I have taken to buying books–lots of books. I buy literature from a local used bookstore and lots of resource books from mega-bookstores and my local used homeschool store. I like to buy books that I can refer to over and over for ideas and inspiration. I need to jazz up my lessons but I’m not always sure how to do it. Once I have the basic lesson planned, I need to provide a create outlet for expressing the principles we learn, and I have many books on my shelf that do not ascribe to a Biblical Principle Approach philosophy but are terrific nonetheless. These resources are for elementary ages.
Alternatives to Worksheets (and More Alternatives to Worksheets) has such great ideas for things we can put in our notebooks that aren’t worksheets. This is very easy to use in our studies because there’s nothing to change at all. It is simply fun projects that don’t involve a worksheet. The ideas work for any subject any time of the year. I have used their projects in math, Bible, literature and history. (The also have Better than Book Reports, which is great too.)
Big Book of Books by Dinah Zike is also great. We make many little books for our notebooks with ideas from Dinah. She has books on many school subjects that you can also use to add to your lessons.
How to Get Your Child off the Refrigerator and Onto Learning by Carol Barnier is another highly recommended resource for any parent struggling with high energy children. She is a homeschool mom who developed all sorts of strategies while home schooling her busy son. There are tons of high energy ideas for every subject and lots of practical advice on dealing with field trips and church. I can’t say enough about this great book. Princess G loves every idea I have ever tried from this book. It gets us up from the desk and moving and learning.
365 Reading Activities from Backpack Books has a year’s worth of great activities. They also make one for phonics and crafts (which I also have). They are all good for quick ideas to add to your lessons.
The internet. I can’t believe the stuff I have at my fingertips. Encyclopedias, dictionaries, crafts, and lots more at the click of a mouse. Yesterday Princess G saw a flip book and thought that would be a fun thing to try. In less than 5 minutes I googled one and printed out a neat running dinosaur flip book. That’s just almost too easy!
Daily Grams are an easy way to keep up the grammar skills. Each exercise takes only 5 minutes or so and Princess G really likes them. They begin at 2nd grade (the pink book).
Math Art is also filled with fun ideas to spice up math time with a place value snake, fraction flags and quilts, multiplication house, tesselations and weaving number patterns.
This is only the tip of my resource vault iceberg. I will share more in my next post.