Thursday, August 02, 2012

Homeschooling for Free - Elementary Grades

I would like to share our plan for homeschool this year for my elementary students. It is my hope that you will see that with just a bit of preparation that it is possible to homeschool primarily from free resources from the internet and the library.

The children and I will take turns reading a story a day from the Bible using this reading list. We will discuss the scriptures and then the children can draw a picture or do a craft related to the reading. The quickest way to find a craft is to type the name of the story followed by the word "craft" in Google. For example, you can search for a "Noah's ark craft" or a "Daniel in the lions den craft".

English/Language Arts 
We will use McGuffey's Readers for about 15 min a day. You will find more information on how I plan to use them on my post about returning to McGuffey Readers. For grammar I have three living books that we will be reading, one of which is Grammar-Land. This is a humorous book where each of the nine parts of speech must stand trial and prove why he is justified in "owning" the words that he does. And I will supplement the book with grammar songs found on YouTube

For my five year old, I will continue checking out alphabet books and beginner reader books from the library and work out of the McGuffey Primer a bit.

I will hand write copywork for my two children in a notebook that has the dotted middle lines and solid top and bottom lines. I'll print some sheets on both sides from Donna Young and make our own homemade notebooks. I will either have the children copy Bible verses or sentences from their readers. 

Originally I was going to use Ray's for math this year. But after carefully considering what Don Potter had to say I have decided to use First Lessons in Numbers instead. Mr. Potter actually strongly recommended teaching with First Lessons in Arithmetic -which he has links to on his site; but, he said that the two books are very similar. (Mr. Potter is an educator that I respect very much. He incorporates old fashioned public domain texts into his classroom to successfully teach his students arithmetic, reading through phonics, cursive, and grammar.) After comparing the two along with Ray's, I feel that FLIN will work best for our homeschool. I like the abundance of illustrations and I like that the lessons are short.

Also, we will read living math books from the library, use our math fun box, and play plenty of math games.

We will do nature studies using Ana Botsford Comstock's Handbook of Nature Study. And we will read several living books from the public domain pertaining to animals, insects,  birds, plants, and gardening. (Here is our reading list for this year.) Also, we will watch Beakman's World on Netflix and attempt some of the experiments from the show.

It took me a few weeks to put all of the resources together.  But I feel that it was time well spent. 

Here is how we are homeschooling high school free this year.