Monday, October 17, 2011

Found New Websites for Homeschool and Home Work

My son, Jess, is very interested in Science. That keeps me constantly on the lookout for the best science sites out there.

Today I found this one called Dr. Universe It's a great site that answers questions about anything and everything using a comic book format. I found it very entertaining and very educational. Dr. Universe is a cat.

Also while cruising around today looking for science information for teens, I discovered this one. It's called Channel One and it's actually a news channel geared towards teenagers. It talks about all the biggest stories in the news and asks provocative questions about how it might relate to them.

Have a great day,

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Planning and Scheduling Your Homeschool Education

Someone asked a question about how other parents help their kid's understand the schedule and planning of their homeschool day or week. This was my response:

People need different things and sometimes it's not obvious what it is they need until you talk about it further. 

One thing I do know, though, is that there are basically 2 kinds of people. According to DISC, a personality profiling exam used often for work groups, there are 4. But I lump them into 2 when I'm trying to help people understand the other people they are working with. 

After a team I was facilitating went through their DISC exams and training, I'd go over it in more detail back at the plant. I'd give them this scenario I made up to drive home the point. This is what I'd say:

"Let's pretend that it's 2:30 p.m. on a Friday. I'm holding in my hands some free tickets to Jamaica ~ or some other exotic location that is "hot" right now for vacationing ~ all expanses paid. Here is the deal. You have between now and 5 p.m. to get what you need and meet me at the airport. Who will be there?" 

Several hands would typically fly up into the air. And then everyone in the room starts looking very strangely at one another. 


Because everyone thinks the other people are nuts. 

People like me would absolutely be there. A free trip to Jamaica, you bet, no hesitation. And there would be several others who would also absolutely be there. You see those people are spontaneous. They live in the moment. They adapt to change. They need little supervision. They get bored easily. And they hate repetition.

But there is this whole other group of people that would never in a million years even consider such a thing. There are too many things to think about, too many details to put in order. They would not even be tempted to go. They are great at details and prefer repetition and a "routine" of some kind. And for the most part those people need structure. They need a plan.

In a corporate environment, I would tell supervisors and managers that the first group just needs a little bit of direction and they can run with a change. But they need to give those people in the second group about 2 weeks notice before they want some "change" to be implemented. That way the person can think about it, ask questions, and slowly and comfortably adapt to the change. 

At my house, I'm the one who is spontaneous. My son likes to know what is going to happen. He isn't an extreme case, he just needs to know more than I do. So we are spontaneous and adapting inside a bigger structure. 

What I mean is I've put together a weekly schedule that includes the broad topics we are covering and when, as well as all the things that happen weekly like classes with others, park days, even the typical times he is open to hang out with friends. These are just big chunks of time with the topic listed. 

I have this on my google calendar and it is color coded. A certain color for our classes. Red for events we have signed up for or I have paid for. Green for events we are invited to attend, but are not obligated to attend like park days. I pull it up all the time to stay on track. I also have it printed and put inside of our homeschool notebook where I keep track of what we are doing and my favorite resources online. 

These are the things we are trying to accomplish each week. The red things have to be done. The green things we try to do as many as possible. Our at home classes are flexible. If we have to move something around because I'm on a phone call or he is skyping with his dad, it's O.K. if we miss the time. But we will make it up some other time during the week. And we both know that. 

If I had more than 1 kid, I would probably use one of those pin up boards that is half pin up board and half write on wipe off. I would post the weekly schedule on the pin up part and hand write on the other side any unusual events that are not on the recurring weekly schedule like a doctors visit, along with the time we need to leave for it. Then everyone is on the same page and those who need to know about things before they happen have that opportunity.

Those are my thoughts. Hope they are helpful.

Takara (Deb)

Friday, October 7, 2011

Updates to the Homeschool Videos and Resources Online Website

Hi Everyone:

I spent most of this weekend making sweeping updates to my homeschool resources website

I would love your feedback and any additional resources you might suggest.

If you have visited the site before, you might need to refresh or reload the page.

Thanks for your input.

Have a fabulous day,
Takara (Deb)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Free Homeschool Books and eBooks

Ever wonder if you can download homeschool books for free?

Well you can. There are several sites online - including Amazon - where you can download free books for homeschooling or pleasure reading.

Visit this link for my full list of free homeschool books and ebooks. Just scroll down to the section called "Free Books and other Documents Online." There are literally over a million book choices to view on line or to download onto your computer or your book reader like Kindle or nook. 

Have a fabulous day,
Takara (Deb)

Monday, October 3, 2011

Cheap Discount Homeschool Books and Curriculum

I have fun finding great homeschool books and materials at a discount. It's almost a game. 

I pick up books and reference guides all over the place. I visit yard sales, used book stores, and second hand stores. Since the turn over at some of these places is fast, you might find nothing one day and a bunch of stuff another. Homeschool book sales are a gold mine. They are often held at the end or beginning of the school year.  

Recently we actually did an out and out swap through one of the homeschool boards. Nobody had to buy anything. We just all brought whatever we were no longer using and we could take anything that would be useful for our child(ren). 

If I find a series I like, I always google discount or cheap followed by the name. I buy a lot of home school books and materials at Amazon. I also check eBay, but don't often find anything there.

There are a few places that offer used homeschool curriculum  for sale. Just google it. Sam's club has several very nice workbooks for subjects up through about 4th grade. You can often find them for sale at a discount at homeschool book sales.   

If I know the subject I need something for and I'm not sure about what book or program to choose, while I'm researching I often read the reviews on Amazon. You can learn a lot by doing that.

The homeschool buyers co-op is free to join and offers great discounts on very nice programs. We've enjoyed several of them.

If you want to include on-line learning, time4learning is very inexpensive. We used it through 4th grade. Then my son lost interest. 

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Homeschool Resources Online

This new homeschool resources online blog is where I'll be sharing the tools, links, educational materials, and insights I've learned from homeschooling my own child and talking to numerous other homeschool parents from across the U.S.

Please jump in and add your own comments, questions, and suggestions.

Have a fabulous day,