Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Hepworth Home School Resources

Background Image Credit: Curis Perry on flikr, Edited with text boxes over picture
Now that you know a little bit about why we are homeschooling, and my personal approach to education, here is a list of resources I have found. Many of these are resources I currently use, many will be incorporated more as my children get older. Check them out and research them for yourself! I don’t know if they will be the right fit for your family, but hopefully this list of resources can give you some ideas and material with which to begin your search.

*Full disclosure: This blog post contains affiliate links. Feel free to buy from them if you want to tip me for my recommendations, or search around for an even better deal! It doesn’t matter to me what you choose, just that you know!*

General Home School Resources:
This book is a true gem. It reviews subject materials by age as well as covers what is developmentally appropriate by age. I highly recommend it.
This is a great set for parents interested in the TJEd approach. What is that approach? Start here to find out more. I got their whole set of books for cheap on a deal a couple years ago.
  • "The Parent Teacher Handbook" By: Joel and by Marilyn Skousen
If you want the whole 41 page document, you can email Joel for it. It costs $10, It was very helpful to me in recognizing what my true goals are for educating my children, it suggests resources, and very helpfully, outlined principles of education with which I whole-heartedly agreed.
  • Thomas Jefferson Education (TJEd) facebook group
  • LDS Mothers: Holistic Home Education facebook group
  • Free Range Learning facebook Page
Purchasing Resources:
Reference Books:
  • The Story of the World Vol.1, 2, 3, 4 (Make sure to get the Revised Volumes 1 and 2) By Susan Bauer
These books teach world history in a story format. It is all broken up into 2-4 page increments.
  • The Story of the World Activity Books Vol. 1, 2, 3, 4
I think these activity books are a really important part of the Story of the World set. They ask questions about the reading to help improve comprehension, they give narrations of what was read so the student(s) can practice speaking clearly, they also have suggested activities and further reading resources. This set is very versatile and adaptable for kids as young as pre-school age to middle school age. It is a great "family school" option for history. My kids love the coloring pages that go along with the readings we do.
  • Puzzle Maps – I have found an American map puzzle I really like. Still on the hunt for a world map puzzle (and a globe!)
  • Family Culture Nights – cultural events in town, cooking at home, documentaries online, etc.
  • The Making of America By: Cleon Skousen (This is what we will use for teaching American history and the constitution when they get older!)
I chose Saxon because it is abundantly clear, repetitive and it has proven results. If you do the Saxon program, you know math! Some find it a bit boring, but I am ok with boring from time to time if it is effective, teaches discipline, order, and correct math principles.
This is a great set! My kids love to play with different elements inside it as part of their free play each day.
I got this to add a fun element to our math studies. I don’t think it is enough to stand alone for math instruction, but it is a well-loved supplement within the homeschool community. We have not started to use this yet, but we are getting there soon.
  • Side note: I have also heard great things about Singapore Math and Math-U-See!
  • I am looking for math facts memorization tools set to music for the future.
So far was have used this book to learn two poems which have taught my kids all their letters and their sounds. My kids have spent time, on this book’s suggestion,  searching out the letters learned on packaging every day. I like this resource A LOT better than the “Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons . . .” book which got really old for Lincoln and me both, though I do think it helped him learn to blend words together when reading. It is nice because it breaks everything down into bite-sized chunks. Teaching reading is simple.
                The first time reader classics! So great, and pretty funny, too.
  • Hooked on Phonics Program (I have not used this with my kids yet, but my mom has a set I will be borrowing soon. This is how I learned to read!)
  • The Public Library
Site where you can print up handwriting sheets for free. I have one for each of my kids with their names on them. They are laminated so they can reuse them as often as necessary.
  • Dry erase writing books from Costco. Inexpensive, useful tool for helping kids develop writing and tracing skills.
  • Draw. Write. Now.  (I recently discovered these books and I LOVE them. I will be buying the whole set as soon as I save up enough pennies to get them.) I love how they combine stories, art, writing, history and other subjects into one.
  • Magic School Bus Chapter Books (Scholastic) and Complete DVD set (DVD set from Costco)
  • Squire’s science textbooks on the body and other subjects, as interested
  • An Old Science Encyclopedia my mom gave us (I don’t have access to publisher right now!) which we read and do experiments from, time to time
  • Documentaries on as needed (life cycle of frog, silk worms, owls, etc.)
  • "Grow your own" farms - frogs, butterflies, lady bugs, silk worms, ants, etc. (We will do all these as time and budget and interest allows)
  • Dissection kits as needed (we recently did owl pellet dissections with my friend Katie and her kids!)
This cooperative board game is excellent! Has helped my kids start to recognize plants visually, by name, and what they are useful for medicinally.
  • Herb Fairies Book Club (I will be starting this book club with my kids this year!)
  • Snap Rover (This was Lincoln’s 5th birthday gift!)
  • Snap Circuits (I will be incorporating this in a couple more years)
  • Regularly cooking at my side in the kitchen
  • Helping me can food
  • Watching documentaries on food as a family
  • Grocery shopping, and talking about packaging, differences between different foods
  • Gardening together
  • Chickens and Bees (will be getting these in the Spring)
Moral Education:
  • Regular Hiking in good weather
  • Park visits and play dates
  • Dancing around together at home
  • Doing my workout videos alongside me
  • Lots of outdoor free play 
  • Cosmic Kids Yoga Videos
Art/Creativity Resources:
Field Trips (Some ideas):
  • Friend's Houses (dissecting owl pellets, making body products, ethnic food cooking, different lesson topics)
  • Fish Hatchery
  • Police Dept.
  • Fire Dept.
  • Post office
  • Local Art or history museums
  • Grocery Stores (including International/Ethnic food grocery stores!)
  • Farmer's Market
  • Local farms/orchards
  • Bakeries
  • Local cultural events and parades
  • News Station
  • Dental Office
  • Doctor Office
  • Local Zoo
  • Aquarium
  • Local Children’s museums
  • Coming with mom or dad to vote!

What are some great educational resources YOU have found?! 
Please share in the comments section! 

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