My Homeschool Obsessions

If you happen to hang out with me online, you may know that there are certain things for which I am a complete homeschool evangelist.  Products that I think everyone should try and love.  Of course, no resource is right for everyone and so on and so forth.  And there are many things that we use that I find very helpful and solid.  But here are the things that I just love, the things I like to gush over.

The Boston Children’s Museum Activity Books
I know I sound hyperbolic, but I firmly believe that these are the best science activity books for children ever written.  They focus mostly on physics and are good for upper elementary and middle school.  Where many science experiment books lay out a proscribed set of steps and a predicted outcome, these books show you how to build equipment to let you actually play with concepts and test out and explore the science on your own.  We dabbled with them back in first grade, doing a few activities out of several of them.  Part of me can’t wait for fifth grade when we get back to physics so we can use them again.

Brave Writer
Yes, you all know, I’m a Brave Writer devotee.  When I first heard Julie Bogart speak, it was like a revelation.  She reminded me of all the things I had learned about teaching writing when I was a school teacher, but she had somehow made it add up with the things I was learning about teaching younger children, particularly about the value of copywork and other old-fashioned writing teaching methods.  To me, Brave Writer is the most positive and flexible approach to writing I’ve seen.

Tin Man Press
These workbooks are so much fun and so whimsical that I fell in love with them the moment I saw them.  They do for logic and writing what the Anti-Coloring Book series does for coloring books.  They’re like anti-worksheets.  We’re especially big fans of Wakeruppers, but I have a few things from them and look forward to getting more.  Nothing I’ve gotten has been a dud.

Miquon Math
We started slow with Miquon, just trying out some of the Orange Book, but not really finding it fit us.  However, when Mushroom became math anxious at the end of first grade, we had to throw out all the math curriculum we had been using.  Eventually, we went back to Miquon, finishing the Red Book, then the Blue, Green, and Yellow volumes as well.  I learned to really use the Annotations and to refer to Rosie’s videos at Education Unboxed when I needed some inspiration.  To me, Miquon is the most flexible, in depth, deep thinking math program there is out there.  I thoroughly love it.  I have delayed us finishing Purple by bringing it down to just a very little bit every day, but it will be at an end before the school year is through.  If only there was a Miquon Mauve and a Miquon Black and a Miquon Navy!

Those are my homeschool obsessions.  What are yours?

6 thoughts on “My Homeschool Obsessions

  1. Bravewriter. SOTW – sorry! Everything Charlotte Mason wrote on ‘habit’. Reading aloud.

  2. Argh, you PUSHER! Which Tin Man books do you like? I was looking at Play By The Rules, Smart Snips, and Just Write, and Alex thinks that Surprise In The Middle looks like a must-have.

    1. Just Write and Wakeruppers are my two favorites. I haven’t done as many of the directions following ones because I love the coolness of the open ended activity sheets – the worksheets that aren’t formulaic or expected. But Surprise in the Middle is one that I like.

  3. Wow! I’d never heard of Tin Man Press, but now they’re going to be getting a chunk of change from me. We love Cricket magazines, especially Spider and Ask.

  4. Bananagrams. My daughter is still in preschool, so we don’t play the real game, but she loves playing with the tiles and singing the sounds of each letter she finds. Wooden puzzles are a big hit too.

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