What Worked For Us This Year - E is for Eclectic

ABCs of Homeschooling

Linking up this Tuesday with 5 Kids and a Dog for the letter E.    The timing is quite perfect, because I've been evaluating how our year has gone, and what I need to change for the coming school year.   Although we are a heavily Classical homeschool (using First Language Lessons, Story of the World, and many things suggested in The Well Trained Mind) we still pull things from a few different methods, so I would classify us as ECLECTIC!

Here are the top five eclectic resources/ideas that have worked for us this year - maybe you can get some ideas, or maybe you have some  for me when you're done reading the list.  Just let me know!

  • Unit Studies -  We have loved Download 'N Go unit studies by Amanda Bennett.   I have also made up several according to my children's interests.   They usually seem to be about science.  The biggest resource I can't live without here are our Magic School Bus books!   We have two Magic School Bus briefcases full of books and there are great starting points to create science units.  They also work well with the age ranges of my two children.  

  • Easy Grammar - My daughter will tell you grammar is her favorite subject.  I can't quite put my finger on why she loves Easy Grammar so much, but my guess is it is because the lessons are short, achievable, and very easy to understand.    Her mastery of prepositions and other parts of speech is impressive, and I know it is due to this grammar program.  

  • Five in a Row - We have slowed down with our rowing the past couple of months, but I love what these books did for my little guy.    It is such a beautiful program, and we hope to do some more this summer, and also use Beyond Five in a Row with my nine year old.    Have you visited my FIAR page??  

  • Ambleside Online - The online free Charlotte Mason curriculum!  I always check what is on the Ambleside website to get wonderful book selections.  Perhaps our favorite from this past year was The Burgess Animal Book for Children.  (Click on the link to read it for FREE!)   What a sweet book that was, and it cemented my children's knowledge of North American mammals, that's for sure.   

  • The Handbook of Nature Study - After reading A Pocketful of Pinecones  I had to order this book and I am so glad we have it in our home library.   We have been watching birds, learning about trees, gardening - so many things that would have been outside of my comfort zone before.    

It's extremely hard to narrow the list to five resources, so I have to also tell you that we read as much as we possibly could.   I got ideas from The New Read Aloud Handbook, reading homeschool blogs, other homeschooling moms, and browsing through the library and bookstores.   We also love to notebook, and I could list a bunch of sites that I get free pages from!   

What is your ultimate favorite resource?  Do you have something you think I would like?