Tuesday, September 30, 2008

It truly is amazing....

... how many homeschooling resources are out there for free on the web.

I'm sure most of you who homeschool know all of this already... but I'm a little slow :-)

I mentioned in a previous post my love of Librivox.org and kiddierecords.com. But I'm discovering new things almost daily.

Today I decided that although I had dropped Sequential Spelling for Clara, it wouldn't hurt to be working on a low key, basic spelling program with her. Hmmm... basic....
McGuffey's Eclectic Spelling Book
That's pretty basic, right? So, I went to Amazon and looked at it and even put it in my cart (for later)... but the instant gratification part of me took over and I decided to look for it on the Project Gutenberg website. Sure enough... there it was! I looked it over online and then downloaded the pdf file (which includes scans of the original book). I printed out the first lesson and hope to start using it next week. If you know me.... you know I LOVE books... so if this goes well, I will probably end up buying the book (I've requested it from the library too just because I can).

I also downloaded the McGuffey's First Eclectic Reader as well. I thought I might use that for daily reading aloud for Clara. She reads so much better than Alex did in first grade that I tend to let her read as much as she wants on her own. This reader includes short little passages that she can read aloud, that would help me keep an eye on her actual reading ability without slowing her down by having her read too much to me.

My next favorite free thing is the Dover Publications weekly free samples. Once you're signed up for their email list, you'll get an email each Friday with new sample pages to print. When I first signed up for the samples we were following the Galloping the Globe book. I knew what countries we were going to be covering and as samples came up that pertained to those countries, I would print two copies and add them the folders I had set up. I then discovered that my children are not really big fans of coloring books and coloring pages. They'll do them if there's nothing else really to do, but they rarely, if ever, want to do them at home. So, I stopped even opening the samples for a while.

Lately, I've started again. I'm much pickier about what I print now though. I print samples from their famous artists books on art paper so they can paint or color them as part of an artist study. I've been printing samples from their famous ballets books for Clara. The one I printed today was a HUGE hit. They had samples from their Mandala Stained Glass Pattern Book. I printed them on cardstock and handed them to them with all of our colored pencils to use while I read from The Secret Garden. Usually Alex does fine, but Clara gets antsy when we do read alouds. Today they both happily worked on their Mandalas while I read FOUR chapters aloud. And, much to my surprise, they were retaining so much more of the story this time. They laughed when things were funny, they looked wide-eyed and shocked at the appropriate times.... they discussed the book in great detail on our bus ride to Alex's rehearsal tonight. It's very intriguing to me how that all works.

They both took their mandala coloring sheets to their rooms with them tonight to work on in bed. I'll have to take photos of them when they're finished.... they're looking fabulous so far.

A site that I've added to my bloglines subscriptions is Homeschool Freebie of the Day. So far I've done much more downloading than actual using of anything from there.... but maybe some day I will! :-)

Okay... there's more, I'm sure of it.... but I've rambled enough for tonight and I'm heading to the couch!

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