Monday, December 19, 2011

Educational Resources

I don't think I've mentioned it before but my husband and I homeschool our two kids. This is a life choice we've found to be extremely money saving as well as something that helps us to be really involved with our kids' education while growing closer as a family. Plus, its fun!

Well . . .usually. Sometimes I come across a subject that I really don't enjoy teaching. Luckily, my husband has different strengths than I do, so largely I've been able to pass stuff I stink at off to him. However, recently I'd really been letting spelling slide. I just wasn't enjoying it and my kids were on very different levels, making it more difficult for me to teach. We'd tried Soaring with Spelling,



Sequential Spelling,



and now we are using an older program often referred to as the Spalding method, or The Writing Road to Reading (WRTR).



I have to say that I LOVE the WRTR for phonics instruction. If you are teaching your kid to read or working on reading improvement through phonics review, it can't be beat! (Make sure and get/make the flashcards.) But for spelling we just needed something, well, fun-er!

Since I also thought this might be a good time to start introducing my kids to computer work, I searched the Homeschool Buyers Co-op (HBC), where I buy homeschool curriculum if I'm going to get it new (which isn't very often.) Joining HBC is free and you can get some good deals on stuff you would've bought new anyway.

HBC had a special on a computer based program called Click N Spell. My kids did the two free lessons and really liked it. I liked it too because it had the independent computer work we were seeking! The kids really look forward this computer time. Sometimes they even ask to do spelling lessons in the evening, after our school hours!

Here they are engrossed in a spelling lesson.
 
Overall, I really like ClickN Spell. The only thing I dislike about the curriculum is that there aren't more options for personalized settings. I set the standard for my kids that they must attain 100% before moving on to the next lesson. If they don't get 100%, Click N Spell moves them on anyway and I have to go in and manually set them back to repeat that lesson. Other than this, I highly recommend the curriculum!
Visit ClickN KIDS web site for more information

Because we are classical homeschoolers, another free website that I use a lot for homeschooling is the Well-Trained Mind Forum. This is a great way to search for curriculum to see if it has worked for others. They also have a board for people who are "Afterschooling". Afterschoolers are those of us who work with our kids on school related stuff outside of school hours. If you have kids, this is probably you!

Lastly, a great free resource for math games is Fun 4 the Brain. My kids are crazy for these math games and they help with addition and subtraction review. Although we aren't studying multiplication quite yet, Timez Attack will be the free game we use to review multiplication facts.

Does anyone else know about a cheap or free educational resources? If so, please share them!

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