Janet's Curriculum Closet
These resources are helpful for parents as we grow in our trust of the finished work of grace.
Our friends at TrueFace
Their weekly podcast is only 15 minutes of powerful inspiration and the kind of wisdom that we all need. Search their list of past episodes to find one that specifically meets your needs, or subscribe and linger each week in the grace that truly changes everything.
May I recommend this specific episode titled "Know Your Why." It is a great listen for your homeschool family, all about God’s design for WORK! As citizens of heaven, we are called to so many different and diverse things depending on our skills and passions. Nearly any work can be work dedicated to the Lord and to serving others, but to live out of that we need to know our WHY for work.
Why do you do what you do?
Do you do it for yourself, or for others?
For selfish gain, or for the Lord?
For the joy of using your skills, or to be impressive?
These are important, beautiful questions that each of us struggle with. This podcast episode helps us struggle well with these questions.
Sarah Mackenzie knows: You want to connect with your kids. You long to make rich and lasting memories with them- to connect in a meaningful way while they’re still at home. But it can be hard to connect with our kids in the middle of a busy week. Her website offers a great podcast–and lists and lists of great books! You won’t be sorry if you subscribe to her emails–they don’t come so often that they’re a pain. Instead–they always have a practical list of books, and the encouragement you need to enjoy them with your kids.
Creating a Masterpiece
I used this resource when I helped families with kids of all ages teach homeschool. It’s like hiring a private art teacher!
You will be amazed as you see your confidence and skill level grow when using this curriculum from the art studio of master artist and teacher Sharon Hofer. Proven by the success of thousands of students, Creating a Masterpiece is the perfect choice to empower students with the skills needed to succeed in creating fine art. Students of all ages will be challenged by the unique emphasis on producing beautiful, masterpiece quality artwork.
Math U See
There are many great options for Math curriculum on the market. Math U See is my favorite! Watch this demonstration video to learn more about Math-U-See’s unique approach with a video from our founder: homeschool dad and lifelong learner Steve Demme.
These letter boards and letter arcs are a powerful way to teach letters and sound and beginning phonics to young children. Schedule a 30 or 60 minute private consulting appointment with Janet–and discover a sequence of practice activities that will build confidence and skills in your beginning reader.
American Language Series
The American Language Series is a complete early reader program for students in the Primary School and the Elementary School for Young Children. Readers are graduated–and build on each other. Reader 1, Fun in the Sun, contains only words with single vowels and consonants. Reader 2, Scamp and Tramp, continues with short vowel words with consonant blends. Students continue with additional readers to build skills with silent-e words, r-controlled vowels, vowel blends, and digraphs.
Simon Sinek: Leaders Eat Last
This video is one I share at every John 15 Academy retreat–and I shared it with Intermediate and High School students as a part of both our studies of Science, History, and Spiritual Maturity. This video is not from a Biblical worldview (“millions of years ago”…), but it is very accurate in the ways Simon Sinek clearly and powerfully explains our (Biblical!) design for experiencing life with our chemical components of oxytocin (love), cortisol (fear), dopamine (productivity OR addiction), and serotonin (leadership OR vanity). I highly recommend this video–at least once a year, for parents and children 9-10 years of age or older.
Unblind Your Mind: What Are We Eating?
Dr. Katherine Reid is an entrepreneur, biochemist, and mother of five. Through her research and trial and error, Dr. Reid determined that certain foods were associated with her daughter’s autistic behaviors. We are what we eat, but what are we eating? Dr. Reid takes us on an intriguing journey of diet changes that diminished her daughter’s autistic behaviors. She reveals an association between a common ingredient in the Western diet and many chronic illnesses that plague a number of countries.
This video is a powerful addition to an ongoing study of nutrition–and could spark many interesting discussions in a study of health, mental illness, the power of advertising, economics…and the criteria we use to make decisions that become habits…that have potentially devastating effects on our health.
Dan Siegel: Myths of the Adolescent Brain
Watch this video with your children ages 8 - 18. Here’s why: In chapter five of my book Education by Design, Not Default, I share some false traditions our culture has embraced about the season of life called adolescence. Children are designed to grow up to be young adults–and this video offers great insight into the changes in our brains that is designed to happen in that stage.
The creator of this video says, “The adolescent period is amazing. People often view it in a negative light, thinking that adolescents are 'immature' or 'are going to lose their minds' or that 'they have raging hormones.' These are myths that mislead us and actually dis-empower us. What is actually the truth? Watch and find out.
Dr. Siegel also offers these additional resources
The Piano Guys
Ahhhh…the gift of leisure–and music! I have shared my affection for The Piano Guys with four of our grandchildren. When they spend the night, our morning routine includes them joining me in bed while I’m having my coffee–lingering in one beautiful music video after another. The Guys are one way of sharing a screen with children that I don’t mind at all. The relationship Steven Sharp Nelson has with his cello, and the relationship Jon Schmidt has with the piano…simply sacred.
When I have taught homeschool with only one or two children, we often enjoyed choosing our favorite Piano Guys’ videos during lunch time–or handwork. Here's one of my favorites, but you can also click the button to choose from many others!
You have loads of other recommended resources available at your fingertips inside Janet's Research and Janet's Favorite Things. AND this curriculum closet is under construction, and that's GOOD NEWS! What's offered here will grow and keep growing, so you'll want to check back soon for other resources and recommendations!
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