Hints for Combining Resources

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If you read a lot of homeschool blogs (guilty!) or visit homeschool message boards (guilty again!), you’ve probably seen them. Those amazing schedules that various homeschoolers put together to combine two wonderful history programs, mix the experiments from one science book to various living books, or even combine science and history topics. I’ve tried it. I’ve got links to every book list known to man. I’ve poured through the lists trying to make sure that I didn’t miss a single wonderful resource.

But I found out that really doesn’t work for me. Don’t get me wrong. I can make some great plans. It’s the implementation that I’m weak on. Let’s say I had a wonderful book, like The Burgess Bird Book for example, sitting on my shelf. I couldn’t bear to read the book unless we happened to be studying birds in science at the same time. So, I would set it aside to use when we studied birds and FORGET about it. I’m sure I’m not the only one guilty of this.

What’s the answer to this problem?

You could make even more lists and make sure that you follow them. That works for a some people. If you’re one of them, then I greatly admire you.

You could feel guilty about resources that you’ve missed out on. I’ve tried that one. It’s really not a good option.

But, I have found that works best for me is using the types of curriculum that already combine resources for me. (That’s why I love Tapestry of Grace !) I will occasionally add in extras that I find at the library, but I don’t need to.

Even though I have given up planning that way, sometimes the perfect combo just falls into my lap. Today I was finishing up Module 2 of Apologia General Science with my son. The topic of the module is scientific inquiry. The end of the module explains how the scientific method can be used in various other subjects. Making a hypothesis and gathering data doesn’t have to be limited to “science”. For an example, Dr. Wile demonstrated how the scientific method could be used to test out the claims of the Bible. Note, he made it very clear that science cannot PROVE anything, but that the more data you have supporting a hypothesis, the more likely it is to be true.

This example reminded me (and my son) of the perfect compliment to this section. It’s a Moody Science video entitled
Professor and the Prophets
. So, after we finished reading, we watched the video together.

Another really neat coincidence is that tomorrow is Colonial NC Day at the NC Museum of History. Guess who’s studying Colonial times right now? And guess who’s making a little road trip to Raleigh tomorrow!

As much as I love when things combine so perfectly like that, it’s important to remember that you don’t have to save activities and supplemental materials for a time when you’re already studying them. Use them whenever you feel like it! They can spark new interests, serve as a review for something you’ve previously studied, or provide important preliminary information for when you do study that topic.

This reminder goes for me too! And thankfully, I still have children young enough to enjoy The Burgess Bird Book with me. (Even if we’re not studying birds!)

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4 thoughts on “Hints for Combining Resources”

  1. I’m glad you can combine things like that. I am so not able to do that. But I admire those of you who do. Glad you have found something that works for you. 🙂


  2. Jennifer Lavender

    I think it’s great when a family is able to find just the right combination of tools for them. We’re still working on that here.

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