Sunday, March 16, 2014

These are a few of our favorite things...

For my job, I spend a lot of time online. Forums, social networking, reading blogs, etc. In spending so much time online, I have discovered that when it comes to homeschooling, the "resource list" is one of the most popular posts/threads.

I thought I would share some of our favorite homeschool resources. Remember, we aren't your conventional "school at home/classroom" homeschoolers... :)

~ Wikipedia - Seriously. I know that many people say you can't take everything on Wikipedia as fact, but we LOVE this site. Every one of us has a Wiki app on our phones/tablets, and it's referenced daily. Daily.

~ Time4Learning - Shocker, right? ;) We have used this as our homeschool curriculum since early 2007, and we have used it in several ways. As a core, as a supplement to other materials and as a filler for an unschooling/interest led approach. No matter how I need it, it's there and it works.

~ Library - Yep. Even tech-junkies like us take advantage of everything the library has to offer homeschoolers. Our local librarian keeps up with homeschool/after school programs for the community. We can find pretty much any book we are looking for, even if we have to wait a little while, while it's sent over from a different branch. Also, you can get ebooks from many libraries now!

~ Usborne Internet-Linked Books - I know there are tons of different reference/educational books out there, but we have a few of these, and the boys love them! They are nice, full color books that touch briefly on a bazillion topics. Then, you use the internet links provided in the books to expand on what the book was teaching. You can also just use Google, and we've done that too, lol, but I like that the books give the boys a starting place in their internet searches.

~ SpellingCity - Well, it's VocabularySpellingCity now, but it was SpellingCity when we started using it. Bailey was older when we first started using this site, but Braeden...man, this was a HUGE thing for Braeden. He was struggling and we didn't have a formal spelling program we were using. We were able to use VSC as his phonics and sight word curriculum, and we all loved that. Game play and online lists were the key...writing weekly word lists made us ALL miserable. Oh, and also, they have an app. And if there's an app, my boys will download it and play. :)

~Minecraft - Really. Just take a look at this Minecraft in Education Wiki (What? I told you we love all things Wiki around here.) to see what you can learn from a computer game, lol. The boys are even a part of a Minecraft Club within our homeschool group!

~ Homeschool Groups - Speaking of...one of our best resources is our local homeschool group. The boys and I have made new friends and have been able to be a part of tons of fun stuff. Sometimes we just play, sometimes there are field trips, sometimes there are classes/instructional activities. I think that homeschoolers can so easily feel cut off from others, that a good homeschool group is almost a necessity. Doesn't have to be a "real life" group if you are unable to find one local to you. There are TONS of fabulous online groups/forums that you can be a part of! Just to have a place to go to chat and vent if you need to...get ideas for activities and curricula. A couple of the ones I love (to be honest, I mostly lurk in these, but I have still gotten some great info and ideas from them) are the boards at www.secularhomeschool.com and www.letshomeschoolhighschool.com (this one even has a student forum for your teens!).

I thought I would list more. Haha. Well, when you're happy with what you're using, even if you're not using too many different resources, I guess you won't have a lot to share. :/

Instead of me worrying about my short list of resources, why don't YOU add to it, by sharing your favorites in the comments? Pretty please? :D

2 comments:

homeschoolmom said...

Thanks so much for these links! My boys are gamers to their core. My youngest (11) just rekindled his interest in minecraft and is actively playing again. I wish Time4Learning would have worked with us, but unfortunately is was a short lived love affair :D

Katie Shuler said...

Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting! I hope some of the links work for you guys! :)