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Homeschool Resource Roundup: Ghandi, The Stars, and More!

11:30 PM

While we have a pretty good curriculum plan in place for our kids this year (see our Kindergarten Homeschool Guide for an example), I can't help but supplement our children's learning experience with high-quality books, printables, and DVD's.  It helps to break up the monotony and really enriches their day!  Here are the ones we are raving about in our house this fall:  (Note: Links to sellers may be affiliate links.)

Gandhi: A March to the Sea by Alice B. McGinty (Illustrated by Thomas Gonzalez)

All kids should know the story of Gandhi, and this beautifully illustrated read is age-appropriate for even the youngest of kids.  It does a brilliant job of explaining Gandhi's mission without getting over political or singling out any particular religion.  The message is inspiring, and kids will enjoy hearing about a hero that did something to change the world peaceably and in a big way! (Find it in hardcover for as low as $10; ebook is $3.99!)

The Lesson Machine Store at Teachers Pay Teachers

I love printables, especially those that compliment the classic literature we read in our homeschool.  The Teachers Pay Teachers website has hundreds of "stores" that parents can shop for digital products for their kids' learning.  A good friend of mine has a store called "The Lesson Machine" that really does an excellent job of providing high-quality activities that go along with many of the books that may be on this year's reading list.  To see what she has to offer, check out her free sample download of the Literature Unit for "Gandhi" by Demi.  It's 26-pages and contains material for kids in the 2nd grade on up.

The Stargazer's Guide to the Night Sky by Dr. Jason Lisle

If you're looking for the book that will take you from knowing nothing about looking at stars to understanding astronomy at a high-school or college level, this book, based on the perspective of an experienced Astronomer/Astrophysicist, will have your kids "oohing" and "aahing" -- both while reading and while applying what they learned under the big night sky!  This book gives so much information, and the photos are fantastic.  Parents who teach a Creationist view of science will also enjoy that it contains no "old Earth" or Evolutionist theories; Biblical context is offered, as well.  This giant book (240 full-color pages) will have your family excited about astronomy for years to come!  Available for less than $25 at Amazon, it's a great value.

King Alfred's English: A History of the Language We Speak and Why We Should Be Glad We Do by Laurie J White
Every so often a book comes along that captivates the English-lover in me and makes me want to share that passion with my kids.  This book is one of them.  Taking the history of the English language from a historical and cultural perspective and tying it into grammar principles with fun quotes, facts, and stories, this is an entertaining way for kids to get why we say what we say (and why the language will probably continue to evolve.)  The book is small, but packed with knowledge.  Included are links to additional resources to keep the learning going.  Aimed at kids grades 7-12, it covers language history from 55 BC to 1611 in a way parents will enjoy reading with their kids.  (Available for less than $15!)

LeapFrog Flash Cards

I was thrilled to try out several items in the new line of LeapFrog educational products for kids, including flash cards, white boards, and workbooks.  Our favorite of the bunch have been the Sight Word Flash Cards, as we have had a struggling reader in our family who has been trying to master sight words for some time.  These cards feature some of the most commonly used words in the beginning reading level, as well as more advanced words that kids may have a hard time sounding out.  We have taken 5 words a week to work on with our son, and we have seen drastic improvement!  (Just one of a few different sets that LeapFrog offers, they are affordably priced at around $6.)

Bedtime Math: Fun Excuse To Stay Up Late by Laura Overdeck and Jim Paillot

We have always used naptimes and bedtime to teach our kids.  They are usually so relaxed during these times, and while we wouldn't expect them not to nod off while we are reading, we also know that they give us their undivided attention while they wait to fall asleep.  Bedtime Math takes advantage of our style of teaching by giving us a fun set of stories to read to kids, complete with math-related questions.  Since we teach our kids as a group (mixing the young ones with the old ones) this book is perfect, as it offers 3 questions per story based on skill level.  You can ask each age group the right question for them, making math class a family affair!  (You can find this funny, colorful and effective read for less than $11 at Amazon!)

*Samples of some products received to review.  Opinions are 100% our own.


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