*Providing for Post Fan School Needs*
By: Kirstin-in-KS
01 May 2010

If a fan situation leaves you needing to educate your children at home, do you have an adequate library to handle the task? Building one will take time and money (doesn’t everything?) but it is a very doable task. I suggest starting with the needs of your current children and then expanding above and below their current grade levels.

A list to get you started:

Basic References: a good dictionary, thesaurus, atlases, globe

Reading: A book on basic phonics instruction and early readers

Spelling: Skip the consumable workbooks (the cost adds up, they need to be replaced for each child and they take up valuable space) and go straight to programs that contain word lists for all ability levels in one volume (Spelling Power is an example), or simply pull words from the subject matter they are studying or from the misspellings in their own writing

Literature: Have fun with this one. Build a library of books at various reading levels and of various genres (biography, historical fiction, poetry, science fiction, mystery etc.). Book lists abound and can help you build a library of quality literature.

Math: Primary level math consists mainly of learning to count, identify shapes, tell time, measure, add, subtract, multiply and divide. Most math programs at the primary level use consumable work texts which may be difficult, if not impossible, to replace post fan. Flash cards for all four arithmetic operations, a clock face with moveable hands and a set of base ten blocks for teaching regrouping may be all you need to teach primary math. But, if you aren’t comfortable with your ability to do so, you may want to invest in a set of Kindergarten through third grade materials that you can use as a reference. Have the students do their work on a chalkboard or paper to save the workbooks. Once the basic facts are learned well, most students can go right into a typical fourth grade math text. I suggest purchasing all upper level math texts from the same publisher for consistency and to avoid gaps. Be aware that most math texts assume there is a teacher who is lecturing the students at the beginning of each lesson. For that reason, I recommend Teaching Textbooks which was written specifically for homeschoolers and includes all the necessary instruction. (www.teachingtextbooks.com)

Science: For elementary and early middle school students, text books are not necessary. We maintain a library of books on various science topics instead: Nature study, the night sky, human body, etc. David Macaulay’s book “How Things Work” is excellent and should be in every home library. For upper levels you will probably want good text books and answer keys for biology, chemistry, physics and human body. You may also want a ‘general science,’ and ‘physical science’ texts that are commonly used in seventh and eighth grades to bridge the gap between elementary science and high school level. Make sure you know the math prerequisites for any high school level science text. Physics and chemistry often require algebra to be taken first.

Social studies/History: A few textbooks can act as a foundation which can be built on with other books at various reading levels about various people, places and events in history. I suggest at least one high school level World History text and one U.S. History text (or one from the country you live in).

Basic supplies: Paper of various sorts, pens, pencils, crayons, colored pencils, index cards are great for making your own flash cards, ruler, compass, protractor, graphing calculator for higher level math and science, all the bookshelves you can fit into your home

Places to purchase books: Almost all of these items can be found in online bookstores or through an internet search for homeschooling books. You can also look for homeschool conferences. Most conferences will allow you to purchase a pass that will let you into just the vendor hall if you don’t want to attend the conference. Check with local homeschoolers for used book sales to save money.

This is just a starting place. Once the basic subjects are covered, you can branch out into other areas of study that appeal to you: music, foreign languages, logic, art etc.

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