Tag Archives: homeschool

Websites for Homeschoolers…or for Anyone!

12 Apr

I’m not sure if I’ve ever technically been considered a homeschooler, but I do know that even before my kids were born, I never intended for them to wait until they got to school to start learning.

Their entire short lives (they’re 4 and 6), I’ve stocked up on educational supplies, created lesson plans, and scoured the internet for craft ideas.  We’ve made countless trips to museums and zoos, attended story time, and sought out just about every educational opportunity at our disposal.  Long ago, I also turned our office into a “classroom”—so maybe I am a homeschooler at heart!

Part of our "classroom" at home

Now that my son is in kindergarten full-time, and my daughter is in preschool part-time, I don’t need to put so much thought into planning out educational activities for them.  But I don’t think I’m capable of leaving everything in the hands of their teachers – it’s just in my nature!  I like to be involved as much as possible, which also includes volunteering at their schools whenever I can.

So from time to time, I still hit my favorite homeschooling-type websites for ideas on lessons, activities, crafts, and other ideas for fun things to do with my kids.

Check these out – I guarantee you’ll be inspired!

www.notimeforflashcards.com – craft ideas, book suggestions, and songs from a homeschooling mom

www.confessionsofahomeschooler.blogspot.com – activities and downloads from a homeschooling mom

1plus1plus1equals1.blogspot.com – lesson plans from a homeschooling mom

belladia.typepad.com/crafty_crow – art activities for kids of all ages

www.artprojectsforkids.org – art activities for kids of all ages

www.preschoolexpress.com – activities and printouts for preschool kids

familyfun.go.com – crafts, activities, and recipes from Disney’s Family Fun magazine

sippycupcentralmom.blogspot.com – crafts and activities from a homeschooling mom

www.schoolbox.com – educational supplies

www.learningpage.com – lesson plans and worksheets for various ages

www.worksheetlab.com – free printable worksheets for preschool and Kindergarten children

I like to have as much of a role in my kids’ education as I can.  Much of the time, education comes in the simple form of fun.  My kids won’t be little forever, and I want to fill up our time with as many enriching activities as possible to create a lifetime love of learning!

Home School Book Fair at Arlington Convention Center

6 May

Friday, May 6, and Saturday, May 7, the Arlington Convention Center hosts a Home School Book Fair.  You can shop for books, sit in on one of the many featured speakers, or just chat with other homeschoolers for encouragement and inspiration.


8:00 am – Registration opens

8:30 am – Exhibit Hall opens

9:30 am – 11:45 am – Morning Workshops

11:45 am – 1:15 pm – Lunch Break

1:15 pm – 4:45 pm – Afternoon Workshops

5:30 pm – Exhibit Hall closes

Registration at the door is $20.  For more information, visit www.homeschoolbookfair.org.

Lakeshore Learning – FREE Kids’ Crafts

8 Feb

Lakeshore Learning is a brilliant educational store. I have spent countless dollars on really cool office/ homeschool supplies here. They have an amazing catalog I enjoy perusing from time to time, day dreaming about what I’d like to have if only…

I have never been to the store, but I’ve heard it’s amazing. To date, I have only purchased items online in the comfort of home in my pjs!  But now they’re doing their best to get people like me into the store – every Saturday, Lakeshore Learning offers FREE crafts for kids from 11 am to 3 pm.

This weekend, Saturday February 12th, you can bring your kids in for free Valentine’s crafts and cards!

Lakeshore Learning is located at 13846 North Dallas Parkway in North Dallas.

Click here for an online coupon to save $5, $10, or $15 while you’re in the store this weekend!

FREE Funnix Reading Program

24 Jan

At the end of my daughter’s third year, I taught her how to read.  A friend of mine suggested the book How to Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons by Siegfried Engelmann.  At the time, I was homeschooling, she was ready to read, and so I decided I had nothing to lose!  I was a little nervous about the whole process, because at the time, learning to read seemed like such a big deal!  I was worried I would screw it up somehow.

One of the great things about this book is that it teaches you how to teach your child, from the very beginning.  They are extremely specific about how to go about correcting your child.  I followed the book precisely, and within a few lessons, my daughter was reading!  Some days were more difficult than others, because some days her attention wandered.  Some days she just wanted to stand on her chair and stare out the window.  If I could tell she was bored or was not “into” it, we put it away until the following day.  I also gave her a “prize” upon completion to help motivate her along the way.  She is in kindergarten now and reads at a second grade level.

For the remainder of January, the same people who brought us How to Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons are providing a FREE download of their Funnix reading program.  If you homeschool, or even if you don’t, but you like to teach from home, or just want to keep your kids busy learning over the summer, this is a must have!  I downloaded it myself.  It took me about two nights, because I use my computer during the day; so I had to download it incrementally.

You can get the free download through the end of January here: www.funnix.com.  It’s a $240.00 value!

There are two different parts.  The first is another teach your child to read segment, which include lessons 1-122.  Then, there is a second segment, which the website says goes to a second grade level.

I tried the first segment and it’s a great starting point for my 3 year old.  It was not advanced enough for my five year old.  I started the second segment with her, and she was at the perfect point for that.  I have not tried as many of the beginning lessons as I have the more advanced.  My five year old completed the first lesson of the second segment and loved it.  There were times when the computer teacher would say something like, “Moose, an animal that looks something like a deer,” and my daughter would respond, “I already know this.”

The download comes with a workbook and teachers manual as well.  The workbook focuses a lot more on comprehension, which is just what my daughter needs going into first grade.

Once I tried it, and knew it was as great as the How to Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons, I knew I needed to pass along the information!  I would recommend this program for ages 3-2nd grade reading level.  Download and enjoy!

Library Open House for Homeschooling Parents

1 Dec

The Central Library in Arlington, located at 101 East Abram Street, is hosting an open house for homeschooling parents on Tuesday December 7th, from 1-3 pm in the community room.

The open house will showcase resources, collections, services, and programs available for homeschooling children and their parents.  There will be activities for the children and refreshments served.

For more information, click here.

Roundtable Discussion – Homeschooling

24 Sep

So I’m considering homeschooling my kids.  Just CONSIDERING it.  I go back and forth between both sides of the issue – I could debate myself endlessly on the subject.  There are days when I am convinced that my children would benefit from being exposed to lots of different teachers and the fresh new experiences they have to offer.  Other days I’m drawn to the personalized education I could give my kids, and the freedom it would bring to our schedule.

A friend of mine, a former elementary school teacher, heard me mention homeschooling recently.  She practically did a spit-take:

“PLEASE tell me you’re not thinking of homeschooling, Jen.  No way!”

Taken aback by her reaction, I stammered, “Um, well, I was just sort of thinking about it a little.”

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