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No more waiting at the bus stop or rushing out the door to get your kid to school on time. Homeschooling starts every morning right where your child dreams every night. Before 2020, many parents thought of homeschooling as an impossibility. But after kids were sent home for remote learning and parents became more directly involved with their education, that mindset has shifted some. When Community Advocate Cindy Sersig saw how her older children struggled to focus in the large classrooms, she personally took on the task to educate her youngest children (now 7 and 10) at home with fun hands-on activities and one-on-one attention. While state laws vary and finding the right curriculum can be a challenge, if you have the time, energy, and tools recommended by Cindy below, you can have a direct and impactful firsthand role in overseeing your children’s education.... more
I've chosen an open and go curriculum for our English Language Arts. There is no required pre-planning for this subject. This curriculum has been an easy transition from the public school system—there has been no tears. Not only does it teach reading, writing and spelling, it also teaches geography and art appreciation. Additionally, there is no second guessing what level to start your child in. There is an online assessment to help you place your child at the appropriate level.
This is another open and go curriculum. No pre-planning required. We use this curriculum for math, science, history and social studies. It’s a slower pace, shorter lessons, but detailed with activities to keep the kids engaged. We enjoy this curriculum with its non-denominational Christian faith values and Charlotte Mason style of education.
The cost of curriculum can add up quickly. Many curriculum companies offer the option to purchase a PDF for you to print at home. With so many printer options, you want one that won't use a lot of ink because replacing the ink can add up as well. With the Epson EcoTank, print hundreds, even thousands of pages before you have to replace the ink. I didn't have to replace my ink for a year, after printing several curriculum books (English Language Arts, handwriting, typing, several science units, etc). Eco means less waste; one set of replacement bottles is equivalent to approximately 80 individual cartridges. Additionally, it has a wireless connection, so you can print from any device on your home network and through an email address if you are away from the home.
After printing out my PDF's, I laminate the front and back covers and use my comb binding machine to punch holes and place them in a comb binder spine. With up to 21 holes, my pages are secure even if a couple holes tear through (kids will be kids). There is an adjustable edge guide and adjusts for three different paper sizes. The binding machine is lightweight with non-slip feet, with a tray to catch the hole punches.
I would love to have a thermal laminating machine, but until I am able to purchase one, I use self adhesive laminating pouches. These are very easy to line up your paper and create a nice professional looking and sturdy cover for my books. I also use these pouches to laminate worksheets that my boys can reuse over and over with dry erase markers. Additionally, they are safe tested and approved for photos.
I try to be as economical and environmentally conscious as possible. A lot of paper can be wasted through homeschooling so when it comes to needing scratch paper for math problems, we use the Boogie Board eWriter. It's a great way to work those math problems, take notes, and doodle. The writing will stay on the tablet until you press the erase button. This tablet does not need to be charged and the contrast writing surface helps with writing legibility. It's very thin, it can fit nicely in a book bag. Additionally, you can buy a case to help keep it protected.
We use a couple different open and go curriculums for science and art, but sometimes the kids need a hands project to break the monotony of the books. I recently began using KiwiCo. With this company, you order a specialty kit for your child's age group. Science and tinkering, art and design, and geography and culture. My 6 year old has built a crane and learned about the pulley system. My 10 year old built an arcade catapult using rubber bands and taught him about potential and kinetic energy. Each kit comes with a Tinker Zine book with additional ideas to make using these newly learned lessons.
This storage unit holds plastic boxes that slide in and out. We use it to hold different types of papers separate, crayons, pencils, markers, paints, and many other tools/supplies. I love that the pull out boxes come in small and large sizes. They are easy to handle and carry, and very durable.
Yoga and intentional mindfulness is a great way to keep your kids moving and to learn how to breathe and manage their feelings when those feelings get too big for them to understand. Cosmic Kids uses themes and interactive adventures that kids can relate to, such as dinosaurs, underwater fun, holidays, seasons, even Frozen and Pokemon and much more!
Many cities offer a Pogo Pass for a low membership fee that provides access to many entertainment venues. Use this to get your kids out there for physical activity such as roller skating, ice skating, trampolining and more. The Pogo Pass in Phoenix also provides access to museums, Golf N Stuff, sports events, and the zoo. It’s a great economical way to get out and have fun.