Dare I say it? We seem to have hit a good groove with homeschool. Taryn is working hard and consistently, thriving with our new curriculum. Jude hit the ground running and sped off! Ha! He’s been in kindergarten for 6 full weeks and is ahead in most of his subjects. I’m definitely going to be supplementing with more art and subjects of his choosing very soon. The great news is that after just a few weeks, he’s starting to read! So thrilling! So, since all 3 of us are happy with our new curriculum and thriving, I thought I’d come share a few of my favorite homechool things!
First, we are LOVING the one day a week fitness class both kids attend. Its been so good for them! Taryn is also attending an enrichment program that covers music, art, pe, drama, character building and spanish. It has been so great for her and I’m excited for Jude to start in the fall as well. They are currently registering for fall and if you are in Cedar Park and interested message me and I will forward you the info, its a great program!
As for our core, Timberdoodle has been great for both of the kids so far! And me, which I now realize is also really important. We bought it before they made major changes to what they offer. Now you can get a stripped down basic core option, then a middle of the road option and a deluxe option. I love that they are customizable and we could get exactly what we wanted and needed.
Another great thing about Timberdoodle is that you can do customized schedules on their website. It’s free and you can use it even if you don’t use their curriculum. Just plug in your stats, how many school weeks you plan on, how many lessons total and it will break it down by the week for you. I did scheduling for 2 kids for a year in about 30 minutes total. And I can change it as we go throughout the year if needed. It keeps us on track and I can easily see what is left for the day and the week, at a glance. There is something so gratifying about putting a checkmark in a box as they complete their work. I keep both the printed sheets for each subject that comes with their curriculum outline and their weekly schedules in a loose, easy to flip and view 3 ring laminated “binder” similar to this one but ours is red and brown.
In addition to our Timberdoodle core curriculum we love to supplement with games and other fun items to keep the kids engaged and excited about learning. Here are a few we are loving right now:
- Hear Myself Sound Phone – we use this while doing phonics and speech with Teagan Jude. It helps him to better hear the sounds he’s making when he speaks and I was really surprised at how effective it is in helping him say words correctly he otherwise mispronounces. We use articulation worksheets provided by his speech therapist.
- Free Customizable Handwriting Worksheets – these have been great for all kinds of things including teaching Taryn to write her name in cursive, teaching our address and phone number, etc. The possibilities are endless!
- Rory’s Story Cubes – these are great to encourage story telling
- Sum Swamp – fun math game my kids love
- Inchimals – Jude loves these – they encourage math and measuring skills
- Wrap Ups – we have these for addition, subtraction, multiplication and division
- Free Book Report Template – we do weekly book reports and love this free template
- Silly Starters – another fun way to get kids involved and writing
- Write & Wipe Pockets – these really reduce the amount of consumables we go through. With younger ones coming up behind in each grade, these will end up saving us a lot of money! If pages are not perferated for easy tearing out, Office Max will cut the binding off of any book for a small fee and then you can stick it in a 3 ring binder. Then just remove the page your student needs, put it in a pocket for them to complete and then it is as good as new to return to the binder for the next child down the line in a year or so. We don’t do this for every consumable, but the more expensive ones, yes!
- Calendar & Weather Pocket Chart – we also use these free weather graphs from Confessions of a Homeschooler to graph the weather each day.
- United States Bingo (free download)
- Teachers Paying Teachers – this is an open marketplace website where you can download just about anything you can imagine. Many are free and some are low cost. It’s a great way to support teachers sharing templates and it’s truly and endless resource!
A few things currently on my homeschool *if I had more money to actually spend on fun homeschool stuff* wishlist:
- Busy Town game
- Kids Herb Book
- Brain Quest Smart game
- Wipe Off Fun With Mazes
- Ready, Set, Cut!
- Sight Word Bingo
- Fun-to-Know Puzzles: Uppercase & Lowercase Alphabet
- Alphabet Bingo
- 25 Read & Write Mini-Books That Teach Word Families
- Three Corner Flash Cards
- Learning Resources Handy Scoopers
- Inflatable Labeling Globe
- Talk Point Mini Recorders – I would use these for giving detailed instructions so the kids can repeat them. Especially good for when I need to go change a diaper, feed or put Jonah down for a nap. I always come back to someone off task saying “I forgot what you told me to do!”
Want more homeschool ideas? Come follow my Pinterest homeschool board! If you have a homeschool pinterest board, post in the comments and I’ll follow you right back!