschool baby, and we do it where we want, when we want, and how we want…that’s why I’m doin’ it in the first place. Going with my new picking a planned day for specific kinds of posts, I shall regale you with words of wit and wisdom about the homeschool life every weekend. You will be smarter by Monday, I promise. (Or at least wiser, which is the more important one anyway.)
For the inaugural Weekend Homeschool Report (which we will refer to as WHSR from now on, k?) I want to focus on that which makes the day to day life of a homeschool family much easier…well, there are many things that do that – and check back each weekend for more on each and every sanity-saving piece of info I have – but for now, I am referring specifically to that wonder of wonders: the Internet. The plethora of lesson plans, craft ideas, field trips, textbook sources, suggestions, tips, ideas, advice, and general STUFF available on the web is wonderful…and a tad overwhelming. The Internet is certainly not my only source of teaching material, as I will delve into further in later posts – but it is a great tool to help supplement everything from basic reading curriculum to science fair project ideas to printable craft projects.
As anyone who has ever googled for anything knows, there is a lot of well, crap, on the web. Homeschool sources are no exception – there is plenty of crap available out there, and yes, it can be frustrating to try and sift through it all, but when you do come across a useful website – bookmark it, and share it with everyone you know (well, not your single friends, they could probably care less about a State Flag coloring website). Taking my own advice, let me share with you now: on the side bar you’ll see a section called “Teachin’ Mama” – with links to various homeschool friendly teaching resource sites I have found useful.
A big thing for me is FREE. I feel squicky about websites who are looking to make a buck from the second I click on their page – so I don’t stick around. Some sites. like StarFall, have the right idea: they have lots of various curriculum items for sale, but also make a great deal of their material available on-line for free (and I love it!).
If you like free too, you’ll want to visit this site and join their e-mail list, every week, you’ll get a list of free sources to download from their site (the key is you have to visit the site each day, every free source they offer is only available for 24 hours). Overall, I have been very pleased with the variety their site offers; it’s a Christian based educational site, so sometimes the sources may not be exactly what I’m looking for under the heading “Education,” but nobody is forcing me to download it, and if I want to skip a source…well, um, I skip it. Easy, no?
So if you’re a Homeschooler, and you avoid using the internet because you feel (like I did when I refused to buy any Cliff Notes while taking that Chaucer class where the text was in Middle English) that it would somehow lessen the authenticity or quality of the education – well, knock it off and join us in the 21st century. (And for the record, I was an idiot for not using the CliffNotes…I could have saved many, many hours of my life had I lowered my bizarre personal code of scholary ethics).
Keeping with the Free theme, in the next WHSR we’ll cover Homeschool on the Cheap: Garage Sales.