Find Joy. Seek Truth. Be Kind.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Homeschooling on line

I have a lot of favorite homeschooling websites. Here are a few.

There's Google of course, as in "I don't know how many vertebrae a bird has, let's Google it." (Different species of birds have different numbers of vertebrae! Who knew?) I don't even want to think about how many google searches a day we average!

When I'm helping new homeschoolers, I always point them at Home Education Magazine's website, and remind them to check out the getting started page.

Then there's the International Children's Digital Library. How cool is that?

Living Math has been a wonderful resource for us. I only wish I had a larger book allowance (both space and money) because some of the books recommended here are hard to get through our local library.

Then there's the BBC school website. My oldest (9) has enjoyed playing some of the games on this site, most notably Dance Mat Typing.

These are just a few of our favorites. What are yours?

As a little aside: I do limit the amount of time the children have to play on the computer, even if the game is educational. I find that more than ~30 min. of screen time tends to lead to poor behavior. Also, for at least one of my kids, the draw of the computer is so great that all other activities will be pushed aside and forgotten if computer time is unlimited. So much for unschooling, eh? Every family has to work out what is best for them.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Catching up

I've been reading, but not posting. Kids, holidays, and other family stuff seem to interfere with my book and talking addiction. Sigh.... ;-)

So what I have a read recently...

I have to say that I wasted a couple of hours on the first book of the graphic novel Preacher series. It sounded interesting, and I've enjoyed comics and graphic novels before. (Check out Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi) Whatever worth there was in the story was totally overwhelmed by the graphic violence depicted in the pictures. Not for me. "Gone to Texas" is of those things I wished I'd never seen, because the images are stuck in my mind now. Which I suppose says something about the artist, and about me, but YUCK! I found it reading the online comic Unshelved. Unshelved is well worth spending some time on, and I did, which is another reason I haven't written much recently!

When I finished the most recent book in the Temaire series by Naomi Novak, I rushed to the computer to put the next book on hold. Sadly it won't be out until July of this year, and only in hardback then. While I can order it in advance from Amazon, I can't put it on hold at the library yet. Oh, the frustration!!! This is why I try never to read a series that isn't completed. If you liked Eragon and/or the Patrick O'Brian series, don't miss the writing of Naomi Novak!

Finished A Thomas Jefferson Education. Well worth the time, tho' I don't agree with all of it. Neither do the Objectivists, but I don't agree with them either. I did find it interesting that not only do we (accidentally) follow the authors model of mentor/student and discussion, but that I've also got a pretty good start on their adult recommended reading lists, and my boys on their kids lists. HA! Bet you didn't know you could do Classical Education with unschooling.

Also finished and want to comment on The Tipping Point, and The Average Human, which I read in tandem. Reading many books at a time often gives me some interesting (and sometimes strange) insights.

But for now that will have to wait. I'm going to go sleep off my Easter Dinner.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

February's books

  • The Short Bus, a Journey Beyond Normal, by Jonathan Mooney
  • The Spiderwick Chronicles Book 1 The Field Guide, by DiTerlizzi and Black
  • The Seven Deadly Virtues, by Forrest Church
  • Kingdom of Children, by Mitchell L. Stevens
  • The Abstinence Teacher, by Tom Perrota
  • Devil May Cry, by Sherrilyn Kenyon
  • Dark Side of the Moon, by Sherrilyn Kenyon
  • The Teenage Liberation Handbook, by Grace Llewellyn
  • A Thomas Jefferson Education, by Oliver Van DeMille
  • The Autobiography of Eleanor Roosevelt, by Eleanor Roosevelt