Tuesday, August 20, 2013

How to I Teach without Spending a lot of Money: Science & Social Studies

 I want to begin by prefacing some items that I forgot to mention yesterday  in our little introduction. The first thing I need to mention is that one I don't know everything. I assume that is a given, but just in case it it not, you now know. 

 The other thing you really need to know is that my children our still fairly young, so I may have a few ideas about older grades, but if you need ideas for High School. I have few. Most of these will be directed towards 6 grade and under.

 The last you need to be aware of, is that I home school in a wonderfully relaxed state. I have a lot of freedom in what I can teach. I realize not everyone does. I feel truly blessed in what we can do in our state & hopefully can continue to do in the future.

So lets get on with it.

I hope you did your homework yesterday & wrote down a list of some of the resources you already have available to you. If you haven't done this yet, go ahead & do it now.

It's okay I can wait.


Okay not that we are all back, lets look at your list. One of the things that I feel is important to know what you already have is time. Time is precious. So if there is a resource that you can borrow from the lady down the road, it also means that it is one less thing you need to track down & prep yourself.  That alone is glorious.  So use it. For the 1st two years of homeschooling I borrowed my sisters History Curriculum that she wasn't using. It worked well for us. It made it great for me, because we learned to love that curriculum & it saved space on her shelf.

So let me give you an idea of how I begin to find my curriculum. I know now what I have, the next thing I need to figure out is what do I need to teach? Let's start with Social Studies & Science. Is there certain items mandated by my current state which I need to teach? Or do I have the freedom to choose what we will learn. Then make your list. Right now for both Science & Social Studies I have free reign. On your state website you can usually find a list by grade what items in these subjects your child needs to know. You may be able to just choose them yourself. Right now for science I have a list of 12 different subjects that I want to cover for the next year. One of those is oceanography.  

Once I have my subject I start searching for curriculum. 

I would say there are some resources that I use constantly. You will find them on every one of my lists.  Everytime. For every subject.

So lets begin with those.

1. The local Library.  They are usually free. Unless you need to get a membership to one in a town different then where you live. Then there is a small fee. They have books that cover everything. Social studies & Science. They are there. And as long as you return your books in a timely manner, they are quite affordable. 

2. The Internet. You must agree with me on that one, because you are obviously checking it out as well. A given, yes. 

3. Blogs & Pinterest. More to come on this later. 

Okay but what else?

Here are a list of some amazing deals, that are free or cheap, that can help with homeschooling science & social studies.  All you need is just your topic.

Science & Social Studies Resources:  

Lesson Pathways.  Free Resource & Lesson for K-5th. All Subjects 
 This has information on science & social studies. Gives an outline what to teach. (Free) 

This has both Science & Social Studies ideas on here. (Free)

 This is awesome website for science, & free. 

Both Science & Social Studies  
   Once again this is all free science information.

Both Science & Social Studies. 
Some items are free, some have a minimal fee.

 A variety of books that you can download & listen to for free
(Science & Social Studies)

This has tons of great reference & information for both 
science & social studies.

This has some quick & simple printouts of ideas, lessons for K-5
both for Science & Social Studies

You can download a certain number of free worksheets a month
Social Studies & Science

Surprisingly has a large number of educational videos & movies.
Both for science & social studies. 

New 2 Homeschooling has an entire lists of different movies off netflix that relates to science. Then tells you how to find other subjects as well.

This also includes Amazon Prime, Hulu, & You Tube. All of those resources as well have some fantastic videos that you can use for science & social studies to help supplement as well.

Keep in mind that there are a million different ways to gather information for curriculum  We have gotten a lot of books from library that were getting rid of them. Or school teachers that are retiring.

You can also check out local agencies. The local Game & Fish department are more than happy to share information & handouts with you if you would like to learn about wildlife.  Do you want to do a unit on plants, check out the local Master Gardeners or County Outreach Office. They will be more than happy to share with you.

My other 2 favorite places to gather ideas & curriculum & blogs. Those two alone can keep my going for hours. On Friday I will share how I use both of those to help gather & make lesson plans. I will also share links to some of my favorite blogs.

In the end my favorite place to find curriculum ideas? My kids.

 I start with whatever my kids are excited about. Dinosaurs, construction, how something works, where is Tennessee (because his friend moved there).  I always start with what they are most excited now, & try to find something that relates back to it. I use the resources listed above & I connect it back with them. They are always full of ideas, its just my job to help them find the right tools to learn more.  

So go sit down with your kids  & take a moment to discover what they really want to learn.

And then stop back in tomorrow.

Tomorrow we will cover resources we have found for Math.

Once again don't forget to check out these other amazing ladies in our series.

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  1. Love the resources you listed! May I add a few?
    Vocabulary and Spelling city (www.spellingcity.com) has a free section, an it has lots of vocabulary lists and spelling games. Duolingo is a free foreign language site. Learning Games for Kids has lots of free educational games for elementary including keyboarding games. (love the dinosaur picture btw, we got the chance to see Sue at the Anniston Museum of Natural History several years ago and that sparked months of dinosaur studies!!)