From the HSLDA E-lert Service:


8/18/2011 10:11:28 AM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Homeschooling Toddlers thru Tweens (formerly Early Years) e-newsletter

HSLDA's Homeschooling Toddlers thru Teens
Homeschooling on a Shoestring--Spotlight On: Social Studies

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Dear Friend,

When it comes to homeschooling, expensive is a relative term. While
the average cost is roughly $500 a year per child, this goes down a
bit in families with more children, since resources can be shared,
membership costs are not multiplied, etc. If your children have been
in private school for $4,000-10,000 a year per child, you're probably
planning a vacation with your homeschooling savings and are only
reading this article to kill some time! But if they've been in a
conventional school setting or are just beginning school, it's prudent
of you to count the cost, to be prepared . You'll want to invest in
your core curriculum materials first, then add other items as your
budget allows. (See sidebar for more ideas.)

It is possible to homeschool with just a Bible and a library card, but
most of us will add a bit. I was able to homeschool seven children at
a time for less than $100 in a year, once I had accumulated a few
non-consumable resources. (Our family was without a full-time income
for four years during that time, with eight children at home.)

In the next few newsletters, we'll highlight some activities for the
basic subject areas on a shoestring budget. Since election season is
coming up, let's begin with social studies!

HOW TO SAVE on textbooks and other curricular materials

> Borrow or rent books--check with your local support group.

> Purchase used books. Some
sources include used curriculum shops, exhibit halls, library sales,
support group sales, online swap boards (and of course, the HSLDA
Curriculum Market!

> Provide educational "wish lists" to family members for gift-giving

> Use your state's standards of learning as a guide to check out
appropriate library books. (Search for Standards of Learning + State>. You are not required to use these standards, but it can give
you a starting point.)

> Use World Book's standards
of learning with library books.

> Use a major textbook publisher's social studies scope and sequence with library books.

> Use What Your Child Needs to Know When or The Checklist (or Teaching Children by Diane
Lopez) as a guide to what to teach, then use library books or
living books. (Are you sensing a pattern here that includes library
and card?)

> Search online for free homeschool ____ (history, geography,

> Laminate your books and answer keys with clear Contact paper for


Use grade-specific materials for each child for skills subjects such
as math and language arts, then use multi-level materials for
content-area subjects such as science, social studies,
character/Bible, art, health, etc, working with all of your children
together, to economize on time and money! Here are a few suggestions
for materials that are designed for or easily adapted for multi-level

> Konos curriculum
> Diana Waring's history guides
> Greenleaf Press
> Beautiful Feet guides
> Daily Bread
> Heart of Wisdom
> Tapestry of Grace
> My Father's World
> Illuminations
> The Mystery of History
And many others


The most effective learning often takes place in the context of
everyday living or family activities, and many are free or very

> Display a large world or U.S. map on the dining table, protected by
a clear vinyl layer/tablecloth (available by the yard at fabric
departments; generally under $5).

> Have students label blank maps of countries, continents, states,

> Visit ethnic restaurants.

> Research your family's history, using the library and/or genealogy

> Let your children look up the day they were born (library research,
also falls under Language Arts!).

> Visit local museums or historical societies.

> Attend history or battle re-enactments.

> Visit historic landmarks--you can even make a scavenger hunt using
those roadside markers!

> Travel as a family--even local day trips can be rich in history and
geography lessons.

> Study the history and/or geography of various regions you have
visited (or would like to visit!)--foods, people, government, customs,
topography, history, and more.

> Tour your town and state government buildings.

> Take your children with you to vote or to work on a campaign.

> Attend homeschool day at your capitol.

> Read historical fiction or biographies in your read-aloud time.

> Let the children demonstrate what they have learned using drama,
music, art, Legos, or other medium.

> Create a history timeline.

> Discuss current events. (You may wish to be selective, depending on

> Attend a local town hall meeting to see the political process in

> Follow the progress of a bill through your state's legislature.

> Look up the symbolism of all the parts of a dollar bill.

> Visit a nursing home and interview those who have been part of
recent history.

> Ask your parents or older relatives to talk to your children about
what the world was like just a few decades ago. My mom found the
American Girls Molly's World and Kit's World books to be helpful
conversation starters--as she flipped through the books with her
grandchildren, she was prompted to remember things from her own
childhood to share.

Next month: Science on a Dime!

Vicki Bentley
HSLDA Toddlers thru Tweens Consultant

More on homeschooling on the cheap:

"Homeschooling on a Shoestring Budget" HSLDA Homeschooling Toddlers
thru Tweens

"What Does It Cost to Homeschool?"

"Navigating the Used Curriculum Route" by Vicki Bentley, Practical
Homeschooling magazine

"What Should I Be Teaching?"

Search for free homeschool + subject

"Ask the former generations and find out what their fathers learned,
for we were born only yesterday and know nothing, and our days on
earth are but a shadow. Will they not instruct you and tell you? Will
they not bring forth words from their understanding?" Job
8:8-10 NIV

Social studies resources:

"Civics for Preschool and Middle School" (article)

Learning History through Living Books series is just one of the
Charlotte-Mason-style materials available from Queen Homeschool

Trail Guide to Learning unit studies (includes all but math)--Paths of

Exploration and the new Paths of Settlement units for various ages;
includes study of primary source documents, biographies, and more.
From Geography Matters

Galloping the Globe (ages K-4th) and Cantering the
Country (1st-6th) Geography resources from Geography Matters

> Travel fifteen states (plus Washington, D.C. and the I-95 corridor)
Kids Love! Publications travel guides.

"Holidays as Homeschool Curriculum" includes patriotic or historical
Student News Daily--This free website focuses on current events from a
conservative viewpoint, geared to middle school and up. Sign up to
have a different feature emailed to you each day; Wednesday's feature
highlights an example of media bias, while Friday's feature is a quick

God Has Big Plans for You, Esther! By Kay Arthur and Janna Arndt
(Discover 4 Yourself inductive Bible study series; ages 9-12). Readers
ages 9 to 12 join young investigators Max, Molly, and Sam for a great
adventure in Washington D.C. While they explore the exciting dynamics
of the Capitol, they uncover an amazing Bible story of a young girl
named Esther who God used to change the course of her nation.
-> Remember the last time you wrote a term paper?

Research can be grueling-digging through archives, wading through
articles, conducting interviews. But if it's related to
homeschooling, you can relax a little. There's a good chance that
you'll find what you're looking for in HSLDA's bimonthly
Home School Court Report. Providing in-depth, insightful articles
on much of what affects the world of homeschoolers, the
Court Report is a must-read for the serious homeschooler. This
publication is provided free to each HSLDA member.

More reasons to join HSLDA...

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