Preschool Curriculum by Rod and Staff {Giveaway}

(This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure.)

Preschool Curriculum by Rod and Staff

Milestone Books has provided me a free PreK ABC series in exchange for this honest review. 

Preschool is such a great stage in many ways. Young children are free to explore and learn from play. While I have come across overly complicated (and very expensive) preschool curriculums, I really love how Rod and Staff’s preschool curriculum sticks to the basics.

When my eldest, now 11, was at the end of her third year, I started her on this preschool series. She enjoyed it so much, she worked through the entire series in just 6 weeks! That’s not to say it was over simplified, but because she enjoyed it.

PreK Series

Now, my youngest who is three, is thoroughly enjoying that very same series.

PreK Curriculum

Features

The ABC Series focuses on teaching colors, shapes, coloring, cutting and pasting, stories, following directions, and neatness.

The feature that sticks out to me the most that I appreciate, is teaching the children to focus on doing their work neatly and carefully. It is too easy to forget to train our children to work carefully when they are preschoolers, because, well, they are preschoolers. But trying to undo habits later is a lot harder than simply teaching it right the first time.

Cutting - PreK Curriculum

Pasting - PreK Curriculum

Pasting 2 - PreK Series

The instructions also put an emphasis on proper pencil holding. Again, something easy to miss or overlook. Holding a pencil the proper way helps to control and form letters neatly and easily.

Pencil Grip in Preschoolers

In the grand scheme of complicated preschool curricula, the little things can tend to be overlooked, such as forming circles in the right direction (counterclockwise), so letters such as lowercase a, d, g, and q aren’t written backwards or with great challenge.

The pace of work can be left up to the parents. I tend to work with my son about 2-3 days a week, as he shows interest. So far, he has greatly enjoyed his lessons and usually asks me to do it.

I also love how affordable this series is.

Giveaway

Milestone Books is giving one reader a complete set of the ABC Series. It designed for children ages 4-5 but can be modified for younger or older children, if needed.

Books in the series include:

  • Adventures with Books: Instill a love for reading early on. Teach your children to use their imagination and learn matching skills, cutting & pasting and following simple directions.
  • Counting with Numbers: Easy-to-follow directions and clear black-and-white pictures help your child focus on leaning early counting skills.
  • Do it Carefully: Help your child learn to follow basic directions by teaching them shapes, sounds, and matching skills. Practice word meanings, such as left/right and big/little.
  • Everywhere We Go: More colors, shapes and sounds. Learning initial consonant sounds.
  • Finding the Answers: Teach rhyming, carefulness and personal responsibility.

To Enter Giveaway: 

Simply leave a comment sharing your favorite thing about your preschool child/children.

Be sure to visit Milestone Books for this PreK series and more!

Giveaway ends Tuesday at 11:59pm EST.

U.S. Residents only please. Winner will be chosen and notified by email. Winner will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. 

5 Things to Pack for a Homeschool Convention

(This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure.)

This post is sponsored by Great Homeschool Conventions and contains affiliate links. 

It’s not unusual when you head to a conference or convention for the first time to wonder what some of the most important things are you’ll need to pack.

5 Things to Pack for a Homeschool Convention.png

I’ve learned after attending conferences, there are definitely some “must have’s” on a trip like that. This, of course, will vary if you’re bringing along a baby or the entire family. But for now, let’s just stick with what to pack for yourself. I’ll offer a few bonus items for anyone who would need to bring their baby along.

  1. A Handbag. This is important to carry around the convention so you can store a notebook, snacks, mints or gum, convention and vendor literature as well as have the ability to carry things back to your room from the vendors if needed. If you’re looking for something durable, I highly recommend the bags from Freeset (which also help keep women in India out of the sex slave industry because they are employed by making these fantastic bags.)
  2. A Binder. While not totally necessary, some people keep organized using a small binder  for note taking, jotting down email addresses from people met along the way, vendor websites to look up later, etc.
  3. A Cardigan Sweater (that matches all the outfits you pack). I cannot tell you how many times I’ve attended sessions when I was freezing! It’s really  hard to concentrate when you’re shivering, so be sure to pack something universal and warm enough if a room is chilly.
  4. Laptop or iPad (or Smartphone at the very least). It’s great to be able to look up prices to compare while you’re shopping for curriculum. It will also help keep you connected with those who couldn’t make it or don’t understand what’s so great about a homeschool convention. You can share in pictures!
  5. Comfortable Shoes. Yes, this is important. While the idea of dressing fancy (even in a nice pair of boots with heals) is nice, comfort should probably take precedence in this case. Because you’ll be doing a lot of mingling and be out and about, and a long way from home (typically). You’ll want to bring shoes you can last the weekend in!

Great Homeschool Conventions in Greenville, South Carolina actually begins TODAY starting at 2:00pm EST and tickets can be purchased at the door.

Other convention locations include Cinncinnati, OH – April 24-26 and Ontario, CA – June 12-14. It’s not too late to register online for those two locations!
Homeschool Convention Locations, Dates and Speakers

GHC is planning some blogger meet ups for SC and OH. Be sure to follow them on Facebook and/or Twitter for updates!

Related Posts:

3 Reasons You Want to Hear Ben Carson Speak

5 Ways to Attend a Homeschool Convention

4 Reasons to Attend Great Homeschool Conventions

3 Reasons You Want to Hear Ben Carson Speak

(This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure.)

This post is sponsored by Great Homeschool Conventions and contains affiliate links.

Ben Carson has a fascinating story. I read his autobiography and watched it in movie form a couple weeks ago. An incredible, real life hero who our children can learn from.

Gifted Hands

Dr. Carson dreamt of being a physician beginning in elementary school. The challenges he faced made him even more determined to excel and despite his circumstances, he grew up to become one of the top pediatric neurosurgeons in the world.

“An individual must believe in himself and in his abilities. To do his best, one needs a confidence that says, ‘I can do anything, and if I can’t do it, I know how to get help.’” -Gifted Hands

He is a living example that we do not have to be defined by our circumstances or position in life if we are willing to put the work in to rise above it. Today, I want to share a few reasons why I believe you’ll want to hear Ben Carson speak live at Great Homeschool Conventions. Oh yes. He will be there.

Ben Carson

He overcame his circumstances.

He made no excuses for his upbringing, his living conditions, the difficulties his mother faced, how kids treated him at school or his violent temper. He truly rose above all the garbage and was determined to do his best. There was no substitute for hard work in Ben’s life. If he wanted to know something, he went and sought out the answer.

He didn’t allow his circumstances to define him and he learned that from his mom he could do what anyone else could do. His mom is really where his story begins. His mom is the one who encouraged him to push beyond his limits. His mom.

Mothers, do not doubt the power of your role in your child’s life, regardless of your circumstances. Your words matter and your encouragement matter. Challenge your children. Do not let them give up and do not hand them everything. Make them work for it.

Our children need real life inspiration.

Hollywood doesn’t have what our children need. It isn’t real and what is real in Hollywood is a hot mess. If you have never read the story of Ben Carson, I highly recommend it before going to hear him speak at Great Homeschool Conventions. Even better would be to allow your {older} children to read his autobiography for themselves (or as a read aloud) and have a discussion.

was inspired reading his story, to not only excel as a writer, but as a homeschool mom as well. He didn’t need to come out and specifically say, “You can be a better homeschool mom”. His story alone compelled me. I believe it can inspire and compel our children to excellence as well. In today’s culture, children need to be reminded by people outside of their parents, that success requires real hard work. Things aren’t just handed to us nor should our children expect everything to be handed to them. Let Ben Carson’s story speak for itself and then go beyond by hearing him live at GHC.

Because this is a great opportunity.

How often do you or your children get to have the opportunity to meet someone who’s made history in such a remarkable way? Not only as a doctor, but as someone who rose from their circumstances rather then using them as an excuse. This is an awesome chance to shake hands with a man who is a great example for us all!

He’s the kind of leader and role model this country needs.

GHC Registration

So, what are you waiting for? If you haven’t yet, grab your Great Homeschool Conventions registration here. If you are attending South Carolina or Ohio conventions, Dr. Benjamin Carson will be speaking at both.

Now, find out more reasons you want to hear Ben Carson here!

Music Appreciation for the Elementary Grades

(This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure.)

This is a sponsored post, which means I have been compensated to review this program and offer my honest opinion of it. 

A Comprehensive Music Program

Music Appreciation

What’s a great way to introduce your children to great music and great composers? Use a great program.

I have not come across anything quite like the Music Appreciation program put out by Zeezok. It is the most creative, engaging, comprehensive program I think I have ever come across.

Music Appreciation

Zeezok takes music appreciation to a new level. Not only did my children learn some great music composed by some extremely talented and devoted musicians, they learned a great deal about those composers’ lives.

Biographies

Biography of Composers

Paganini Biography

This program comes with the biographies of seven composers: Bach, Handel, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Paganini, and Schubert. These biographies are very well written and can either be read by a fluent reader or read aloud by you. I chose to read them aloud so my 3 eldest children could enjoy them at once. The stories even kept me rather fascinated.

They begin at the childhood of each composer and illustrate just how each composer came to be famous and what it took for them to accomplish that.

As we read about Paganini, a very poor boy who had an ear for a tune, it was amazing to me to read how his life unfolded and he could develop and play some of the most difficult compositions ever heard of in his time. It was so interesting to learn the impact and power of music in that time. Without all the noise we have today, people really had an ear for excellent music and they were more than entertained by it. It was soothing and relaxing.

The Workbook

Weekly Lesson Outline

The study of each composer lasts four weeks, though I admit we sped up and slowed down as we desired. That’s the beauty of homeschool flexibility!

Each week consisted of a variety of activities that engaged different subjects surrounding the study of each composer. We would read and draw out different observations such as character qualities and historical facts.

For example, there were several people surrounding Paganini throughout his life. We would draw out their characteristic qualities and discuss how they helped Paganini succeed as a result.

Also included within the workbook pages was locating where these composers lived on the map. In the case of Paganini, my 6-year did a color by number page of Italy.

Music Appreciation Workbook

Music Appreciation Workbook

 LapBooks

Another excellent, hands-on way this program includes to engage is through lapbooks. The Music Appreciation program comes with a LapBook CD-R which includes all the templates needed to create a lapbook for each composer. Each lapbook is unique and helps to solidify geography, musical concepts, parts of the composers’ lives, etc.

The helps with memory retention because it sets our children’s hands to work.

Paganini lapbook pictures

Overall, I without a doubt, recommend this program to all those looking for a Music Appreciation curriculum. Everything you need is included. It has been one of our favorite things to study in these past weeks. You can check it out on the Zeezok website.

Another thing I loved about this program is there is very little prep work involved. I’d say the most you have to do is print out the lapbook templates. Everything was prepped and ready to go otherwise.

Giveaway

Music Appreciation Collection Giveaway

We are giving away one complete program. Woot!

If you’re reading in your email, be sure to click over to the post so you can enter the giveaway!

The Details

If a customer purchases the set during the giveaway, and subsequently wins it, Zeezok will issue a refund of the purchase price.

  • Prize shipped only to US mailing address.
  • Enter Feb. 17, 1:00 AM to March 20, 11:59 PM.
  • Winner will be chosen and notified Friday, March 21.

Discount

A 10% discount on all orders Feb. 17 to March 21 with coupon code: ihomeschool

Follow Zeezok on:

Facebook
Twitter
Pinterest
YouTube

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Homeschooling Through a Move

(This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure.)

Previously, I posted how we decided at the last minute to move. We needed to do a lot of things, fast, so we dropped everything, including homeschooling, and set to work on getting the house ready for listing. The listing went up last Monday.

After the first week and a half of readying the house, I decided it best to continue to keep up on lessons, in some form or another. Allowing my children too much free time and TV time proved to be disastrous. I didn’t think a couple weeks would be a big deal, but it was. And let’s be honest, it takes more than a couple of weeks to sell a house and complete a move. There will be more weeks out of the ordinary ahead of us.

Homeschooling During a Move

So, I decided it best to keep their minds sharp and occupied during this time by setting them up with work that is independent in nature, yet empowers and challenges them to become self-propelled learners. These include:

Book Box

Homeschooling Through a Move - Book Box

Book box is a selection of books hand picked by me, based on what we are learning. I have a set time the children must read something of their choosing from the book box. At times I’ll add in some Literature that may not be specific to the time era we are studying, but it is great Literature none-the-less.

Whatever they choose to read, they must read for 15-30 minutes per session. Some days we have one session some days two or more. This helps them continue to learn by keeping their mind sharp and working. At the end of each session, I ask for an oral narration of what they read.

Math

  Homeschooling Through a Move - Math

Math is always a constant in any season. Too much time off of math and my kids begin to forget the concepts they learned and need to re-learn. We even do math through the summer months. There are days throughout the week we might take off, but I try to avoid taking more than a week off of math at a time.

This does require some help from me at times. Sometimes I’ll have the children work through what they can until I am free to help them, or we’ll finish up what needed to be done together in the evening hours.

Another option for math is to focus on doing drill work; helping my children master the concepts they have already learned and/or memorizing addition/subtraction/multiplication/division facts.

Manipulatives

Homeschooling Through a Move - Manipulatives

For my younger children, I will pull out a set of manipulatives for them to play with and learn independently from. Rotating them keeps their interests piqued.

Some of our favorites are Gears, Gears, Gears (pictured above), Wood Pattern Blocks, Cubes, and Melissa & Doug’s Magnetic Pattern Block Kit.

Among these, we also play educational games, read aloud, and continue with some educational shows on Netflix. Not all of these are done every single day, but having something in the queue helps prevent boredom and sibling fights while continuing to keep their minds

What suggestions do you have for homeschooling through a move?

Follow our Life: Simplified board on Pinterest for encouraging and helpful resources on simplifying in 2014.

Follow us on Pinterest

5 Ways to Attend a Homeschool Convention

(This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure.)

This is a sponsored post.

Attending a homeschool convention can be done in more than one way. You don’t have to go alone, and you don’t have to bring everyone along. Simply weigh your options and determine which one is best for YOU. Here are several different ways you can attend Great Homeschool Conventions.

5 Ways to Attend a Homeschool Convention

As a Family

Why not take the whole family? Make a weekend of it and enjoy your time together as a family. Plus, Great Homeschool Conventions  has a children’s conference they offer, not merely to care for your children, but to be impacted by the ministry who puts it on.  - Child attendance is included in the Family Registration, but the conference is extra and it does sell out. So if you’re interested in having your child(ren) participate, get in on that early. Additionally, they have a Teen Track {Real Faith for the Real World} that helps you and your teen prepare their faith for the real word. Although it’s geared toward teens, parents are welcome, too.

Going Solo

Maybe taking the family isn’t an option, or you could use a weekend away. A burned out homeschooling mom can certainly use some refreshing and focus. Sometimes just stepping outside of the day-to-day can help us gain some perspective. You can participate in the Parent Track which is sure to lighten the mood a bit and offer some direction. Maybe you’re new to homeschooling and have no choice but to go solo because you haven’t yet connected with other homeschooling moms. What better opportunity is there then this?!

With a Friend

Maybe you don’t like traveling alone or you have a fellow-homeschooling friend who you can have a weekend getaway with. Or perhaps your friend is unsure or new to homeschooling. What better way to introduce her to the community? She can get the inside scoop at Great Homeschool Conventions. Or maybe it’s you who needs more information. Make a weekend of it! Exchange ideas, concerns, encouragement. Having support is vital in homeschooling. Plus, it’s always fun to have someone to laugh with at a comedy night. (Hello, Bob Smiley!)

With a co-op

Are you part of a co-op? Why not set up a trip to go as a group? You can each split up and see different speakers, take wild notes, and exchange them at the end of the convention.

With an older child

I think a convention is a great opportunity to spend some quality time with a child, probably an older child. Not only can you spend some special time together with your child, but you can also ask for input on their homeschooling. Invite them to share their ideas and preferences about how they learn best and what interests them most. Allowing them to see options right in front of them may open their eyes to something new.

However you choose to go, you’re sure to learn something new and go home with fresh vision and ideas.
Register today for a Great Homeschool Conventions in a city near you.

GHC | 250 x 100

The Hows and Whys of Homeschool Conventions

Literature in Illuminations

(This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure.)

This post contains affiliate links and is sponsored by Bright Ideas Press. All opinions are my own. 

It’s important to me for a course of study to have a strong Literature, Writing, and History backbone. I am very, very happy with the richness of the literature offered in Bright Idea Press’ Illuminations curriculum.

Illuminations Literature

We are currently going through Illuminations 1 and my 11-year old daughter always looks forward to reading the literature readings. She really looks forward to doing everything but I tend to capture her excitement when it’s time to move on to the next book.

The stack in the above photo is about 13 weeks of reading. Some readings are electronic and not pictured here.

Illuminations has the literature readings set up to have a family read aloud and a read alone book simultaneously. Unfortunately, with the size of my brood, I cannot do the family read aloud’s with her right now, so she reads those alone, too. However, she always narrates her readings to me and helps clue me in on what I miss out on.

Here are my daughter’s favorites thus far:

The Golden Goblet

While Standing on One Foot

Illuminations Classical Myths Literature

These books (which are sold separately from the package) are all accompanied by study guides within the curriculum (included), written by the authors of Bright Ideas Press.

Literature Study Guides

The study guides ask questions, offer graphic organizers for written narration, and include projects at varying levels. Right now my daughter is reading through the book of Ruth (as included in these readings) and she’s working on a project called a “Number” book–for each number one through ten, she choses a word, phrase, or topic that is in some way important to the Book of Ruth.

Ruth Project

For number one, she chose “one daughter-in-law went with Naomi to Bethlehem”.

Year 1 Illuminations has about 46 Literature titles, including books of the Bible, poetry, myths, and rich historical fiction. It is very well rounded and we love the variety it offers. Some are included with the curriculum electronically, but others need to be bought separately. I buy mine as we need them. You can also check your local library for these titles and only purchase ones they do not carry.

Illuminations is a curriculum built for teaching multiple levels.

For more posts on the Illuminations 1 curriculum, check these out:

Illuminations Lesson Planner {which has been updated for ease of use since this post}

Illuminations 1 Curriculum Outline

Illuminations – Mystery of History Projects

 

Mystery of History Projects

(This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure.)

I’m an advocate for keeping things simple. I would much rather go deep then go wide. There is so much history to be learned and so many wonderful people to learn from and about, no one could possibly learn about everyone. This is something we must learn to be okay with.

{This post is sponsored by Bright Ideas Press and includes affiliate links throughout. I fully endorse products from Bright Ideas Press and all opinions are my own}.

This is one reason I love The Mystery of History. The Mystery of History is part of the Illuminations curriculum.

Teaching Mystery of History is Simple

Mystery of History

I wrote previously on Illuminations as a whole but really want to dig deeper into each piece of the curriculum. The Mystery of History reads so simply, with a personal touch from the author, it’s almost like reading history in letter form, rather than textbook style. Although it looks like a textbook (it’s big and packs lots of history), it certainly doesn’t read like one.

Additionally, it offers more hands on activities, not just Q&A at the end of each lesson. There are three levels of activities: Young, Middle, and High school students. Today I want to show you just a few from the Middle Students section.

MOH Lesson 2

Mystery of History Projects

In Lesson 1, younger and middle students were to create a Creation booklet. Here is just one page from my daughter’s own book. She added a element to her book that I particularly enjoyed. If you look in the sky, above Eve, you’ll see the fingers of God, holding a brush and brushing Eve’s hair.

She illustrated all her photos to show the hand of God throughout creation. She has created creation books in the past, but this is the first time I have seen her connect God directly with the making of each thing in creation.

7 Days of Creation

In Lesson 2, Middle Students were asked to create a self-portrait. You see, the author wanted to make certain the students understood they were made in the image of God and every part of them was formed specifically by Him. It required them to pay attention to details.

God cannot be separated from history, and we are an important part of His story!

Self Portrait

One of my favorite ongoing projects is my daughter writing out the memory cards for each lesson. Writing out a few sentences from the students’ own memory helps them own their own reading and write what they remembered, not what the textbook wanted them to remember.

Memory Cards

 

The cards are stored in this two ring folder for easy referencing.

Memory Card Storage

Mystery of History also includes research projects and field trip suggestions. We don’t do every activity suggested, but one activity we are doing is a timeline.

I will save that for the next post!

Visit Bright Ideas Press and check out Illuminations!

More posts I wrote on the Illuminations {Year 1} Curriculum:

Illuminations Schedule Interface

Illuminations Curriculum Outline

and more to come!

Illuminations Curriculum Outline

(This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure.)

I was given Illuminations Year 1 and was compensated for my time in exchange for this review. All opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links.

Illuminations Curriculum

Here you will find an outline of what Illuminations Curriculum Year 1 looks like put together. In my next post, I will share the hands-on activities that surround each subject and the benefit they offer my daughter as she works through Illuminations Curriculum.

World History for All Ages

The Mystery of History

The heart of Illuminations is The Mystery of History. Year 1 of Illuminations takes us from creation to the death and resurrection of Christ.

The Mystery of History is essentially a textbook. On their own, I am not terribly fond of textbooks. But there are now two that I enjoy and are well written, not merely spouting off facts. Mystery of History is one of them. The text is engaging and a kind of pre-cursor to reading living books that correlate with the lessons.

So, while my daughter is reading lessons on Creation she’s also reading relative Literature, such as Adam and His Kin. When she reads about ancient Egypt, she’s also reading Mummies and Pyramids. I see Mystery of History as a way of “whetting the appetite” for further learning; to want to go deeper. In the Appendix is a list of living books you can include with the lessons.

For my daughter, who is older (11), I choose one or two books as mandatory reading. For younger children, I think the text could stand alone, and you could have a “book box” that includes the selections listed in the appendix for the lessons, and simply encourage the children to read them, rather than make it mandatory.

The Mystery of History also includes a number of ways to interact with and reinforce the lessons. You don’t need to do ALL of the suggestions. But picking 2 or 3 might be a good idea. We have chosen to do the memory cards, timeline, and crafts.

The Ultimate Geography and Timeline Guide

The Ultimate Geography and Timeline Guide offers variety and flexibility

This book is packed with goodness! I am fortunate to have children who love to study geography and my eldest just can’t get enough. There are so many activities to choose from, no one should attempt to do all of them {in one year} for the sanity of you and your children!

This book teaches both the teacher and the student how to learn geography in a variety of settings. Whether you learn it through a curriculum or by itself (just geography).

I love the flexibility of this guide, though. I can jump around to where I want, to correlate with whatever we’re studying should I choose to work from a more unit study method.

The section on timelines teaches about two different ways to create and keep a timeline. This is one area I lacked as a teacher and sorely wanted to tap into.

There are tips and ideas for how to create and keep a timeline. We’ve decided to keep one timeline for all levels, in one, large binder and use dividers for each time period. This book even offers a template and figures to include in your notebook! {In my next review, you’ll see our notebook pieced together}.

Timeline and Figures

Hands-on Geography

Take Geography to a New Level

This book goes beyond the map. While maps are a large part of geography (obviously), there is a depth to geography that is often missed. Geography brings history to a greater depth and it offers perspective as we study mission work, nature, and read biographies.

Hands-On Geography offers the study of geography within different parameters, such as studying the migration and habitat of birds, Christmas Around the World, Literature (Around the World in Eighty Days) , plus several others. This will certainly spark your own ideas, too!

The Christmas Around the World section invites children to read the Christmas story from the Bible and locate the places mentioned in the passage.

Then it has the children learn about Christmas traditions in different countries and cultures.

Christian Kids Explore Biology

Christian Kids Explore Biology

I gave my daughter the option to choose whether she wanted to do Christian Kids Explore Biology or Apologia. She’s loves them both so much that she chose to do both of them. I know, crazy isn’t it?! That’s the beauty of allowing some freedom of choice in homeschooling. Sometimes, our children can surprise us! Why not allow them to learn more of what they love?

The lessons in here are simple, but offer a rich learning experience with hands-on activities.

For example, the lesson on fruits and vegetables teaches the difference between a fruit and a vegetable, explains how seeds travel, and offer students the opportunity to explore their environment and look for seeds. They then would compare the similarities and differences. Furthermore, the children can then make a collage out of their seed collection.

The section with the hands-on activity has the children “dissect” fruits and vegetables, which engages more of their senses to really solidify the lesson. So, they gather 3-4 different fruits, and 3-4 different vegetables, cut them all open and compare the insides. They are also encouraged to taste each one and note each characteristic.

There is so much they are learning within one lesson!

Literature books are also a part of this curriculum, but the books are bought separately. We purchase ours as we make our way through the curriculum. Right now my daughter is reading The Golden Goblet.

Included lessons plans:

  • Bible reading
  • Copy work
  • Natural Speller
  • Write Shop 1 and Foundations to Writing
  • English From the Roots Up
  • Grammar (Choose 1): Winston Grammar or Easy Grammar
  • Supplemental Resource Ideas
  • Plus an early learners schedule

Illuminations is an all-inclusive curriculum, which means you can teach several levels simultaneously.

We are really enjoying it and I look forward to sharing all of our hands on goodness in my next post. Watch for it at the end of October!

Check out Illuminations here.

Check out their schedule interface (read: all lesson plans completed for you)!

Why Homeschoolers Should Invest in a Kindle

(This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure.)

When I first heard about the Kindle, I was repulsed by it. No way am I reading all my books electronically! I like my books just the way they are! The feel of the pages between my fingers and the grip of a good highlighter (preferably purple) at my fingertips could never be replaced.

One Excellent Reason to Own A Kindle

But, one thing lead to another and I began to recognize the value of having a Kindle. But my top reason for owning a Kindle is cost difference in eBooks compared to traditional books. And there are many classics and children’s books (as well as every other genre) that are FREE.

Yes, you can get free eBooks just by having an eReader downloaded. That’s a huge plus. However, it’s not very convenient for children. Since this post is emphasizing the use of the Kindle for homeschooling, having the actual device in hand is a big help. (An iPad works for this, too, by the way. But it’s much more expensive if you’re just wanting a hand held eReader).

{This post contains affiliate links. Please read my full disclosure here.}

Free eBooks

Not only are there lots of free eBooks to tap into, but majorly discounted eBooks that go on sale or are bundled with other eBooks. The iHomeschool Network just finished a bundle deal called the Omnibus, which featured over 90 eBooks for less than $30. It even included some curriculum! As well as lots of help and encouragement for homeschooling moms. {Please note, this sale is now over, but we will have another one next year, featuring all new eBooks!}

A few other resources to tap into, which I keep a regular eye on include:

eReader Girl

Ashley, owner of eReader Girl, posts free eBooks daily, in 3 different categories. Non-Fiction, Christian Fiction, and Children’s Books. I am always scouring her selections for gems! Children’s books are no exception here!

Free Homeschool Deals

Jamerrill puts a deeper focus on homeschooling then my other two resources. But she lists all eBooks on a daily basis within one post. Her options do not disappoint. eBooks on the middle ages, an entire set on the Civil War, the Human Body and so much more!

Serving Joyfully

My friend Crystal has recently begun sharing the free or deeply discounted eBooks she comes across. She has a fiction and non-fiction section.

Her non-fiction section also includes children’s non-fiction.

Books are the building blocks to education. By investing in a Kindle, even an inexpensive one, can offer you a very frugal way of homeschooling. If you kick it up to a Kindle Fire, you have the bonus of another cool reason to own a Kindle.

A built in book light

Kindle Fire has a built in book light

{This post contains affiliate links. Please read my full disclosure for more information}

My kids love to read in bed and I love to let them! We’ve been through several book lights. Then I had the brilliant idea of allowing them to use the Kindle Fire in bed–it has a built in book light (hello! the whole screen lights up!) Win!

Last night the kids wanted to read something new, so I did a little research and found Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, free for Kindle. I downloaded it to the Kindle and our iPad, and two of my three readers are now reading it.

You can get other classics for free or super cheap, such as the Ann of Avonlea series (.99), Jane Austen: The Complete Collection, (.99) and the Louisa Alcott Collection ($1.99).

You will quickly earn your money back in the Kindle with all the free and discounted goodness you can tap into.

There are definitely more benefits to owning a Kindle, but free and cheap eBooks are at the top of my list.

My friend Trina lists 10 reasons why she prefers eBooks to print books. That doesn’t mean you have to ban print books (I still love my print books), but you’ll find tapping into eBooks is super beneficial in several ways. Watch Trina’s video here. It’s less than 2 minutes.

Would you consider investing in a Kindle?

Visit iHomeschool Network to see other “must have” items from homeschool moms.

must-haves