I was pretty excited to see that The Homeschool Classroom just started a new series of writing prompts for homeschool bloggers. The first one asks, “What is your favorite homeschool resource that you’ve used?”
Well, I thought about that for a little bit, and it’s funny; we’re new to homeschooling, but the resources I’ve come up with aren’t new to our family. That feels good – because I feel like it means we’ve been open to learning in a variety of forms all along!
Being so new, though, I hate to pick just one resource, so I decided to do a “Top 5” list. Number 1 is definitely our super-most favorite, but the others are in no particular order.
1. Our local library system. The York County Library System is, in a word, phenomenal. I’ve gone to the same library – albeit in different incarnations – since I was three or four years old, and it’s great to take Ashar there as well. Our “library ladies” are always wonderful to us, too. Coming up in the summer, there’s a program in which they partner with our county parks to provide a reading-and-hiking “letterboxing” challenge (think geocaching, with written directions and not coordinates.) That’s an entirely local effort, and we have participated since the inception of the program. Added bonus: ALL our library’s programs are free!
2. Our local park system. Speaking of parks… we’re amazingly lucky to live in an area rich with township/city parks, county parks and state parks, all within minutes of our home. We love spending time outdoors as a family, and when we travel, we’re often reminded that other areas don’t have nearly the wealth of parkland that we enjoy (again for free… love it!)
3. National Geographic. Not just the magazine, though that’s cool; Ashar loves NatGeo’s website, its books, its interest in wildlife conservation, its photography… everything. It’s really broadened my world and Chris’s, too; we read as much as Ashar does from their catalog of works and are always learning something new.
4. “The Complete Book of…” series. I mentioned this before; we’re big fans of this workbook/textbook combo-style approach. Ashar isn’t much for workbooks in general, but these really keep her interest in social studies, history and, yes, even math. I only wish they had more for middle-schoolers and even high-schoolers; I plan to write to them as soon as I can to suggest as much!
5. 4-H. We are members of an awesome local “Wildlife Watchers” club, and hope to join another club in our community shortly. This has enriched in our life in so many ways – trips and activities we’d never have known about on our own (like soapmaking); great friends from a variety of backgrounds and of all ages; a chance for Ashar to really shine and to get to know people who share her passion for animals and the outdoors. Can’t say enough good things about the leadership and the program, which in many ways serves as our main science “curriculum.” Total cost: Our $11 membership fee. LOVE IT!
So that’s our “Top 5” list. If you’ve got your own favorite resource, head over to The Homeschool Classroom Thursday to share; I’m excited to see what everyone else is using.