These are a Few of My Favorite Homeschool Things


A Few Favorite Homeschool Things

So school has started and shopping is done. Well mostly done. A homeschool mom will reassess as they go and add in needed items and get rid of things that don’t work. {Tweet That} I wanted to take a minute and share with you a few of my favorite homeschool things for this year. These are items that have helped me feel confident or made my life easier as a homeschool mama.

Four Favorite Homeschool Things

Favorite Homeschool Planner

Simply Pretty HFavorite Homeschool Teacher Planneromeschool Teacher Planner. So, yes. I did create this teacher planner, but it is my favorite. I am using it this year and honestly it’s working great for me. It’s simple and pretty with bright pops of colored flowers throughout and has just the pages you need without a lot of extra printing of pages that you don’t need. It’s available through pdf download and printable. I designed it to be used with up to 6 children but if you need it for more, you can print extra pages to meet your need. The planner costs just $4.99 and is still available for the 2014/2015 school year. It has certainly become a favorite homeschool thing.



 Favorite Homeschool Grammar Help

Favorite Homeschool Grammar Help A Sentence a Day is a book that helps reinforce knowledge of grammar. Through daily proofreading exercises these sentences are designed to help kids to catch common mistakes that are made in writing. Using these proofreading sentences is a great way to test what your children really know about how grammar is used in the writing process. These sentences are for older middle school students to early junior high students. Or, for kids who are advanced learners. These sentence proofreading practices are one of my son’s favorite homeschool things.



 Favorite Homeschool Art Curriculum

A Simple Start in Chalk PasHomeschool Favorite Things, Chalk Pastel Art Lessonstels, instructional art series for homeschoolers. Tricia Hodges, homeschool mom and blogger, along with Nana (grandma) have put together a wonderful series of art lessons through ebooks, video tutorials and even a few how-to guides on their blog. Art Pastel Chalks are easy to use, forgiving of mistakes and with just a few strokes of the chalks, rubs with the fists and a little guidance from Nana, students of all ages and skill levels can make beautiful pieces of art. It won’t be long before you will be chalking along with the kids and discover that you have a hidden skill for art. It will quickly become one of your favorite homeschool things. With eBooks for every season and some fun guides as well, (like At the Beach and Sharks), your kids will be asking, “Mom, can we chalk today?” It’s a favorite of mine and a favorite of my son’s as well!

Favorite Homeschool Music Curriculum

Favorite Homeschool Music Curriculum SQUILT

SQUILT Music Appreciation Curriculum for homeschoolers. Mary Prather, homeschool mom, blogger and music enthusiast has put together a dynamic music appreciation course for elementary to middle school students. SQUILT stands for Super Quiet Uninterrupted Listening Time and guides your students to understand the dynamics, instrumentation and rhythm of music coupled with a study of the composers who wrote the pieces. Mary has thoughtfully made use of notebooking as a way to help students to become familiar with beautiful pieces of music. My son loves the “Draw What You Hear” notebooking page because it allows 2 of his passions to collide, art and music. He loves both so for him that page is the best! Three eBook volumes are available for $9.99 each or you can bundle all three for $26.99.


What are your favorite homeschool  things? Share some of yours in comments.


Renée (17 Posts)

Renée Brown is author at her personal blog, Great Peace Academy. She is a homeschooling mom to her one amazing son, Jonathan and has been the wife of her Beloved Michael for 21 years. On her blog you will find discussions about her work as a homeschooling mom, her family and her faith.

A Word From Our Sponsors

Homeschool Products from Nest Learning
***ART PROJECTS curriculum –ages 10+ -fulfills high school fine arts credit 10% off + FREE SHIPPING in U.S. Code: STL Offer expires September 30th***

Pearson Homeschool Phonics Review

I received this product for free. I am being compensated for my time to use the product and write this review. All opinions are my own and I was not required to provide a positive review.~Lisa

Pearson Homeschool Phonics Review

My little first grader can’t read. In fact, she has only a slight understanding of her alphabet. Not that I haven’t tried, she just has absolutely no interest in reading. Maybe it’s because her big sisters read everything for her, or maybe she’s just a late bloomer in the reading department. I don’t push it. One of her older sister’s was the same way and she reads just fine now. This is one of the reasons I love homeschooling.

When I was presented with the opportunity to review Pearson Homeschool Phonics Level A, I was very excited. I checked out their website and felt their approach to phonics might be just what my girl needed to spark her interest in reading.

I was sent the Phonics Level A Teacher Resource Guide and Consumable Student Workbook. The units help teach phonics by teaching phonemic awareness first, followed my connecting that sound to the letter symbol. There are blending lessons that show how the sounds become words, spelling activities and many “words in context” activities. They provide pretests and posttest assessments to help you monitor your child’s progress.

Why I Love Pearson Homeschool Phonics

Pearson Homeschool Phonics Games

  • Grab and Go – With multiple children being homeschooled in our house, I appreciated that this curriculum did not require much prep work. I was able to sit down in the morning and read over the teacher pages quickly, jumping right into the lesson.
  • Options for Reinforcement - They have a section titled “Focus on All Learners” that gives many options for reviewing the lesson based on the type of learning style your child needs. There are even activities for children who want a little extra challenge.
  • Themes and Ideas - Each Unit has a theme and in the first pages of the teacher’s book, Pearson shares ideas for incorporating the unit theme throughout your homeschool: science, writing, art, reading.
  • Games for Additional Learning - In the beginning of Unit One, they dedicate two pages to a variety of games and activities that can be used to reinforce the lessons. Pile Up, Quick Draw, Wonder Wheel and more! They are great for creating in advance and keeping in an activity bin. My older girls can “play” along with their little sister while I chase down their brother. Isn’t homeschooling with little ones fun?!
  • Colorful - Maybe it’s the kid in me, but I love that it’s full color, bright and easy to read.

Pearson Homeschool Teacher Guides


Pearson is offering 25% off until September 15, 2014, with code BLG25! Check out Phonics for Grades
Kindergarten ~First ~Second ~Third ~Fourth ~Fifth ~Sixth


What Didn’t Make Sense

As much as I am enjoying this curriculum, there are a few things that just don’t make sense. Pearson is a curriculum provider for public schools, but created this curriculum specifically for homeschoolers. However, throughout the book there are references to “Home Connections” that encourage kids to take things home (letters, activities, etc.) to show their parents. There are also sections with bulletin board ideas and classroom activities. These aren’t a distraction for me, I just skim past them, but they did make me scratch my head a bit.

Why My Daughter Loves Her Pearson “Piggy Book”

The books have pictures of perfectly adorable plaid pigs on them. She calls it her Piggy Book, and loves it when she gets to work in it. Here are some of the reasons she likes her Piggy Book:

Student Activity Pearson Homeschool Phonics

  • The pages tear out. This little girl hates trying to write in the creases of a workbook, and since her daily work pages tear out easily, she can lay them flat on the table to write. Side note: I love that each lesson in on one page, front and back, so I don’t have to save yesterday’s work for tomorrow. Workbooks that end a lesson on the front of a page and start a new one on the back make me bonkers.
  • The lessons are short. The attention span of a six year old fluctuates. These lessons are short enough that she can easily remain focused. If she wants to do more, we can add on the activities.
  • The stories/poems are funny. Nothing makes a girl happier than a funny poem about toy tigers drinking tea. The alliterations keep her smiling and motivate her to try to repeat them. Very entertaining way to sneak in some phonics practice!

I’ve had a couple of flops in the past with regard to picking curriculum. This year was no exception. I’m grateful that Pearson Homeschool has created something that is working for my little lady. If you’d like to find out more about Pearson, check them out on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Google+.

Pearson offers several other homeschool resources! Get 25% off with code BLG25 on

  • enVisionMath Bundle Grades K­6
  • myWorld Social Studies Bundle Grades K­6
  • MCP Plaid Phonics Bundle Grades K­6
  • Interactive Science Bundle Grades K­5

Valid through Sept. 15, 2014.

I received this product for free. I am being compensated for my time to use the product and write this review. All opinions are my own and I was not required to provide a positive review.~Lisa
Lisa Baldwin (61 Posts)

Disciple of Christ, Wife, Mother of Four, Homeschooler, Crafter, Designer (Graphics and CSS/HTML), Blogger. I share too much, laugh at the wrong things, and fall on my backside regularly. Thank goodness Jesus ignores all of that and loves me anyway.

A Word From Our Sponsors

Homeschool Products from Nest Learning
***ART PROJECTS curriculum –ages 10+ -fulfills high school fine arts credit 10% off + FREE SHIPPING in U.S. Code: STL Offer expires September 30th***

Hands-on Science that Makes Sense: Supercharged Science


We enjoy science in our homeschool, but I’m not always confident about the best way to teach it and make it really relevant and approachable to my kids.  If you’ve ever felt challenged teaching science, or if your kids really love science, you’ll want to read today’s post.   Plus, you’ll have access to 5 free really cool complete science lessons, including “self-teaching” how-to videos.  (If you can’t wait, CLICK HERE to get them now!)

Supercharged Science 5 free lessons for The Homeschool Post readers @hsbapost @destinyblogger

{This is a sponsored post written on behalf of Supercharged Science.}

When it comes to teaching science, so many parents ask as single question:

Maybe you can relate.

I mean the curriculum publishers list out the chapters in their program, the state says something different based on standards, and friends tell us yet another story.
This is actually a really common question. Finally, today, I’ve got an answer – but it’s a bit different than you might think.

You see, it’s not the right question to ask first. It’s like stopping at a gas station to ask for directions and simply saying “How do I get there?”

First, you need to know where you want to go. Then someone can give you directions.
Different people have different goals in having their kids learn science! I’ll tell you some of the most common ones and explain how to get there. Then you can decide which is right for you and your kids.

Here are the top reasons people want their kids to learn science:
1.     To gain a true appreciation for the wondrous world we live in
2.     To learn to think in a logical & methodical way
3.     To learn to appreciate and enjoy a topic that they can really use in their future (like for a career)
4.     To be prepared for college entry requirements
5.     To meet state science requirements

Which ones are your top goals for your kids?

The good news is that reaching a number of these goals at the same time is pretty do-able.

If you picked any of the first three as your top choice, then you probably want to focus on hands-on science with academic material to support what kids learn through doing experiments (the rest of the reasons might be important to you, but I’m talking about your FIRST choice here.)

Your kids’ time should be focused on things like building robots, launching rockets, creating laser-beam splitters and stuff like that first.  Then, after teaching each topic, by providing the academics to support it, and also giving your kids flexibility to continue learning extra in areas that they’re really excited about.

Of course this first approach usually prepares kids well for college too and can be tailored to meet state requirements.

If reasons 4 or 5 were your top choices, then you may want a more “traditional” textbook based approach. State standards and entry requirements are usually based on a public school education, so they test for what that kind of education usually provides. This is typically memorization rather than true understanding. Kids tend to have less fun with this approach, but you can pack more academic material into a shorter time period. Note that kids who learn this way are much less likely to become inspired or excited by science.

I recently learned all this from Aurora Lipper, who is a master science teacher at Supercharged Science (not to mention a real live rocket scientist who used to work for NASA, but is now a mom who devotes her time to sharing her love of science with kids). She has created an award winning science curriculum that teaches science this way.

Click here to try a free sample of it, or to get details on the complete curriculum.

It turns out that when kids do hand-on science, they get much more excited to learn it and therefore teaching it is much easier (not a big surprise, right).
By doing this, kids gain a true appreciation for the world around them, AND they learn the academics.  They also remember the academic material much longer than kids who just learned from a book (and know it on a level they can really use).
If you want to see this with your own kids, today I’ve got a collection of science lessons for you that are actually “self-teaching”.  They feature step-by-step teaching videos that your kids can go through on their own, plus a supporting workbook.

And they’re entirely FREE for The Homeschool Post readers!

Click here to download it now.

The idea is that if kids learn about hydraulics by building a working hydraulic robot.  Then, they think it’s so cool, they really want to learn the academic side of things, because then they can build even more cool stuff.
The point is, it makes them WANT to learn.

I can’t imagine too many kids reading a chapter in a textbook where they had to do a bunch of equations on hydraulic pressure and then say “Wow, that was so much fun, can I do some more equations?!”

I believe that kids really need to try things in the real world in order to genuinely understand and appreciate it!

Remember when you first learned to drive. You may have known what the steering wheel, gas pedal and brake did on an intellectual level. But, going out in traffic armed with just this knowledge would have been a pretty dangerous thing. You needed hands-on experience to really know how to drive.

The same thing is true with science. The books might have all the facts, but to really know science, you need to do LOTS of hands-on experiments and projects.

Here’s the BOTTOM LINE:
If you want your kids to have a true appreciation for the world around them AND be prepared for college and life, get a science curriculum that focuses on hands-on science activities first, and then introduces the academics to support them (not the other way around).

Regardless of what science curriculum you choose, PLEASE ask questions before you invest in any science curriculum or program you’re considering.  I know you want to do the best you possibly can for your kids.

To get the free “self-teaching” science lessons and the risk-free science curriculum trial CLICK HERE.


Sara (27 Posts)

I'm a reader, writer, dreamer, wife, and homeschooling mom of 3 girls. We take a relaxed, eclectic, Charlotte Mason-leaning, Montessori-ish, literature-rich, delight-directed, almost unschooling-at-times approach to learning. Lots of unit studies, field trips, and lapbooks, too. I like to blog about our learning adventures (plus faith and encouragement) at Embracing Destiny.

A Word From Our Sponsors

Homeschool Products from Nest Learning
***ART PROJECTS curriculum –ages 10+ -fulfills high school fine arts credit 10% off + FREE SHIPPING in U.S. Code: STL Offer expires September 30th***