Ten Top History Resources

Standard
Ten Top History Resources

This post contains affiliate links. If you choose to purchase through these links, I will receive a small commission. Thank you!

History is one of our favorite things to study. While history can certainly be a boring parade of dates, with careful choices you can make it a fascinating trip into the past that will stay with your kids long after they leave your homeschool. By adding living books and hands-on activities, history can be the best part of the day. Here are ten of our favorite resources for studying history:

Genevieve Foster Historical Novels. These books give a fascinating snapshot of the world at the time of the main character’s life.

Usborne Internet-Linked Encyclopedia of World History. With delightful tidbits of information and interesting drawings, my children enjoyed delving into various history topics using this book. It is secular, so be sure to preview before handing it over if you only present a Biblical creation worldview.

Story of the World. The four sets of textbooks and activity books offer a chronological, hands-on approach to history.  The textbooks tell the story of history by focusing on the stories of important people. These books are secular.

In God We Trust. A look at Early American History through the people who lived it.

Dover Historical Coloring Books. Available on a huge variety of topics, these wonderful coloring books offer a great deal of information on their own, but also go along perfectly with any historical study. My children color the pages while I read aloud.

History Through the Ages Timeline Figures: Creation to Present on CD. Beautifully-drawn printable timeline figures that you can use to create lapbooks and notebooking pages as well as timelines.

History Revealed from Diana Waring. In three sets this biblically-based curriculum takes you from Creation to Modern Civilization, using delightful stories on CD told by the author, hands-on projects, and learning style-based activities to bring history to life for your student.

Notgrass History Books. World History and American History from a Christian worldview. Students can earn one credit in Bible, English, and History per year using these two history courses.

Kregel Guides. Full-color photographs of Biblical locations make these books a treat to look at as well as read.

Heroes of History. These biographies from YWAM show readers the lives of Christian heroes who lived throughout history. They are some of our family’s favorite read alouds.

2014 Top Ten

Standard

Happy New Year!

It’s been a busy year around here, and I enjoy taking time to reflect over the past twelve months.  Here are the top ten posts viewed on Crestview Heights Academy in 2014:

10. Classes and Curriculum Choices for 2014-2015

9. 8 Common Questions I am Asked About Homeschooling

8. A One-of-a-Kind Blog Planner

7. Creating a Daily Schedule

6. Long-term Planning

5. Star-Spangled Banner Cards

4. Nativity Ornament

3. My Meal Planning System

2. Books of the Bible Notebooking Pages

and the most-viewed post for 2014:

1. A Warning for Parents Homeschooling Boys

5 Tips for Enjoying Your Middle Schooler

Standard

Is it possible to enjoy your Middle Schooler? I wrote this post from Home Educating Family about tips for enjoying my Middle School children:

I teasingly tell people that I didn’t enjoy middle schoolers even when I was one. For some reason, I have always felt more comfortable with small children or adults. But with one child almost through the middle school years and another rapidly approaching them, I’ve found out that the middle school years can be a fun age, too

 

Check out the rest of this post at hedua.com…

Defeating the Middle School Video Game Zombie

Standard

Do you have Video Game Zombies at your house? Here is a post I wrote for Home Educating Family:

I bet all of us have seen them: tweens and teens hunched over a video game remote, eyes glazed over, barely grunting in answer to any question. Now, before you get the idea that this is a diatribe against video games in general, let me assure you it is not. I enjoy video games. In fact, one of my favorite memories as a child is the Christmas we received our Nintendo. Instead, I am going to discuss how we balance video game use and keep our middle schooler from becoming one of those video game zombies

 

Check out the rest of this post at hedua.com…

When It Doesn’t Go As Planned

Standard

I wrote this post on what to do when your plans go awry for Home Educating Family awhile back:

I love to plan.

I mean, I love it. So much so, that I actually begin planning for the next year as soon as we start the previous one. It’s the actual carrying out of my plans that I sometimes struggle with. I think there are two reasons for that. First of all, it’s a character flaw that I fought even before I was a homeschooling mom. But even more, I think it is because, no matter how well I plan—no matter how much time I put into it or how hard I try to meet every one of my children’s educational needs and learning styles—my plans don’t always work out the way I had “planned” (pun intended). And, I’ll be honest, this is disappointing…

Check out the rest of this post at hedua.com…

A Warning for Parents Homeschooling Boys

Standard

 

IMG_1284

Did I get your attention?

Just in case you have the kind of boy (or girl) that loves to study things like insects (as I do), I thought I would give you some fair warning.

You see, we have been studying insects in Science, using Apologia’s Zoology series.  It suggested that we bring in some dead insects to look at…and my science-loving boy jumped right on that.  His first acquisition, dredged from the aquatic depths of his pool?

This:

http://www.public-domain-image.com (public domain image)

 

Well, not this exact one… But it looked somewhat like it.  And since it was dead and all, I let him keep it in a bowl in our kitchen to study.  And we went to bed…and woke up…and went to co-op…and came home…

Buddy went in to look at his science experiment…and came running out of the kitchen screaming: “MOM! It’s alive! Get it out!”

And, lo and behold, the wasp was squirming around in the bowl.  I managed to set the bowl out on our deck just before the undead insect was able to fly off.

Unfortunately, we hadn’t read the part of the lesson on the “Lazarus effect” yet.

This is what we learned yesterday: Insects that are completely drenched may not, in fact, be completely dead. Turns out they may be only MOSTLY dead. See, mostly dead is still slightly alive…

INCONCEIVABLE

You’ve been fairly warned!

Classes and Curriculum Choices 2014-2015

Standard

This post contains affiliate links. If you choose to purchase through these links, I will receive a small commission. Thank you!

Boo

Boo: My beautiful girl is a freshman this year, so we are moving to a more traditional schooling model for her. She will spend a good share of her day in independent study, with me being more a coach than a traditional teacher.

Bible: Boo’s grandmother will be teaching her Bible class this year. I am so excited! My mom is a “Lois”-a steady woman in the faith who is passing on an inheritance to her children and grandchildren. Boo will learn a lot from her, and it takes one important class off my plate, too!

English: I am putting together our own literature curriculum for ninth grade, which will include learning about literary elements and genre, as well as reading some novels and plays. Boo will also do some vocabulary study and work through Books 2 and 3 in Applications of Grammar. She will also use Writer’s INC. to help her write a variety of essays for her literature studies.

002529002533035875006067006070007294017282001042019907025027

Math: Boo needs to finish up Pre-Algebra and then she will start Algebra 1. She will continue to use Math-U-See, our favorite Math program.

544904_10150647648806864_6136881863_9531214_1497911671_n

Science: Biology is up this year. We will be using Apologia Biology 2nd Edition. Boo will study this at home with me, but we will be working with another homeschooling family to do labs together. We can share the expense as well as the dissection fun!

017418

Social Studies: I put together a pretty comprehensive World Geography curriculum, which will include studying the countries, memorizing capitals, map skills, culture studies, and discussion of world religions. At the end of the year she will write a report on the country of her choice.

81ERkNlcoPL005268005812download009903010601014496

Foreign Language: Boo will be studying Spanish this year, using an online program called Duolingo. She will also have the chance to converse with a native language speaker at co-op.

Duolingo

Keyboarding: We will be using Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing to continue Boo’s Keyboarding skills.

019348

Music Performance: Besides choir at co-op and piano lessons, Boo will spend some time learning about the sound board at church, singing in church, and using vocal performance cds.

016500016507034720

Health and PE: Boo will have to spend 45 minutes four times a week in physical activity, and I have printed some articles on a variety of health topics that I will have her write a brief summary about.

Buddy

Buddy: My busy, funny boy is a fifth grader this year, so we are beginning to transition into some independent work. I still get to spend lots of time with him, though, as he needs more than just “coaching” in some areas.

Bible: Buddy will be doing AWANA again this year, so we will use the memory work and Bible studies from his TNT book. I will also be reading aloud to him from books written by a number of ministers.

MVTTUltimateChlngHandbook1_xl

English: We will be continuing All About Reading and All About Spelling this year. He will also be learning some grammar using Simply Grammar, and we will do some creative writing and nonfiction writing as well.

011260047964002483007722008922018373025520013562

Math: Buddy will continue using Math-U-See, but we will also be using the Life of Fred Elementary series to help fire up his creative, right-sided brain!

544904_10150647648806864_6136881863_9531214_1497911671_n

lofelm

Science: We will be using Apologia’s Zoology series for Science.

010470013236

Social Studies: Buddy will do a basic World Geography study this year, learning about each continent and studying two to five countries from each continent (except Australia and Antarctica) in more depth.

000817001958005329005330download01376501379601449603227861ptWAuvhnL61VD9ZHTPXL

Art: Our art this year will be based on the countries we study.

71BvSlQDoDL

Music: We will listen to music from around the world, including the national anthem of each country we study. Buddy will also continue to take piano lessons.

018534

Health and PE: We will read library books on health topics and continue to keep as active as possible, including baseball, swimming, walking, basketball, and more.

Cooking Class: Buddy is very interested in cooking. While he spends time with me in the kitchen as I cook, I decided to be more direct in teaching him cooking skills this year. Once a week I will pick a skill or recipe to teach him, and we will work on it together.

Favorite Organization Links

Standard

IMG_0414IMG_0415IMG_0419

We are in the final countdown to starting a new school year. I am working on putting together geography and literature curriculum for Boo and getting the last of my assignments recorded. Next week we will do some cleaning and organizing in preparation for beginning on the 25th. With so many different supplies and books needed each year, I am always looking for tips on staying organized. Here are some of my favorite organization links:

 

My Organization Systems

Homeschooling Multiple Ages

5 Days of Homeschooling Organization

Pieces of Us

Small Space Organizing

Home Educating Family

Home Schoolroom

Mommy Minded

Crafty Homeschool Mama

Free Organization Printables

 

Happy Organizing!!!!

 

My Top Resources for Teaching Math

Standard

This post contains affiliate links. If you choose to purchase through these links, I will receive a small commission. Thank you!

I love math, and I love teaching math. Smile I also enjoy math materials and manipulatives. Math can be lots of fun! Here are my favorite resources for teaching math, and making it enjoyable:

Math-U-See. This mastery-based math program uses manipulatives through high school to make math easier to understand. Students are taught to understand the why behind math, as well as the how. We’ve used it since my daughter was in Kindergarten, and she will be doing algebra with Math-U-See this fall.

IMG_0379

Life of Fred. While Math-U-See is my favorite full curriculum, I have added the Life of Fred books to my son’s math curriculum. Life of Fred is very different and may take some getting used to. I also recommend starting with the lowest book if your child is in elementary school, even if he or she already understands the concepts. Life of Fred uses a right-brain friendly approach that speaks to my sons creative learning style.

Pattern Blocks. My favorite math manipulative, pattern blocks can be used for all kinds of early learning math activities. Patterning, addition, subtraction, one to one comparisons, geometry, spatial reasoning… They are also a lot of fun! While plastic and foam versions are available, there isn’t anything quite like the feel of the good quality wooden pattern blocks.

Base Ten Blocks. A physical, 3-D representation of base ten, from ones to thousands. These manipulatives are very helpful for explaining the concept of large numbers to younger students.

Games for Math. This book is an outstanding resource. It has a number of easy-t0-create, low cost games for use with children working in grades K-3.

Times Tales. Another great right-brain math item, but it would be helpful for any student learning the multiplication tables.

Right-Brain Multiplication Flash Cards. These cards use pictures to help the student remember their multiplication facts.

Touch Math. While I haven’t used this exact program with my children, I am familiar with it from teaching in the public school. They now have a homeschool version as well. It works great with kinesthetic learners and helps children make a transition from manipulatives to holding the problems in their head. Even the homeschool version is a bit costly, but they do have several resources online that you can look at before purchasing, and if your child is struggling with math, this program might be a valuable help.

Math Their Way. Another program I was introduced to when teaching Kindergarten, there is a sample copy of the book online. I love this gentle, manipulatives-based introduction to mathematics for young people.

So, there you have it, my favorite math products. While I could list many more manipulatives, I’ll save those for a future post of their own. Check some of these products out and see how math can be fun for you, too!

A Peek Into My Homeschool: Eclecticism for Two

Standard

The way homeschooling works in our home has changed often over the years. When we began, my husband worked a crazy rotating shift, and I ran a home daycare, so one week rarely looked like the next.

These days, with a fourteen-year-old eighth grader and a ten-year-old fourth grader, our homeschooling schedule is more regular, though I wouldn’t exactly call it routine. My husband works all day Monday through Thursday, as well as some Fridays. Because Daddy is sometimes home on Fridays, I try to get the bulk of our work done by Thursday. Some weeks we don’t work at all on Friday and make it up over the weekend or the next week.

Read the rest at HEDUA.com.