Tuesday, July 19, 2011

on a budget?

     If you are homeschooling on a tight budget, as I am, then I have to tell you about my favorite website...  www.homeschoolshare.com   It is a wonderful site that specializes in literature based lapbooks and unit studies.  AND IT IS ALL FREE!!! 

     If you are new to homeschooling then that previous sentence probably sounded like I was speaking Greek...  Let me take it from the beginning...

     "Homeschool Share" is a site created by Homeschooling moms who share all of their wonderful wisdom and insight with you (for free - no hidden fees or user membership dues... well I suppose you could argue its not totally free because you have your own printer expenses of ink and paper and you also need to buy file folders and gluesticks - but on their end it's free).

     "Literature based" means simply that you pick a story from their list (and they have a list that goes from PreK through middle-school and beyond), get the book (from your own shelf or the library), download the packet of information they have prepared and do the lessons.  Generally it takes about one week to accomplish.

     "Lapbooks" and "Unit Studies" are two ways of learning and preserving the lessons learned.  "Lapbooks" are basically file folders that you refold and glue all these little mini snippets of information into.  "Lapbooks" can be used with just one story or combined with a "unit study".  "Unit Studies" are based more on one topic and use two or more stories on that subject, with the "lapbook" as the method of recording all the lessons learned.
    Within each story you read or "unit study" you do, many different elements of education are covered from science, history, writing, handwriting, and practical math.  They also include links to other sites with correlating material, maybe coloring pages and games or recipes and even videos. 
     The following pictures are of one that my kids did together on Volcanos.   It is from their website and it is a combined "unit study" with a  "lapbook".
the cover

this lapbook used 2 file folders

we also used a "flap" that we taped on for the extra information.

      I used this one with all 4 of my kids.  The little ones listened to the story and enjoyed coloring in pieces, while the older 2 acted as "secretaries" and recorded all of the answers.  Everybody helped glue things in place.   Sometimes we will do one lapbook altogether.  Other times they will do individual lapbooks.  Later on they really love to go back over their lapbooks and remember the fun things they learned.

     I really encourage you to check out their website and to give lapbooking a try!

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