Sunday, September 19, 2010

Blog Cruise: SisterT's Talking About Her FAVES!

What are your favorite resources for the ages and grades that you are teaching?

I have some faves for sure~Having WHAT we need...what will work...what makes the tried and true~effective, easy, and essential is how I know what my faves are!


1.  Mystery of History or MOH any version~we've used 1 and 2...and in a year we will use 3~which will be the first year since it was published we are on tab to use it!  Effective: The short narrative gives enough information to send us digging a little deeper and the activities give us an extension to enhance the fact we have learned.  Easy: I find her writing style easy to understand and very conversational.  The projects are incremental and simple to incorporate.  I didn't stress over the timeline.  I did not use it as suggested on a wall OR board, but rather had each child make a file card that one the unlined side put the name of the person or event along with the date.  Then on the lined side my kids wrote a short narrative about the person or fact.  We used a file card binder to organize our cards in chronological order so that an idea of how time went was gained.  In addition to using this system I had another fave that I used Veritas Press History Cards where we looked at some very nice illustrations of the person or event AND read about them from from the list of resources on the back.  Essential refers  to the knowledge being complete and in depth. Obviously if I used more than MOH then I felt we would benefit from more info, but depending upon the age of your child you could use it alone as it does cover each nicely.  I am a history nut and love it so hence why I added so much and even used history as our launch for literature, Bible, art, and often science in a unit study approach.

I've used MOH into our fourth rotation of history! It has to be my all time fave!

1A~TruthQuest History is great and a fave as well. I used it instead of MOH3 which was not out when we were in that time period of our rotation.  I continue to use it as a spine and as a combination of the other two~didn't I say I love history? IMHO, you can't know enough about the past so that the present is well understood.  While it's very similar to MOH, it is briefer in the narrative which I think lends itself to more curiosity in the student for an older audience.  The reading list is great, but MOH has this as well...I tended to add books that I already had or found useful.  I used the Foster books with both. My plan is to use MOH 3 and when the rotation comes to needing four which is not out yet, I may use TQHistory as the main spine..but hopefully...pretty please!!!??

2.  ANYTHING I can find by Genevieve Foster.  She is an American author who wrote historical books for children in the twentieth century.  We have read all the "world books" and a few others.  If you get the chance to include her books in your homeschool do so because they are so rich. She gives a nice time period overview narrative and even illustrated her own books.  If you want to know more about her,  Valerie's Living Books has some info.  Here you will find a list of her books, and I definitely recommend the "world books".  Effective~I'd say, yes they are effective in the use we made of them which was to complement our history study. Easy~While Valerie's books names the World books as Elementary level, I actually think they are middle to high school.  Maybe it's me~you see what you think...I used them when my kids were upper elementary as read aloud books.  We discussed a lot!  Essential~I think these can stand alone, but since I love history so much I believe they are best used to complement a spine curricula.

3.  Teaching Textbooks math.  We've used this system full time except for a year off to use ALEKS which did not work for my daughter for a variety of  reasons, since they were both in sixth grades. This curriculum is computer based instruction that is computer graded until the upper grades. It has instruction and solution cds and is written incrementally step by step.  Effective~we're struggling with math and have been with one child for a few years so we are now using MathTudor DVDs to supplement.  We're reviewing PreAlg then proceeding back into Alg I and then on into Alg 2 with both...Easy? NO! Math happens to be my subject or TERROR, so I really depend upon TT to teach...Essential~not for'd have to decide.  It's not that I think TT is deficient, it's just that since we're struggling I ALWAYS wonder if something might be better that I've not found YET...

4.  Computer~I'd have to say that my computer has helped us homeschool in tremendous ways~not only does it allow ME to do stuff, it allows my kids to do their papers online as well as computer DVD type of learning programs such as their foreign language studies (TELL ME MORE Japanese and Spanish which is loved!   BTW~the Tell Me More Japanese is my daughter's favorite!!)   I print a good deal of stuff for them also like notebooking pages and worksheets.

5.  Hold That Thought Notebooking CDs...I don't use this anymore, but it's a FAVE~and in finding the link HERE  I see they are holding a special if you purchase a cd and then blog about it~you get a free one! These are wonderful notebooking and timeline resources~hmmm...might need to "rethink" this one...

Okaaaayy I could go on and on~but my FAVES have stood long in my heart.  I do venture out with other things in these areas, but I keep coming back to these favorites!

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