Every year, I try to do a different form letter. And they’re rarely serious. You won’t read about our health issues or our money issues or the jerkiness with which we treat each other. Rather, you will find the light side of life in the pages of the letter. Without further ado, I give you this year’s version!!
The awesome folks over at freelyeducate.com are giving away a chemistry curriculum. You need to leave a comment to enter and can then get additional entries by visiting the company’s Facebook site and tweeting about the giveaway.
Enter here: http://bit.ly/u0m1DY
The chemistry curriculum is called ‘Friendly Chemistry.’ You can find more information about them at http://www.friendlychemistry.com . Their product has got to be awesome–they’re from my home state!
(Go Big Red!)
My husband was homeschooled in high school. This was in the late 1980′s before it was very popular to homeschool. My mother-in-law said that they had about two choices for curriculum back then. Today, the choices for curriculum are nearly endless. The internet has made homeschooling vastly more affordable and given us even more valuable places to find resources.
When we started homeschooling, I thought we needed desks. We lived in O’Neill, Nebraska, population 4,500, at the time. There were 23 homeschool families who met on a regular basis at a homeschool support group every other week during the school year. Fortunately for me, one of the veteran homeschooling families was more than happy to give us two desks. And a few years later, I was more than happy to pawn them off on a new homeschooling family. It turns out that the best learning in the world happens at your kitchen table, on your couch or snuggled together reading a book in bed.
My two oldest daughters are in high school, now. One’s a junior and one’s a sophomore. The only public school they’ve had/will have to take was/is driver’s education. The oldest took it last year; the younger one will take it this year.
The two youngest, a 10-year-old and and a 7-year-old, are more intense for me to teach. There’s more tears, more fighting and more frustration. And that’s just me.
Our public school is on the outskirts of town, so they bus all the kids to school. And where do the buses turn to get to the school? Right at our corner, only 40 feet from our front door. There are mornings when the temptation to put them on a bus is rather overwhelming.
And then I remember why I’m doing this. I want to be their first influence so that maybe, just maybe, their choices in life will be better than mine. That maybe they will have work ethic that seems to be lacking in the majority of youth today. That maybe they can hold onto their beliefs a little tighter than I did when I went off on my own into the big, bad world.
I’ve heard a lot of people lament that they wasted so much time in college partying. I’ve never heard people lament that they wasted so much time in college helping other people, traveling the world or making money at a part-time job that they loved. There are some major choices coming up for the older kids, and just like parents of ‘regular’-schooled kids, I hope my kids make the right choices, and I hope I’ve given them the tools to make those choices well. It’s the universal hope of parents.
I love free things. And I especially love free things that I can use on my computer. Sure there are tons of free apps for your iPod (I know, because my kids loaded my iPod up with all of them), but what about things that make your productivity greater without eating up your money?
I have been using the OpenOffice software suite since discovering it years ago. It has all the bells and whistles of Microsoft’s Office–Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc, but it is TOTALLY free. That is unless you want to donate to them, which I’m sure they would appreciate. All of the OO documents are compatible with Microsoft software and vice versa. Open Office Software
I fell in love with the idea of Photoshop a few years ago but just couldn’t part with the money to buy the software. Enter Gimp. You can do everything in Gimp that you can do in Photoshop–or so they tell me. I can crop and edit and take out acne pretty easily, but I’m just now figuring out the layering. I think that’s the key to both Photoshop and Gimp! My 15-year-old daughter, Megan, swears by Paint, though, which comes in the Accessories section of the Windows Operating System. Gimp Photo Editing Software
And speaking of operating systems… If you’ve been around computers for very long, you’ve heard of Linux, the free operating system that really tech-savvy folks utilize. I’ve taken a look at it and backed away slowly and quietly. However, I did take advantage of a kinder, gentler version of Linux called Ubuntu. We are now running one of our desktops on it. There seems to be issues with some videos, but for the most part, we’re pretty happy with it. Plus, you can’t beat free! Ubuntu Operating System
You can find plenty of free antivirus software on the internet. The program we use on our computers is AVG (the free version, obviously.) AVG Antivirus Software
The list of freeware is growing like crazy! If you have something you need software for, it would be a good idea to see if you can find a free version that can do the same thing for you. And then go ahead and use your money for something else. It’s not quite like winning the lottery, but you have to admit that you have better places to spend your money if the free stuff does the same thing for you. For example, maybe you need to hire a Social Media Manager…