We are mostly set on the core curriculum that we use from year-to-year with each of our children (see above ‘Homeschooling’ menu for each Grade). But we have left room to fill some gaps with additional unit studies, delight-direct learning, projects, additional copywork and audiobooks, and anything else along the way that we like the look of.
As their teacher, I can never know in advance what is going to ‘click’ with each of my children, but when something does, I like to make sure I embrace their interests and natural talents with additional opportunities to develop their strengths and keep learning fun.
I’m a strong believer in allowing room to be flexible with learning, and if something isn’t working after a good trial period, it’s time to change it or to find ways of freshening things up. I have one child in particular that tires easily of the same thing, so supplementing with other things really helps things around here!
I’ve spent literally hundreds of hours researching curriculum and looking for free downloads. What I’ve discovered is that it’s worth just purchasing the right resources to save the time and also because quality resources are simply worth the investment.
Why use Digital Downloads
As much as I love the feel of a printed book in my hands, like a devotional book for myself, when it comes to curriculum though, there are a number of benefits to having downloaded files stored on your computer or tablet to use.
You can print multiple copies easily, use with all your children, only print what you use, save on shipping costs, and also pick up great curriculum for lower prices. It’s more economical, and frequently also more affordable.
I use our notebooking pages every day in our homeschool, plus numerous lapbooks, unit studies, copywork, audios and more, most days. It’s a bit of a change of mindset, as we are so used to the way we’ve always done things, but the change in technology is truly a gift if we learn to embrace the good from it and utilize it to our advantage.
Ways to Supplement
- Add in unit studies to your history for the year, whether you are doing a theme for the entire year and you want to supplement (like Ancient History), or take a break from your existing curriculum for a couple of weeks to freshen things up. We do both.
- Print off reading log pages for your child to record books read (including those from the library).
- Listen to audiobooks in the car, during learning ‘breaks’, or while you are teaching another child. We love Jim Weiss audiobooks, and are also using The Mystery of History this year too.
- Print copywork pages when there is a topic that you have enjoyed in your usual studies (eg. a more focused topic during Middle Ages History, or a country study that grabs your child’s interest from a read-aloud).
- Add in attractive notebooking pages to accompany your regular curriculum, instead of just buying regular lined paper. We use IEW (Fix-it Grammar and Theme studies) which still need additional pages, as does our history and other subjects. It just makes the finished work more appealing to the eye, your child will feel more satisfied with what they’ve produced, and we are all about increasing their enjoyment of things like grammar!
- Jump into the colouring book trend that is popular right now, and find some resources that have a colouring and learning component. We have just gotten Fine Linen and Purple for our eldest daughter, and it’s absolutely gorgeous!
- Use ebooks on your tablet when you are travelling or away from home, and save on that much needed space in the car.
- Take your schooling with you when you are at a child’s extra curricular activities, and get in some extra learning time with your other children.
I hope that gives you some ideas on how you can add in these things to keep your homeschool fresh, learning fun and flexible, and doing it in a way that is affordable and economical.