Friday Faves: Our must-haves for starting this homeschool year!

Staying together with their study material

As we just began school a few weeks ago with our families, we thought it would be so fun to share some of our favorite resources that we are using this school year. We’ll share something new each week, so look out for posts in the Fridays to come!
Nicole and I homeschool our kiddos who are between the ages of 8 to 12, so for this particular week our picks are geared to that age group. We also homeschool with a Classical Conversations Community, therefore some of our choices will reflect what we are studying in this cycle 3. However, the following resources can benefit any family really – whatever your method of schooling might be.

Here’s our Friday Faves for this week:

How Great Is Our God & Indescribable – Are you looking for a solid, yet not too long devotional that the whole family can enjoy? Our family looooves how Louie Giglio presents science as it showcases God’s glory and majesty. Each read has a bible reference, a devotional/story, cool scientific facts & a prayer that leads our family into connecting it all together. We love both books! They’re great for a short morning/night time devotional time as a family. They can also be used as a launching point to deeper conversations about God and how everything in creation points back at HIM. – Aracelly

The Homeschool Planner – Every (homeschooling) momma needs some kind of planner, am I right? I personally am loving this one for many reasons:

  1. It’s pretty and functional, it has great minimalist design and it’s reasonably priced!
  2. It is the perfect size, not too huge or heavy, fits well inside any of my bags.
  3. It has everything I need to keep me organized and plan well but it’s not so overwhelmingly packed with “too much” which for me it would ultimately mean many unused pages at the end of the day.
  4. It has a section that reminded me to cast a vision and set holistic goals for my children and for my a family as we start our school year (spiritual, personal, academic, relational, habit training).
  5. It has a monthly calendar view, a weekly view to lesson plan, which also includes a small menu plan section and a line to write down your word for the week! I loooove that!
  6. Some additional sections for record keeping, ie: A book wish list section, attendance tracker pages, grade tracker and field trip planning pages.

I’m simply loving this planner so much! I purchased the printed version from Amazon, however you can find the downloadable, with lots of extra pages and customizable version at The Peaceful Press shop  – Aracelly

Encouraging Books for You, Momma – If you’re starting this homeschool journey, I highly recommend the book Homeschooling Bravely by Jamie Erickson. It’s such a great read, full of encouragement to overcome any normal fears we may face as parents choosing to homeschool and it also has great practical advise by encouraging to change our perspective as we “plan, teach and homeschool”. No fear! If God lead us to it, He is faithful to see us through it.
Teaching from Rest by Sarah Mackenzie is another favorite, especially if you’ve been homeschooling for a bit and need a reminder of what’s truly important in your homeschooling journey. This read was so refreshing, challenging and encouraging yet with some solid practical advice. It had me in tears at times. Sarah Mackenzie is just wonderful! – Aracelly

Poster Size Post-it Notes – I love these poster-size sticky notes to easily display our big ideas on the wall. We keep a running list of the books we’ve read and the vocabulary words we are learning. The kids also like to put together little presentations using them. They’re much easier to put up and take down than a regular poster board that requires that yucky blue tack.  – Nicole

IEW History Based Writing – As a former high school English teacher, I WISH I had this method of key word outlining and style dress ups in my toolbox. It is hands down the best method for teaching young writers, and with the use of historical sources, you’re getting a lot packed into one moment of your day. I recommend the History Based Writing workbooks for grades 4-7. We use this program for our Essentials Curriculum with Classical Conversations. – Nicole

5 Star Zipper Binder – This binder is everything my 5th grader needs to carry his weekly materials for his Essentials class (Classical Conversations). I love that he can keep everything in one spot. Front pocket holds his IEW book. Pockets inside will keep all his charts well protected and they provide a space to store all his writing assignments. There’s a pouch for his pencils, markers, highlighters, etc. and plenty of space to put dividers, additional notebooks and more. I can’t love it enough. If you’re an essentials mom, you know how much stuff you and your student need to carry each week. This binder keeps all things in one place for your child. Nothing gets misplaced or damaged. -Aracelly

New World Echoes – “Are you ready to explore the challenges and beauty of some once-uncharted territories? Are you ready to cultivate a family culture of reading aloud? The Echoes series is back, this time filled with poems, tall tales, and legends that pair perfectly with Classical Conversations Cycle 3. Your littles will love the rhymes and larger-than-life stories; your middles will love the adventures and humor; your bigs will love the new and deep questions under the surface of the stories. You will love it all, and gladly give in to requests to reread!’ – From Classical Conversations Bookstore

Desk Atlas of the US and National Geographic United States Atlas – We’re diving into US History and Geography this year and our family has been thoroughly enjoying the Desk Atlas of the US, full of great and fun facts of each state. We see that this atlas is available in very limited quantities so we also want to recommend the National Geographic Kids’ US Atlas. This is a brand new edition, but I have seen previous ones and they look so fun and full of amazing content! – Aracelly


Mr. Squishy – He is a good companion if you’re studying Anatomy this year, like us. “This set is pretty neat because there is quite a bit of information included with it. There is an easy to follow book filled with facts and information about each organ, as well as an organizer to help you keep track of parts when you’re taking the body apart and putting it back together. The set also includes a set if tweezers and a set of forceps that you can use to move the body parts around. The “insides” are sticky and squishy so I would suggest keeping them covered when not in use as to avoid hair or other contaminants getting on them.” – from Amazon Reviews

Anatomy Bundle

Science with Friends, Anatomy Bundles – Last but not least! 🙂 We have our Science planned for the year! wohoo. At Learningfriends.com/shop you can find our Anatomy & Chemistry Project Bundles. They pair no-fuss experiments with thought-provoking discussion starters and Scriptural connections. Guides are designed for family and friend groups K-8, and the corresponding Student Lab Notebook offers space for students to brainstorm, record, and reflect.

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