We only write on PAPER! . . . and other tips for Homeschool Handwriting Practice.

January 27, 2009

Writing is an everyday part of a young homeschooler’s life: 


  • Writing ‘I love you’ notes to Mom (or ‘I hate extremely dislike you’ on a bad day)


  • Drawing scribble landcapes as seen out the window. . . on the wall . . . in marker.
  • Adding emebelishments to older brother’s math workbook so it looks much prettier
  • Drawing a mustache . . . on my face . . . with marker (the cheap non-washable kind) . . . oh, and perfect circles . . . around my eyes.
  • Writing my name . . . in pen . . . all over my arms and legs.

You can see why I’m always on the look-out for APPROPRIATE writing exercises.

While searching for printables I found another very generous homeschooler:

I loved the comprehensive set of homeschool handwriting lessons she designed and offers free for personal use.  She includes a whole set of printable handwriting paper, along with 6 handwriting fonts she uses, so you can design your own worksheets.

Also on her website, she offers the following to homeschoolers:

Thank you!  And enjoy!

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Posted under General Homeschool Curriculum, Language Art Websites, Writing Curriculum

Looking for an Awesome Preschool Curriculum? For Free?

November 19, 2008


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This amazing site was one of my first introductions to the generosity of so many people who use the internet to give back and share their work with us all. 

Katrina Lybbert has homeschooled her children from birth, and on Letter of the Week, she shares her entire curriculum with us.  It is aimed at children from birth to age 8.  When I first discovered her website, the main premise was to pick a letter to study each week.  She has laid it out so that it is very easy to understand and implement.  There is a general plan for the week, showing an outline of what to study and for how many minutes. 

Instead of a boring lesson on the letter “C“, how would your children like to read Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina, listen to Aaron Copland, sing “Never Smile at a Crocodile”, eat Cantaloupe and Crackers for snack, read about The Creation, learn about a Calendar and how to Classify for math, study Cougars and Crabs for science, Christopher Columbus for social studies, mix Colors for Art, and play Catch for sports?

No, not all in one day, unless you’re an over-achiever 🙂  This is over the course of a week . . . or more.  Whatever works for you and your child.

For each letter, she has a list of specific resources including:

  • Language Arts
  • Theme Words
  • Poetry and Rhymes
  • Books to Read Aloud
  • Music with specific composers and songs
  • Snacks
  • Bible stories and character traits
  • Math
  • Science
  • Social Studies
  • Art Project
  • Sports and Games

Over the years, her site has expanded to offer even more excellent curriculum outlines for tons of other topics including:

  • Nursery Curriculum
  • Sound of the week
  • Story of the week
  • Science of the week
  • Country of the week
  • 2 Levels of Spellbright – her spelling curriculum
  • Journal Ideas
  • Orchestral Beams – music appreciation
  • and much more . . .

I have really appreciated this curriculum for my younger ones!  Thank you! 

And best of all?  Once again, it’s free 🙂

Do you have a favorite resource or curriculum for your preschoolers?  Please share it with us in the comment section or email it to me at HomeschoolBytes @ gmail.com  (If you’re looking for more ideas for early reading and phonics instruction, check out this series or other posts under “Reading Curriculum“.)

Posted under General Homeschool Curriculum, Internet Curriculum

What Do I Teach, When?

September 23, 2008


Probably the scariest part of homeschooling (besides the ‘science experiments’ you find growing under the couch) is figuring out what to teach and when to teach it.  Many potential homeschooling parents never take the plunge because they are sure that there are vital pieces of scholastic knowledge that would get left out if they took over teaching their kids – scarring them for life.  OK, maybe it isn’t so dramatic.

But, amazingly enough, it really is pretty simple to homeschool kids.  After all, what do they really need to know in elementary school?  Reading, writing, and ‘rithmatic cover most of it, and there are plenty of books and resources to teach those.

The rest of an education is also taught beautifully by homeschooling: 

  • History during the trips you take when everyone else is in school
  • Civics by going with mom to the voting booth
  • Science by examining mold that grew on the forgotten cornbread on top of the fridge (we did that last night)
  • Social skills by roleplaying how to handle the bully at the park next time.
  • How to soothe a wild animal . . . when Mom has been up all night with the baby, finds a red crayon melted into the dryer load of laundry, and trips over the broom on the floor on her way to find the culprit.  (We all have those days)
  • etc., etc.

If you’re still worried that you will miss a vital subject when trying to homeschool, here is a great resource to help you out:

A handy $10 paperback book found at the library or on Amazon.com called “Home Learning Year by Year” by Rebecca Rupp.

I love this book!  It is to-the-point and packed full of great resources.  Rupp includes:

  • A detailed list of what your child should learn during each year of school, sorted and numbered by subject.
  • Book sources
  • Websites
  • And more supplements, each with their own succinct review paragraph.

Here are a few examples:

  • What age is appropriate to teach your child the upper- and lower-case letter of the alphabet, both in and out of sequence? 
  • How about a list of ten great alphabet books to help with that? 
  • What resources will help you teach inorganic chemistry to your 11th grader? 
  • A list of texts, programs, and a compilation of internet chemistry resources, including games, quizzes, and a visual dictionary? 
  • The secret to children who do what you ask, every time . . . and never fight, . . . and keep the house immaculate . . .  just kidding – let me know when you find that one!  🙂

It’s a great aid for both the extreme planner who wants to itemize each task for the coming school year and the parent who just likes to read through it on occasion to make sure nothing important is being left out. 

For $10, how can you go wrong?

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Posted under Books to Read, General Homeschool Curriculum