By definition I would say that a relaxed homeschooler wouldn’t necessarily have many “tools”. By that I mean it isn’t necessary to have a specific curriculum with a specific scope and sequence that you follow to a T for each subject of interest. However that doesn’t mean we homeschool with a stick in the dirt either 🙂
There is a happy medium for us more relaxed homeschooling types. We don’t have to entirely through out the curriculum, but we don’t have to be a slave to it either.
This list is no particular order:
- My very favorite resource is Homeschool Made SimpleÂ – I have written more about it here and it has given me a great deal of confidence. It reinforces the idea that I always had in my heart about reading great books!
- Writing isn’t a huge concern for me until later in Middle School. Â With our oldest we didn’t really do much in the way of formal writing until about 8th grade. He is now in 9th grade, taking Honors English I at the local public school and doing just fine. Since my two next oldest are in Middle School I searched around for a program that would be a good fit for us. I wanted a little bit of guidance, but still wanted to be pretty free flowing about what we were working on. We have been using and enjoyingÂ Brave Writer. You can find more of my thoughts on Partnership Writing – the specific program we are using.
- Pinterest – while we definitely don’t do many crafts in our homeschool, I still do use Pinterest for idea gathering. Often one idea sparks another, or I get an idea for a book I want to read with the children, or I find another place that I’d like to visit!
- Raise your hand if you have ever spent too much time looking for the perfect printable or note booking page to go with what you are working on?? Yep. Me too. Not to mention the distraction of opening the computer for just a “quick second”. Been there, done that. Here is a novel idea, just use plain old notebook paper! I love this round up post from Heather @ Blog She Wrote about ways to use Notebook Paper for all the things. I bet you might think twice next time you feel the urge to do a printable search!
- YouTube is another resource we use almost everyday. It works great for some of the items we like to cover during our Homeschool Power HourÂ (your doing that in your homeschool, right?). States and capitals, fun songs for my younger kids, little blips about history, pretty much anything you can think of. Don’t let your young kids loose however, you can run across some iffy stuff.
- Netflix is for so much more than binging on your favorite tv program. Again, you have to be careful and will have to sift through a bit of junk, but the results are usually worth it. Here is a list of 45 Nature Documentaries to get you started. My 12 year old will love this!
- Music, really any of the arts, are something we don’t focus on nearly as much as I would like. When we do make the time to dig in, my favorite resource is SQUILT. AKA, musical instruction for dummies, meaning you can use this with your children with absolutely no musical background on your own. Perfect for me, because my one year of flute and another year of clarinet back in 7th & 8th grade were a dismal flop. No worries though, I can still help my children learn to appreciate something other than old school big hair rock or my current fav Ed Sheeran.Â
- Planner – My final favorite resource is my Erin Condren Teacher Planner. I have plenty of space to jot down what we are working on as well as space to journal a bit about things that are little more abstract than “completed page 2”. It keeps me organized and will serve as a journal/portfolio of our year.
What are your favorite relaxed homeschooling tools?