Evaluation Station!

 

 Links and Resources    

   Some important thoughts before you go hunting for curriculum below...  

Just because your child is learning at home does not mean you are "homeschooling." Homeschooling at its best means you have taken the time to pick and choose solid foundational curriculum which best suits the needs and characteristics of your individual student, and the values that are important to your family, and you are using that curriculum to teach your child yourself. (Teens need much less hands on teaching than the little ones, but still need a great foundational curriculum, monitoring and guidance.)

        Be careful of all-in-one programs. They do not cater to individual needs, much resembling the public school mentality of conformity over individuality. Also be cautious not to use resources that were meant to be supplementary as if they were foundational curriculum. IF you are using too many resources for a particular subject, you are jumping around too much and working way too hard trying to piece it all together. Find a good foundational curriculum for each subject that is in line with the truths you wish to impart to your children and stick with it. There is a LOT of wonderful curriculum out there designed specifically for homeschool use. 

            We do not have to rely on Public school materials or their online programs or follow their "benchmarks." (In my opinion, FLVS is NOT homeschooling!) It is MUCH MORE IMPORTANT to explore what the college or trade school will require of your student upon entrance, than to focus on what is required for high school graduation. As the homeschool parent in charge of your child's education, YOU set the standard for the completion of your program-not the public school.

           Once your student completes ninth grade, "Dual-Enrollment" is also a great option which will help them get a jump on their future. It's always good to keep one eye looking down the road, but for now, have fun perusing all the wonderful resources you'll find on this page. They can help pave a beautiful road to a successful future!

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       Below is a collection of sites and resources that we have found to be helpful. (Okay, We'll be honest... We LOVE these choices!) BUT, before you dive in, make sure you read the "Seven Secrets to Finding the Best Homeschool Curriculum" by Carletta Sanders. (Just click on the title!) Carletta has put together a great resource here, outlining the major homeschool philosophies/ methods, and teaching and learning styles. THIS IS A MUST READ!

               When you're ready, for your convenience, we now have an ONLINE STORE where you can get the great resources we recommend, and many others. (Click on "Online Store" in the navigation bar at the top of this page, or just click on the sidebar on the right!)  You can also find what you're looking for at ChristianBooks.Com (We have these, and links to other great vendors and resources on the right side of this page!) You may even be able to borrow curriculum from "The Christian Galiardo Memorial Library."

 

 

 

Your question:
"Should I focus on choosing curriculum that satisfies "COMMON CORE" requirements?"
My answer: An emphatic, "NO."
Read this important article on the "Common Core" to understand how important it is that we not follow after this huge educational mistake!
                                      What is the problem with "Common Core"?


Teaching Tips for Various Learning Styles!
Teaching Tips for Various Learning Styles.pdf Teaching Tips for Various Learning Styles.pdf
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 Find your child's STRENGTHS (and focus on

those!)


Strengths Explorer Link: STRENGTHS

 

Below are a couple of pages that will really help you both in

your teaching- as you strive to take your student above the

basic lower levels of learning... to higher levels of thinking.

CHECK your curriculum (learning sources) against these

charts to see if their questions ever get to the higher levels.

(You should be able to drag these pages to your desktop and print them. These are good to have on hand!)




HOMESCHOOL SUPPORT

1. State wide:  Florida Parent Educator's Association

2. Pinellas County: Pinellas Parent Educator's Association

3. Keep up with homeschool happenings in Pinellas. Get on the "Homeschool Loop!"

4. Pasco County: Victorious Homeschoolers

5. Homeschool Legal Defense Association


SCHOLARSHIPS for COLLEGE

It is difficult to keep up with this ever changing field. My top suggestion

is to download the "Scholly" app. You will have the opportunity to receive

LOTS of monetary support from LOTS of available scholarships you had no

idea even existed. Look for the red icon with a puppy wearing a graduation

hat.


EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES




 

Let's begin with the MOST IMPORTANT THING...

Bible-  The best curriculum I have found (through one of my clients!) is produced and
available through POSITIVE ACTION BIBLE CURRICULUM. They have all levels and it is a
very excellent resource. Clink on this link to check it out!



https://positiveaction.org/homeschool









1. Apologia Science-
 
I highly recommend this Apologia Science curriculum series by Dr. Jay Wile.
Taught from a Christian world-view utilizing the Scientific Method and solid
academics. Dr. Jay has an engaging, easy conversational style throughout this series. This series, besides covering all major important scientific topics, also includes apologetics, demonstrating solid evidence that proves we could not possibly have originated as pond scum or apes! This series is designed for homeschool use (with most experiments using things that you probably already  have on hand in your kitchen.) This is the way science should be taught, with solid academics, but with appreciation for and acknowledgement of Our Creator and His amazing design sprinkled in along the way. Check it out in my online store: Let's begin with the MOST IMPORTANT THING...

Bible-  The best curriculum I have found (through one of my clients!) is produced and available through POSITIVE ACTION BIBLE CURRICULUM. They have all levels and it is a very excellent resource. Clink on this link to check it out!

Apologia Science for Early Elementary-

A wonderful pre-Apologia curriculum is the God's Design for Science series which can be used for those in grades 1-8. (You CAN buy one book at a time. The Human Body is a great place to begin!)

Apologia also has an additional set of studies for later elementary and early middle school aged students. I highly recommend this series! It does not contain too much text (like some series do) and it has a nice variety of very fun activities that are available with the Notebooking Journals, while still exploring the scientific process through interesting experiments that you can do with things you probably already have around the house.

Apologia for Elementary


A Supplementary Fun Science Source- (Not meant to be used as a foundational science curriculum.)          ScienceBob.Com


2. Math- If I were just starting out again... I would choose to begin the same way I did before. For grades K-2, I would use BJUP for math. It is a cute and effective program for the little ones, complete with manipulatives, colorful workbook pages, and cute stick figure characters (that also come in plush toys now!) All of this adds up to a really fun math experience that lays down a good foundation. We want our children to love math, right? This will do the trick. (At 3rd grade, I would switch to Teaching Textbooks, which is mentioned below.)


SAXON MATH-

Saxon Math  (Search various sites for best price.) Used successfully by homeschoolers for many years, this is an incremental system (The term they are using now is "SPIRAL."). It introduces new concepts and constantly reviews by including previously learned concepts in each daily problem set. D.I.V.E. DVD's available to support this program with additional tutoring. DiveDVDs

Saxon also now has upgraded Teaching CD-ROMS that are similar to what TeachingTextbooks.Com offers, although I have not seen this product and do not know how good it is in comparison to the Teaching Textbooks' system (which also includes an online gradebook for you.) I could not find a working sample to view. Here is a link to Saxon's new product so you can see what they have to offer- CD-ROM



Horizons Math is a very good choice. It is incremental (spiral) like Saxon math and I like the real world emphasis in their word problems, and their multifaceted approach. This is an aggressive program for those who are up for the challenge, but it is supported by lots of demonstration and practice. Here is Cathy Duffy’s review of this curriculum:

http://cathyduffyreviews.com/homeschool-reviews-core-curricula/math/grades-k-6/horizons-math

If you love those online programs... Check out this GREAT math resource...

Welcome to the KHAN ACADEMY! This site can keep track of your student's progress and take him/her all the way from 2+2 through Calculus and Trig... for FREE. (It even includes automatic reviews, and you can sign up for a "coach" who will monitor and encourage you.) The YouTube video below will let you see what the program can do. Then you can get started by going to KhanAcademy.Org (It looks a little different than what it shows in the video, but it works the same, supporting your student with an endless supply of equations and helpful videos as they climb the ladder of math success!)


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2uUZXj8ugCM

Teaching Textbooksis also worthy of consideration. Textbook system with complete video support, automatic online gradebook, every equation explained. Engaging format that puts students at ease and might even help them love math! Here’s the link, check it out and watch the demo:

TeachingTextbooks.Com

3. History for the primary grades- Beautiful Feet Books is a very lovely way to begin the study of history with your younger students. You can just get the Study Guide and then check out the designated children's literature from the library, or you can purchase the entire Literature Pack from Beautiful Feet Books. This is a cuddle up on the couch, wonderful tour of early American History. with age appropriate activities to pull it all together. As soon as they are ready, they should be able to graduate to one of the options listed below...


History for grades 3-ish and up- There are a couple of very nice core programs worth considering. The first is more self-contained in that you don't really have to use any outside sources (extra library books are an option to enhance learning.) The second program allows for more flexibility and customization as you do choose books from your local library to enhance and steer your study according to your interests. (Book lists are included along with great narratives and "Thinkwrite Questions"!) So take your time and explore both of these two main options and then there are some supplementary things below as well.


The first program I recommend exploring is the, "Mystery of History" series. It is a chronological study which blends Biblical and secular history. It is also "classical" because the activities at the end of each reading are designed to appeal to the appropriate learning styles for each age group as defined by the "Trivium." (Grammar Stage- Which is mostly memorization, Logic Stage- Middle Grades, and Rhetoric- for those High Schoolers.) Consequently, this curriculum can be used with various age levels. And, of course, I like the fact that this curriculum stems from a Christian world view. Tests and quizzes are included. Timeline and map study are important elements (in any study of history.)


You will love the focus of this other excellent program I recommend to you called, "TruthQuest History"...

The study guide allows for a lot of flexibility while still providing some solid direction. Two basic questions are always considered while studying each culture/ period of history: Who is God? (as that culture understands Him to be) and Who then is mankind? "Think Write" questions are offered along the way to bring everything into focus. Use your library website to request, in advance, any books you'd like to use to enhance your study. The author provides extensive book suggestions for all ages. This program is patterned after the very well respected series by Francis Schaeffer, "How Should We Then Live?" and is infused with a Christian world view. If you wish, you can purchase this series through my online store. Click HERE.

Some supplemental treats:

Blending very well with either of these curricula... The "Drive Thru History" series with Dave Stotts. Developed with the help of MASTER Historian, David Barton!

Drive Thru History begins with really fun videos that are like a field trip to exciting places in our history with an entertaining and very knowledgeable tour guide, Dave Stotts. A touch of silliness here and there appeals to those of us who don't mind a little quirkiness now and then. The "Foundations of Character" series has a guide with very excellent, thought provoking questions. (For example, it explores the importance of using primary resources whenever possible instead of secondary resources that only contain a person's opinion of history. What an important lesson to teach our children!) The "American" series has guides that you can download, with answers. DTH also covers the ancient civilizations just as well.

 ➔➔➔ Get a clue as to WHY we need to know who our FOUNDING FATHERS really were.
This VERY informative talk by David Barton is worth watching with your kids!
(And... counts as a day's history lesson in my book.)

http://www.ccstpete.com/living-word-media/teaching/index.cfm?tape_id=GS3278

For lots of hands-on fun...

Explore "History Pockets"   and Interactive 3-D Maps.

4. Geography- "Trail Guide to US/ World/ Bible Geography" by Wiggers is a fun series for any age. Check out this series in my online store! Click HERE.

5. "The Timetables of History, A Horizontal Linkage of People and Events" by Bernard Grun  A great resource book to be used with ANY program.

6. "Rose Book of Bible Charts, Maps & Time Lines"  Rose Publishing

7.  God's World News (These are GREAT News products for kids through adults from a Christian world view)-http://www.gwnews.com/products.cfm  Teaches your kids how to interpret current events in light of God's word. (WORLD Magazine is the adult version. http://www.worldmag.com/index.cfm )  Interested in getting WORLD magazine or quality student periodicals? Check out the affordable rates God's World News is offering.

8. Student News Daily- A fantastic (FREE) CURRENT EVENTS resource for High School students which coaches them (through daily activities using current articles/ cartoons/ commentaries, etc.) to be aware of different types of biases in reporting. It also teaches them the difference between Conservative and Liberal beliefs, how to spot a misleading quote, and how to be an educated voter. It accomplishes all this while increasing comprehension and critical thinking skills, and gives students a basic understanding of current U.S. and World events! You can spend as little as 10 minutes a day on this or use an entire class period. The Resources tab on this site is a gold mine including such things as a treasure trove of historical documents. This site is connected to the fine folks at World Magazine.   StudentNewsDaily.Com



9Alphagator AlYou will love teaching your child the alphabet with Alphagator Al and all his friends. http://www.praisehymninc.com/alphagator_al

10. ABCMOUSE is an all around great site for KINDERGARTEN-

https://www.abcmouse.com/

11.  ProgressivePhonics.Com is a great site that is completely FREE and extremely useful in teaching your young one how to read with an engaging set of mini books and lots of guidance for YOU. This is a complete system you will find very effective and extremely easy to use.

12. Valerie Bendt, "the Queen of Unit Studies," has a cute 6 week unit study pack which is based on the "Frances (the badger)" books. (I used this with our boys. It made for some great memories.) Unit studies incorporate several subject areas around a central theme. They are full of fun activities. Here is the link to the page on Valerie's site where you can download "The Frances Study Guide" with all of the cute puzzles, games, handwriting, and reading comprehension activities included. You will also find her guides to creating your own unit studies on this page. Unit studies have been popular for years and can be used to teach just about any subject using... well, whatever you or your children are interested in, as the core of the study. I'm sure you could google lots of unit studies... but like I said, Valerie is the Queen!

The Frances Study Guide, and more on Unit Studies

VERY SIMILAR TO A "UNIT STUDY"...

13. I also want to introduce to you the idea of LAPBOOKS. This is a creative way to organize info that your students are learning about a particular subject. There are a LOT of youtube videos out there showing you how to create these folders. They contain pockets and flip out and fold over sections all with mini activities, booklets, puzzles, and things to look at and touch. Each activity tells us more about the main subject, which can range anywhere from butterflies to World War 2! They really are keepsakes. No particular link here. (I couldn't choose!) Just get a cup of coffee and google: Lapbooks

14. SparkNotes has some great LITERATURE STUDY GUIDES. Do be cautious what books you choose for your student to read- not all are "safe." Also, choose whether YOU will use this site as a resource to teach your student or whether your student will use this site on their own. It can be used either way.

15.  Handwriting "A Reason for Handwriting" Scripture based assignments produce a wonderful keepsake treasure to keep OR share at the end of the week.

16. DIY has come to Handwriting! Make your OWN Handwriting worksheets (using your child's name, etc.). SUCH a COOL resource!   handwritingworksheets.com

17. Easy Grammar-
For English, "EASY GRAMMAR" is a great series. They have an interesting approach as they teach about prepositions and prepositional phrases first. That takes a big chunk out of the sentence so it is pretty manageable after that. You can get a teacher book which has the student page on the right and the teacher/answer page on the left. The student can cover it up when working and then check their own work when done. (Of course, you would check tests, but they can learn a lot from checking their own daily work... in math as well!) If you would like, you can purchase this right from my online store.
Just click on the word Grammar on the left once you enter the store.

18. I have also fallen in love ♥♥♥ with, "The Basic/ Not Boring Language Arts for Middle School Grades." This is an awesome text that covers SO much in a really enjoyable style that kids will enjoy. I am providing a link so you can purchase this AND a download so you can take a really good look at the entire table of contents and a few sample lessons. Here are the links:

BASIC/ NOT BORING LANGUAGE ARTS

And the Download Sample... Click on the button that says, "Download Sample" after you open this ➔  SAMPLE







19.There are a couple of helpful websites which can strengthen GRAMMAR usage. For the older student: Grammar-Monster.Com

20. ☆ And for the younger, Grammaropolis is a really fun way to learn the parts of speech. (There is a fee for this site, but I think it is worth it if you can swing it.)

21.  Institute for Excellence in Writing! Can't say enough about the solid structure of this tried and true method. Andrew Pudewa makes teaching/learning writing a joy. We CAN do this, and we can do it WELL! Click on this link "Teaching Writing: Structure and Style" and watch Andrew's video on this page! You will be able to use this year after year, AND incorporate these skills into almost every other academic subject! (In other words, these assignments can count for two subjects at once... for example- writing and history.) Contact me if you'd like to borrow a DVD of the overview of the program. You can purchase this entire program through my online store. Click HERE to check it out!


For the wonderful, safe, and grade level appropriate Reading List by IEW, click below...

IEW READING LIST- BOOKS For BOYS AND OTHER CHILDREN WHO WOULD RATHER MAKE FORTS ALL DAY!

22. Let's not forget SPELLING!  Puzzlemaker can be used as the core of your Spelling program (just use any misspelled words as your child's spelling words for that week) OR to strengthen vocabulary in any part of your curriculum. Easy to use, fun, and FREE! Just click here- PUZZLEMAKER ...and you are on your way!

23. If you suspect your child may be dyslexic, this site can help, not only with spelling, but with learning options that will help in other subject areas, as well... AVKO.ORG

24.  Need help choosing a career?  Students learn how their favorite subjects transfer into careers they might like!
http://www.bls.gov/k12/  See career requirements, demand, and earnings at a glance.

25.   www.EnchantedLearning.Com  An all around good resource!

26. Encourage READING with BookAdventure.Com where students (up through grade 8) can earn points while choosing from a wide selection of exciting titles.


27. Here are some great reading lists-

Amazon's "100 Children's Books to Read in a Lifetime"
AND IEW's "Books for Boys and other children that would rather make forts all day!"

And a list of BEDTIME STORIES posted here (because a little girl named Lizzie

wanted me to share this with all the other kids. Thanks, Lizzie!)

http://sleepopolis.com/education/bedtime-stories-for-kids/


THE JACKPOT of Books for Boys- Click on the link below!

The JACKPOT LIST

I would add to that one book- "I am David" by Anne Holm


28. Music-  There are several good online sources that can be the core of a great program.

http://www.violinstars.com/


http://www.musicwithease.com/

http://www.8notes.com/

http://www.freepianolessonsforkids.com/

29. Art-
  This is a great book that you could get on Amazon (under used books) called, "National Gallery of Art Book, 25 Adventures with Art" by Maura A. Clarkin (New: $16.95) ISBN: 0-8109-2529-8   This uses art from our National Gallery in Washington, D.C. to teach the elements of art (line, form, point of view, how to "read" a painting, etc) and includes fun and easy art activities!

30. I also highly recommend the Discover Art or Adventures in Art series by Laura Chapman.  This is real art instruction, not arts and crafts! I used this with first graders when I taught in public school and couldn't believe the results.

http://www.klinecreative.com/  Can help with music and art.

31. Physical EducationIF you live in or near the St. Petersburg, FL area, you might want to have your children participate in the Calvary Sports Ministry for their PE time. This is a great opportunity for them to enjoy a variety of group sports activities directed by some gifted athletes who love young people and love the Lord! All ages and skill levels welcome.

EDUCATIONAL TOOLS

1. Transcript Template - Very professional end product.  A MUST HAVE for 9 - 12 graders. To edit Info at very top of transcript, (so you can have the name of your homeschool and your contact info at the very top of the page) click on "View" in your toolbar at the top. Scroll down and click on "Header and Footer..." Click on "Customize Header" and fill in your info!  I suggest printing this out before you do anything- just to see what this thing looks like so you will have a good idea of what you can expect from the finished product. It has served our family well.



 


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The wonderful, safe, grade level appropriate READING LIST from The Institute for Excellence in Writing...


IEW Booklist.pdf IEW Booklist.pdf
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2. Here is a another breakdown of BLOOM'S TAXONOMY of the learning stages, IF you are really interested in taking your child to higher levels of learning, develop questions and activities that take them from the basic "Knowledge" level up to "Evaluation" as much as possible with each academic subject area. Work these things into your lesson planning and climb that ladder! For more on this scroll up to the top of this page. You'll see two other helpful pages with more info.


4. Printable Paper... of all types, uses and styles... FREE!

http://www.printablepaper.net/


5. Daily Log Template- (This is one of the "items required by law" in a portfolio.) You asked for it... You've got it!  Here is a simple design you can download and use weekly. It is the same type shown in my power-point on the Services page. (Remember, write just enough info in those center boxes so I could come in and teach it.) Select "Landscape" mode in your print options so this will print sideways and fill an 8 1/2"  X  11" page. (If you have a Mac... Go to "Page Setup" under your "File" menu and then choose the landscape (sideways) option under "Orientation." If you don't have a Mac... you are on your own!)

Daily Log Template.pdf Daily Log Template.pdf
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6. Puzzlemaker can be used as the core of your Spelling program (just use any misspelled words as your child's spelling words for that week) OR to strengthen vocabulary in any part of your curriculum. Easy to use, fun, and FREE! Just click here- Puzzlemaker and you are on your way!


7. Make your OWN Handwriting worksheets (using your child's name, etc.). SUCH a COOL resource!   handwritingworksheets.com


8. ReadWriteThink.Org- Has some great graphic

organizers and assessment tools. There is a lot of

other cool stuff on this site for both teachers and

students. Explore, and enrich your homeschooling!

I'm going to plop you down on the classroom

resources page, but DO tool around on the rest of

this site! Here is the link: ReadWriteThink



RESOURCES OF FAITH 


1. Calvary Chapel St. Petersburg- View live services on line, enjoy archived messages, get into the Word and connected with the Body of Christ!   http://calvarystp.org/index.cfm

2. "Parenting with Scripture, A Topical Guide for Teachable Moments" by Kara Durbin 

3. "The Power of a Praying Parent" by Stormie Omartian

4. "Faith Training, Raising Kids Who Love the Lord" by Joe White, Ed. D

5. Scripture Typer is a super tool for helping you AND your children memorize scripture verses.
































 


 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


And if you need to search for something else...

Search:
Christianbook.com




TODAY'S NEWS |  CHRISTIAN VIEWS...

 


Find that verse, and so much more at...