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The little book with BIG resources!

10 Best & Easiest K12 Homeschool Curriculum Ideas

Are you considering homeschooling or have homeschoolers that need a fresh start?! Brigette, from our iFamilyKC Mom Squad team is back with her two-part series sharing her top 10 homeschool curriculum ideas for families today on the blog. Take a look…

homeschool ciriculum

Hello, Kansas City! Last year (relax, it was only a few weeks ago), I shared several different homeschooling programs that are available to your family in the first part of my two part series on homeschooling. Today, I’d like to share some of the best and easiest homeschooling curriculum options to get you started. When my family started homeschooling, there were already many k-12 homeschool programs out there but, to be honest, I feel that number has likely trippled in the short time my homeschoolers have been learning.

Starting a journey like this can be overwhelming in many different ways. You will begin to question your every move (and so will onlookers who are watching you). Knowing that you have a solid, well-rounded, and liked curriculum will take so much of the pressure and self-doubt off of your shoulders. So, let’s get the ball rollin’! Here are 10 of the best and easiest homeschool curriculums to start with!

10 Best & Easiest K12 Homeschool Curriculum Ideas

homeschool ciriculum

#1 All in One Homeschool

I debated if I would let our curriculum choice be known, but I love it so much I had to just tell you! This was our third curriculum choice and it had been perfect for us! Most of the work is online but there are options to print a lot of it out. This curriculum is free and is fitting for grades Prek- HS. I am able to keep track easily with their daily tracker and layout.

#2 ABCMouse

This is another favorite in our house! This is designed for toddlers- 3rd grade readiness. While this one is not free, it is very reasonable and  has a lot of “life learning”. Kids can take care of pets, clean rooms and even dress their avatars. ABCMouse has a learning path for each level to ensure they are learning age appropriate lessons. Students can even head to their classroom to pick their own interests!

#3 MobyMax

This was our first curriculum and since we started using it, it has undergone some major improvements! MobyMax is great for elementary middle school students. MobyMAx was designed to fill gaps in subjects and to help students learn at a faster pace. With this program, you are in charge if picking subjects, time frames and how often it should be completed. While they do track progress in subjects, you will need to keep a daily log of subjects to make sure your child is working on all the appropriate lessons.

#4 Time 4 Learning

This program is for Pre K HS. Time 4 learning is also mostly online but does offer printable lessons as well. With this program, you can change grade levels on individual subjects to fit your child’s needs. They even keep track of your child’s work for your HS portfolio.

#5 Abeka

This is a Christian based curriculum and can be done in 3 ways. Abeka offers “School in a box”, digital curriculums and video lessons. With Abeka, you really can’t customize each subject for your kids. If they are ahead or behind on a specific subject, you may need to use a different resource for supplemental materials.

#6 Sonlight

This is also a Christian based curriculum set. Sonlight is for those wanting to only use book and can be used for Prek- 12th grade. They even include college prep lessons as well. Sonlight is a little more customizable than Abeka as you can purchase individual subjects. If you are not sure which lesson to purchase, they even have a shop by level so you can ensure you are selecting age appropriate material.

#7 Starfall

Starfall was a program we used when Thai was in kindergarten. We used the free version to help with her reading and it was wonderful! Starfall also has a membership program which opens up more learning activities. Starfall is designed for Prek-2nd grade and is 100% online with the option to create printables to supplement.

#8 Alpha Omega Publications

This is a one stop shop for Christian homeschooling. They offer options for book learning, online learning and student or teacher led learning. You can select which style works best for you and your family.

#9 K12

This is a public school at home option. Even though you will be at home, K12 offers teacher led classroom lessons, projects and check ins with you! K12 is designed for students in Kindergarten – 12th grade. K12 offers private school education or public education and they provide you with most of your materials needed for learning.

#10 Create Your Own

This method may or may not work with your family. All of the planning, teaching, reading and record keeping is your responsibility. While it may take more time organizing lessons and projects, you will be able to fully customize your child’s own curriculum. This will ensure your child in interested and you know what and where their strengths and weaknesses are.

All of these homeschool curriculum ideas have been used for years by many families. Each one loves one for their own reason! When picking a curriculum, keep in mind that it’s not about the most expensive, the most elaborate or the one with the most books. The best curriculum is one your child loves to work on, keeps them interested and pushes them to do more! I hope this 2 part post has helped you get ready to start your homeschooling journey!

From iFamily to Yours,


Homeschooling – Part I: 7 Great Options for Alternative Learning

When it comes to learning, there are many options available for your family from homeschooling to traditional public schools and just about everything in between. Brigette, from our iFamilyKC Mom Squad team, is a homeschooling parent here in the community and is sharing some incredible options that are available to your family if you’re ready to explore k-12 homeschool options for yourself. Take a look…

homeschooling

Homeschooling – Part I: 7 Great Options for Alternative Learning

Hey KC! As you prepare to start a new year off on the right foot, you may be considering making some major changes in your family life. For a lot of families, homeschooling may be one of them. Most families tend to withdraw their child or children at the end of the year to avoid any chaos with planning and major changes. Another favorited time to start a homeschool journey is in between semesters. Again, there is less going on and families can make what I call a “clean break” from public school and an easy transition into homeschooling. If you are planning to go the homeschool route at any point, I have compiled a guide of different methods for you to choose from!

Each of these methods are unique in their own way and you never really know what is best for you and your soon-to-be homeschoolers until you try it!

homeschooling

#1 Project Based Learning

Project based learning is almost polar opposites to the learning styles of public schools. There are a lot of projects, hands on learning materials and your child really can “direct” themselves in learning about topics they choose. When doing PBL, it is important to remember that your homeschooler is in control. Try resisting the urge to correct their projects or be helpful when they are creating. Learn more about Project Based Learning to discover if it’s the right fit for your K-12 homeschool needs.

homeschooling

#2 Unit Studies

Unit studies approach is also similar to PBL when it comes to homeschools. Unit Studies focus on a theme and all of the subjects are based off of the chosen theme. For example, when picking a theme you would do research on the history of your particular theme, study the scientific process of it and make a replica of it out of clay. Unit studies really focus on your child’s interests and they are incorporated throughout the learning process.

homeschooling

#3 Unschooling

Unschooling is one of the most unique approaches homeschooling programs where your child takes the lead. They learn things they want and daily living is their teacher. From a simple trip to the grocery store to daily chores, unschooling  allows your child to explore the world around them.

homeschooling

#4 School at Home (School In a Box)

This is one of the more traditional approaches to homeschooling. School in a box is very similar to the public school learning style. You can purchase a full curriculum and complete assignments through text books based on grade levels. There are also many online homeschools that meet this criteria as well.

homeschooling

#5 Montessori

The Montessori learning method is more rigorous in terms of language, numbers and life skills. Simple tasks like cleaning up after themselves or washing their own dishes teaches them more independence in their daily lives. If you’re considering the Montessori approach, dive into researching this homeschooling option before you make the choice.

homeschooling

#6 Classical Approach

This approach teaches children to think as opposed what to think. This approach focuses more on thinking, grammar and speech. With different stages of learning, the classical approach is very rigorous and requires more formal study habits from your homeschoolers.

homeschooling

#7 Eclectic Homeschooling

This approach combines the best of all styles. Eclectic homeschooling is a lot more relaxed than most methods but still maintains more structure than some.

With so many methods to choose from, it can feel overwhelming and confusing. It took me almost 2 years to settle into an eclectic learning method before I felt confident! Remember, no two families are the same, no child learns the same and every family knows what works best for them. I hope this list is easy to follow and helps you find the best approach for your family!

From iFamily to Yours,


10 Super Fun & Easy DIY Learning Activities

Howdy, Kansas City! It can be easy to get complacent in learning with the kiddos. Our Mom Squad Ambassador, Brigette (and homeschooling mom extraordinaire) has some great ideas to have fun AND facilitate learning at home. Check it out..

10 Super Fun & Easy DIY Learning Activities

10 Super Fun & Easy DIY Learning Activities

As a homeschooling parent, curriculums, supplies and everything that goes along with it can really start to add up! So when my husband and I decided to homeschool, I scoured the internet for affordable curriculums and how I could easily keep the kids interested. Then I headed to the Dollar Tree and compiled lists of items that I could use to pair with lessons or just to use for added practice.
These are some of our favorite learning activities that we have done our first year of homeschooling.

 

#1 Rice tray letter

 

10 Super Fun & Easy DIY Learning Activities

Place a small amount of rice/sand/sprinkles on a small tray. You can point to letters on a poster like I do, write the letters down or print off flash cards. Have your child write each letter in the rice to practice their hand writing and letter recognition.

#2 Dot game

 

10 Super Fun & Easy DIY Learning Activities

 

A classic game that uses pure brain power! On a sheet of paper, create a grid of dots using a marker or pen. Then if you have younger kiddos, demonstrate how they each take turns connection lines so that they are the one to make a square. It took my 5 year old a few tries and given squares to fully get the hang of it. However, this keeps my older two busy for hours!

#3 Healthy food collage

 

10 Super Fun & Easy DIY Learning Activities

 

Physical and Health is very important in school curriculums. One of the kid’s favorite things to do is projects. So instead of letting those weekly ads go to waste, let them look through and find items that cover the selected topic and use them to make collages!

#4 Lego maze

This is great for practicing STEM. Grab a marble and all those Legos! Measure the width of the marble and have your child create a maze for the marble to roam through! Make it challenging by requiring so many “turns” of the base. Check out this example.

#5 Popsicle sentence structure

 

10 Super Fun & Easy DIY Learning Activities

 

This is one of my favorite games. It has helped Baltimore easily create full sentences. Grab a piece of paper and colored Popsicle sticks. Then on the paper, take 4 different color markers and write who, what, where and when. Then on the colored Popsicle sticks write a who, what, where and when on the corresponding colored sticks. Then pick one from each color and lay them in the same order as the WWWW.

#6 Make 10

10 Super Fun & Easy DIY Learning Activities

 

This game only requires a deck of cards! Taking out the face cards and jokers, pass out four cards face up. Have your child look at the cards and see which two or three cards add up to 10. If they can add up tp 10, set the cards aside in a new pile and deal out new cards to replace the ones that made 10. If they can’t make 10, let them hand you one card, place it at the bottom of the deck and deal a new card. This is also great for helping with quick adding and memorizing fact families!

#7 Kaboom

Grab some more popsicle sticks! 29 to be exact. On each stick write a letter until you have reached all 26. Then on the last three write the word KABOOM. Place the sticks letter/word side down and mix them up. Take turns drawing a stick and reading the letter and saying a word that starts with that letter. When someone grabs the KABOOM stick, all their sticks must go back into the jar and they have to start all over again. First one to get the most letters (when 3 kabooms left) wins!

#8 Shape sticks

10 Super Fun & Easy DIY Learning Activities

 

As you can see we use a lot of these lol! You can get 100 for $1 so why not lol. Take the sticks and write the shape and number of sides. Then have your kiddo sort through the sticks and place them in place to make shapes!

#9 Straw maze

10 Super Fun & Easy DIY Learning Activities

 

Like the Lego maze, this is great to practice many things but this time, the straws add a special element. The straws are longer and cannot be manipulated the same way as a Lego. This will get their brains churning with ideas on how they can manipulate them!

#10 State trading cards

These are always cool when learning about the US and even other countries! You can print these off  or make your own!

 

From iFamily to Yours,

 

 

 

 

 

 


How to Get Back in the School Year after Winter Break: Homeschool Edition

All of us are back to school, and hopefully, find some sort of groove as we find ourselves at the end of January (can you believe that?!) However, our Mom Squad Ambassador, Brigette, has some great tips for easing back into a schedule after winter break for homeschoolers. Take a look!

 

How to Get Back in the School Year after Winter Break: Homeschool Edition

 

Since summer 2016, I have seemed to ask myself daily many questions that I have yet to answer. How long should we focus on one subject? Are they lacking in one subject? Is this too easy or too hard? All of these questions and more are constantly swimming around in my head when I start to think of our home school progress. But one question seemed to literally pop in my head during my kids “winter break”. How do we prepare to get back in the swing of things after winter break?! My eldest daughter still attends traditional school and when my youngest were in school they all just kind of got thrown back into the lion’s den. I knew how it went! So we had a routine, the day before would be a lot similar to the very first day. We would lay out clothes, pack lunches, do hair and make sure they were in their beds on time! But now that we home school, there really is no rip off the Band-Aid approach. There is no prep day, butterflies or first day excitement to worry about.

 

 

So after an hour+ rummage through Pinterest, I found that there was no guide, step by step or tips for going back to school after winter break. NOTHING! I was so lost and worried at the same time. I didn’t want to throw them back into fact fluency and tests on properties and matter after they just had a great time off. My goal was to allow them to adjust themselves back into our routine as quickly as possible so they wouldn’t feel over whelmed or get the “back to school blues”. The truth is when you home school, a lot of the “rules” seem to go out the window. Unless you choose to stay on a strict daily schedule, you find yourself moving times, shifting lessons and even taking an unplanned day off for you and your kids sanity.

 

How to Get Back in the School Year after Winter Break: Homeschool Edition

 

So, as our first, first day back from winter break as a home school family I have learned this. There are no great expectations, there are no ways to really get prepared and there are really only a few complaints. Once I told the kids they would start back on a certain day, they grumbled of course and a few times before starting our first round of lessons. I found even a change of scenery made it a lot more comforting. So, instead of logging in and getting to work, we headed downstairs to our loft’s business center and set up stations. One was on a computer and the other two were working in their books. Plus our residence has a coffee bar down stairs which includes hot cocoa so…. Yea they were happy!

I’m sure as our years continue with home schooling things will change, I will become more confident and the kids will be a lot more use to how things work. So to all you homeschoolers out there, remember this. As long as you and your kids are growing in love and knowledge, IT WILL ALL WORK OUT!

 

From iFamily to Yours,