Tuesday, September 21, 2010

My Favourite Homeschool Resources

This week question for the blog cruise is:
“What are your favourite resources for  ____ age/grade?  (age/grade that you are teaching)”
Well first I have to tell you that I have four kids.   Their ages are 2 (almost 3), 4 (almost 5), 6 and 9.
So technically I have a toddler going on to become a preschooler, a senior kindergartner, a grade 1 and a grade 4 students.   So here are my favourite homeschool resources for these grades. Notice that I have a SPECIFIC GRADES section and an ALL GRADES section.
Toddler/Preschool 51B1  CUsCL__SL500_AA300_  Passe-Partout videos. Blocks. Puzzles. Crayons and paper.   You name it you got it.   This is the age where a child will play more and discover.   I would read and read and read more.   Learning the colors and forms as well as alphabet and numbers would be on the priority list.  Jasmine is in that age group and I know that I need to spend time with her alone.   One on one is important at any age and I don’t want her to feel that I don’t take care of her.  
Kindergartner AlphabetBeatsDVD3dSetpicturesm
Last year I had the privilege to review a wonderful product that teaches the child to write the alphabet.   I received the lowercase DVD and it was a wonderful addition in our homeschool.  Jérémy was in preschool when we product tested it and he loved it.  Even Jasmine who had turned two back in December would sit with him and repeat after the TVTeacher.   It was adorable and learning was there.   LOVE IT!   To read my review about alphabet beats please click here.
Rocket_hero Rocket Phonics for an introduction of phonics and reading.    I am planning to use this with Jérémy on a more regular basis this year.  To read my review of Rocket Phonics, please go here.

GRADE 1 To improve reading in English, I will continue using Rocket Phonics with Dominic.   He is getting there and is looking forward to go buy his own Bible with Dad (with lunch included).   It is a tradition for us when a child is able to read by himself.   
ImageTool For French reading, I am using Je Lis, J’écris…  from Guérin.  They have various books for all levels of primary school.   Dominic will start with book 1 this year.   

GRADE 4 EG4TED  For English grammar I really like the Easy Grammar products.    I discovered them through a friend of mine and Alexandre loved it last year.   Even I learned during the last year when we first tackled this curriculum.   So this year, we are doing the grade 4 book and I expect that we will learn more interesting lessons in English grammar.
I will also continue with the Je lis… J’écris… for Alexandre this year.    His reading has blossomed with this product and I am satisfied with it.
MATHEMATICS logo5 Maths.   Yikes I hate it at one point in my life.   But I have discovered a wonderful curriculum that will use multi-sensory tools and will help the student to engage visually, auditory, and kinesthetically throughout the lessons.  Here’s how they describe Math-U-See.
“Math-U-See is broken down to teach students specific skills that build as the student progresses. This systematic and cumulative approach uses a definite, logical sequence of concept instruction. The Math-U-See system is structured with step-by-step procedures for introducing, reviewing, and practicing concepts.”
Math-U-See information can be found at their website - http://www.mathusee.com/
FRENCH image As you might know, French is our mother tongue.  We live in a city/country who is predominantly English.   Consequently, we want our kids to be able to read, write and converse in both official languages.   We searched for a few years before finally discovering the products we particularly love in French.   
Les Éditions de l’Envolée have some interesting curriculum that is reproducible (which is a plus for us).   The best part is that I can buy the ones I want via internet in PDF files directly.    For our French grammar products, I am using the Grammaire series which will go from grade 1 to grade 6.    The also have interesting products about coloring the grammar which my kids loves.  
9782895813934 For French writing and reading comprehension, we have discovered a wonderful curriculum which contains two years per binder for a total of three binders for the whole elementary levels.   À Vos Marques contains reading and writing exercises to do with your child (reproducible).   This year Dominic will go through the grade 1-2 book and Alexandre will go through the grade 3-4 book.    Next year I will have to purchase the grade 5-6 binder.
AWANA AwanaClubs-Logo Okay I admit that this is not a curriculum per say but it is a great activity for your kids to participate.  Not only will they make friends with others kids but they will learn more about the Bible and memorize scriptures.   I know that I also learned a lot last year when my kids participated for the first time.   They are so looking forward to go this year.   Jasmine will be in Cubbies, Jérémy and Dominic will be in Sparks and Alexandre will be in T&T again this year.    Mom and Dad will have a dating evening which sounds fantastic to us!   A date a week – can we ask for more?  
HISTORY MOHVol1-2ndEdCover This year I am also planning to incorporate more history.   I had started Mystery of History two years ago but being new at homeschooling, I quickly put it aside because I wanted to concentrate on reading, writing and arithmetic.   Now that I am more comfortable with the basics, history will be more fun to enjoy.  What I like about this curriculum is that the same lesson can be done by various grades with less or more complicated tasks depending of the age of the child.   To learn more about Mystery of History, please click here.
GEOGRAPHY MapsCDcovers Geography is another subject that I am incorporating this year.   And I have been blessed beyond my expectations with a variety of wonderful products since January (and it didn’t cost me much).   Most of the products I got I received for free at a time when I was wondering how in the world I would include geography when we didn’t have much money.   My favourite product is the Old World Style Maps from Homeschool In The Woods.  I am impressed with the quality of the maps and the activities linked with the learning.    I hope that someday this publisher will create a similar product for Canadian geography!
SCIENCE If you are looking for a science curriculum with creation flavor in it, I would suggest that you look into the products that Master Books have.   They have wonderful books on Creation for various ages, physics, chemistry and much more.    I’ve reviewed a few of them in the past two years on Canadianladybug Reviews! – to access them click here.

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