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Nerd Family Things: August 2008

Nerd Family Things

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Location: Fresno, California, United States

A homeschooling, conservative nerdy mom of 4!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Frugal Homeschooler: Preschool Printables

I have a friend who is teaching preschool this year so for Jodie I have compiled a list of free preschool printables. This is everything from coloring pages, handwriting pages to great games and folder games.

Now, I have to preface all this with the fact that I am not a big believer in organized preschool. I do preschool simply to keep the kids busy while I school the older ones. I figure it is just play but it is educational too!

First up is Preschool Printables. Along the side bar is all of its wonderful printables. It has folder games, awards and calendars along with lesson plans.

TLSBooks has a lot of printable worksheets for preschool - 5th grade. They have 7 different categories of worksheets that include concept and coloring sheets.

First-School has a lot of letter, animal and holiday pages to print and color. I love it for building a Great Big Book of Everything from Stanley (a kind of animal encyclopedia).

Shirley's Preschool Activities has some great handwriting printable pages. Also they have African Alphabet pages and some Bible story themed coloring pages.

Preschool Learners has over 400 different printable worksheets. They are organized really well, which of course a NerdMom loves;). They have 8 main categories, such as English, Math, things we use, etc. Then they organize each subcategory really well.

So hopefully this gives everyone some really good resources. Remember that homeschooling doesn't have to be expensive! If you have any resources that I didn't mention please, let me know. Also, if there is an area or subject you would like me to apply the Frugal Homeschooler treat me to, just let me know and maybe I will fufill your request next!

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Friday, August 15, 2008

The Old Schoolhouse: Digital Version

I used to get the paper version of The Old Schoolhouse magazine. It would come and I could pour over it for a week or two. The most frustrating thing was figuring out what 1 person I would share an article with. But then budget cuts hit the NerdFamily and unfortunately magazines were sad victims. As budget regulated I realized that I didn't have time to pour over a magazine between blogging and homeschooling. I have to say that I felt I was missing an enrichment that I was getting before. I don't belong to an ISP and this was support group.

Well, with the arrival of the digital version all is right(and maybe even better) with my world. First of all it is like 30% cheaper than the paper version. Being a cheapskate and a mother of 4, that is always a good thing. I love that it is portable and searchable. Since I do everything on my laptop now, I love being able to just pop over and read an article when I have a couple of minutes. You can even download it so you can read a piece when you aren't online.

Now I have a strange confession, I love the fact you can click a button and forward an article. So when you have that new homeschooling friend who needs to read that encouraging piece or that naysayer who needs a little "information" that is firmer than your word;), just email it.

The reader is really smooth. I have to say that I was braced for a pdf format so the nifty little reader was a breathe of fresh air. You can adjust your sizes to fit your screen or the font size you need, your choice! Another cool thing is about the links. Everything is already web enabled so there isn't any more of the trying to remember to make a note of the web address and getting to it later.

Obviously I love it so go check it out!

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Monday, August 11, 2008

Planner for the Centuries

Ok, I think I am in love! I just got the new Schoolhouse Planner last week from The Old Schoolhouse Store. I love the idea of being organized but I have never found a tool that covered all aspects of my life including homeschooling and house management. While I had found things that covered most areas, they were bulky and cumbersome. This seems to work around all that!

The first plus for this planner is that it is an editable pdf. This means I can keep it updated on my computer and then print out the pages I want. Also, since you can edit it on the computer you don't need as much space. Each month is only 2 pages but there is plenty of room.

Another benefit is the knowledge treasures found in its 247 pages. They include things like the Constitution, yummy recipes, How-to's on different aspects of homeschooling and great fact lists (like countries/capitals, inventions and their years, etc). They are all those things you want to know and don't have time to look up. Also, depending on your household, all the things your kids want to know but you don't remember (or never learned in school;).

The cherry on the sundae are the forms. There are homeschooling forms where you can keep lists of your curriculum, plans by week or even by grade. There are also handy forms for things like nature studies or science experiments. There are also home management forms. They have weekly to do lists split out by errands/chores/call, grocery lists, contact lists, website lists. It even has personal management forms like inventory lists, gift lists and loaned/borrowed lists.

My favorite list is the prayer list. The planner I had for last year had a prayer list where you put the date, the (very short) list and a place to check it off when it was answered. This planner has such a better system. It has a date, generous space for the actual request, 2 spots for updates (with dates) and then a spot to date and write out the result. I love it!

Now if you aren't a Christian this is still a great planner. You could just not use the pages that pertain to that;). If you don't homeschool, no problem! Then you can use some of the homeschool pages to deal with homework and projects, then skip the rest. I guess what it boils down to is that I think this is an awesome planner for anyone who has a family and a life;).

So tell me, do you have a planner system you love? If not go, run and get this planner!


Friday, August 8, 2008

Help a Girl Out and Try Something for Free!

Amazon wants to promote their free Amazon Prime Trials. So I get a financial incentive (yes, money;) for every person who signs up for a free trial. Can you believe it? It is a great program to begin with.

Amazon Prime members enjoy the following benefits:

1. Unlimited FREE Two-Day Shipping on millions of Items
2. Overnight Shipping upgrades for only $3.99 per item
3. Shopping with no minimum order size
4. Ability to share benefits with up to 4 household members

So what do you have to do to try this for 1 month free? Just click on the banner and sign up. As long as you cancel before your month is up nothing will be charged. I know because I have done it my self. During that time I did a lot of my Amazon shopping to make the most out of the deal. Can you get a better deal than that?

If you like it and it is worth it to you, DON'T CANCEL. With Christmas coming up think about how much you spend in shipping and handling alone. That may pay for a year long membership. So help me out and go try it!

(This will be cross posted to all my blogs)