Doodles!

I don’t know about you but I really can’t understand some things without drawing out pictures. Sometimes the pictures have nothing to do with the subject I’m trying to understand! Recently I found a cool series of books to add my Amazon Wish List and I thought I’d share them with you. Maybe they’ll interest you and/or your kids!

They’re called “Doodle Yourself Smart” and they have one for Math, Geometry, and Physics. For $35 you can get all three of them on Amazon. I haven’t received mine yet, but I’ll let you know if they are awesome when I do. But then, that wouldn’t really do because they may be boring to me but really click with you. Go check them out. For $12, you can’t really go wrong!

Fiction and Biology

I just finished reading Isaac Asimov’s “Fantastic Voyage” and couldn’t help but see how I could have used this book as a jumping off point for a couple of great education adventures. Personally, as an unschooler, I already did that for myself. I’d like to watch the movie as well, read more about the Cold War in the 60’s, and learn more about what we know about the human body. If I had found this book when my boys were younger, I would have read it to them chapter by chapter over lunch and followed up with some of the movies, printables, and reference books I found. I wouldn’t assign them to the kids, though. I would have gone on the adventure myself and invited them along for the ride. I’ve listed some sites and leads I found below. Go get the book! It’s a great read-aloud even for younger kids! Although, remember “Journey Thru Inner Space” at Disneyland? It’s very similar and that ride scared me to death as a kid.

Free “Human Biology” class at Khan Academy

Human Biology Printable Book at TeacherVision (subscription required – 7 day free trial, $40 per year, $7 a month)

Anatomy for Kids list of great books and toys on A to Z Home’s Cool

Another topic that you could discuss and/or read about would be the Cold War. This book was written during the Cold War in 1966. It reflects many sentiments at the time about the race for weapons and “mutually assured destruction”. This would be a great way to lead into a study of this era and an expansion of the idea. These are a few ideas I had while reading the book.

Wikipedia Article about the Cold War (1962-1979) 

Cold War Books and Lesson Plans

10 Best Movies List

“Deschooling Society”

I’m currently reading Ivan Illich’s “Deschooling Society” and finding it a wonderful read. It was written in 1971 and so many of the things he wrote about are the same things people are complaining about today only now they are amplified by time. I wonder what he would think about the world today. He died in 2002, so I wonder if he knew about the small but steady growth of the unschooling movement? I’d like to read more about him and his later years after I’m done with this book. For now, I’ll leave you with a quote from the pages I read this morning.

“We permit the state to ascertain the universal educational deficiencies of its citizens and establish one specialized agency to treat them. We thus share in the delusion that we can distinguish between what is necessary education for others and what is not,…”

Productivity For Homeschoolers

I bet you’ve noticed that I haven’t posted in a couple of days, right? Well, maybe you have, maybe you haven’t but I’ll let you know why anyway. I’m a Mom and a currently homeschooling Mom. My teenage sons’ race motocross and the schedule can be a bit hectic at times. Also, I don’t plan this blog in advance. I just write about what I find interesting, what’s currently happening in our area, and what I feel may be important or relevant to desert homeschoolers right now. Maybe some day in the future that will change and I’ll more time to plan but, for now, this works. Which leads me to exactly what I wanted to write to you about today!

Do you read productivity books or blogs? I do. At first, I thought they only applied to business people and entrepreneurs. That’s the audience the authors I read are focused on. The first one I read was “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen R. Covey. My friend and mentor recommended it to me years ago. I really love that book and highly recommend it as a great start! I realized after reading it and several other blogs I follow, that homeschoolers really could use these ideas. The same planning and thinking strategy’s that entrepreneurs use to build their ideas and businesses are a huge help when planning our own education and helping our children get theirs. After all, entrepreneurship seems to fit the main idea behind homeschooling to a T!

Here are some of my favorite books and podcasts!

“The Productivity Show” by Asian Efficiency. Not only are these guys full of great information and idea, they are entertaining as well. I love listening to them while I do the dishes!

“15 Secrets Successful People Know About Time Management” by Kevin Kruse. His website is filled with some great stuff, including a podcast that I love. http://www.kevinkruse.com/

“Getting Things Done – The Art of Stress-Free Productivity” by David Allen. While I don’t use his system in its entirety, I did like reading the book and found lots of useful tools I could use in my daily life. He has a lot of great books and blogs as well if you search for him. His website http://gettingthingsdone.com/ is a great place to start.

This one isn’t a productivity book but it did really help my state of mind and got me closer to a place where I could begin to feel in control of my life’s direction and become more productive. “Boundaries” by Dr. Henry Cloud & Dr. John Townsend. Their website is a good place to start to see if this series of books can help you. http://www.boundariesbooks.com/

And last but certainly not least, the one I mentioned earlier in this post, “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen R. Covey. This book and the newer one “The 8th Habit” are amazing tools! The site for his books is https://www.stephencovey.com/

Enjoy! I really believe the place to start homeschooling is with our own education, like putting your own oxygen mask on first before you can help others.

“Kitchen Table Math”?

I found a great resource for homeschool math yesterday. It’s called, “Dr. Wright’s Kitchen Table Math”. It’s not curriculum. It’s several books about games and things you can do to promote mathematical thinking. It’s stuff that we, as parents that most likely learned math at school, probably wouldn’t even see as “math”. The site also has a resource list of reading books and games. Using something like this could be used as your math resource if you are privately homeschooling. You don’t need to be doing worksheets and abstract math in elementary school. And since there are no other kids your child’s age at your school, unless you have twins, there is no “behind”.

Free EBooks?!

No. Really! Free EBooks! A friend shared a post about a site with a list of places to get free drawing books online and I love to draw so, of course, I checked it out! It looks great! This is a great way for a homeschooler to take a drawing class at home. All you have to do is pick one out, grab a sketch pad and pencil, and start learning! Have a high school age kid? Be sure to add Art 1 or Drawing 1 to their transcripts and keep a few samples if you want to have  a nice portfolio of high school work. You’ll want to keep a few samples with dates to show your progress.

The article is called “18 Sites with Free Drawing EBooks”. I clicked back to the main page and found lots of other lists of free books and where to find them. I could be here for days! Enjoy!

“The Secret Garden” at Theatre 29!

A performance of “The Secret Garden” runs through September 24 at Theatre 29 in Twentynine Palms. This was one of my favorite books when I was a kid! Besides the obvious “performing arts” subject you’d find here, you could also tie this whole month into the performance. History, Language Arts, Art, Science, Social Studies, you name it! Here are some links to a few great lists of things related to “The Secret Garden”. I didn’t even know there was a movie!

Activities for The Secret Garden from The Chaos and The Clutter

For $4 you can buy a Lapbook printables set and unit study from Confessions of a Homeschooler

Of course, you’ll need to get the book somewhere! You can buy the book just about anywhere for under $5 and I highly suggest you have the book in your library instead of borrowing it. It’s one of those books you read over and over again!

 

Two New Books

They aren’t really “new” books. I just discovered them and put them on my wish list yesterday!

The Neverending Story by Michael Ende

The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle

I haven’t read them myself but I will now! The Princess Bride and The Neverending Story movies were a few of my childhood favorites. As to The Last Unicorn, I didn’t even know it was a movie until now, and by Rankin & Bass! I’ll be seeing if that movie is on Netflix for sure!

When my boys were younger and still liked bedtime stories, we read The Princess Bride together. It was wonderful! These two books look like they will have the same value to me. They are great books to read together and talk about, stories that bring us together.

Reading Group

Do you belong to a book club or a reading group? It’s been one of my lifelong goals to have a regularly meeting reading group that gets together and talks about the books they are reading over tea. I’ve been trying to make that happen this year and I’m sure it will build momentum when the weather cools, but then again why not now while the heat is on and there is really nothing else we’d rather do than sit indoors?

My ideal group has all ages in it. Moms and Dads, Grandparents, Young Adults, Teens, and small children tagging along because Mom wants to go. There would be a pile of quiet games and toys for uninterested kids to play with while we chat, maybe even some cookies and juice boxes. We’d talk about whatever books we were reading the past few weeks and share the insights we’d found. We’d find new ideas in other people’s choices and they’d find books they didn’t know existed from ours. Just think of the perspective we’d all get hearing about the books other age groups read and what makes them so wonderful. The younger (even uninterested) kids would learn so much just by being in the presence of such sharing about literature and probably want to join in from time to time. Novels, non-fiction, biography, inspirational, anything goes in my group.

Do you have this? Do you want it? Or would you like to try it? I’ll be posting invites to mine from time to time, especially in our local homeschool group. If you’re not nearby, why not start one of your own?