Books for Homeschooling: Adding Picture Books to Your Homeschooling

One of the beautiful things about homeschooling is that we do not have to reproduce a classroom environment around our kitchen table. Aren't you glad?


While I was quick to throw out many "classroom-y" ideas and practices 
in my first few years of homeschooling, 
I rediscovered a classroom secret that works like magic at home...


Books. Picture books.

Many homeschoolers take advantage of their local libraries and Amazon, but how do we present those books to our children?

The Seed Was Planted
One of my homeschooling mentors mentioned how important it was to surround our children with picture books. Forget the thought that picture books are for preschoolers. Simply select books that are beautifully written and illustrated and cover topics that your children are learning about in history.

So, I took my 15 library books and out them all over the window sills in my dining room (where we "do school").

Result:

  • All of the boys were drawn to the books. (All. Even the high schooler!)
  • During breakfast, during snack, during break/free time they would wander over and grab a book to browse. There was no agenda; just enjoy the books.
  • We explored the books, talked about the pictures, and of course read the stories!


Lesson learned.
As a classroom teacher, I guess I would have collected a book-set themed for what we are studying  in history or science. I would have the books conveniently displayed all over the room and in the reading center.

I suggest to you, that as homeschoolers we need to find ways to display these books to our children as well.
  • On the kitchen table
  • On the coffee table
  • On the window sills
  • Along our white boards
  • On shelves. Displayed like they would be at a book store. If you have matching toys, stuffed animals or knick-knacks then display them with the books!
We need to simply put together a history or science themed collections and then place them before our kids. I personally use Amazon to find the books I want to put in front of our boys, then order them from our library. I always have 10-30 books checked out during the school year!


Challenge:
  • Pull 3-10 books from your shelves or the library.
  • Place them in a display-like fashion.
  • Set no agenda. In fact, you ignore them.
  • Observe your kids.


I bet you will be as amazed as I was to see the difference it makes!

Be sure to comment below and share what works for you!
If you need some book suggestions, just let me know. I would be glad to help.

Color Recognition and Matching Game for Pre-K



Are you teaching your little ones their colors? 

Check out my new color recognition game! 


You can get your copy here at my store.

Want a free copy? Enter here!
Enter between today (at noon)  and Monday June 30 at noon!




Homeschool Freebie!: Notebooking Pages and Bible Road Trip GiveawayFree Samples Too!!

Another Great Give-away!!! 
Enter right now for your chance to win  by clicking on this image.
Good Luck! 
(Enter between June 16-June 27, 2014)

 




Grab some free notebooking resources before you leave! Click on the smaller image to get your free resources!


4 Homeschooling Resources: Bookmark These Home School Resources

I have quite a few new subscribers. Yeah!
I wanted to give you a quick overview of the resources I personally put together for you, so you can choose the best format to get your home school resources!


A Better Way to Homeschool Website
Subscribe to this website to the right.
You will receive an email whenever a new resource is posted
(about 1-3 times a week)


YouTube
Subscribe to my YouTube Channel Here.
https://www.youtube.com/user/BetterWay2HomeschoolI am an active, home-schooling mother of 5 (our oldest is in college, our youngest is 8).
I make "how to homeschool" videos as often as I can. These videos include how to's, wisdom, inspiration, and my current custom teaching packets.




Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/ABetterWayToHomeschooI am on the look out for inspiration and humor to encourage you along your homeschooling journey. Many of the things I post are terrific conversation starters for you and your children!
LIKE me on Facebook




Pinterest
I love Pinterest!
http://www.pinterest.com/thesaylers/I have a collection of homeschooling boards where I organize the incredibly inspiring resources I find in my "spare time".
I pin them for myself, so I can find inspiration at a moments notice, but also for you as well!





I have been homeschooling for well over 15 years now and currently have a 4th, 6th, 7th and 11th grader. Our oldest son is a Jr. in college.

My heart is to inspire and encourage you along your homeschooling journey.
Consider everything a buffet. 
 Not everything will be a good or perfect fit for you and your family, that is ok!

Bookmark your favorites, email me questions, and subscribe to any and all of my pages to make sure you have access to everything!!

4 Homeschool Classifieds Sites: Great Free and Discounted Homeschool Curriculum Sources

Have you begun looking for Homeschool Curriculum yet?

Many homeschooling families get "stuck" when choosing materials to use when educating their children. While I believe homeschooling should focus on educational goals rather than a list of topics to cover, we all must choose to give our children access to learning materials.

I do not know about you, but I do not like to pay anything full price for anything. This includes homeschool teaching supplies and materials.

I have pulled together a list of a few great resources for you to look through.
Be sure to bookmark this page and come back and comment on great deals you find!

Caution: Before you begin wandering through the virtual aisle of the Internet trying to decide between this math curriculum and this English program, make sure the "teachers" in your home are in unison about your homeschooling goals.

If you do not have a target, you will not hit it. Take a moment to establish your core homeschooling goal list.

            4 Homeschool Classified Websites:

1. Homeschool Classifieds

2. Homeschool Buyers Co-op
"The World's Largest Buyers Club for Homeschoolers!"

3. Second Harvest Curriculum
                              You can buy or sell used homeschool curriculum here

4. Curriculum Share
Looking for free curriculum? This site links you with other homeschoolers who are willing to share their curriculum. You just pay shipping and handling!


Do have a great resource for curriculum? Please share in the comments below!

Popular Articles:



Summer Boredom Buster Freebie


Hi there!


Summer and Boredom go hand in hand. While kids need to experience boredom often to unlock creativity, there are moments that you will need to pull an
activity out of your hat to help them through their day.


Here is a freebie for you. Enjoy!


Summer Boredom Buster Chart and Coupons


How do you deal with Summer Boredom with your kids? 


My thoughts on boredom and creativity. 

(Cute graphics by, apple tree learning)




It's Here! A Sweet and Simple way to Talk to Your Kids about Purity, Sex, and Waiting!!




The Lord gave me this idea about 15 years ago while teaching a group of 5th graders.

My dilemma: 

How do you teach giggly, squirmy, and hormonal kids that God has a beautiful design and plan for them as it relates to sex? Just the mention of anything intimate sends kids into a panic.

God's Solution:

Puzzles!
I created this simple puzzle to explain God's design for sex and marriage to my own children. All five of our sons have been taught about intimacy and marriage this way.


Watch the video above and 
download your copy of 


Want to win a copy? Giveaway is from NOW until Monday 6/9!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Father's Day Gift Ideas


Father's Day is just around the corner.

Here are a few unique Father's Day Gift Ideas:
This post contains my referral link which helps support the work of this site. 
Here’s my full disclosure policy.


USB Money Clip
 USB Money Clip from Gifts.com

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0307118398/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0307118398&linkCode=as2&tag=abetwaytohom-20&linkId=DNEWLWYP4EXRN7H7

Just Me and My Dad by Mercer Mayer


Nothing Brings children confidence more than knowing 
mom and dad love each other!


http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00JBJ3JBI/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B00JBJ3JBI&linkCode=as2&tag=abetwaytohom-20&linkId=OASWMK5RIGR56AVF


Penny frame from Ziggity Zoom
Father's Day Crafts from My Delicious Abiguity
Penny Frame from Ziggity Zoom

Thinking Out of the Box

Teaching our kids to identify problems is great.
Teaching them to think out of the box to solve problems is another thing.

In our home, we are working on problem solving.


1. Identify a real need: Like improving our country's energy resources.

2. Study and Brainstorm possible solutions: For instance, finding a way to produce better solar energy producers.

3. Critique plan: Does simply creating solar fields solve the problem? Is there a better way?





Now, before you think that I am more intelligent than I am let me explain. I am not an "out of the box thinker". I have to stretch to find ways to inspire my boys to think in this capacity.

One of the ways I find creative conversation starters is finding unique and amazing videos about problems and solutions and then create a teaching environment.

Step one.
Find an inspirational image, video or product.


Step Two.
Using a probing question approach, set kids up to develop their own solutions to a true real life situation or need.

Look again at these prompts.
1. Identify a real need: How can we improve our country's energy resources?
2. Study and Brainstorm possible solutions:  What about solar energy? Can we look for an out of the box solution to solve our energy needs?
3. Critique plan: Does simply creating solar fields solve the problem? Is there a better way?

Step three.
After the kids have come up with their best ideas, inspire them further by sharing the video clip you found here.

Step four.
After seeing the video (or image), can you think of a better solution?


We use fun templates to record our ideas. Here are some free notebooking resources. http://notebookingpages.com/free-resource-center

Have fun helping your kids become "out of the box" thinkers!



How to Organize Notebooking Templates on Your Computer



This post contains my referral link which helps support the work of this site. 
Here’s my full disclosure policy.

You have embraced the idea of teaching your children to journal by using notebooking templates. You have downloaded hundreds if not thousands of cute, interesting, and important files for them to use during their study and personal learning time. But now what?


Without proper organization, those amazing templates you have purchased and downloaded for your children to use for their schoolwork will be locked and unused on your computer. Even worse, without a plan for organization you will have spent good money only to use up space on your harddrive.


You need a plan to organize your notebooking templates!


Create a master file folder on your computer
In order to locate your notebooking templates easily, it would be wise for you to create a master file to store all of your files. A good master file name would be “Notebooking Templates for School”.


I personally keep this folder on my desktop screen. Why?
If I neatly tuck this file in my directory list I tend to forget it it there. If it is right on my desktop screen then I am reminded often that there are cute and interesting templates for the kids to use.


Create a sub folder for each category as you collect and create new templates.
Under your master file folder, you will want to create category folders that make it easy for you to find any template you need. I highly suggest you create lists by subject:
  • Copywork
  • History
  • Science
  • Bible
  • Character Study
  • Famous People
  • Nature
  • Animals
  • ABC
  • Geography
  • etc


Depending on how organized your like your files, you can choose to go one step further and add files under each of these categories. For instance under the history folder you can create files for ancient history, medieval history, modern history, the civil war, etc.


Create files as you go.
If you are new to notebooking, you will quickly discover that there are thousands of templates available for you to introduce to your children. An easy approach to this kind of journaling is to consider what subject you are studying together in history (for example) and to acquire a handful of templates for your student to choose from as they are learning. Organize these files as you go.


With a little bit of time and effort you can ensure that you will be able to take advantage of all the free templates and great deals that you stumble upon as you search for school supplies and curriculum. With a good system of organization, you will be able to find those resources when your student is ready to use them!