Monday, April 29, 2013

How I homeschool for free!

You know being the (cheapskate) rebel against the system that I am, I decided that Homeschooling doesn't need to be more expensive than regular school, not to mention private school! And lets face on one income is hard enough without adding the crazy expensive curriculums each year. So here's how I do it:

My eldest (girl) is in Grade 1, so I researched what BASIC skills she needed for this year and went on this:

10 Bare Basic skills to learn in Grade 1

1. She needs to be able to count and recognize numbers from 0-100
2. Basic sums: Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication, Division
3. Problem solving, concept of money
4. All shapes and colours (different shades too)
5. Time, Days of the week, Months, today's date
6. Recognize, read and write the sounds of the alphabet
7. Be able to draw a straight line from left to right crossing the midsection of her body, with out  
     picking up her hand
8. Neat and correct penmanship skills
9. Recognize shapes or objects drawn over each other (Good visual discrimination), folow  
    instructions correctly and recognizing sounds, remembering facts of a story (Good Auditory
10. Basic lifeskills and general knowledge, including physical science, geography, biology and  

Please note that the above list is not extensive, and that I am not an expert on early child development, this list is compiled based on my own research.

I searched for curriculum that included the above skills and we are very happy with what I found so far. This our maths curriculum. Free Maths Program has curriculum from Grade 1 to Grade 5, divided in easy to follow sections and all skills is covered.

 The most wonderful thing about homeschooling is that when you see your child struggle with a certain skill, you can put it on hold and then get back to it later, this is what I have done on a few occations and it works wonders. This way your child don't get discourage and end up having a negative experience with certain subjects or skills

We started with an intensive reading program and I bought a litteracy work book which is used in our state schools. But my daughter got discouraged with the literacy program and it didn't cover the words and sounds long enough to actually be remembered.

 So we stopped both and I searched for a good phonics program, after my friend told me about one she used, but I didn't want to buy one (read couldn't aford it). This is our phonics and literacy curriculum.

We are really enjoying this program! Progressive Phonics (we're doing the Alphabetti program now) is based on very cute stories that the mom reads with the child with certain words typed bigger and in bold that the child must "read".

For the rest we do interest led lapbooks. I've found some really great free printable lapbooks on Homeschoolshare. We do our lapbooks in a big scrapbook - those ones with the blue pages. It keeps the work contained.

For my three year-old I just print out some worksheets that I know he would be able to do and I've also made some file folder games, which keeps him busy. I found some really nice file folder games at Filefolderfun and Mr Printables but I also made my own using paint colour cards I found for free at the home-improvement store :)

It really is possible to homeschool for free!

Disclaimer: I did not recieve any payment or incentive for my opinions in this post

Do you know how to chop up a watermelon?

I didn't either! My mom used to cut it in slices like a loaf of bread and then peel and chop each.and.every slice. NOPE too much work and definitly too much trouble!

 photo credit:

Once, before I was maried I bought a watermelon and I couldn't face chopping it, so I stashed on top of my kitchen cabinet, (where I couldnt reach it without a chair - dont judge I had a VERY tiny kithchen). I completely forgot about it, and one evening I was cooking something and it E.X.P.L.O.D.E.D!!! Everything was covered in rotten watermelon beer!! eew! So I stopped buying watermelon altogether. But my kids LOVE it so whats a mom to do? (and I defnitly didnt want to have another melon-explosion!)

Here's the basics Three easy steps:

 work on the biggest tray you have with the sharpest knife
1. cut in half, then quarters
2. make slices in the flesh vertically and then horisontally like a # with out cutting through the skin
3. cut along the skin to seperate the flesh. scoop out and cut in to smaller pieces if desired.

You only have 4 big pieces of skin to throw away and it literally takes a few minutes to cut up!

For a busy mom, this is as easy as it gets! :)