Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A Homeschool Meme

painting by Margery Mostyn

I have been tagged by one of my favorite blog-mamas, Kimberlee of Pondered in My Heart.  I so admire the talented, literate, self-motivated children she and her husband are raising, and my own kids look to hers for their inspiration.  I don't usually go in for memes (the name alone is a turn off: "Me! Me!"), but seeing as it came from her...

Okay, eight questions having to do with home schooling:

One homeschooling book you have enjoyed.
There have been many I have enjoyed, but the one that has had the greatest influence on me lately is A Little Way of Homeschooling.  It has taken a lot of the anxiety out of home education for me, and this year I think I especially needed that.  And although I don't do Classical Education, I do like Laura Berquist's Designing Your Own Classical Curriculum for the great history book lists.

One resource you wouldn't be without.
Out here in the sticks, I would have to say the internet.  I use it to look for used, out of print books (our libraries are ghastly out here--I think we have more books in this house!); I read reviews of various curricula; I find kindred spirits, since I don't have any Catholic, homeschooling moms in my immediate area; I find out about great books and resources from other bloggers.  I really look at it as a valuable tool, we are very low-tech here, but I realize how much harder schooling--and many other things--would be for me without the internet.

One resource you wish you never bought.
Ah, the True Confessions section of this meme...anything I ever purchased as a download!  I told you, we are decidedly low-tech, and I just don't spend more time than I have to doing computer-related stuff.  So, everything from the lovely Catholic lapbooks to the whole "Gardening with Children" package I bought online and downloaded has pretty much been a waste.  I am also sorry to have purchased Startwrite!  I think I used it twice, and it wasn't cheap...

One resource you enjoyed last year.
And one we are using again this year, and will likely use every year, is Teaching Textbooks for math.  My kids went from hating math to actually feeling pretty okay with it, and occasionally even enjoying it.  I no longer have to do battle with the kids to get them to do it.  Likewise, I am sold on the Institute for Excellence in Writing.  It requires a bit more of my time than other programs, but I had reluctant writers on whom I had tried various programs.  Nothing, it seemed, made them happy to write.  Not even journaling!  But Andrew Pudewa did it.  They actually like to write now.  I will tell you that we are on a really tight budget--tighter than ever--but I made the investment in these not-so-cheap programs because they really get results.  I can wing it with other subjects, but with math and writing, I will give the kids the most "nutrient dense" curriculum I can find.

One resource you will be using next year.

Next year?  I know I will still use TT for Math and IEW for writing.  But I don't really know about next year.  Una will be going into high school, so it will take some consideration.

One resource you would like to buy.

I feel I can never have too many art and craft supplies.  I want lots of them.  A big whiteboard would be nice, too, if I knew where to put it. A piano would be great, but again, finding a spot for it might present a problem...

One resource you wish existed.
And drifting into the realm of fantasy, I wish we had a live-in music teacher (I love music, but play no instruments myself), a gym, and a Catholic Church with a daily Mass within walking distance...

One homeschool catalog you enjoy reading.
I love Emmanuel Books and Angelus Press.  But I am trying not to look too much at catalogs--too tempting, and I can't afford to buy things I won't use!  Catholic Heritage Curricula is always tempting me to buy their sweet things, too!  

Tag six other homeschool bloggers!
This could be tricky...many of my favorite bloggers have been tagged!

Grace, at Uncommon Grace
Allison, at Totus Tuus Family & Catholic Homeschool
Kelly, at The Careless Catholic
Suzy, at Scraps of Starlight
Kimberly, at Catholic Family Vignettes
Regan, at A Place for Everything


  1. I have so many teaching resources that I don't use anymore; not because they're obsolete, but because I've incorporated them into my "style" over the years...wonder if there's a forum for teachers/homeschooling parents where I might be able to unload some of them! Maybe I'll just have a yard sale...
    Great reading about this aspect of your life; I'm fascinated and intimidated by the notion of homeschooling, although I've taught the children of others for going on 14 years!

  2. Thanks for the tag Nadja :)
    I'll get around to this soon hopefully. Looks like a fun meme!
    I agree with your fantasy homeschool... a gym and a catholic church within walking distance would be wonderful :)

  3. I love the Teaching Textbooks, too. I don't play any instruments either but wish I did. Abigail has been taking piano for a few years. I would play the violin if I could... I love violin music. But, Abigail had her heart set on piano, and we found an excellent teacher for a very small tuition. Enjoyed reading your memes! +JMJ+

  4. Ditto to everything scraps of starlight said! :)

    Thanks for thinking of me.

  5. Yikes...3...4..weeks later. I did it! I finally posted mine.


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