Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Homeschooling, Homesteading and Home-making: Links, Links and More Links!

Happy Spring, Everyone!

If you're like me, you get a lot of email. Unlike you (maybe), I love to read almost everything I get -- there are so many interesting things to learn and do, that I just can't choose!

Here is what caught my eye this month -- maybe they'll catch yours, as well:

Helpful Hints for Homeschoolers

Here are some links and resources that fellow homeschoolers might be interested in.

New to notebooking? Check out the many Free Notebooking Pages at NotebookingPages.com and get started today! Be sure to sign up for free email updates, and you will get freebies (real ones, not fake ones) and opportunities for special subscriber discounts. Better yet, buy a membership and get all the notebooking materials you could ever want.

By the same creative homeschool mom is Mom's Toolbelt, a set of downloadable and printable resources for organizing your very busy life. Get the same email updates and freebies offer with a free subscription, and access to lots of information and material with a paid subscription.

The Calvert School offers many high-quality homeschool curricula, classes and services, for free and for fee. I ordered A Child's History of the World as a course (textbook, workbook, and teacher's manual). If you are interested in ordering their materials, or are just wondering what materials you might use for your own homeschooling child, you can find a lot of information on their website. Sign up for one of their free homeschool webinars: today's was on "Managing Your Middle Schooler at Home."

For Homeschool or Classroom

The Handbook of Nature Study is an invaluable resource for anyone using nature study as a core part of the science curriculum. Here are three resources that I, personally, rely upon for ideas and information (click on images for more information):

Paperback version of the classic by
Anna Botsford Comstock. Available for around $10 and up, from a number of vendors. Or borrow a copy from your local library (I did, but decided that I wanted a copy for my own. It cost me $12 on Amazon).
Nothing is better than free (many times, anyway). Read HNS online, or download an electronic copy in a number of formats, for readers, laptop or phone reading.

Barbara McCoy, homeschool mom, blogger and writer, has a blog where she posts a ton of ideas for well-integrated nature studies, using the Handbook of Nature Study as a text. You could use just her website for a nearly complete science curriculum. Her latest entry: "Magnets, Compass, and Moon Study in Our Neighborhood." All include links, readings, suggested activities, and downloadable materials. She also bundles a season's worth of activities in a convenient downloadable e-text, available for purchase (the e-text includes "freebies" not previously posted).


We have had summer weather in March, here in Connecticut. And last weekend had everyone in the neighborhood out "farming" in their front yards. Several families in my neighborhood are getting together to create a community garden, and there has been much talk of which veggies each of us will start. Here are some links to get you going:

Mother Earth News magazine (one of my favorites) has an article on Best-Tasting Tomatoes: 56  Heirloom Tomatoes Rated Excellent for Flavor , as well as an article on heirloom seeds (Fedco Seeds: Heirloom Seed Highlights from the 2012 Catalog). There's a reason why these varieties have been around as long as they have... Download the MEN app for your smartphone, tablet or computer for electronic reading. Electronic version comes free with a paper magazine subscription (or read articles for free right on their website). Sign up for their "Vegetable Garden Planner Newsletter and Planting Guide", and get a trial subscription to the Garden Planner.

I just had to have it! Buy the Gardmann R686 4-Tier Greenhouse Kit (around $39 on Amazon) for starting those heirloom seeds early. It just snaps together in minutes. While you're at it, get a supply of seed trays, also at Amazon.

While you're at it, order the complete archive of MEN issues for 2011 - on DVD for $35 -- see their website for details.


While Googling around (!) one day, I found The Hillbilly Housewife, a website chock full of all kinds of tips and resources for economizing in meal preparation and other areas of your household. I especially liked the articles on how to cut your food bill in 1/2 with a few simple (really) tips. Follow also on Twitter.

I hope you have as much fun with these links as I have. I am excited for spring!