RECOMMENDED FOR GRADES PreK – 5th
When I first started to home school I was so intimidated by the lack of structure and guidelines. I am a list person. The type that likes to write out what I need to do and check it off so that I don’t get overwhelmed by the numerous tasks before me. The only thing that calmed my fears about forgetting to teach my child a vital lesson was following a curriculum.
I can now proudly say I am not as anxious as I once was about making sure I teach the right thing. I guess my experience gave me a little more confidence.
I no longer spend $100/subject per child on curriculum such as Horizon, Alpha Omega, Abeka, etc.. Yay for more spending money!!
Here is a breakdown of my current teaching method.
Math, Grammar, Phonics
I buy a couple of workbooks from parent teacher stores or even Walmart on the appropriate grade level for each child. I love the Spectrum workbooks. Using the workbooks I find other resources online that expand each lesson as we get to it. The workbooks serve mostly as an outline of what to teach. The key is to get creative with it. For each lesson do what fits your child’s learning style. If your child already has mastered the skill skip it and do something else. One of the benefits of homeschooling is getting to move on quickly once your child gets it.
I have found that flash cards work best for my children for math. Addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division are mastered easily with speed drills. For some reason going fast makes it fun. 🙂
To teach them grammar lessons I do my research with the help of google on the current topic. Then with a chalk board I explain and we discuss. If you search pinterest for grammar topics you will find a lot of anchor charts drawn by teachers. I like to print them out and tape them up around the room for further help. Online worksheets provide practice until I feel they understand the subject.
Phonics is my favorite subject to teach. I think because the results are so rewarding. Seeing my children read knowing that I gave them the tools to do so makes me a very proud mommy. Youtube is my favorite resource for teaching phonics skills. There are numerous of catchy videos available. When we read together I also address phonics rules as they are struggling. For example, if the word is “sheep” and they are trying to get the correct vowel sound I remind them 2 e’s together make the long e sound.
I love to use the following websites for additional printouts and online games. I do pay for the full memberships but it is still cheaper than the curriculums.
I have also learned to draw out my own worksheets. I use online worksheets for inspiration. With a marker and printer paper I create questions on whatever I need them to practice.
Reading, History, Science, and Geography
We love to read books about historical figures such as this book on Thomas Jefferson. You can purchase the books or find many at your local library. I create my own questions as we go along to check their reading comprehension. Games and activities are easy to find online about each person and they allow the kids to interact more in the lesson.
Sight words are practiced with flash cards and any other worksheets I find online. These are so important for helping your child read. We do drills on these multiple times a day until they are mastered.
We love to read aloud books together. The library is free so remember to take advantage of it! I’ll make another post with a list of our favorite read-aloud books very soon!
For science I find lessons using pinterest. Whatever seems interesting or fun is usually the route I will take. Kids are very inquisitive so use their questions as learning material. Such as “what planet do we live on?”, “where do panda bears live?”, and “how do planes fly?”. The Magic School Bus and Disney Nature movies are also some fun additions that are available in your library for free!
For geography I have a huge book of map worksheets for grades 2nd-5th that I found for $20. I have been using it since I started and we are now in 3rd grade. Also a kids atlas is very handy as well.
Art and Music
My family is in love with art and music. Crafts are not something I ever plan but they always seem to happen! Music is the same way. We are blessed to have our lives revolve around music so not much planning for that either. We like to use lyric videos on youtube to practice singing along with. We also have many instruments available at all times for our children to experiment with as they get inspired.