Sunday, June 19, 2011

Resource Round Up

I know I've been a bit absent lately. I was working on lesson plans for the Little House books and next year's history. Okay, I may have been playing a little bit of Farm Town too.

But I'm very excited about the history and I'm going to be sharing it with you for free when I'm all done! We are on our first go around of the Middle Ages, so it is geared towards an early elementary age-range. This is my first try at laying out an entire, serious curriculum for a full year (last year was a lot of trying different things and finding our way), so I'm sure there are going to be flaws in it that I will change as we go along, but I'm also sure it will be quite helpful to other families out there. Just as a sneak peak, here is one of the maps I've put together to go along with it (later on I will provide these as a PDF without the watermark across them)

In the meantime, a link round-up of things I've found useful lately!

A Joyful Chaos is a blog I've really been enjoying that is written by a former Amish woman about her experiences growing up. Every once in a while she also posts updates from her current life and recently, she posted a great recipe for Oatmeal Cake. The cake is like a cake version of oatmeal cookies, only you can't really tell there's even oatmeal in it once it's cooked. The frosting is very similar to the coconut frosting on german chocolate cakes. We all loved it, though Josh calls it a "work all day cake", meaning if you work out in the fields all day you can afford to eat as much as you want but the rest of us need to watch our serving size! The only thing I'd change about the recipe is to half it and make it in an 8x8 pan.

I have fallen in LOVE with this website to make your own handwriting worksheets. You can do print or cursive, change the spacing of the lines, and do one line or word repeated multiple times or leave spaces for the kids to write on their own after tracing the words, or do a whole paragraph. I have done print worksheets in the largest size with easy consonant-vowel-consonant (CVC) words for Sedona and print worksheets in the smallest size with paragraphs that tie into the rest of her lessons for Sierra.

Sierra has decided she wants to learn to play the recorder. It has been many years since I played one, so this website of recorder fingerings was a huge help in refreshing my memory so I could teach her to play each note. She mostly remembered what she had already learned about reading music and picked up several songs very quickly after I showed her the website.

I keep saying we need a time line for our history lessons and I keep putting off buying one. I found out about this free online time line resource, and I think we'll give it a try and put off a more involved paper time line until our second pass through history.

Then there's this online typing instruction I plan to try out with Sierra next year. I haven't played around with it too much yet, but on first glance, it looks quite useful.

Last but most definitely not least, I have become addicted to Pinterest. When I first looked at it, it seemed sort of dumb, but once I signed up and got started, I couldn't stop going through pin boards! You set up an account and you can add a "pin it" button on your browser's toolbar. When you're browsing the web and see an interesting idea, you click the pin it button and pick which of your pin boards you want to put it on (for instance, I have boards for crafts, food, home decorating, homeschooling, etc...). Later, when you go to pinterest, you can look at all of your boards and since what you are saving is a picture, it's pretty easy to see all the ideas at once. Even better, you can look through the things other people have pinned as well and comment on them or re-pin them to your own board. You could find enough neat ideas in one night to keep you busy for months!

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