Friday, January 22, 2016

Homeschooling and Finance

When it comes to homeschooling,there are no grants are funding available to finance your individual independent homeschool. You are a separate entity from the state and thus responsible for your own monetary needs. There are nonprofit groups that provide assistance to homeschoolers that have experienced hardship i.e. natural disaster etc.  and there are also non profit ministries that donate used curriculum for those who are experiencing hardship. 

When it comes to homeschooling, you are going to spend time and money. If you are looking for a low cost way to homeschool then you are going to spend a good amount of time looking for free resources that tie into your children's course of study. The library is an invaluable free resource. You can also tap into your community and see what they have that's fee or low cost. The internet is a treasure trove full of free resources. You can spend money printing out what you need or you can go tech and utilize things like ipads or tablets and have your children working interactively through those mediums.

You may also spend money on ready made curriculum whether it be a complete boxed curriculum encompassing all of the subjects (expensive) or putting together resources from various publishers. There are tons of ready made ready resources online you can use that are free, low cost and can be expensive depending on your needs and or wants. 

If you are on a tight budget you can set up a system to save up for the resources you desire to purchase without feeling like you are struggling or pulling money from your home. We utilize an envelope system for large curriculum purchases. During the spring (March/April), I start researching and looking at what I want to use for the following year. After tallying up my total, I divide that number up into weeks. If my total is $500 and I have 24 weeks before our new cycle begins then I add at least $20 to my homeschool fund every week. By the time its time for me to start shopping, then I have what I need and I don't feel like I'm breaking the bank. 
If you plan on independently homeschooling your children, don't spend too much time worrying about what you can't spend and focus on maximizing what you can spend. 

Monday, May 5, 2014

Almost done!

We are more than half way through this school year and getting ready to start shopping for next year's curriculum.  It has definitely been a long year. We've had some successes, failures and discoveries but have come out victorious thus far. My 13 year old will be taking 8th and 9th grade classes so this will definitely be interesting. I will be keeping official records for her in order to build her transcript. I am so glad I picked up Setting the Records Straight How to Craft Homeschool Transcripts and Course Descriptions for College Admission and Scholarships  by Lee Binz. She really gets into the meat and potatoes of the whole process.   My 9 and 10 year old will both be in 5th grade next year with the exception of a few subjects. My 7 year old is already working at a 2nd grade level so by the time I begin purchasing curriculum , I will have to assess her to see what level she is working in. My 5 year old is still working at a kindergarten level. and will probably still be doing so for the first half of next year. We are still focusing on language development which I will go into in another post. My 1 1/2 year is absorbing everything like a little sponge and is already counting to 10, and can identify primary and some secondary colors.
                               My major focus for the following year will be writing and the sciences. I am still debating on what science curriculum to use. I have been using the Janice VanCleave science series but I think we are ready for something different. I am also looking for something that is already put together. I am finding that I have less time to piece things together. I'd much rather invest in a well made curriculum. I  have been eyeing Real Science 4 Kids for a few years. I like how they introduce scientific concepts that would generally be designated for the higher grades in the elementary level.  It spans from grades k-12 with textual and online support.  I will be searching extensively and look forward to sharing our final decisions.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Mandala Matching Activity

Visual discrimination is an important skill for reading and math skills. Children use visual discrimination to distinguish letters and numbers apart from each other. I created this activity for my younger children to help sharpen their ability to pay attention to detail. I created a set in color and in black and white for more of a challenge. You can download the sets below.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Apples Matching Activity

This set can be use to teach the following:
  • color recognition
  • color words
  • number recognition
  • number words
  • quantity
  • number order
  • visual discrimination
  • matching

I created these to introduce numbers 1-10 and basic primary & secondary colors. I may create a set for numbers 11-20 in the future. You can print out this set by clicking on the link below. I recommend laminating or printing on cardstock for durability.  Feel free to print for your personal or class room use. All content is copyright protected. Do not sell or redistribute. 

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Busy Bag Counting Activity

My soon to be 5 year old was struggling with number recognition and counting but as of lately he has improved a great deal. I find that he responds well to tactile activity and I'm always looking for fun ways to connect him to the lessons. During my last trip to the Dollar Tree, I found these paper pockets. You usually find these in the backs of library books or in scrapbooking projects. So I whipped up a quick counting activity by writing numbers on the fronts of the pockets and drawing dots on large craft sticks. He can match the sticks with the pockets and he can also line up the sticks from 1-10.  He'll be able to visually see the quantity of dots  increase on the sticks as he lines them up. 
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