"Your greatest contribution to the Kingdom of God may not be something you do, but someone you raise." ~Andy Stanley

June 10, 2008

A few of our favorite (homeschooling) things

Here are some of our favorites no particular order:

~I have to start by saying that unit studies are my all time favorite thing!!! I used to make up my own and that was the most fun I've ever had homeschooling. You can't beat studying things your kiddos already get excited about.

~The Little Britches series
One of our favorite read-alouds.

~The Incredible Machine on c.d. rom
Great fun plus its perfect for a unit on simple machines. And don't ya know boys love the chance to do chain reactions that lead to explosions! Yes they do! ; )

~How to Win Friends and Influence People on audio cassette
Whenever I saw this book advertised, I thought it was for salesmen or something. : )
Then our pastor said it was required reading for his children and I had to get it!
Strangely enough, two of our boys will tell you that this is one of their very favorite books on tape!!! Its such a good reminder of the practical ways to 'love our neighbor' and get out of ourselves. Great historical stories that are really enjoyable. We've listened to it twice so far and I think we may do it once a year.

~The Chronicles of Narnia
Our all time favorite read-alouds. We also enjoyed using Roar: A Christian Family's Guide to the Chronicles of Narnia. Right now, we are enjoying Narnia all over again with Focus on the Family's Radio Theater productions of the series. Awesome sound effects and voices! Great fun being loaned to us from a dear friend in JBQ.

~Freckles and the sequel Girl of the Limberlost
Sweet stories. We listened to these on tape. I confess that these weren't my kids favorites but they were one of mine! : )

~The Classical Kids music series on c.d.
My sister in law blessed us with these one Christmas and they kicked off a fun unit that we did on famous composers. These c.d.s are a great way to get to "know" the composers and their music. The series includes these titles:
Mr. Bach Comes to Call
Tchaikovsky Discovers America
Vivaldi's Ring of Mystery
Mozart's Magic Fantasy
Beethoven Lives Upstairs
(We didn't enjoy Vivaldi and Mozart's as well as the others)

~Beethoven's Wig on c.d.
We discovered this fun music c.d. during that study of the composers. It's a great learning tool. One side is famous pieces and the other side has the pieces with silly lyrics added to them that tell who the composer was and something silly that will help you remember that. Now my kiddos know their famous composers and some goofy lyrics to boot. I recently purchased it, not because we are still studying composers but because its so much fun to listen to. (we didn't think the 2nd c.d. was as good as the first)

~Monet and the Impressionists for Kids: Their Lives and Ideas, 21 Activities Great book for a unit on famous artists! It made their techniques come alive and the kids loving trying them. We were drawing willow trees reflected in a near by pond and floating construction paper lily pads in our bathtub. ; )

Those are all that are coming to mind right now. I'd love to hear some of yours if you want to leave a comment or a link!



Becky said...

When I was homeschooling, many years ago, we made up some of our own units too. In fact, I did that the entire first year because I wanted to make sure I was committed before spending money on "real" curriculum.

We loved a whole series we did on Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House books. My boys were young, 1st and 3rd grade, when we started homeschooling and we did our reading, spelling, english, history, geography and even scinece around those books the first semester of school.

It was so much fun, and when I cleaned out all our homeschool stuff years later and went through it all, I realized that was our best year of learning. And I had the most fun doing it.

I love some of your ideas. Especially the composers and artists. What a great way to learn about them.

Jamie said...

We need to get together and talk about "unit studies." I want to get "in" on the fun stuff!! Let's get together this summer!!

Yvonne said...

We liked How to Win Friends and Influence People too. Matthew read it this year, Andrew's reading it now. : )

Unit studies are the best. Like you, when I look back, I realize that those are our favorite years. I'm letting Sam make up his own unit studies in the coming year.

I've always loved the way you homeschool Becky. You became a hero of sorts when you studied artists. I can't wait until Grace gets to that point. I plan to do something very similar.

I meant to say that I love the color scheme of your blog too. ; )