As you may have noticed from my bio, I am a homeschooling mom. In fact I have technically been schooling children in my home since 1988 when Funsocksgirl turned 5. That's 30 years!
Homeschooling was a new and daring and somewhat scary road in the 80's. School boards, State teachers' associations and social workers were not terribly accepting of the homeschool option. We lived in central Missouri at the time and I remember the Kindergarten principal bawling me out for "ruining" my child with my harebrained ideas. Thankfully, I knew the law better than she did and was able to calmly stand my ground. I had memorized State statutes on what courses and hours were required and made sure we jumped through every paperwork hoop.
Nonetheless, I was paranoid about "The State" coming and taking away my children. We actually used to have family drills on what to do if "They" came to the door. Stories abounded of children being taken away and parents being taken to court for neglect or for aiding in truancy.
We were faithful members of the Home School Legal Defense Association so we'd have affordable legal representation if anything happened.
I planned our school "classes" meticulously and kept very detailed records of what we did, when we did it and who we did it with. I strove to meet every requirement of the law. We even bought an entire brand new set of World Book Encyclopedias so we'd have our own well equipped library at home.
It was exhausting! And the task was further complicated by the limited resources that were available. There were only a very few publishers who put out curriculum for home sale. I had no other homeschoolers to bounce ideas of off. There was no internet (that I knew of) and we did not have a computer.
Still, I did manage to find some decent texts, we made frequent use of our public library, and took frequent field trips. By our second year, there was one more homeschooling family in our neighborhood. We pinched pennies and went to a couple of homeschool conventions and discovered a few more resources and a boatload more home educators. It was great!
I continued to be diligent, but some of the fear slipped away and we started letting our children be seen during school hours. (If they were out shopping with me and someone asked about school, we'd say it was a teacher work day!)
Fast forward several years. Funsocksgirl was 16 and Scout was 13 when we had Girly-Girl in 1999. Then we had Silly-Head in 2001. While we were working on Jr high and High School for the older 2, we entered into a new realm with the babies. By the time the girls were school age we even had computers and email, along with educational computer games. There were homeschool co-ops we could take part in, homeschool parties and proms and more curriculum options than we could shake a stick at.
Though I'm not sure why anyone would shake a stick at curriculum. What does that "shake a stick" expression even mean????
Girly-Girl is a senior now and Silly-head is a junior. Our style has changed ALOT. I haven't obsessed over their schooling. In fact, I'd have to say we have more or less "Unschooled" the past few years.
Wait. Is unschooling still a thing?
No matter. What I'm trying to say is that it used to be a real butt pain to try to find just the right curriculum to fit our needs. And now? Now they are tracking me down. Not only do I get homeschool junk mail detailing every known resource for teaching my own children, I even get emails.
In fact, just this week I got one from Orkin. You know, the bug people?
C'Mon, YOU KNOW, the pest control company?
Because even they have resources for us homeschoolers to use. How groovy is that?
Orkin invited me to come and explore their educational materials and then asked me to talk about it on my blog. OK, Orkin. I love science so I dove right in! At the Orkin Science Website you can find entomology lessons and accompanying printables for grades K-6. They are not a complete science curriculum in and of themselves, but they'd make a great supplement to life science lessons with your kids. I thought some of the objectives and goals were a bit over "standardized" (I'm an unschooler, remember?), but the info and images are quite nice.
Most of the info is a bit basic for my particular children, BUT I do have a 4-H club with kids ranging from 5 years to 14 years. And we DO deal with bugs and parasites. Plus I run programs at various 4-H events in the state. I can easily see incorporating some of Orkin's free material in my lesson and activity centers! According to their website, I might even be able to schedule my local Orkin man (or woman - I hope) to come to our co-op or activity and wax eloquently on bugs. Groovy!
So there you have it. If you homeschool or if you want to share some fun FREE science resources with your child's school, check out the Orkin Science Website. I think you'll like it!