Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Way We Roll

The Big Picture
Ambleside Online is the basis for the approach, format and structure I will be using this year. If you are a fan of Charlotte Mason, it is an absolutely incredible resource, with a wealth of helpful information and an incredible support base of people who are willing to help--all for free.

Other resources I am/will be using include:

Math
- Our main curriculum, Math Mammoth, downloaded in a PDF
- The best game I've found to teach or review basic multiplication facts, Timez Attack (we are just using the free download and LOVE it)

Penmanship
- For Elliana, third grade: An Elegant Floral Alphabet, downloaded in a PDF (this item has been revised and now includes 64 pages of activities)
- For Nathaniel, sixth grade: Great Quotes From U.S. Presidents, downloaded in a PDF
- Additional custom copywork and penmanship practice will be created using the School Script Dashed font, available for free download. Note: By using the back-slash key instead of the space bar between words, you can create seamless lines for your text, as well as create empty lines for students to practice in. Size can be adjusted just like any font.

Extra Science
- Lots of excellent resources at Supercharged Science for free, plus things to purchase, of course
- Earth Sky Kids
- Reasons to Believe, for when my son's questions go way beyond my own knowledge base
- Home Science Tools has a huge list of experiments to try at home for a variety of ages, plus everything you could possibly need to purchase for science education, and they happen to be located in Montana
- Silly, but educational science songs from Singing Science

Keyboarding Instruction
- Dance Mat Typing, available free online from the BBC, is comprehensive, funny and cute--and did I mention FREE?

P.E.
- The Presidential Physical Fitness Program is an ideal option for education at home, as the whole family can be involved at their own level. An online tracking system will chart everyone's progress. We will start this year with just the Active Lifestyle program and hopefully advance to the Bronze, Silver and Gold levels.

Spanish
We will only be focusing on learning and practicing useful words, phrases and sentences orally this year, without worrying about any written language at all.
- There are some good phrases to learn at Linguanaut
- More phrases and essential vocabulary can be found at Indo-European Language Tutorials
- And a whole boat load more at Tiscali
Some of these sites, and the sites they link to feature Spanish from Spain, as opposed to Latin American Spanish, so some caution should be used, if you have a preference.

Literature
Our curriculum will be heavy on literature.
- 91 Ways to Respond to Literature provides just what its name implies. It will help keep things fresh and exciting.
- So many old classics are now in the public domain and are available for reading on-line, printing out, or even in audio book format. There are lots of resources out there for this, but the best place to start is with the Gutenberg Project.

Games
-Easy Fun School (great name) has a huge collection of fun and educational games on a wide variety of topics. Some of them are really quite good.

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