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Sunday, March 25, 2012

Timberdoodle - A Quick Look

I stumbled across a link to Timberdoodle the other day, and clicked over to their site to take a look at their curriculum...

...and it sat on the computer screen for a few days...

Now I'm wishing I'd gotten around to checking it out sooner because I personally think they've got a good curriculum package going on. While I haven't taken a ton of time to browse the website, I wanted to bring it to your attention in case this is a good fit for you. They've got a good deal going on that ends at the end of March. The deal is this: when you purchase one of their Complete Core Curriculum bundle by the end of March, you'll receive a $50 gift certificate. Plus you earn Doodle Dollars which is a rewards program - earning points that can be used to purchase their products.

I started out on the 2nd grade curriculum page - comparing it to what I've been doing with Cedric. I can tell you that their Handwriting choice is what I chose. We've been doing A Reason for Handwriting all year, and it's great! They use Bible verses for copywork, which coordinate with the stories used in A Reason for Spelling that we use (not included in Timberdoodle's bundle).

Timberdoodle also has selected a couple items or so from Critical Thinking. I've used a few Critical Thinking books with Cedric in the past and he loved them. I considered using many of their books for our curriculum this year, but chose not to simply because I already had enough going on with my Download N Go units.

They also chose an Apologia science program - I love Apologia science, having used the Ocean Animals book with the boys this year.

The World Map Puzzle would be awesome to have - Cedric loves looking at the world map I hung on the wall and constantly refers to it when we find something out about a new country. And the description of the history book they chose makes me want to read it - and history totally isn't my thing.

And a Smencil and some kind of putty included? How fun is that!

I really can't say anything bad about the choices made for this particular 2nd grade bundle. If you're looking for a curriculum that you can lay before your child without having to do much planning, I recommend taking a look at Timberdoodle.

They also have a Damaged section and a Closeouts/Overstocks section - might find some good bargains over there.

Scholastic $1 Sale - Ends 3/28

Teach Express Scholastic is having a 3-day sale. A huge selection of teaching books for $1 each! Very good deals - 90% off in some cases! And many of them are downloadable, so you can buy and access immediately. Many of these books are definitely geared to a classroom teacher, but I find that most activities can be adjusted to fit the homeschooling family needs.

History, Math, Language Arts, Literary Units, Science, Thematic Units, Geography - over 1600 titles on sale! Great to add as a supplement to your curriculum, or to make your own thematic units with. Just make sure you don't go all-out crazy. Have a plan: look for items that go along with lessons you've had in mind to teach or that address skills your child needs practice on. For instance, I could use some supplemental math worksheets to help my oldest learn his adding and subtracting facts better, so a 2nd grade math activity book would be on my shopping list. And I know that I need to get both boys writing more, so I'm going to look into books with great writing assignments.

Have a plan - it saves money!

Here's a brief sampling of what's available:

If you live in a state that requires you do the state testing, you can get some practice test books.

Want to do a Penguin theme? Great book of 3-D style learning activities and booklets that would be good to add to a lapbook.

How about a Teeth theme for those youngin's who are losing their baby teeth?

Teach grammar through the use of Comic Strips.

Need some Map Outlines? 101 maps included!

Habitat Dioramas make science learning fun!

And those are just a few I've found in the first 4 pages of items! I'm going to have fun going through to find some helpful items. If you don't want to go page-by-page, you can search by category or by age.




Friday, March 23, 2012

Time to Buy Curriculum!

If you know you're homeschooling next year, now is the time to look into what curriculum you want to use. And it's time to buy!

Why now?

Spring is when many homeschool curriculum companies have their items on sale. I just got a catalog in the mail from Christianbook.com - "Homeschool SALE!" emblazoned across the top.

Christianbook.com is a pretty good place to peruse several different curriculums, and they usually have some of the best prices around. (I especially like to browse through their really cheap clearance section. Very worth taking a look at!) As an example of why you want to buy soon: In April, Christianbook.com has Alpha Omega products (like Horizons, LifePac and Switched-on Schoolhouse) for 20% off. That's a pretty good deal, because when it comes to May, they go down to 15% off... and in June, they're only 10% off.

So you can see - you'll want to start buying soon to save money. But try to know what you really want to get, otherwise, you buy something in a hurry just to get a good deal and if it ends up not working for you, then you'll end up spending more money on other curriculum... So know what you want.

In trying to figure out a good match for curriculum, you can attend a local homeschool convention to see the books. If there aren't any conventions nearby, and if you're like me and need visuals to see if something works for you, many of the companies will have sample pages you can download or otherwise view online.

At any rate - it's time for the good deals! I'll try to post them as I find them!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Winter Close-out Sale at CurrClick

There's a great sale going on at CurrClick from now until March 19. Get 60 to 80% off certain holiday and winter themed curriculum.




I'm excited about this in particular because there are some Magic Treehouse lapbooks on sale for $1.00 (reg. price $4.99), and Cedric is totally into those books right now. He'd probably even do the lapbooks without any encouragement from me.



They have some American Girl Lapbooks for $1.25 (reg. $4.99).




And there are many more options - go take a look!


CurrClick

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Luck o' the Irish

Top o' the mornin' to ya!

What activities do you have planned for St. Patrick's day lessons?

The boys and I are learning all kinds of fun stuff about Ireland, using Amanda Bennett's Download N Go unit: Expedition Ireland. After learning a little about Waterford, Ireland, the boys loved seeing the Waterford crystal bowl and thimble I'd bought back in 2003. Made the study more relevant for them to actually see something from there... or did it make having those shiny dishes in the cupboards seem more relevant?  The boys also enjoyed the myths behind The Giant's Causeway, and they'll always love learning more about various animals like those found in Ireland.

I found some fun St. Patrick's Day printables and crafts on Enchanted Learning.

Family Fun had a couple recipes we'll try.

Clover Cookies

Taste A Rainbow
Fun, huh!

Plus, some Irish Soda Bread that I also found a recipe for on Family Fun. Can't wait to try that - no yeast... might actually turn out for me!

More activities:
How about a leprechaun playset? Or a shamrock maze? A fun Treasure Hunt? Also found at Family Fun...

At DLTK, I found this neat leprechaun craft. Check out all their St. Patrick's Day crafts and printables.

Sent away for Darby O'Gill and the Little People to watch as part of the unit... Should be fun to watch the young Sean Connery in action. I saw this when I was little girl, but haven't seen it since then.




I combined most of the printables into a couple activity packets for the boys. They like working on them in between our other subjects.

If you have a preschooler, here's a cute, free printable St. Patrick's Day theme set.