Tuesday, December 16, 2008


I have come across some very good sites that offer extremely fun games for children and adults alike. When we are not formally schooling our children, we encourage a lot of play.Your family will have so much fun playing that TV watching will be seldom to none.www.lakeshorelearning.com (free catalog)I LOVE THIS STORE!!! They built one near my home and it has been history ever since. They also have free craft day every Saturday from 11am-3pm

www. mindware. com - brainy toys for children of all ages (free catalog)If you have young ones I highly recommend The Foundation of Mathematics pattern play blocks:)
www. lauritoys. com - We order from them all the time. They offer lots of lace ups and puzzles.(My children are playing with a few items in our homeschooling albumgreat early learning toys and durable! (free catalog)
Toys to grow on www. ttgo. com lots of toys for imaginative/ dramatic play (free catalog)
www. educationallearninggames. com GREAT GREAT SITE for homeschoolers! they games for all ages in every subject.
These sites have games and toys that stimulate the mind and bring the family together.~Bless~

Building An Inexpensive In Home Library

During our homeschooling journey, we have accumulated a lot of books. through out the years I have learned how to work with a strict budget designate funds for our homeschool. Here is a lest of some of the things we have done to build our library. **If you don't have the money of space for lots of books, the best resource is the FREE LIBRARY**

1.Purchase by current subject or study matter. ..
When we are gathering materials for a certain subject we also look for relevant literature that we can read to the children and they can in turn read themselves. You may also want to purchase an encyclopedia set for leisure or research.

2.Buy Used.
I purchased AFrican Ceremonies which is sold on amazon.com for $94 used for $15. The book was in great condition and I got it for a little more than half the price. Some books and DVDs can be costly, but don't be afraid to shop around for a cheaper price.

3. There's Nothing Wrong With a Good Garage Sale:)
You would be surprised at how many people sell books at bottom prices. I managed to purchase 5 National Geographic animal videos,magnetic words, preschool cassettes, and manipulatives for $15.

4. Designate An Area In the home
Whether you live in a large or small home, you can try to be creative in incorporating a space for a home library. You can purchase small 4 shelf bookcase up to a 6-7 shelf bookcase. You can even be more creative by purchasing a few slabs of wood from Home Depot or Lowes for a few dollars and some cinder blocks (they are about $2 each)

5.Out With the Old and In with the New
As your children get older, you may need to upgrade your collection so you may find your self selling some books older books t o make room for newer ones. You can even pass some along to others or make an exchange.
During the course of your homeschooling journey.you will use 100s of books, so incorporating a library in your home can be fun,educational and enlightening.

Creating Your Own Curriculum Part1 Literature/Reading/Vocabulary

Creating you own curriculum is not for everyone, but if you are looking for something new that the boxed curriculums are not offering, than this is a fun alternative. It takes some time, and inginuity to create your own curriculum, but the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages and what some may call an inconvenience. When creating your own curriculum, you can changes things around quite easily. If you find a resource that you like better than the one you are currently using,it can be esily implemented as opposed to having to conform to the order of a boxed curriculum.
Here is an example of how I have created a Cross curriulum for my daughter that works.
First we pick out the literature selections for the quarter. Our goal is to finish up to 6 books per quarter. Her vocabulary and spelling lessons are incorporated into the literature. By looking up the unknown words she encounters in her literature, she builds her vocabulary. shen then looks up the words in the dictionary and writes the deinitions. If she comes across a definition that is vague or complex, we explain the definition and she then writes in her her own words so that she can have a better understanding. Sometimes we may even look in the thesaurus for similar words and opposites.The words also become her spelling words for the week. Depending on how many chapters are in the book, we usually read 2-3 chapters per week. Her vocabulary words are also used for her spelling words in which we test her at the end of he week. She may spell them orally or write them down. Our children's curriculum is structured, but they are very proactive in what the learn. We allow them to add their own ideas and projects and this has been very succesful.
My daughter has a Readers Book Log (
www.lakeshorelearning.com) It has a book chart in the back that lets your child record the title of the book,the date they complete the book, and it also has a place where you can place a sticker on the kind of book it is. i.e. fiction, adventure, biography etc.


Check out www.planetcdrom.com for your educational software needs.They are very reasonable. I have checked the prices of some of the software they sell on other sites and you can't beat the prices.
Most of the software is free and all you pay is the shipping per software. I have ordered 12 cd's to date over the past year and I am very satisfied with the product, and shipping time.

Order... S&D is:
1 item $6.49 per item
2-5 items $5.99 per item
6 or more $5.49 per item

I look at it as the shipping price is the cost of the software.

I highly recommend Zane Publishing Series for 3 grade and up(depends on your childs level of understanding)they carry many subjects such as,art, geography, science, music, literature and many other subjects. *They have African American software titled:
Zane: Afr Amer His: A Cultural Heritage (African American History)
Zane: Struggle for Equal Rights (African American History)
Zane: Struggle for Freedom (African American History)
Zane: Leading Black Amer 1 (African American History)
Zane: Leading Black Amer 2 (African American History)

I personally like Zane publishing because they have multimedia software. You children can sit and listen to audio instruction with the reading. They can easily go back if they reach a section they don't understand. I like to sit and listen with my children:) Zane Science will teach the entire family. They are readable, easy to understand, and free:)

My first CD-ROM PRESCHOOL is excellent.
Dorling Kindersley is great for PreK-up
Speed Study
Kid Science
Kid Cad (my son's fav) you can actually build and design a house from the foundation to the furniture.
Peace Blessings Balance