I love homeschooling, but it’s really easy for me to say that. I get to enjoy the results, go on the field trips, and teach all the really fun classes like BB Gun Marksmanship and Preparing for the Zombie Apocalypse. My wife does the hard work like teaching language arts and math. I get to go to work and escape the kids when I want to. Sure, on a good day, she gets to spend all day with the kids. On a bad day, though, she’s stuck there in preschool hell with our band of flying monkeys.
We recently attended the Great Homeschool Conventions in Greenville SC and had a really awesome time. That’s where I picked up this sticker, which really expresses how I feel about my wife.
While at the conference we picked out the next batch of curriculum for the kids. It’s one of the reasons we attend these, because the conference halls are huge and there are so many choices for curriculum. We spend the first day just scanning all of the booths. On the second and third days we go back to our top choices to look through the books and talk to the reps. Many times the authors of the textbooks are there and we get the chance to talk to them, which is a treat for both us and the kids.
Here’s a small glance at how big the convention floor is. Hundreds of booths to look through for curriculum.
One of the biggest questions traded about between homeschoolers, especially new ones, is “what curriculum do you use?” Here’s the rundown of what we’re using right now. Bear in mind, our boys are 8 and 5, in third grade and kindergarden respectively.
Language Arts- Sing, Spell, Read & Write. My older son is also doing a lot of work writing. We have him write essays and he pens his own blog at www.abishaipowers.com. He’s also reading through the Magic Tree House series of books. He takes tests on the books at magictreehouse.com and bookadventure.com.
Social Studies- The Mystery of History, History Through the Ages timeline, documentaries and movies (we love Liberty Kids), and hands-on history experiences at museums, battlefields, and other places.
Math- Math-U-See. Both us and the kids love this curriculum, which starts out based on the use of manipulatives, which are a lot like Lego blocks. The next pic below is the boys with their hero Steve Demme, who wrote and appears in the MUS videos.
Science- Apologia-Exploring Creation with Astronomy, documentaries (right now they’re watching Food Matters, Man vs. Wild, Beakman’s World, and others), and hands-on experiences at museums, science exhibits, and state parks.
Bible- We use a lot of resources, including church, for teaching Bible to the kids.
Electives- Cub Scouts, recreational league sports, small business, community involvement
Another really cool thing about the conference is the connections we make for other resources. We now have a place t buy resources for science lab experiments, including animal dissection. I’m really looking forward to this for future grade levels. The only thing we’ve dissected so far are owl pellets. I suppose a close second would be today’s activity. The boys are doing science experiments with their Alien Autopsy kit today. It’s amazing what you can turn into a learning activity with just a little more work on the parent end of things.