Sunday, June 9, 2013

My Favorite Things (Curriculum)

This is actually one of my favorite parts of homeschooling (although I admit that sometimes it stresses me out)! I love it when my giant Rainbow Resource catalog arrives in the mail!

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It is a great resource with SO many choices! But I also appreciate their reviews and commentary on the items.

I also love Christian Book Distributors (also has good reviews), Timberdoodle and Home Science Tools for ordering curriculum. But my favorite place has to be Exodus Books in Milwaukie, OR! They have super speedy shipping, give helpful advice and reviews, sell used curriculum and have a store where I can actually touch and see the stuff before I buy!

I just finished placing my order for this year’s curriculum but it felt a bit strange to be ordering just for one. Beginning in the fall our two oldest will be attending the local community college for their final two years of high school. So now it will be just me and Will…

Thinking about the changes this year in our home school got me to thinking about all the curriculums I have tried, used and loved (or not loved) over the years. And I decided to share some of my favorites with you…

Teaching Textbooks: Oh how I wish I had known about this years ago! We just started it this past year (with Algebra II and Pre-Algebra) but what a difference it made! I highly recommend this to anyone, but especially to those who struggle or have fallen behind in math. It works at a bit slower pace and makes great use of review without being overwhelming and tedious. It is a bit expensive but is totally worth it!

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Switched On Schoolhouse: I know this gets a really bum rap from most people. But we used this from 3rd to 8th grade with all three of our boys. It was a complete curriculum that covered all the bases and at the time it was what we needed. Not the most dynamic or exciting but it did the job and the boys always did well on their standardized testing at the end of the year. A bit spendy but it was for everything and all three boys used it.

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Pathway Readers: I absolutely LOVED these simple little black and white Amish readers and workbooks! I actually had all of them even though we only used them until about 3rd grade or so. But my middle son read so well that he completed the 8th grade reader in 3rd grade. I just fell in love with the stories and characters in them! I still remember cringing when we read about the little girl sewing through her finger on the treadle machine! They are super affordable and worked perfectly for teaching all my kids to read and basic language arts skills. I recommend these more than any other curriculum I ever used!

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Friendly Chemistry: My friend Donna found this curriculum our boys’ first year of high school and I am so glad she did. It was a super way to introduce chemistry! It worked at a good pace, was fun and easy even for me and got both of my boys interested in chemistry. It also includes a game to aid in learning, flashcards and easy to do labs.

My husband uses this in his on-line chemistry class that he teaches, too!

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10 Days In… Game: When I realized we were sorely lacking in the geography portion of our homeschool, I picked up these games. There is one for Europe, America, Africa, Asia and the US. It is a really fun game that is quick to play and simple to learn. In fact your kids will have so much fun they’ll probably forget that they are learning geography! Even my 14, 16 and 18 year olds like to play it with their dear old mom!

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Easy Grammar: This is another one that I often hear is boring and dull but it certainly does the job. And let’s face it, grammar is just boring! ;o) Many of my boys’ friends struggled on the grammar portion of the college placement test for Running Start. Knowing it could be a struggle for my boys as well, I did a bit of research on how to teach them everything they should know about grammar FAST! Easy Grammar Plus was just what we were looking for. Without even completing the entire book, they both passed the test with flying colors! I probably should have started grammar earlier… LOL

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I can’t wait to get our big box of stuff for this year! And hopefully I will be adding to my list of favorites soon!!!

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