Friday, July 19, 2013

R is for... Resources

In our homeschool, we use a lot of resources that aren't full-fledged curriculum, or might not even have been originally intended specifically for home education, but that turn out to be valuable for us. Some resources are great helps for me in planning. I've collected up a few of these resources in the following list:

Cookbooks - Holidays of the World Cookbook for Students and Eat Your Way Around the World are two favorites that I own. Now, I do not particularly like to cook and I'm not very good at planning menus. In general, though, I do like to eat, and I find that my family likes to eat. So why not let our studies provide a little inspiration for the menus and some motivation for us to try new things? I have better luck getting help in the kitchen when we can browse through the international cookbooks and pick out some recipes we're game to try from whatever country or culture we happen to be studying. Some recipes garner only a "well, at least we tried it" response, but others have been enjoyed and requested again!
Holidays of the World Cookbook for Students: Updated and Revised   

Geography Through Art by Sharon Jeffus and Jamie Aramini - This could be used as a stand-alone course for art, for geography, or both. We've used it alongside our history courses over several years, and especially when we've been using Around the World in 180 Days. It contains over 75 art projects, and over 25 sketching projects, with clear instructions and background information. The projects are organized by continent and country, and the book is just full of great material for studies in folk art, world cultures, and geography.

Homeschool Tracker from TGHomesoft - I've had the Homeschool Tracker Plus edition for many years now, and this is an incredible tool for keep records. I do lesson planning, assignment scheduling, and keep grades and report cards on my Tracker. There is a free version, and an online Tracker as well.

Map Trek from Knowledge Quest - This has been my go-to resource for maps of all kinds ever since we had the privilege of reviewing it through the Schoolhouse Review Crew. And several years before that I had purchased a set of blackline maps of world history on CD from Knowledge Quest that had been such a valuable resource. The book is absolutely beautiful and has maps to help you teach world and US history thoroughly. It's pretty rare that I need a map that I can't find in Map Trek.

Progeny Press Literature Guides - We've used a couple of these guides, and have enjoyed them. The guides geared for middle school grades are what we've had experience with, and I found them a great introduction to studying literature. (See our review of the study guide for Treasure Island)

Unit studies - we've done a lot of different kinds of unit studies and love the adaptability. A unit study can be as detailed or as general as we need it to be. One year when we were planning on studying American history, we had just visited Cooperstown and the Baseball Hall of Fame earlier in the summer. We kicked off our school year with a two week unit study on baseball. When the kids were younger, I often interrupted whatever we had been studying in order to do a short unit study that focused on Thanksgiving or St Nicholas Day or Christmas at the appropriate time.

Z-Guides to the Movies from Zeezok Publishing - you certainly could do a full year's study using these guides, but I like them just for supplements that go along with history or literature. We reviewed a Z-Guide to the movie Amazing Grace a couple years ago.

What are some of your favorite resources? Leave a comment and let me know!

Please visit Ben and Me: R is for Restructure to join in and to see what thoughts this week's letter has prompted for other bloggers.
Blogging Through the Alphabet

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