Back to School Homeschool Haul- September 2020
At the start of the school year, we start receiving a lot of our homeschool supplies that are going to be used for the year in our various unit studies and lessons. This haul contains many books that are going to be used for our Horse unit that I’m putting together for my now 9 year old daughter. Some books in this haul we loved! Like Winter Horse while others we thoroughly couldn’t get into like The Perfect Horse. Some were delightful winners like Album of Horses and others were disappointments like the Busy Tree. Breathe, Because of an Acorn and The Busy Tree were all more juvenile than I expected and thus we won’t be using them in our homeschool as I hoped. Steamborn ended up being so thrilling, my son read the rest of the books in the series. Of the horse books we got, Equine Legacy was a little dull for my children, though totally intriguing for me. Though not engaging enough for me to keep reading it. The remainder of our horse books were all valuable resources for our horse unit. And while we’ve mostly completed that unit, those books are worth reading again, especially the picture books, which I’ll have to read again before reviewing our unit because it’s been a while since we’ve read them.
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Pencil Haul- September 2020
And here it is! Here is our second haul and after several months of using these amazing pencils from CW Pencil Enterprise, I can tell you we are loving the scented pencils and the Blackwing pencils which we bought in black, white and natural (each having a different hardness or smoothness). So far our go-to pencil is a Blackwing. They sharpen well, come with an eraser and are smooth and easy to use. While I love the assortment of pencils we got, it’s plainly obvious that if the pencil doesn’t come with an eraser, we’re not going to go for it as often as the ones that do. While I loved the idea of the capped pencil the EE Defender with the green cap, we definitely didn’t use that pencil as much as I thought we would. The scented pencils from our first haul, even though they don’t come with erasers, are our favorites! While the scent does diminish significantly over time (keep them wrapped until you use them, and use one at a time to preserve the smell), you can still smell an echo scent even after months and it’s just enough to bring joy to your pencil writing. I can’t wait to order those again. They were out of stock for a while, so do jump on them when you see them. The Editor pencil has gotten so much use, I’m glad we have a few. They are so handy, and we’ve come up with a new way to use them in our homeschool. I write math questions for my daughter and she does her work in red. That way I can easily follow her work and catch mistakes. It’s been a wonderful addition to our homeschool. Check out the special blog post that accompanies this video for links to the pencils we purchased and more info!
Book Haul | Living Books -October 2020
Everytime I think I’m done buying books, I find more I think I like. In some cases, I see other homeschoolers using these gems in their homeschool and decide we want to add them to our library. Other times, Amazon recommends books based on our purchases and what other customers bought. Enter the world of algorithms. So far, the books (and let’s face it products) Amazon has recommended have been really good offers! On occasion, I’m disappointed, but not because the book isn’t fabulous, it’s because the books is not what I expected or it’s too young for our needs.
Now that my youngest is 9 years old, I’m beyond adding the super basic picture books to the mix. I think they are wonderful additions if you have preschool aged children and you are homeschooling older children, as everyone can enjoy the simplified picture book. But when the book doesn’t contain enough content, then it’s just a pretty picture book and those have their place, but they are no longer needed in our homeschool. That’s what happened in this haul. I ended up with a few books that were too juvenile for our needs. In general, I find picture books to be undervalued and overlooked as educational resources. I usually find them to be beautifully written and illustrated, informative and simple. To be clear, I find them simply written but not dumbed down. Often I find them to be informative to students and teachers. And more often than not, picture books take big topics in history and science (and more) and speak about them in a way that’s understandable to parents and children. I love adding picture books as main resources in our homeschool main lesson blocks and unit studies because we all learn so much, it brings up together and we enjoy the illustrations.
Yarn Haul -November 2020
New yarn means new projects, and before I got to filming this haul, we already got started on our new projects. We are busy knitting away during these cooler months with longer nights and cozy days. This yarn haul is two hauls in one. Everything in the circular basket was from a recent haul and everything in the square basket is from a haul several months ago. All of it is from Webs at Yarn.com Primarily, I’m replenishing our supply of Lamb’s Pride yarn in bulky and worsted weight, but I’m exploring new colors. I’m also trying out some new yarn from CloudBorn. I’m finding their yarn very soft, and I love the color range. I also love the Highland Sport because the lighter yarn is working well for our mini hats projects for our peg dolls and finger puppets. This yarn is plied and this is a departure from our unplied yarn that I’m used to. We’ve already gotten started on our projects, and I love the yarn!! All of it. It’s all so beautiful and easy to work with. Stay tuned for new handwork projects, but in the meantime, enjoy this blog post with handwork projects and more details on this yarn haul. And please enjoy this playlist on all the handwork project tutorials we’ve done over the years.
Physics Materials Haul- November 2020
Materials from this video
This is the second time we are ordering from Ward’s Science. This time we ordered a few materials for our Electricity and Magnetism lessons. We ordered a number of rods of differing materials to compare static electricity: Stirring polypropylene rod, acrylic rod, hollow glass rod, solid glass rod and nylon rod. We also got a horseshoe magnet, a digital scale, concave mirror, convex mirror and test tube drying rack.
We also bought from Educational Innovations for the second time. The first time was for just a couple items which I didn’t share here, but it was the balancing eagle, an item from this Force and Motion kit, the centripetal spinner, Wind Gyro and polarized lense. For this haul, we bought some awesome kits!! The first one I want to share is the Magnetic Accelerator. We also got the Wave Modeling Spring, Eddy Current Rods, Egg in a Bottle, Harbottle Differential Pressure Demonstrations, Energy Chimes, DIY Galileo Thermometer, Magnetic Lodestone, Iron Filings, and the lung demonstration (which would be ideal for an anatomy unit).
For physics main lesson block involves doing a demonstration each lesson, followed by drawing and writing about it in the following lessons. While most of our lessons in optics, thermodynamics and acoustics don’t need special equipment, I am happy to add these kits and materials for some experiential lessons. Some items like the egg in a bottle or snaky waves can be DIYed, I like having the prepwork taken care of for as many projects as possible since I’ll be spending time assembling other hands on activities.
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Living Books and Hands On Kits-January 2021
More living books! Yes please. I keep saying I’ll divert my funding from books to use for other resources, but here we are, back to buying books. I love books that are engaging, well written and beautifully illustrated. This haul is no different. I love all these picture books especially the biographies of Sophie and Dinosaur Lady. We love home as well! We plan to use this with our Waldorf grade 3 lessons on shelters, clothing and farming. I learned about this book from a friend, Gehad, on Instagram. We also got a lot of Field Guides for various regions like polar, safari and desert animals. These were all bought used through third party sellers on Amazon. We also got a few math books and other resources like a fractions tray by Bigjigs and multiplication table from Lino Natura.
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Why Buy Books? And How to Choose Them-February 2021
Why buy books? We buy books for our homeschool main lesson blocks and unit studies. We love books! Granted many of the selections you can find at the library. We did include a few kits in this haul, but primarily, we bought books. We used our educational funding to purchase these materials. We shopped at Bookshop.org, Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Treasures by Jennifer. In the video I talk about our Chinese brush calligraphy materials we purchased a few years ago and have yet to use. We will be adding them to our China Unit. We are using these books for upcoming units as well as units we’ve already done. A year ago, we did a bird unit and later my friend, Megan, hatched chickens. I found a book on chicks and thought it would be the perfect addition to that unit. You can check out our Bird Main Lesson Block for more videos and tutorials. We also bought a few books for our physics unit on Acoustics.
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Another Homeschool Haul-March 2021
More books? Didn’t I say I was going to ease up on buying books? I changed my mind. At least for the time being. So join me as I walk you through this latest collection of books, kits and other materials for our homeschool unit studies in Physics, Alaska, Middle Ages, Silk Road, West Africa, Literacy, Math and early childhood education. Most books were purchased from Amazon and Bookshop.org, but I did receive the prayer carpet for free from Rumi’s Mom. I also received all the Islamic books for free as well. Tis the Night Before Eid was gifted to me from the author and can be found here at Rashidi Books. The remaining Islamic books were gifted by Siraj Bookstore. And lastly, the Rooted Childhood book can be found on Meghann’s website.
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Last Homeschool Haul of the Year 2021-April 2021
Well here we are at the end of the school year and I have just one last homeschool haul to share with you. Actually, just as I posted this video, I saw that I had a few more books coming in so I’ll have just a few more books to share with you. The materials in this haul are for our history and science units. The kits are all from Rainbow Resource and they are for my 14-year-old son to supplement our physics unit. He loves building models and these hydraulics models and more are just right to give him the practical of what he is learning in physics. The books are for our Mongolia, China and Ibn Battuta units. The 24 hours books were especially requested from my son as he liked the 24 Hours In China and asked if there were any others in the series. We also got some supplies from Blick Art Materials. All three items were things we have purchased before and use often. The Sargent Art Chalk as been my chalk of choice for years. The Ultra-Light Oven Bake Clay is a staple supply that we use for science and history for our hands on projects. We’ve made the life cycle of a butterfly, a relief map and ancient Chinese pottery with the clay. We also bought more walnut ink which we have used for a variety of projects. We also replenished our supply of undyed bulky and worsted weight yarn from my favorite Waldorf vendor A Child’s Dream. We plan to use the yarn with our Natural Dye kit.
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Homeschool Haul…Really the Last One of the Year 2021
This is the last homeschool haul of 2020-2021. These last items came in a week or two after my previous haul and were supposed to be part of it. This haul is just books and a few of them are hand-me down. As many of our thrift shops and library bookstores are still closed (or in the case of my local charity shop, the book selections are mediocre), sharing books within your community is a great way to spread those resources around.
Homeschool Book & Waldorf Haul
Even when I’m on a trip or vacation, I manage to make the souvenirs educational based. And I even got to check out a local thrift shop (looking for baskets for my sister who was too ill to go shopping), and found some books to accompany past and upcoming homeschool units. I recently visited Alaska for the second time (May/June 2021) after going there for the first time in January 2021 to visit my older sister who moved there in 2020. After I returned in January, I put together an Alaska unit and collected other resources to add to that unit. On this trip I found 4 more books: three of them from Sealaska Heritage. They produce books on local tribes and culture. I picked up We are the Water Protectors, Let’s Go and Salmon Boy. I also bought a book twin calf moose as well as the National Parks Postcard deck. I also bought a couple things from Nature’s Nest, a Waldorf shop in the Palmer area servicing the public and homeschool communities in the surrounding areas, I got the Gluckskafer ice cave bridge (I called it that because that’s what it reminds me of, but that’s not the official name), I also got the Katie Daisy How to be a Wildflower Deck. I stopped at Value Village to look for baskets for my sister who is battling brain cancer, but still longs to have a homeschool space for her 9-year-old son. I set up her homeschool space and helped her organize while I visited in May, and picked up some baskets for her space so she could organize her space when she has the energy. At Value Village (a local thrift shop), I found a few books, one of which was literally in my cart at Rainbow Resource! I got World War II for Kids, Weapons and Technology of World War II, The Dragon’s Tale by Demi (for our China unit), The Fascinating World of Butterflies and Moths (which will accompany our Butterfly unit), Eyes on Nature Snakes, See Inside Atoms and Molecules. From Bookshop.org I got Fractions, Decimals, and Percents.