A New Direction

I’m so excited to be taking over the reins of this blog. My name is Dawn Peluso and I was one of the folks that helped Diane with the Schoolin’ Swag Facebook page.  I’m a homeschooling mom of 3.  Our children are 11, 9, and 3.  We live in Eastern, NC and enjoy hiking, the beach, and spending time with family. We are active in our church and strive be a family that follows Jesus.

We use a variety of materials and methods in our home school and like to say our style is “Charlotte Mason Eclectic”.  In particular, we enjoy using lots of good books, nature study, hands-on history, cooking, and traveling to create a family culture of learning and growing.

Look for more posts over the next couple weeks with information about book reviews, fun home school ideas, and more.

My plan for the blog beginning in September is to have a weekly post about the history that we are studying that week (my husband and I are creating a hands on American history program for our kids and I will share that plan and the resources that we are using,  in case anyone else wants to join us on that journey), Product reviews, a monthly book review of a book for Moms, lots of guest posts from other homeschooling moms about what they are doing in their home schools and a variety of other content.  I’m very open to hearing from our readers about what you would like to see and making sure we are meeting those needs.

Grandparents and Gratitude

This week the review crew is sharing about grandparents and gratitude, in honor of Grandparents Day which was Sunday the 13th. I am so thankful that my children have two sets of grandparents in their lives and both are supportive of our homeschooling goals. I know that isn’t’ always the case.

In our homeschool, one of the ways the grandmothers bless us, is by coming up about a day a week and playing with the little children so that I can focus my attention on the older children. This time is a huge blessing.

Another way that our grandparents are blessing, is by sharing their talents and gifts and teaching various life skills. For example, my dad is an avid fishermen and all of my children have learned to fish from him. My mother-in-law loves to play board games and has spent many afternoons playing monopoly or cards with the children.

*Some of the links in my posts may be affiliate links see below for more information. *

Not only are we grateful for their involvement in our homeschool, but also just for the love that they pour out on our children and the ways in which they support each of them. It makes me so happy knowing that our children are so well loved.

If the grandparents in your children’s lives do not live close, are not physically able to be this involved, or maybe still have full time employment, there are many other ways they can be involved. I know of grandparents that read children’s books to their grandchildren via zoom or voice chat. Others that might spend a weekend day working in the garden together, doing puzzles, or whatever other hobby is of interest. If the grandparents are in a nursing home or assisted living, the children could bless them with visits and get the blessing of smiles and stories in return. Writing letters back and forth to grandparents that live far away can be a great way to support the relationship and practice those writing skills!

If for whatever reason, your children do not have grandparents in their lives, do not be afraid to reach out to folks in your church or neighborhood that can fill that void. It can be a blessing for everyone involved.

Are grandparents involved in your schooling? What are you grateful for today?

Resource Library and Affiliate Disclosure

When you sign up for the Schoolin’ Swag free resource library you will get a link and password to the library, we are adding to the library each month with new items. You will also get a bi-weekly newsletter email to keep you up to date on what we have going on.

Resource Library 

This post may contain affiliate or referral links, including Amazon affiliate links. As always I will never recommend a product that I don’t believe in and you will never be charged more for purchasing through our links. It does help pay for the costs associated with the blog.

Deals and Freebies

If you have not tried SchoolhouseTeachers.com, you don’t want to miss this sale!

IEW is offering some great free resources right now.

Evan-Moor History Pockets Ancient Egypt

Ancient history can feel overwhelming sometimes, but we think it is a lot of fun! We are just starting my daughter’s second round of Ancient history and my first grade son is joining her for his first time through history. In addition to our regular history curriculum, we have had the opportunity to review Evan-Moor History Pockets Ancient Egypt Evan-Moor History Pockets Ancient Egypt, which aims to make that sense of overwhelming associated with the study of ancient history, well history!

*Some of the links in my posts may be affiliate links see below for more information. *

Evan-Moor History Pockets Ancient Egypt is designed for grades 4-6 but I found it worked out well as an extra activity for my children to do together. My daughter is in 7th grade and my son is in first, so my daughter was able to lead the project and let the first grader help and learn as they worked through it.

This book contained the materials needed to make seven different history pockets related to different parts of Ancient Egyptian history. They included an introduction to Ancient Egypt, Daily Life, Government and Leaders, Religion, Architecture, Language, and Arts and Recreation.

I loved that the pockets could be used altogether for a full study of Egypt or they could stand alone if you wanted to focus on a particular area of interest.

The materials are laid out in such a way as to make it very easy for a student to understand what to do and to work independently, with a group of peers, or as in our case a sibling team. While my first grader would not have been able to do it independently because it is above grade level for him, my daughter was able to lead him and they could complete the activities without any additional assistance from me.

Another huge benefit for us was that each pocket contains the reading material needed to complete the activities. You don’t have to find extra books or resources for learning about the subject before you can complete the work.

Each pocket contains a variety of activities. There are short reading passages, pictures to color, cutting and pasting activities, timelines, pop-up crafts, and more included throughout the book. This was really helpful for keeping things fun and interesting, while still providing a great deal of information. One of my daughter’s favorite was the male and female cut-outs that they were able to dress in special occasion Egyptian clothes,much like a ‘paper dolls’ book.

Another benefit of these pockets is how versatile they are in terms of time. If you wanted to spend a few hours doing history one day you could complete an entire pocket. Or you can have a student complete one activity a day in 20-30 minutes. You could work your way straight through the book, completing each of the 7 pockets, or just pick and choose the activities you wanted to complete.

The books are available as print books that can be copied for students or as an e-book. Both are great options but we loved the e-book because I could just print what I needed as I needed it. It is set up with black and white pages, which makes it nice for those of us that do not have color printers. The pictures are designed so that the students can color them. Since we are homeschoolers and do not have regular access to a copier this was the easiest option for our family. This can be used individually or as a family.

Overall, we really enjoyed Evan-Moor History Pockets Ancient Egypt. We used it as a supplement to our regular history program, but you could use this series as a stand-alone history program (though I would probably supplement with some extra library books on the topics to go a bit deeper). In addition to the Ancient Egypt books, Evan-Moor has a variety of history pockets for grades 1-3 and 4-6. These cover a variety of history topics from ancient history through American history. You can purchase any of these books from Evan-Moor or Amazon.

Disclaimer:
I received a FREE copy of this product through from Evan Moor in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations.

Resource Library and Affiliate Disclosure

When you sign up for the Schoolin’ Swag free resource library you will get a link and password to the library, we are adding to the library each month with new items. You will also get a bi-weekly newsletter email to keep you up to date on what we have going on.

Resource Library

This post may contain affiliate or referral links, including Amazon affiliate links. As always I will never recommend a product that I don’t believe in and you will never be charged more for purchasing through our links. It does help pay for the costs associated with the blog.

Apples Unit Study Resources

 

Gala, Pink Lady, Fuji, Golden Delicious and so many more. There are hundreds of varieties of apples and so much to learn from studying them. As we approach fall, apples are a great snack and a great unit theme. This week the Review Crew is writing a variety of posts related to apples. I want to share some fun resources you can use to learn more about apples while also enjoy fun family times.

*Some of the links in my posts may be affiliate links see below for more information. *

While most people think of apples being something to study with preschool or early elementary students, I think there are ideas that can be used with all ages. I will spend more time on apples with my 6 and 2 year-olds, but still include the 12 and 14 year old in field trips and cooking activities.

There are so many books to read about apples. Some are non-fiction and teach about apples. Others are fiction books that feature apples with-in the story. I have included some of our favorites and the recommendations that some of my readers shared.

In addition to reading books about apples, I highly recommend involving all of your senses and cook something with apples. It can be as simple as slicing apples and dipping them in peanut butter, or for the more culinarily advanced homemade caramel sauce, or you can work with your children to bake an apple pie. This is a great chance to work on not culinary skills, but measuring, tasting, nutrition, and more.

If you have the opportunity, a field trip to an apple orchard is lots of fun. We have been to several and enjoy the opportunity to pick our own apples. Many orchards also have various tasty goodies made from apples and some have other entertainment such as hay rides, music, playgrounds, etc. This can be lots of fun for the whole family.

There are also many great art projects, STEM activities, and other fun activities for apples. I have includes a list below with activities for a variety of ages. I know we personally plan to use the apple chalk pastel lesson and the Lego project!

I hope some of these resources are helpful if you choose to study apples as we head into the fall season. I would love to have you share with us some of your favorite apple resources and recipes.

Apples Unit Study Resources

Apple Books

Apples A-Z

The Giving Tree

Autumn is for Apples

Apples

Diary of a Worm Teacher’s Pet (My son picked this one out at the library because it had an apple on the cover.)

Ten Apples Up on Top

Apples, Apples, Apples

How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World

Apple Recipes

Homemade Applesauce

Apple Pie

Apples w/ dip

Apple Cider

Caramel Apples or if you want super simple you can buy these caramel wraps for your apples instead of making caramel.

Apple Activities

Free Apple Chalk Pastel Lesson

Painting with Apples

40 Apple Activities for Kids

Apple Fractions

Lego Apples

Apple Field Trips

Apple Picking

Farmers Market

Resource Library and Affiliate Disclosure

When you sign up for the Schoolin’ Swag free resource library you will get a link and password to the library, we are adding to the library each month with new items. You will also get a bi-weekly newsletter email to keep you up to date on what we have going on.

Resource Library 

This post may contain affiliate or referral links, including Amazon affiliate links. As always I will never recommend a product that I don’t believe in and you will never be charged more for purchasing through our links. It does help pay for the costs associated with the blog.

Deals and Freebies

If you have not tried SchoolhouseTeachers.com, you don’t want to miss this sale!

IEW is offering some great free resources right now.

FREE Baby Yoda Art Lesson from Nana!

Hymn Study: Amazing Grace

“Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound…..” Those words come so easily to mind anytime I hear the music or even sometimes just as I sit and think about how thankful I am for that sweet amazing grace in my own life.  Written by John Newton in 1779, Amazing Grace is one of the most popular hymns in America.

 

*Some of the links in my posts may be affiliate links see below for more information. *

1 Amazing grace (how sweet the sound)
that saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found,
was blind, but now I see.
John Newton had a life that almost seems as if it was a work of fiction. He was pressed into the British Navy, sold to a slave ship, spent some time as a slave on a small island, and spent years working in the slave industry. He also survived a major storm on a ship and that is the night he called his turning point. The night he turned back to God. He had learned of God from his mother but he had not followed God since his mother died when he was a young child.
 
The story of his transformation from slave trader and party boy to preacher and hymn writer is fascinating and a beautiful testimony to God’s ‘Amazing Grace’. To me his life story helps to share how the words of the hymn are so much more than just words. God’s grace is available for each of us, not matter what we have done in the past.
 
My daughter learned to play Amazing Grace on her violin. Learning to play the hymn on whatever instrument your child plays can be a great way to really internalize the words and music. If your child does not already play an instrument, a simple and inexpensive way to start is a recorder.
 
 
 

As we learn about this song, I plan to spend some time discussing with my children about how we have seen God’s grace work and move in our lives and the lives of those around us. In a time when things are stressful and full of strife in the world, I think it is beneficial to remind ourselves of God’s goodness and provision in our lives.

In addition to our regular hymn study activities, I found this audio drama about the life of John Newton from Focus on the Family. We love their audio dramas and this one is included with Amazon Music (or available to purchase).

If you would like to add some art to your study this month, Nana is planning a wonderful art lesson to accompany this hymn. It will be available in the hymn study course with-in the You Are An Artist Clubhouse Membership. We always enjoy being able to add a bit of art to our study.

 

Hymn Study Resources:

Story Behind Amazing Grace

Amazing Grace Recorder Instructions

Printable Recorder Sheet Music

Amazing Grace: Aretha Franklin

Amazing Grace: Bagpipes and Mormon Tabernacle Choir

Amazing Grace: Elvis Presley

Amazing Grace: Harlem Gospel Choir

Amazing Grace: Andrea Bocelli

Amazing Grace: Bluegrass

Amazing Grace: Acapella

Download Your Freebies Below!

Hymn Study Fact Sheet

Resource Library and Affiliate Disclosure

When you sign up for the Schoolin’ Swag free resource library you will get a link and password to the library, we are adding to the library each month with new items. You will also get a bi-weekly newsletter email to keep you up to date on what we have going on.

Resource Library 

This post may contain affiliate or referral links, including Amazon affiliate links. As always I will never recommend a product that I don’t believe in and you will never be charged more for purchasing through our links. It does help pay for the costs associated with the blog.

Deals and Freebies

If you have not tried SchoolhouseTeachers.com, you don’t want to miss this sale!

IEW is offering some great free resources right now.

FREE Baby Yoda Art Lesson from Nana!

Illustrated Would You Rather Book (Free on Kindle)

Pens and Pencils (and other Writing Utensils): My Favorites of These Basics

Pens and pencils may be some of the most basic of school supplies. They are found in almost every home in the country, rolling around the floor of your car, cluttering up your desk, most people don’t think about them. However, sometimes having the right ones can make a big difference.

*Some of the links in my posts may be affiliate links see below for more information. *

Pencils seem to be a great source of mystery in our home. I buy new ones at the beginning of each school year and somehow they vanish. Does that happen in your home? I have decided they must run away with the missing socks and plastic lids. I could buy any variety of pencils and certainly most of them will write just fine. However, we have found that Ticondaroga pencils hold up really well to being sharpened, don’t tend to break as easily and write very smoothly. They can be a bit more expensive but if you grab them at an office supply store or on Amazon during the back to school sales they can still be very reasonably priced. They even offer them pre-sharpened, much to the satisfaction of my husband whole routinely reaches for a pencil only to find it has never been sharpened

Pens and Pencils Pinterest

I have a confession to make about color pencils. Each year I buy my children new color pencils because inevitably some of them have been lost during the year. I buy the Crayola ones when they are on sale for less than a $1 a pack. They color much better than the cheaper off brands. However, for myself, I splurged a couple of years ago to get better color pencils. Since I don’t tend to lose mine I didn’t feel as bad about spending more money. These also work much better than even the Crayola for coloring and drawing in my coloring Bible. The smaller size of the Colore pencils that I purchased are out of stock right now but this larger size is a great price for quality color pencils. I have been using them for about three years now and they are still doing great.

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Finally, I need to tell you about these chalk pastel pencils. My children love doing chalk pastel lessons with Nana at You Are an Artist. However, my oldest son really did not like the chalk dust and mess that chalk pastels can sometimes create. These chalk pastel pencils were the perfect solution. They allowed him to do the lessons and blend the colors like a pastel but without the mess.  They don’t blend quite as well as regular pastels but for him the trade off is worth it!

Do you like to start your new school year with new pencils or pens? Do you pick up whatever is on sale or do you have a favorite that you enjoy? I would love to hear what writing utensils you like to buy for your homeschool so be sure to share in the comments. Also, check out all of the other posts about pencils and pens this week from the Review Crew.

This post may contain affiliate or referral links, including Amazon affiliate links. As always I will never recommend a product that I don’t believe in and you will never be charged more for purchasing through our links. It does help pay for the costs associated with the blog.

Deals and Freebies

Free Makeover Your Morning 5 Day Challenge! This is a great way to help re-focus and get your day off on the right foot.

All of Evan Moor’s Daily Practice titles are on sale 20% off!

Free Help Your Child’s Memory Book from All About Learning Press!

 

Reading Eggs Online Subscription Review

Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.

 

We were recently given the opportunity to review a 1 year subscription to Reading Eggs from Blake eLearning Inc. I had used the program in the past and was excited to try it out with my six-year-old that was just starting to learn his letters and sounds.

Reading Eggs is a fun online program that teaches phonics and later comprehension skills. The student takes a placement test, and then can begin lessons based on their level. By completing the lessons, they earn eggs which they can use to purchase things to decorate your online house and character. Those eggs were very motivational for my son. He loved to be able to purchase all of the accessories. Each month there is a new theme and they offer accessories specific to that theme in addition to the regularly available items. The monthly themes were fun and added an additional incentive to earn the eggs before the theme changed. The theme for this month was outer space, so there were rockets, space suits, etc.  In addition to the accessories and such, you can use your eggs to get extra games.

reading eggs 2

When the student logs into reading eggs, they go to their map and see what progress they have made through the lessons. Then they can click on the lesson that they need to complete. Each lesson contains multiple activities that they complete and earn eggs.  Once they have completed all ten of the lessons on that particular map, they take a quiz to make sure they have mastered that material before they move on.

reading eggs 1

One section that was new to me was the Fast Phonics. This new component is available both on the computer and as a phone app.  This section was great for my son as it focused on reinforcing the letter sounds which was an area we were working on. He loved the playing the app and enjoyed the characters and games. I did notice that there were a few sections that I felt were confusing for new readers. For example, he was being given three letter combinations and had to sound them out to determine if they made a word. So he might see C A T and mark that it was a word. However, he had P A S and they even sounded it out pass, but then it was not a word. While I know that pass has an additional s that was very confusing for someone that was just learning to sound out basic three letter words.  However, overall I felt the benefits outweighed this challenge.

In addition to the regular reading eggs program, they also offer Reading Eggs Junior which is designed for students ages 2-4 and includes opportunities for the students to listen to books being read aloud, watch videos about the letters, and complete simple activities.  For older children, ages  7-13, they have Reading Eggspress. This program works on reading longer sections and comprehension. They also offer a math component, Math Seeds, which is set up similarly to Reading Eggs but focusing on math skills instead of phonics.

reading eggs pinterest

Overall, I felt like Reading Eggs was a great addition to our homeschool and we plan to continue to use it throughout this year. The program reinforced the skills he was learning in our phonics program and also taught him new skills. For my son he went from only knowing some of his letters and a handful of letter sounds, to learning how to sound out short words and knowing most of his letter sounds in about a month.

I highly encourage you to click on the graphic below to see what the other reviewers thought and how they put this program to work! Reviewers used this with students from a variety of ages and were able to experience different components of the program.

Reading Eggs Subscription {Blake eLearning Inc Reviews}

Our 2020 Homeschool Goals

I enjoy setting goals and planning, but if I am being honest, I really have not taken the time to do as much goal setting as I normally would for a new school year. Everything has felt so up in the air since March that I haven’t really felt like I had everything together. However, with the Review Crew talking about goals this week, I thought it would be good to at least set some general goals for our homeschool year.

*Some of the links in my posts may be affiliate links see below for more information. *

As I sat down to think, the first thing that came to mind was having more consistency with my first grader. As a young child he learns so much through play and day to day life, but I also feel that he has reached a point where he needs some consistent focused academic time each day as well. It is easy for him to get pushed to the back burner by the demands of my older children, but I plan to work hard to make sure he has some consistent academic attention this year.

2020 goals pinterest

Strengthening our family relationships was the second goal that came to mind. In many ways we already have strong family relationships, but I want to continue to build on those. The children struggle with competing with one another and bickering about chores and such. We want to continue to work and grow in those areas. One of the ways that we work on those relationships are through shared read alouds and morning time where they are learning together. I also want to be sure I make time for family games and activities.  I have noticed that my oldest two are really bonding over their shared interest in music and I want to make sure I encourage them and give them time to practice together.

Finally, my oldest is starting his first year of high school this year. It feels like just yesterday that he in first grade and we were just starting this homeschool journey.  As we finish his homeschool journey over the next four years my biggest goals for him are to help him strengthen his faith and understanding, to give him a solid foundation and worldview, and to make sure he is prepared for adulthood. He is a christian and is well on his way to being prepared, but my husband and I want to make sure we are making a conscious effort to help he be prepared for whatever the world may throw at him. To this end we are involving him in more conversations politically, having him take an apologetics course, and overall just making sure that we are giving him the tools he needs to be a christian and a productive citizen in a fallen world.

Over the next few weeks I will be discussing goals with my children. They will set personal goals for academics as we as other areas of their lives such as physical fitness and spiritual growth. The goals that I created for our homeschool and their personal goals will help guide our year. Do you make goals for your homeschool?

Make sure to hop on over and check out all of the other fun posts here.

This post may contain affiliate or referral links, including Amazon affiliate links. As always I will never recommend a product that I don’t believe in and you will never be charged more for purchasing through our links. It does help pay for the costs associated with the blog.

Deals and Freebies

TODAY is the LAST Day for this great Gardening Bundle Sale!!

SchoolhouseTeachers.com is doing an amazing sale this month! Buy One year get One Year FREE! We use this for several of our courses and one price covers all the students in your home for as many of their over 400 courses and you would like to use.

Free Makeover Your Morning 5 Day Challenge! This is a great way to help re-focus and get your day off on the right foot.

August 31st is the LAST day to sign up for the Journey Homeschool Academy Science Courses! If you want more information click on the link above or check out Journey Homeschool Academy High School Biology Review

Starting August 31st all of Evan Moor’s Daily Practice titles will be on sale 20% off!

Free Help Your Child’s Memory Book from All About Learning Press!

 

ThemeVille Math Review

Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.

My son and I have had a chance to review ThemeVille Math Grade 1 over the last month or so. This program is set up as a workbook based program that can be completed without additional resources. However, there are options for manipulatives as well as some video based instruction as needed.

First, this program is based on the common core standards. I know there are families that like using those standards and others that do not. We personally, do not try to adhere to common core standards but do not necessarily oppose using programs that are based on those standards.  I have found that for our family, the biggest drawback is the emphasis on doing things using multiple specific methods. However, when my children have mastered a concept, we just move on to the next concept and have no problems skipping over additional methods if we do not feel they are beneficial.

themeVille Math Pinterest

While it varied a little depending on the types of problems, most lessons were one page front and back. There were plenty of problems for mastery but not an overwhelming amount of problems. Each day also included a page front and back of review questions. I like that there is review throughout the book, but personally would choose only part of the review problems rather than a full page each day in addition to a new lesson. There were ten tests throughout the book to check for mastery and retention.

The lessons start by reviewing the numbers 1-10 and then basic addition and subtraction. Then it builds up to the point that a student would be comfortable with numbers 1-100 by the end of the book. Also, included were ordinal numbers, measuring lines, and counting money.

As you go through the lessons they also incorporate word problems. This is a great way to help students understand real life application for their math. Since my son is still a very beginning reader, this did mean that I needed to be sitting with him to read each problem on the days that there were word problems.

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The book was done in black and white, with the only color being on the cover. Whether this is a good thing or a bad thing really depends on the child. For some children, extra color and pictures can be a distraction and this simple black and white style can help them with their focus. Other students are more interested and engaged when there are colorful graphics.

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Overall, I found ThemeVille Math was a solid math program that covered the content well. It is a great option for families that would like to use the common core standards or for those children that do best when they learn a skill in several different ways. The workbook was well laid out and easy to follow and there was an answer key available (while I did not need this for first grade, it does make things much simpler as the math gets more complicated. )

I highly encourage you to click on the graphic below and see what our other Review Crew members thought about ThemeVille Math. The Crew reviewed a variety of grade levels so you can get a feel for how it works at other grade levels.

Grade 1 to 4 ThemeVille Math (ThemeVille Math Reviews)

Homeschool Easy Full Curriculum Review

Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.



With so many folks new to homeschooling this year and looking for an open and go curriculum option, I was excited to take the opportunity to review 1st Grade Entire School Year Curriculum by Homeschool Easy

The 1st Grade Entire School Year Curriculum included reading, grammar, math, history, science, and writing all in one program.  The program is downloadable and was well organized with each subject being in a folder and then the necessary PDFs with-in each folder were labeled by week. This makes it very easy to open what you need and print out each week’s materials. There was also a short 2-page PDF that walks you through how to use the program.

There are two components to the reading program. The first is a book that you would read each week for comprehension with questions about that book. The books are available online and linked through the PDFs so you do not have to purchase additional materials. The second component focuses on learning how to read with sight words and phonetic lists.  Each week there is a new set of words with flash cards and worksheets to work on daily that relates to that new set of words.

homeschool easy 3

History and Science are both set-up with a series of worksheets and art projects. Several times a week there is an accompanying YouTube video or other similar free resource with more information on the topic. The science lessons had more videos (almost daily) and I felt like those lessons went more in-depth than the history.  While it would vary some, most days the history component would take about 5-10 minutes to complete and science about 15-20 minutes.

For writing, each day the child has a simple grammar worksheet to complete and there are two writing prompts for each week. Each week focuses on a new skill such as nouns, contractions, or combining sentences. The writing prompt worksheets provide lines for the students to complete the prompt on the worksheet.

homeschool easy 4

The math component includes a worksheet or two for each day. Each worksheet provides an example and explanation at the top and then problems for the student to solve.  There is an answer key provided with answers as well as links to YouTube videos that explain the concepts for each week.

Overall, I found Homeschool Easy to be a great option for a parent that is looking for an all-in-one print and go curriculum. It included reasonably short lessons that are easy to implement and cover all of the basic subjects for a first grader. Our family would want to go deeper with the history component, but we could use this as a guide and find additional books and documentaries to go more in-depth. I think this program is a great option for parents that want something that is all inclusive and open and go and takes a minimal amount of planning time. It would make a great basis for a new homeschooling family.

I highly encourage you to click on the graphic below to see what the other reviewers thought and how they put this program to work! Reviews reviewed grades 1-5 so you can check out specifics for the grade level you are interested in.

Homeschool Curriculum for Grades 1 to 5 {Homeschool Easy Reviews}

How Do I Teach…. What I Don’t Know Back to School Blog Hop

One of the most common questions that I am asked by those that are interested in homeschooling is, “How do I teach what I don’t know?”  Most of us feel fairly comfortable with most elementary school subjects, but we may have concerns about high school (Algebra anyone?) or elective subjects such as music and art.  There are several solutions to this problem, but the real answer lies in the fact that while homeschool moms do spend time teaching, their overall job is more of a facilitator. This is especially true as students get older.

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When my children were in the early elementary grades, I personally taught them almost everything I wanted them to learn. However, as they have gotten older there have been subjects that I did not know how to teach them. This did not mean we needed to give up homeschooling or that they would be unable to learn. This meant that I needed to find a curriculum we could use to learn together, teach them to learn and research independently, or out source the subject. Over the years we have done a combination of all of these to help them learn.

First, there are many wonderful curriculums that can help you teach areas that you do not know well. Even though I felt competent to teach elementary science and history, I found I learned a great deal right along with my children as we went through those subjects. Many parents worry about teaching phonics when their children are young, but there are many great programs that will walk you through the process including our favorite, All About Reading.

As an adult, I believe that we should always be learning.  I learn by reading, watching documentaries, doing research, and talking to other people. As my children got older, I started teaching them how to use those same techniques to learn about their areas of interest. When my oldest wanted to learn about gardening, he started doing research and talking to our experts over at the cooperative extension.  When my daughter wanted to learn about weaving, she read a book, watched several videos, and talked to a good friend that was a weaver.  This is a great way to encourage their interests without mom having to know everything.

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Finally, sometimes you just need to outsource. This may mean an in person course with a local co-op, an online course, a tutor, or private lessons. For several years now we have been outsourcing both music and art. My children adore their music lessons from Practice Monkeys with three of them taking violin lessons and my daughter also taking piano. My son is even considering adding their new guitar lessons in the fall.  I cannot play an instruments would have been unable to teach these skills, but this has not stopped my children from enjoying the blessings of music lessons.  We also love our art lessons from Nana at You Are An Artist . These fun chalk pastel and acrylic lessons have allowed my children to learn about various techniques in a fun way all from the comfort of our home.

As my children have gotten older, we have begun outsourcing some of their core subjects via video instruction. Many of these are subjects that I was proficient in during my high school and college years, but much of that knowledge was forgotten over time.  For example, this year my son is going to take a video based geometry course from SchoolhouseTeachers.com as well as a video based Ancient History course.  He is also going to use Journey Homeschool Academy for biology.

No one knows everything there is to know about every topic, but that should not deter you from homeschooling. There are so many great options that will help you lead and facilitate your children’s education. If you are already homeschooling, what resources do you use with topics that you don’t know?

Annual NOT Back to School Blog Hop 2020This post may contain affiliate or referral links, including Amazon affiliate links. As always I will never recommend a product that I don’t believe in and you will never be charged more for purchasing through our links. It does help pay for the costs associated with the blog.

Deals and Freebies

SchoolhouseTeachers.com is doing an amazing sale this month! Buy One year get One Year FREE! We use this for several of our courses and one price covers all the students in your home for as many of their over 400 courses and you would like to use.

Free Makeover Your Morning 5 Day Challenge! This is a great way to help re-focus and get your day off on the right foot.

Harry The Happy Mouse (Free on Kindle)

Illustrated Would You Rather Book (Free on Kindle)

Enrichment Studies has a great free fine arts memory match game this month!

Free Help Your Child’s Memory Book from All About Learning Press!