Today, I’m going to share two new homeschooling resources I’ve learned about in the past few months.
I was contacted by Claudia Orgill a few months ago about a really fun and valuable site she and her husband have created geared towards homeschooling families called The HEV (home education videos) Project.
They created a site of short educational videos that learners can watch at their own pace. It really resonated with me as an interest-led learner because you can pick the topics and subjects that you’re interested in and you can watch them and do the follow-up activities at the pace most comfortable for you.
*this site has a heavy Christian focus
Here’s a glimpse into some of the content on the HEV Project:
Creating Women – A collection of courses and videos that help girls better understand their roles as women and mothers. There are also videos on practical things like how to crochet and the science and history behind certain foods.
Creating Men – A collection of courses and videos designed help boys to transition from boyhood to manhood and fatherhood. There are excerpts from books; it looks like they’ll be adding videos soon about self-defense and outdoor skills. There are a few videos about entrepreneurship, too – although, in my opinion, these should be placed in the creating women section, too!
Courses – This was my favorite part of the site. They already have some great videos to watch and should be adding new videos every week. What a rich resource for interest-led learners this site will be in the next few years!
So far there are videos about: How Things Work, Clouds, English Grammar, Nature Journals, Guitar, Chess, Cursive, Science Concepts and Projects, Spelling, World Geography and Cultures, Art Concepts and Projects, Airplanes, Abacus, and Origami.
After watching a three to twenty minute video, there’s also an extension activity at the end if you want to continue learning about the topic.
Other topics include: USA History, Gifts and Talents (videos profiling homeschooled children who have special talents), Making a Difference (showcasing kids who are working on a life-changing project), and Book Reviews.
They are also working on creating a writing critique forum where kids can post their writing and receive feedback and monthly contests where kids can win cash prizes.
For parents there are videos interviews with homeschooling parents and also video interviews with adults who have been homeschooled.
One great thing about this website is the way they have their subscription price structured. You can pay as little or as much as you’d like. They suggest $7 a month, but they realize that even that might be a struggle for some families at first. Everyone also can receive a free week trial automatically.
I would highly recommend at least checking out the free week trial. They currently have over 300 videos posted and are working on new ones all the time.
*I was given a month free subscription for the purpose of writing this review.
You Can Do It Too! 25 Homeschool Families Share Their Stories
I was also contacted a few months ago by Lori Lippincott, editor of the new e-book You Can Do It Too! Lori’s a homeschooling mom and author of several books.
You Can Do It, Too! Is a collection of 25 interviews with homeschooling moms. In the book Lori asks several in-depth questions including:
How and why did you start homeschooling?
What were your concerns when you first started out?
Do you follow a certain curriculum or method?
What does a typical school day look like?
Are there specific challenges you experience with homeschooling?
What do your kids like about homeschooling?
Have you learned any tricks for planning better?
If you could tell someone thinking about homeschooling or burned out on homeschooling one thing, what would it be?
I really did enjoy reading this book. Any time I get a chance to peek into another homeschooling family’s day and see how they do it is great. Each family had a slightly different approach to learning in their family, and it was interesting to see why each family make the choices they made.
Two things I wished were included the book though: more questions about specific resources each family used outside of pre-packaged curriculum and a wider range of families with different homeschooling philosophies.
Many of the moms suggested specific curricular resources like Math-U-See, Teaching Textbooks, Story of the World, and Explode the Code. I just wished there were more suggestions like games, activities, kits and fun computer software. But I guess that’s because at my house we focus more on non-curricular type things so I’m probably being a bit greedy that way!
Also, there was a heavy focus on interviewing families who took a very scheduled and heavily structured approach. Most of the moms wrote about how they planned things and how they wanted to set up their school. They never mentioned sitting down with their kids, collaborating with them, and getting their input on what they wanted to learn and the things they were passionate about. I hope these types of discussions were taking place in each family and that it simply wasn’t brought up during their interviews.
But there were a few interviews I really enjoyed reading including the one with Nancy Sathre-Vogel from Family on Bikes whom I interviewed for this blog just last month. (If you haven’t read that interview yet, you can check it out here).
I must say, though, that I did find great value in reading about other homeschooling families who take a very different approach to learning than my family does. I was able to understand more of their reasoning behind what they do, able to take away many things to consider for my own family, and it’s always a highly educational thing to surround yourself with people who think and believe differently than you do. I think that’s the most important way we learn and grow.
So go to http://ycdit.com and check out the book.
*I did receive a free pdf copy of the book for reviewing purposes.
Photo Credit: Rachel_H
What new resources have you run across lately?
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