Saturday, December 9, 2017

Grand Opening Follow-Up!

We posted this (below) on Facebook has come to our attention that posts are not being seen by others unless they get some sort of 'interaction.'  If you see a post, please 'like' it, so that it will be shown to others, too.  Thank you!!!

If you are not on Facebook, please shoot us an email letting us know whether 9-12 or 12-4 is a better time slot for you for the January shack opening dates.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Curriculum Spotlight : The Good & the Beautiful

***The Book Shack is in no way affiliated with The Good & the Beautiful.  It is just something we believe strongly in.***

One of the biggest challenges to your homeschool year is having the right curriculum.  Each family is different; each curriculum is different; and there's no 'right' curriculum - only the one that is right for your family.  

We are going to try to start bringing our readers information about various curricula so that they can make informed decisions about selections.  The first two will be the ones that we, the coordinators, use in our own homes the most, as we are most knowledgeable about them.  

Today we're talking about The Good & the Beautiful.  Being upfront, I'm going to tell you that we do not have TG&TB supplies at the Shack.  This is a new-ish curriculum and, since it's SO affordable, most families write in books and use them as consumables.  It is a fantastic option, however, if you have just a little bit to spend but still want a quality education.  As a bonus, the history and science can be used together with multiple children at the same time.

The company offers Levels 1-5 of their Language Arts curriculum absolutely FREE.  Also, if you'll watch their social media, there will be certain days where other curricula are free or at a steep discount (for the day only).

This video is about the History curriculum, but I liked it so much that I began to dig into their other products.  What we discovered was a streamlined curriculum that really fit our needs!  

As an even sweeter bonus, it is SO affordable, I'm even going to let the kids write in the books and not give it a second thought - because they're that affordable!  The older one can write in it, and I can buy a new one as the younger one advances.  (And 'affordable' isn't a word I often use beside 'curriculum'...)

The language arts programs cover several different subjects at once - including character, literature, geography, spelling, writing, reading, art appreciation, and grammar.  Both of my children - the advanced one and the special needs one - have benefited greatly from using this.  The readings are wholesome, clean, and full of teaching moments.  It is similar to the Lamplighter Books - old-fashioned at times, but so much better than the junk that's made readily available to impressionable minds these days.  

My husband and I have both commented on the change in our children's attitudes as we've made the switch in their readings.  It's a whole lot of small things that come together to create a beautifully-designed curriculum.

Levels 1-5 are available as free downloads, so that you can check it out and see if it's right for you, but I promise that it's a lot cheaper to buy their print version!  This is hands-down the most affordable curriculum we've ever seen.

If you do decide to download only, and then want to print it yourself later, we recommend the Homeschool Printing Company.  You can see more about that here (there is also a discount code).

In the classical style, this is a four-year program that wraps around to begin again after completion.  Each year comes with four different sets of printable pages, spanning kindergarten to twelfth grade, with age-appropriate work.  There are timelines, audio adventures, craft projects, and Charlotte Mason-style read-alouds.  

One of the things that makes this different from a traditional classical curriculum is that each of the four historical eras (Ancient, Middle Ages, Early Modern, Modern) is covered during each year.  Each year, however, a different aspect of that era is covered.  (ie, for Ancient : Year 1 = Egypt, Year 2 = Greece)  

The curriculum was created to be used together by the family, and this is the only thing that all of our students will be doing together this year.  As of Fall 2017, Years 3 and 4 have not been completed, but are currently in the works.

The children are both really enjoying the hands-on aspects, as well as the audiobook component (it all comes with the surprise add-ons).  There is also a game for fun reinforcement of facts.  I love that it is one curriculum spine that can be re-used several times.  The accompanying workbook covers every level from preschool to twelfth grade....just print the correct grade level for the year.  The work is age-appropriate and comprehensive enough to count as a full credit.

When is handwriting not just handwriting?  When it pulls double duty by reinforcing other subjects!!  The handwriting courses include artwork, poetry, Bible verses, and quotes that support character qualities. The courses also help provide practice with drawing skills.

Interestingly, some of the very activities given in the handwriting books are the same ones that my son's occupational therapist have assigned as homework activities to improve fine motor skills!
The Good & the Beautiful also offers Science and Typing programs, but we have not used them, so I cannot speak on them.  Currently, the high school program is being written and projected to come out within the next year or two.

Friday, August 11, 2017

A Home for the Shack

After over fourteen long months of dragging books around and storing them in garages, we have finally found a home for the Book Shack!

Wings as Eagles Christian bookstore, in Prague, has graciously offered us a space above their store to use.  It is upstairs, so be prepared.  If you have a physical disability, we will work with you to get you the materials you need.
Wings as Eagles carries a wide variety of items...they have something for everyone, and we would very much appreciate it if you popped into their store when coming to visit the shack.....if for no other reason than to offer them a hearty "thank you!"
The front part of the store has books, greeting cards, wall hangings, Bibles, kitchen items, movies, and even Yeti cups.  If you're looking for a unique and inspirational gift, this is your one-stop shopping spot!  (My personal favorite section is the book section......who's surprised?)
The children's area has clothing, toys, and books.  There are also smaller items (around a dollar), such as stickers and mini-books.  There truly is something for every budget.
To find the Book Shack, look for the Wings as Eagles store - on the corner of Hwy 99 and 9th Street - then look for the antique-barred door just to the right.  That's where you'll enter!  Head upstairs to Room C, and come on in!

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Then & Now

June 2016 :  Closing out the Book Samaritan and starting the move

 July 2017 :  Back-to-School Night and sharing books with families

Please remember that, while we are centrally located in Oklahoma, this ministry is available to all co-ops across the state and (hopefully soon) nationwide.  We were at our local homeschool co-op's back-to-school night, but it is not a ministry just for is for all homeschoolers and new teachers.

Upcoming Fundraiser

Have you heard?!?

We're having a fundraiser this weekend....and it's going to be HUGE!  We're talking seven truckloads of items....from several different you know there'll be something for everyone!

Come on out....bring your friends & family....and if you have an hour or two, sit a spell and take a volunteer shift.  

Any help, Friday or Saturday (and maybe Saturday from 2-3pm, too, to clean up) would be greatly appreciated.

See you there!

AND we made the paper.  It's been a busy week!  😊

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Homeschooling Styles

Choosing the right curriculum for your family means first determining your family's homeschooling style.  Some families are strictly one style, while others prefer a blend of styles.  Within the leadership of the Book Shack, we cover nearly every style if you ever have questions, just ask, and one of us will be glad to assist you!

Your family might try out one style and find that it's not for you.  It may take a few years to settle down into the right fit for your family, and that's completely normal.  When contacting the Book Shack for assistance, however, it helps us to help you if you know your family's preferred style.  

So....what's your style?

This approach utilizes three stages of learning : grammar, dialectic, and rhetoric.  These stages match up with elementary, middle, and secondary school.  This is a rigorous approach to schooling, but produces results.  Examples of this style include Story of the World, Classical Conversations, and Memoria Press.

Charlotte Mason
This approach involves 'living learning.  It revolves around reading aloud together as a family, and following child interests.  Nature walks, art museums, and living books are all a part of this approach.  Examples of this style include My Father's World, Ambleside, and Tapestry of Grace.

Unit Studies
This approach takes all of the subjects and smashes them together in an in-depth study of a topic.  For example, a unit study of Rome might include reading and writing about Rome, studying the history of Roman emperors, calculating timelines and marketplace purchases, creating artwork and projects from Ancient Roman times, and studying water (from the aqueducts built during this era).  Examples of unit studies include Sonlight, Learning Adventures, and Amanda Bennett.

Similar to unschooling, this is a child-centered approach that focuses on nature, arts, crafts, music, and movement.  Technology is not a big part of this curriculum.  One example of Waldorf curriculum is Oak Meadow.

Definitely for the Type B family, this is a child-centered approach to schooling.  There are no formal lessons, or even formal curriculum, but the children follow their interests and learn from life experiences.  Schedules are not utilized, and there is much flexibility and freedom.  This does not mean that they don't read, write, and do math, but that they follow their interests.  Math might be adding up the tab at the restaurant, or figuring the tax.

This is just a fancy way of saying 'a combination of styles.'  If you tell us that your family is eclectic, please tell us which styles you prefer, and which ones you do not want to use.

Stay-at-Home School
This is the one that we don't really consider homeschooling, because it's more like public school at home.  This is your Epic or K12 family, who uses tax dollars and receives their curriculum from the state.  This is the only style not utilized by a member of the Book Shack leadership.

Monday, May 22, 2017

It's Homeschool Convention Time!

It's that time again!  Every homeschool mom's delight!  Homeschool children are singing the song of "their People"......Yes!  It's homeschool convention time!

We plan for months, checking the vendor list, 
noting what we need to purchase (free shipping!!), what we want to look at, and of course, the gathering of the freebies!  Our children get excited, they will be amongst children like them!  I know that mine were excited for the book vendors, the hands on exhibits, and the most important....the young entrepreneurs booth.

I have to admit...I have been homeschool conventioning 
(is this a word?) since the denim jumper days!  I still drag my "box on wheels", which by the way, gets some strange looks! I carry a small spiral notebook that has my needs and wants...when I visit my curricula booth, I am welcomed with a big hug and and friendly, "Good to see you again this year!" 

Every year I meet up with all my home school
 moms and we plan our yearly lunch....a walk downtown to our favorite Mexican restaurant! And this is with at least 9 children in tow!  If you have never been to a are missing out! The smell of new text books, an entire booth dedicated to paper products!  (YES) There is a booth where you can purchase the dreaded frogs and squids for dissection, and there are books galore for reading enjoyment! And this mom purchased two fabulous novels written in the 1800's! 

Oh! The freebies! Pens, pencils, water bottles, 
candy, lunch bags, and keychains.....of course some of the best are the free drawings for curriculum, i-Pads, and lap tops!  From one home school mom to others...if you get a chance, visit a homeschool convention! It is day of fun and encouragement! PLUS....this can be considered a "professional day" for your records!

Next plans are to attend 2 (yes..TWO) conventions! I may go into book overdose!  Here's to lazy summer days! Oh...who am I fooling! I don't know about y'all, but this girl has some deep house cleaning to do!