Two little girls who come to my neighborhood to visit their grandma frequently come visit me so they can play with my cats and rabbits, and to draw and color. I have lots of art supplies left from when my own children were still at home.
The other day, the girls were coloring pictures of birds. The older was telling the younger that there were all sorts of Jays. Blue jays, red jays, purple jays, green jays. Rather than chiming in with corrections or further information on jays, I pulled Birds of North America off my shelf and showed them the pages about various Jays.
Then I left them alone to continue coloring.
They were so excited to see the real colors of various species of jays and proceeded to use the color plates in the book as models for coloring their own birds.
They’ve never been exposed to nature study, so it was fun to sneak a little in on them. 😉
Strong Opinion/Rant About Legal Issues
As a traditionally published book author, I am concerned about many home educators’ tendency toward copyright infringement. I think it’s done innocently without realizing they’re infringing upon someone’s legally protected intellectual property. They’re usually just trying to help out a friend. But, for example, when sending someone a complete pdf copy of an ebook you’ve paid for, unless it says to feel free to share with others, you are committing copyright infringement. By emailing or sharing the entire text of a currently copyrighted work, you’re stealing from the person who put in the hard work to do the writing and research. (This doesn’t apply if you’re passing along printed copies of books you’re finished with.)
Many of the homeschooling resources available online have been produced by other home educators who are most likely living on a single income and just trying to make a little extra money to help their families. Most book authors don’t make a ton of money, believe me.
Think about it: Would you go into someone’s bank account and steal money from them, even if you’re struggling financially? I bet everyone would say, “No! Of course not! I’m an honest person!” Well, essentially that’s what you’re doing when you breach copyright. You’re stealing from another person’s bank account.
Set a good example for your children. Pay for the resources you use if they’re copyrighted. Teach your children to respect the hard work of others. It’s a question of integrity. (Not to mention it’s also a crime.)
There is such a thing as “fair use” but that only means sharing a quote or maybe a paragraph when writing about the work in question or writing a review. Fair use doesn’t cover sharing the entire book (or ebook). Just because something’s published online or in a digital format doesn’t make it Public Domain.
For more information on copyright laws: Copyright & Fair Use
End of rant.
~Debi (who was a financially strapped home educator constantly on the lookout for a bargain or freebies … but I was always cognizant of copyright issues and would never intentionally steal another’s intellectual property, even if I was flat broke and struggling financially)
I was a Featured Speaker at the Washington Homeschool Organization‘s annual convention this past weekend. During and after my sessions, a number of people asked about specific resources.
I promised I’d provide the requested information here on my blog.
So here you go. 😀
World Book Typical Course of Study
- World Book encyclopedia has a free scope-and-sequence for each grade level (Preschool thru 12th) on their website. I’ve discovered occasionally they move things around on their site. I’m going to give you the link to the current location, but if you find at a later time that it takes you to some other page on their site or gives you a “Page Not Found” message, just search for “Typical Course of Study” on their site.
Non-test Assessment Service by Mail (Washington State residents)
Family Learning Organization (FLO) Testing Services
- When we were still home educating (my children are all grown), I frequently used the FLO non-test assessment to meet the Washington State yearly testing requirement. I personally didn’t care for the idea of standardized testing. The people at FLO were wonderful and can work with you, no matter what your style of home education might look like: Classical, textbooks, Charlotte Mason, unschooling, Waldorf, etc.
My weekly chore lists we talked about during Coping Strategies workshop
Debi’s Weekly Chore Lists
- When I think about all the chores that need to be done to keep a home functioning, and then think about applying Charlotte Mason’s ideas about habit formation to every single one of those chores, my brain cramps up and I don’t do anything at all. But I found by making a checklist of daily/weekly chores, I only had to build in ONE habit–the habit of checking the chore list each day. It worked for me (and nothing worked for me). That’s why I have a blog called I’m NOT Susie Homemaker. 😉
My homeschooling checklist
Scheduling a Charlotte Mason Homeschooling Day
- You’ll find a description of the check list and also a link to the list’s pdf so you can download and print it out for use in your home if you think this idea might work for you. It worked for me! (You may have noticed a theme here … I like checklists. They work for me. Your mileage may vary.) 🙂
A quick overview of how to start using Charlotte Mason methods
Where to Begin with CM?
- There are rigorous ways of applying Charlotte Mason methods in a homeschool setting, but there are also a number of people who have chosen to use her methods in combination with other ideas, as well. I’ve always been one of the more laid back, less rigorous Charlotte Mason-style home educators. I personally feel a great way to get started exploring Mason’s ideas is by easing into it, even combining her methods with other curriculum you already use, etc. That was actually how I started out. Each month, I’d add in one more method or idea, until eventually we were doing almost 100% Charlotte Mason-style homeschooling.
The following were books people repeatedly asked me about throughout the convention as they furiously scribbled titles and authors:
And I’d sold out of a number of titles at my book table so I promised I’d provide links so people could order those books on Amazon:
If I forgot to answer anyone’s direct question from the conference, please feel free to ask your question again in the comment section below.
I had such a great time at the W.H.O. Convention this year! Such a wonderful cross-section of friendly homeschoolers in attendance. You all made my week! I’m still smiling. Thanks so much for being such a great group. 😀
I wanted to apologize for being so scarce online the past couple of months. We’ve been experiencing a fairly major family crisis and things are only just starting to settle down a bit into a “new normal.”
Between my Grad School homework, trying to negotiate some crazy life events, a trip to Florida to see my cousin, and now a bout with Whooping Cough (yeah, a souvenir I brought home from the trip), it’s been difficult to think much about my online life.
Hopefully as things settle down and I start healing, I’ll start writing on my blog and posting on Facebook more often.
So don’t worry! I haven’t forgotten about you all. 🙂
Sorry, but this offer of a free ebook is now over. BUT the regular price is only 99 cents so it’s still a great deal!