Last week I went to my first homeschool convention of the year and came home, as usual, refreshed and rejuvenated, with more catalogs and notes and free info than I could ever find the time to sort through.
And I also came home with some pretty awesome purchases!
Interestingly enough, I bought very little of the actual curriculum I will use next year: I homeschool with an eclectic approach, meaning I use a mix of materials from various companies. I haven’t made my final decision for every subject for every child just yet and some of the things I have decided to buy weren’t available.
But that didn’t keep me from stocking up on supplemental materials and other odds and ends!
So would you like to take a look at some of my finds? I can’t help but share! And let me just add I’m not including the small gifts we purchased for our kids or the T-shirts we brought home, 3 of which were actually FREE!
Explode the Code
Okay, this is part of my curriculum for my little guy. I LOVE Explode the Code and wish I had discovered it sooner in my homeschooling journey. It’s a perfect combination of phonics, handwriting, reading, and spelling. Some of these books Peanut will use this year, and whatever he doesn’t finish we’ll save for next year.
This will actually be my first time to try Easy Grammar, though I’ve heard great things about it. I am insanely particular about grammar, and yet I’m not at all a fan of structured grammar lessons, especially for younger kids. I liked the looks of these Daily Grams, however, because they seem to tackle grammar in small, very manageable doses. I’ll use these as part of the language arts program for my middle two. The younger of them is a little advanced for his age, the other is dyslexic and moves more slowly, so educating the two on the same level often works very well for us.
I bought this simple workbook just to give my middle kiddos a little extra multiplication practice, since both of them struggle sometimes to remember their times tables. I figure a little extra practice never hurt anybody!
I remember doing Mad Libs with my brother when I was a kid and loving them, so I had to buy a couple. They’re a great, painless way to learn the parts of speech. We did a couple of these in school this week and my kids thought they were hilarious!
Mission Imperative Seminar DVDs
Mike Snavely from Mission Imperative has to be one of my all-time favorite speakers. If he’s in the lineup at a homeschool convention, I will do everything in my power not to miss a single one of his sessions. He teaches creation science from a young earth perspective and offers arguments and evidence in a clearer, more interesting way than virtually anyone else I have ever heard. Last year my kids got to hear his workshop on spiders and they were fascinated. We’ve already watched a couple of these DVDs and though they’re mostly lecture-style, Mike is a great teacher and he uses just enough visuals to hold my kids’ interest remarkably well.
I can’t wait to watch all of these!
What was the Lewis and Clark Expedition?
So have you seen these books? I don’t know how many of them there are, but there’s one for nearly every famous American past or present you can think of. And they’re pretty good!
We’re spending a lot of time on Lewis and Clark this year and I almost bought this book at a bookstore just a few weeks ago. I’m glad I waited! I ended up getting it nearly half-price.
An Imagination Station Book
My 9 year old LOVES these books. He had all but two of them already, but I was determined to find the last two. I saw both of the ones I needed, but hesitated, and when I came back one of the two was sold out.
The lesson to be had here: If you find something you know you want, don’t wait. It might be gone when you come back!
The Boone Books
So I’ve wanted these books for a while. One of my boys’ has Boone in his name, so I knew it would be a hit at our house, and the books came highly recommended by a friend.
But then I got to meet the author! I went to a session, never dreaming the speaker was the author of the books I’d been looking for, and her testimony ended up blessing me incredibly. No question… I had to have the books then!
Our Presidents ROCK!
We’ve been studying the U.S. presidents as part of our “Of the Week” studies, and I have needed a book like this for a long time. It’s very thorough, yet very kid-friendly. Not to mention it was written by a former homeschooler!
Got it at a steal, too, by the way…
Adventures in Odyssey
We’re huge Adventures in Odyssey fans, so of course we had to buy the newest albums. Actually, I’m usually coming home from a convention with lots of audio dramas, but I was trying to be a good girl since I was spending so much elsewhere.
The Settlers of Catan
My kids love game nights. In fact, it may be the kind of family time they enjoy most.
I’ve read homeschooling blogs touting the awesomeness of this game, so I’ve wanted it for some time. But then we stood at a booth in the vendor hall with Catan in hand, watching boxes of it fly off the shelf right and left, when a random homeschool dad stopped to tell us how much his family loved this game.
Mr. Random Homeschool Dad pushed us over the edge. Well, that and the fact a quick search on my phone showed this particular vendor had a far better price than anywhere online!
But we had to buy the extension pack, too. Didn’t seem much use to buy a game only four of us could play.
Dutch Blitz Expansion Pack
Dutch Blitz is a favorite at our house, but our old version was a mere 4-player. Finally I bought the expansion pack so all of us can play at the same time.
After all, family game night really should include all the family!
So there are my awesome finds. And I barely bought any curriculum! Ah well. Looks like I need to head to another homeschool convention and get serious about these homeschooling purchases… 😉
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