• General Homeschooling

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    2. Homeschooling with Technology,
    3. General Homeschooling
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    The apps and extensions I most appreciate in my homeschool are those which help keep me organized. And one of the most incredibly useful programs I’ve discovered in the past few years is called Symbaloo.

    The idea behind Symbaloo is to help us truly organize and easily access the sites and programs we use most frequently. AND, as an even bigger bonus, we can then share our Symbaloo “webmixes” with others - - which comes in amazingly handy when homeschooling 1 or more students.

    Get started with Symbaloo
    If Symbaloo is brand new to you, I recommend watching their introduction video.



    Then, it’s as easy as setting up your account and starting your very first webmix. For more tutorials on Symbaloo specifics, explore their YouTube Channel.

    Here are the top three ways I find myself using Symbaloo for homeschooling:

    To Get Answers Quickly

    No matter what we’re studying, and no matter what curriculum we’re using to study it, my kids are always going to have questions that aren’t answered in the text. So to prepare for that, I’ve created some Symbaloo webmixes to make it easy to follow our curiosities about everything from when Legos were invented to where Beatrix Potter was born. For example, my “reference tools” webmix is full of kid-friendly sites where we can get quick answers to ...
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    3. Info for New Homeschoolers
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    So, you want to homeschool? FANTASTIC! Welcome to the club! Do you think that this means you need to spend a house payment on school supplies?

    Nope!

    Not only are there fantastic sales this time of year to stock up on the basics for mere pennies, but there is also Craigslist for larger items, or even looking around your house, garage or storage for items to repurpose for your new adventure. And, whether or not you have a dedicated area in your house for your homeschooling, or are sort of spread out all over the place, you're still going to need some stuff for the fun learning escapades you are about to set in motion. Since not all stuff is created equal, here are my thoughts on supplies that every homeschooler should have quick access to!



    1. Library Card. Your local library can be your homeschooling friend. Free resources, endless books, research, movies. You can find out much more about what's available to you in our article: Homeschooling for (almost) FREE thanks to the Library. Oh, and make friends with the librarian. They are a WEALTH of knowledge.
    2. Good pencils and sharpener. Do NOT go cheap and get those bargain bin pencils. They don’t sharpen, they break constantly and in general, are a cause of frustration. Get a good brand like Ticonderoga and a good manual or electric pencil sharpener. Or go with mechanical pencils if that works best for you. I prefer wooden ones, and we have a old fashioned, attach-to-the-wall manual pencil sharpener just for me. My boys prefer mechanical ones. Whatever floats their boat. It saves me the bickering hassle of getting them to actually DO their work.
    3. Laminator. Granted, maybe you don’t NEED one of these babies, but you are going to WANT one. Your homeschool mom friends will have one, and this is a definite “keeping up with the Joneses” thing! Amazon has some GREAT deals on them. You can laminate labels, signs, worksheets (think multiple kid use here), their homeschool ID card, you name it… you can laminate it. In the end, you will wonder how you ever did without it.
    4. Netflix. There are SO many, MANY educational shows on Netflix. You can tie into almost any unit study. For those sick days when nobody feels like doing school, turn on an educational show and BAM! Unplanned learning! Jump onto any homeschooling parent forum and ask
    ...
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