How to Learn Music Online

22 Sep

Hey everyone, I wrote this for a different purpose (hence the different style), but figured it could be useful to homeschoolers, so thought I’d post it here. Would love to hear your comments on it. It was described as “not good quality.” I don’t think it sounds too bad… What do you think?

 

Learning music is a useful and enlightening skill that can benefit you throughout your life. Whether you want to learn just for the fun of it, acquire a new hobby, or reach a higher, more professional level, it’s a skill that takes a lot of time and dedication. Regular lessons can be expensive, inconvenient, or just time consuming when you factor in getting there and back. Let’s discuss how to learn music online, and possibly trim the cost, or make it work so the times are better for you.

YouTube is often a highly underutilized resource, when it comes to music education. Sure, people visit the site to see funny and entertaining videos, but did you know there are tons of how-to videos on there as well? Using YouTube, you can search for your desired instrument, and find lessons. Assuming you already have the instrument on hand, you’re able to get started on learning how to play almost immediately.

Choosing to learn via YouTube is great. If you have trouble, there’s the added benefit of being able to play that particular video over and over again. Also, you are able to progress on to the next lesson when it’s right for you. Best of all, these lessons are free, with often nothing more than having to deal with a 30-second commercial to watch before your lesson begins.

When you look at how to learn music online with YouTube, though, there are some disadvantages. First is the possibility that there are not any lessons, or limited lessons available for your chosen instrument. (At the very least, if lessons exist, you can get started using YouTube, and then move on to having a live teacher.) There’s also the fact that you don’t get personal critiquing of your playing, and suggestions on how to improve. You also can’t ask questions, but, since the Internet is so full of information, it’s possible you can find the answer online yourself. It’s up to you whether the pros outweigh the cons when choosing to learn with YouTube videos.

Did you know that you can take lessons online with a real-life person? If videos aren’t your thing, then there are various ways to get in contact with someone who is willing to teach you over the Internet. Usually you’ll use a program such as Skype, Read the rest of this entry »

The Book Samaritan

26 Aug

books

Get Help Acquiring Homeschooling Curriculum

Well, it’s that time again. If you haven’t started your school year already, then chances are you’ll be starting pretty soon. Have you got all your curriculum yet? Possibly so, but I’m sure there are those out there who want to homeschool and are struggling. You’ve either found a way to make do, or it’s possible you’ve delayed getting your books in hopes of being able to afford what you need later.

This is where The Book Samaritan comes in.

The Book Samaritan is a non-profit organization that runs out of Pawhuska, Oklahoma. It helps provide homeschooling materials to those financially unable to get what they need to homeschool their children.

If you’re in need of materials, you can send a letter to this organization, along with your children’s grade levels, and they’ll help you out. If you have specific curriculum requests, you can include those as well. They can’t always fulfill the specific curriculum requests, but they’ll do what they can to get you what your children need for the school year.

You’re probably asking, “But what’s the catch?” It’s simple really. When you’re finished with the materials, they don’t want you selling them. You are to either pass them on to other homeschoolers who can use them, or send them back to The Book Samaritan, so they can be used by other homeschooling families in need.

That’s it! If finances are what stand between you and your ability to homeschool, then this is a simple solution.

 

Help Others Receive Homeschooling Materials

Maybe you’re a homeschooling family that doesn’t need help with materials. Maybe you have old curriculum and learning supplies laying around.  Well, guess what? You can HELP The Book Samaritan.

The Book Samaritan exists because of donations. Selling your old material might be great for a few extra bucks, but you just might want to consider sending these items to this organization and help give someone the opportunity to homeschool. Here’s what they accept:

  • books
  • workbooks
  • kits
  • CD-Roms and DVDs
  • flashcards
  • school supplies

And of course, monetary donations are accepted as well. These funds are used to provide families with materials the organization doesn’t already have on hand.

 

Check it out. The Book Samaritan is a great organization that has already helped many homeschooling families, and will hopefully help many more in the future.

School Supplies are OUT!

11 Jul

I had to stop by Target the other day, and was hoping amongst hope that they had their supplies out. They did!! WOO! It was great. We started school this past Monday (that’s a whole different post entirely) and I was lacking a couple things. When I was there I was able to pick up most of what I was missing, so we’re good to go!

This was the best school supply shopping trip I think I’ve had. My son absolutely hates dealing with it, so I did the shopping while he was at youth group (I always enjoyed school shopping and picking things out as a kid, but I guess he wants no part of it.) It was also early evening on a weeknight, and too early for most other people to want to be buying school supplies so for the most part I had the area to myself, rather than having to hear grouchy parents and loud kids running around the Back-to-School area.

I bought extra binders last year and was able to recycle a couple from a few years back as well, so I don’t need to worry about those, which is what we spent a lot of time on last year. (Do you know how hard it is to find a 1 1/2″ binder that holds folders, or a 2″ O-ring binder??) I knew what I was lacking and went in with a mental list of what I wanted, knowing what the prices were last year, so I had a plan.

What’d I get?

Read the rest of this entry »

Target’s School Supplies – A List (and Kohl’s)

29 Jun

Target

Well luck has it that I had to go to Target again today. I had to pick up a couple of things, and my son was anxious to spend some money he had, so away we went. As promised, I spent some time getting a better idea of what’s available for school supplies they had in that dollar section. (Okay, okay, I was looking to see what they had that might be useful for me as well!)

Here’s a general list of what I saw there that could be used for homeschooling:

– Dr. Seuss themed items – these included inspirational posters, flashcards, and pencils

– general flashcards
– workbooks – most general, but I did catch some Disney’s The Little Mermaid workbooks for addition and some Liza Frank-like covered workbooks
– stickers (the good job! and excellent! and shiny-stars types, given for a job well done)
– bulletin board decor
– Junior Classics Books – stories such as Pinocchio and Little Women in easier-to-read formats for younger children
– mini dry-erase boards (about notebook paper sized. They had them blank in different colors, one lined like notebook paper, and then the “handwriting practice” lines dry-erase boards with the two bold lines with a dotted line between them
– magnetic letters
– play money
– “hand” pointers
– dry erase pockets – good for putting worksheets inside and using a dry-erase marker to write OVER the worksheet without actually marking up the sheet
– teacher lesson books and teacher grade books

The most interesting find that I thought looked fun was something called “blank books“:

BlankBooks

These looked pretty cool and I can probably use them for various things (read: assign various projects). Please note, these are $3, not just $1. This pack has eight 8″x 8″ square soft-covered books, but they also had a 3-pack that was slightly smaller than 8″x 11″ (I believe) and a 3-pack that was hard-covered that was considerably smaller (6″ x 4″ maybe?) . These could be used for stories, topic books and vocabulary, nature journals, and who knows what else. I have to admit it was hard to not buy all three sizes. For me and what I would use them for, though, this size seemed the most versatile.

Be sure to check out Target. You never know what you’ll find for homeschooling!

Kohl’s

I also stopped by Kohl’s today to return a dress, and on my way to the service desk (which is inconveniently located at the very back of the store) I caught a glimpse of various Frozen school supplies on a display in the middle of the aisle with a 20% off School Supplies sign prominently displayed. If you have a little girl that’s into Frozen you just might want to take a quick trip to Kohl’s and see if there are any good deals on the items they had.

Have you found any deals for school supplies yet? Let us know about them!!

It Starts – Target School Supplies

28 Jun

BackToSchool-10

School vector designed by Freepik

Well, believe it or not, June’s not even over yet, and it’s already begun. Target has started putting out inexpensive “school supply” items in their dollar section. I have to admit I was in a bit of a hurry each time I walked through (on my way into the store to get other items), but noticed things are starting to appear in this section. A lot of the items can work well for various homeschooling purposes. I’ll try to include a more comprehensive list later, but if you have children in lower grades, or just need knicknacks here and there, then you might want to start checking out what they have.

Things I’ve seen so far include workbooks and organizational items (things like little baskets, bins, holders,  and plastic accordion folders).

Just thought I’d give a heads up to those of you who are interested. Let the supply shopping fun begin!

 

 

Curriculum – 8th Grade

05 Jun

Well, 7th grade is over, and 8th starts in a month! Yikes. I am way behind in ordering and figuring out curriculum this year, but I’ve finally got everything taken care of. Whew! I can relax…briefly. So, here it is:

Spelling: A Beka’s Vocabulary, Spelling, Language II

Writing: Benjamin Franklin Writing Method from SchoolhouseTeachers.com

Math: The second half of Saxon Algebra 2

Science: Earth Science using Glencoe Earth Science: Geology, The Environment, and The Universe, AND McDougal Littell Earth Science  I bought both used, and I found a high school teacher that posted all his labs online and will choose which of those I’ll use.

Bible: Lightbearers Curriculum from Summit Ministries

Spanish: Lessons from the Homeschool Spanish Academy

Social Studies/History: His California Story: In Christian Perspective (for CA history), and A Beka’s America: Land I Love

Physical Education: This will be a variety of physical activities, including local PE classes, swimming and bike riding, and other activities that come up throughout the year.

Health: Total Health, Middle School by Susan Boe, and A Beka’s Sex, Love, and Romance

Music: We’re looking into the possibility of drum lessons.

Art & Home Skills: Art classes will be here and there as we find things my son likes. We will be going through this book though to do a bit of review and some exposure to artists my son hasn’t studied yet: A Child’s Introduction to Art : The World’s Greatest Paintings and Sculptures . Home Skills will occur through everyday tasks, along with outside classes (he wants to be a chef, so we’re looking into the various opportunities that are available for that), as well as guidance from an e-book we purchased on home skills for boys.

**We will no longer be doing grammar,  or a formal study of Latin/Greek roots.

Word Roots B2 – Schedule and Quizzes Added

03 Jun

The Critical Thinking Co. Word Roots B2

Well, we’ve reached the end of the year. Seventh grade is over. Now that it’s over I have completed the worksheets for certain books and curriculum, and have a little bit of time to add them here for you guys.

So, for now, I’ve added a page for The Critical Thinking Company’s Word Roots B2 book. It includes a basic schedule, as well as all the quizzes I made to go along with the pages of the book. They’re just basic Document files, nothing fancy, but it saves you from having to make them. Hopefully they’ll help someone out there.

Visit the page for this HERE

A Movie by Homeschoolers – Beyond the Mask

13 Apr

 

Beyond the Mask

Have you heard about this movie?

 

This is a movie by homeschoolers, with a historical and Christian slant to it. It seems to have a Pirates of the Caribbean (Hey, what can I say? I’m a fan! Savvy?) action feel, but is a more family-oriented film. This is already in theaters, will only be shown in certain places on certain dates, and tickets can only be purchased online.

I highly doubt my family will be as excited about this movie as I am, but I can’t wait till it’s out on DVD or online for private viewing (and then I’ll make them watch it anyway! Haha!) It really looks like a great movie for the theater though. It’s a shame they don’t have a 10:30pm showing.

Check out more information about this great movie (I’ll leave that up to them, since my intent was more to make you aware of it, not give details regarding it, seeing as how I haven’t actually seen it yet), and get your tickets here:

http://www.beyondthemaskmovie.com/home

Oh, and if you’ve already seen it, or plan to go, I’d love to hear your comments on it!

 

 

My New Favorite Language Book

26 Mar
Spanish Dictionary
Italian Dictionary French Dictionary

 

If your homeschooler (or someone else in your household) is learning a foreign language, these books are a great resource. I stumbled upon these accidentally, and fell in love with the Spanish version immediately. Yes,  I have my son learning the language, but I have also taken a considerable amount myself and love the language. I’m not fluent, but wish I was, so I love any awesome resources I come upon.

What’s Inside

These books have tons of vocabulary for lots of different subject areas, complete with articles, and beautiful colorful pictures. A lot of pages also have a chart of related phrases or adjectives to go along with the main topic area.  Topic areas include sections such as:

Read the rest of this entry »

Math and Science Classes for Homeschooled Students

23 Mar

 

My husband came across this site. How, I have no idea, but I thought I’d share it with others. It might be of interest to someone out there.

 

http://derekowens.com/

 

This site offers Math and Science classes for homeschooled students. There are on-site classes for those in the Atlanta area, and online classes for others.

Here are the online classes they offer:

Classes Offered
Math       Science
Pre Algebra Physical Science
Algebra 1
Geometry
Algebra 2 Physics
Pre Calculus
AP Calculus AB

 

There’s a $15 registration fee and then it’s $58 a month. The class can be spread out for as short or as long as you (or your student) want it to be. There are also textbook and workbook fees, which depend on the class you’re taking.

Here is where the online class information is: http://derekowens.com/onlineclasses.php

Like I said, I’ve never even heard of this, so, no, we haven’t tried it out, nor have I heard any reviews on it. It never hurts to know about more resources for classes out there, though.

 

 

 

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