This is one of the best ways to get your child writing without having to pull teeth. Copywork is an absolute stalwart in our homeschool. We have used it diligently for all of our kids.
Check out our new copywork prices!
2. Math Drill
It took me a while to cotton on to this but now I see the value. This is a separate entity their normal math lesson. It’s an excellent way to make times tables and simple sums second nature.
I like to have a book that they can follow so I’m not printing off every few days.
This year I used Saxon Drill but I also know Rod and Staff and Calculadder are other good options.
Allocating readers as part of their homeschool lesson is a good way to get the more reluctant readers friends with their book. Choose age appropriate and correct reading level. Don’t force it above their level if you want them to do it alone.
Check out our booklists for some ideas.
When I look for a math curriculum I’m looking for a few things:
- Is it easy for my child to use? Is it well laid-out?
- Will my child feel like they are successful in math?
- Does the resource explain things well?
- How much help will I need to give them?
- Is it sequential? Can my child easily follow what is coming next?
- Does it fit well with the Australian curriculum? Does it use metric?
- Can I see progress with my child?
- Can I set the lesson times?
- Does it have drill?
- Is there revision?
This year I’ve been combining Math Online with my bookwork math curriculum and I can tell you Math Online meets all my requirements in the above list.
Often I find when I tutor my children in math I can help a little too much. I’m often aware that I raced them through the steps and they didn’t get it. With Math Online this isn’t a problem because I can set activities and I can walk away, knowing that the explanations are given clearly.
Another thing I love about Math Online is that the built in incentives to do well are not a distraction to the lesson. Some online math programs have so many rewards for the child that they spend most of their time playing with the rewards and not actually learning much. With another online program I noticed my kids were sitting at an easy level just earning points and not even trying to improve.
Assessing progress is also done easily, even if you don’t join. When you use the trial version you can do little topic tests and see where your child is up to. When doing this I realised I hadn’t taught 24 hour time or Roman numerals. You can also quickly work through lessons seeing if your child understands a concept or if they need more work. This is great for remedial work or if you want to fast track your child.
Could Math Online be used as a complete math program? I asked Patrick Murray, its founder, this question. He said that Math Online was never intended to be a complete math program but rather a supplement. He also mentioned that the primary Math Online program is very comprehensive and would cover most things that an average math student would need to know. I asked him if he could suggest a math program to use with Math Online and he didn’t have a particular recommendation.
Just the other day my highschool son was studying for a math test and he wanted to know about polynomials and surds (I had no idea) , so we looked it up in the math online search box and listened to the explanation. I couldn’t believe it—I even understood the explanation. My son commented that he finds the Math Online tutorials so easy to understand.
So if you are considering using Math online in your homeschool you can buy a special math online homeschoolers package (60 % off the regular price) that will include all of your children. You can find it here!
I hope you found this review helpful. Michelle
Today we sold our final hardcopy of Crowns of Fire.
We are very happy with this result because it was a scary thing to release this book with such a small distribution market. However 2000 copies of this book were printed and as Homeschooling Downunder’s first picture book that was a great achievement.
Since this book has such a beautiful theme and gorgeous illustrations we have decided to keep it going as an ebook.
We hope you will continue to enjoy it using your Ipads, Tablet PC’s, Laptops and even Smartboards.
Find out more about Crown of Fire today!
This term we have been covering a bit of grammer with our Emma Serl Intermediate Language Lessons.
Anyway we needed a few extra helps for the lessons. So I went to youtube for some aids and I was pleased with what we found.
Here are three ytube videos that we enjoyed.
This first one has got to be homeschool boys. It’s a shame they spelt modify as motify but I can forgive them since the tune is so catchy.
Then there is this lovely video about Prepositions.
And today’s lesson was on Who or Whom?
I’ve decided to put together a few Youtube videos on how we organise our homeschool. The first one is on workboxes and how we use them.
The video is 12 minutes. My 10 year old filmed it and my 12 year old edited it for me.I’m not going to win any academy awards for this but I hope it helps some of you.
You can purchase The Workbox System ebook from Currclick.
Today at our home was just one of those regular days of a thousand jobs to do and a constant battle to get the priorities right.
After a weekend of rain and weekend visitors the washing has piled up. In between lessons I’ve been back and forth with washing and trying to get things dry on the clothes horse.
Then there is the maths lesson that need some attention with darling son.
Oh and I better put the soup on for lunch.
I must now answer that email from my family member. This will take a little while.
“Yes, Okay! I’ll help with the maths.” I go to help darling daughter.
Now I’ll fold some of the towels and sheets.
“Oh no the soups burnt.”
Ok, let’s do the dictation. Then we will finish the English lesson.
I’m hungry! I’ll eat the waterless soup anyway. It wasn’t too bad.
Now I’ll put another load in the washing machine.
Then I’ll vent my thoughts quickly in this blog post.
Now I’ll grab an Ecco and a piece of raisin toast with squished banana on top and do the read alouds.
Then I’ll sort out some more washing, pick up one daughter from the bus, take the first daughter to choir, come home, take my son to guitar, come home, take the second daughter to choir, pick up the first, after that I’ll come home and cook fish and chips for dinner and sit down for dinner. After dinner, I’ll watch the news, check and answer some emails and then pick up the second daughter from choir.
After that I’ll go to bed.
I was recently given a review copy of the Australian Democracy Pack from Maximedia. It included a DVD, interactive CD and booklet.
The two part DVD was about the history of Australian democracy. Each part was about 20 minutes long. What impressed me most was the use of original documents of the time. They used some Joseph Lycett paintings (some bare breasted aboriginal women appear in one or of the two paintings) and archived film footage from the period they were talking about. It was excellent to see these events on film, much better than just a picture. I found this DVD to be a fairly good overview of how Australia’s government developed, however it didn’t mention our Christian heritage in government. It did mention the White Australia policy, Aboriginal traditional law and how Aboriginals were not allowed full voting rights until 1967. It also didn’t talk about how the parliamentary system works. I think that is in another of their DVD packs, Governing Australia.
The Australian democracy pack also comes with a booklet that covers the topics in the DVD. It also has an interactive CD. The interactive CD has a few word searches, three puzzles of works of art, a crossword, quiz and a fill in the blank exercise.
It is not comprehensive but a review or introduction to this subject. My children aged 10 and 12 easily understood the concepts introduced.
I think the DVD would be good when you are covering Australian government and history. Their other DVD’s also cover other history subjects although I haven’t seen these.
The CD’s are Ok for kids who like to do little puzzles on the computer but they would probably only use it once. We finished with it after about 30 mins. This is more of a school resource.
Recommending Books and Good Booklists
There are so many books out there and unfortunately many of them are not that good!
I must say that I like a good book recommendation from a person who has actually read the book they are telling me about.
If a book is really good then I want to read it. If someone is telling me about it just because it exists then for me that is not enough.
Over the years I have heard about old out-of-print books that were quite difficult to get and found them. Sometimes they were wonderful gems and other times, to my disappointment the books were very ordinary. So now I look for book recommendations of books others have actually read.
For example I read John of the Sirius this year, very hard to find and very expensive to purchase. I got it on an interlibrary loan. It was OK! It really didn’t reflect well what the First Fleet trip was like. Sure it mentioned the ports they stopped at, the salt pork and ships biscuits but you heard nothing about the convicts. It just seemed like a little kids unrealistic adventure.
Awesome Aotearoa was another book recommendation that I was excited about. Another dud!
Tango Makes Three, the same sex couples parenting issue is explored in this one. What an insidiously subtle message that was, all cloaked up in a cute penguins in the park children’s story book.
So I suppose my point is—when looking for recommendations of a book, ask also if the person has read the book and if not find if you can someone who has.
One of the reasons I was so happy to put up Homeschool Favourites booklists was because I know that the books have been pre read. Another great booklist book is Honey for a Child’s Heart. We also have various booklists on our site.
Over the years many new homeschoolers have asked me how to get started homeschooling. I’ve often replied with an email that gave them part of the picture, or referred them to a book that I thought would help them. But I always felt like I was short-changing them for there was so much that I wanted to say.
New homeschoolers have so many questions and there is so much information around on curriculums, methods, learning styles and socialisation. It can become quite bamboozling. Prioritising what they need to know now can be difficult.
I wanted to communicate to new homeschoolers, and those who are in their first years of homeschooling, what they needed to know first, so that they could start well and avoid some of the pitfalls that can occur in the early years.
So now I’ve done it and I’d like to announce the release of our latest ebook resource.
How to Homeschool 101 – How to teach and Get Organised in the Primary Years.
This ebook has all the essential information needed to homeschool with confidence.
Available from our website today at an introductory price of $7.95.