Wednesday, December 29, 2010


I'm reading "The Unschooling Handbook : How to Use the Whole World As Your Child's Classroom." It reminds me of what I love about homeschooling. Every now and then I start straying back toward a more textbook style of education.  Then I just need to read a book like The Unschooling Handbook to get me back on track.

The more book work I add, the more stressed out I get :) The other day was great. We did calculadders, then I read Story of the World while they colored in historical coloring books. Since we are just beginning US history, I hung a US map and started reading “Paddle to the Sea”. We talked about the Great Lakes.

Paddle to the Sea mentioned a wolverine and Lucas went to the computer to look up wolverine. While reading about a wolverine, he saw "caribou" and looked that up, also. He was reading animal facts to Elijah because Elijah wanted him to "learn it to me". And Arianah drew her "A" and showed me all the things she was writing. In the meantime, Rebekah is busy looking at poses and other things to help her in her photography shoots.

That was just an hour snippet of what we did that day. But it makes me happy to take note of the education that goes on when I make my lesson plan a guideline.  The kids love learning and, when facilitated well, they can learn a lot.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


I found something else for homeschooling that seems to be working well.  The kids have never done very well with memorizing their math facts.  I have seen Calculadders in various catalogs for years.  I finally decided to try them and they work really well.

It's a quick speed drill for math facts.  Each one page drill is designed to be finished in 2-3 minutes. You do the same page over and over until it is completed in the time frame and without error.  The kids still enjoy them, even though we've been doing them a couple of months.  And, they're actually making progress.

You can buy Calculadder books, but I bought them on CD.  It's really easy.  Each  morning, I simply print up one worksheet for each kid.  They do the worksheet and I correct them.  The program provides a great record keeping sheet for their progress also, so I have it all at my fingertips.