Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Getting started in Home Schooling Part 4

Ok, so you have written out what you want your kids to learn this year,and are thinking about,or may have figured out how you want to teach, and are ready to go out and purchase all your new books. WAIT... First, I want you to take a look around the house. You may be surprised at what you might find. First, go through all of your childrens books. See if there are any books that would be educational in any way. They do not have to be strictly fact books, they can be story books that still teach something.
There are so many out there that you may be surprised at how many you have. If not that's ok, you can start building your collection soon.
I want you to take all of your children's books that you deemed educational, and put them together on a bookshelf or a special spot in the house.
Next, go through all of your books. You may have biographies, auto-biographies, books that teach a certain skill, reference books, books on weather, gardening, astronomy, history, etc... Add these to the book shelf.
You may or may not have a lot of books already, but you can never have enough books for your childs education.
I highly recommend that you build a home library. Your child will learn so much just from reading good books. It will be such a blessing to be able to go to your own bookshelf and find a book on the topic your child is wanting to learn about. It will save you time and the effort of going out and getting all these books. You may not have every book, or a specific book that you are looking for, but as you build your library, you will likely have a different book on the same topic that will work just as well.
You will not have to worry about turning the books in on time if your child is not done with the book yet, or getting late fees because you forgot again.
Reading is fundamental to your child's education; both your child reading and you reading to your child.
Make time for Read Alouds, daily if possible. This will be a time that you read aloud to all of your children, even if they are different ages. They will treasure this time and they will be learning at the same time.
We are currently reading Liberty Letters right now for our read aloud.
I will admit that I need to work on this more myself. My children love this time and look forward to it when I am consistant.
So, how do you build your home library without breaking the budget?
I will tell you how I do it. I have obtained thousands of books over the last couple of years, and rarely, if ever, did I pay full price for a book.
I go to garage sales all the time and usually find quite a few books this way. I have found Little House on the Prarie books, tons of books on animals, books on the planets, classics such as Robin Hood, Heidi, Little Women, biographies, auto biographies, etc..I will get these books for 10 cents to 25 cents usually, so I can get quite a few this way.
I go to the thrift stores. There is a really good thift store around here that always has great books there. I just recently found Paddle to the Sea, by Holling, C. Hollings, which is on every home schoolers wish list, there for like 50 cents or something.
I also go to You can go to the home school section and then click on the side bar to "at least 90% off". They have SO MANY great books there. I have gotten books on the senses, animal habitats, Anne Frank, Abraham Lincoln, Sojouner Truth, etc., there. I usually pay $.75 to $1.99. They have really good shipping also, so this is not expensive and these are brand new books.
I also look at Borders in their bargain section. Here I have gotten books on weather, insects, trees, wild flowers, animals, etc. here for $3 to $5
If you put a little effort into this, which really is not much of an effort at all, you can easily and fastly build up your library. Just keep an eye open.
You can also ask for certain books for birthdays and Christmas also. Many grandparents are glad to help out. (We will talk about what to do if your family does not approve sometime in the future.)
You can take any book on your shelf and make a study out of it. Pick a book on planets, for example, you will read it to your child, or they will read it, and you take words from that book and make a spelling/vocabulary list, they could draw pictures of all the planets and write the name of the panet if they are younger, or they could notebook what they are reading if they are older. They could draw pictures of a particular planet and underneath the picture they could write all of the interesting and important facts about that planet. They will have a nice little notebook when they are done with that book. You could even lapbook a book. If you do not know what lapbooking is, just google it and I will disscuss it more in the future.
I think that you are seeing that even without a lot of money or curriculum, you can get started on your home schooling.
Just pick up a book and GO!
History and science really adapt well to this kind of learning. There are many books out there that work well to teach these topics. There is so much that can be said about books, but it would take forever. LOL
One thing I do want to add though, is to make sure your books are worth reading and that they do not portray values or character traits that you do not want to teach your children.
Before you go out and spend too much money on curriculum, really think about how you want to teach your subjects. You don't nesessarily need a curriculum for every topic, but there are some great ones out there.
Ok, next time I will disscuss what can be done for Grammar, Spelling, writing, Language Arts, etc.. so before you go out and buy a curriculum for each of these subjects, you may want to read the next article first.
Have fun reading to your children. (and learning at the same time.)

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