Saturday, September 10, 2011

Homeschooling Meme: A Student's View

My aunt, Vicky from Creating With Wisdom tagged me with a meme on homeschooling resources. As a homeschooling student, I'm sure my answers will be quite different to the ones given by homeschooling mothers. Still, I'm quite willing to have a go.

One Homeschool Book You've Enjoyed

Chemistry is probably the hardest subject to study at home. Ordinary text books, while good for referring to every now and then, just aren't interesting enough to use on their own. I'm always looking for more interesting books and ways of learning chemistry, so I was delighted when Mum introduced me to 'What Einstein Said To His Cook'. It's filled with interesting facts and explanations of the science of the kitchen. (Any book that can classify what colour meat a flamingo is, and explains why it's that kind, has got to be good.) At the moment it's probably my favourite book.

One Resource You Wouldn't Be Without

Mum decided at the beginning of the year that she needed a better laptop. Dad drove her down to the shop, and they came back, the bearers of a brand new, whiz bang laptop. A hour later and Mum's old netbook was looking for a new home. It didn't have to look far. I claimed it, and soon put it to good use. Suddenly I was able to watch educational videos, keep up with my blog, and research information in the quiet of my own room. Even though I'm sure lots of people have already said this, the computer, connected to the internet, is one thing I would not be able to study without.

One Resource You Wish You Hadn't Bought

I haven't bought many resources myself, so I have chosen two, one bought for me, and the other I bought myself.

I was very excited when Mum told me of the computer based science course, Switched On Schoolhouse. It sounded great. Computer experiments, interactive games, the works. As soon as it dropped into the letter box I had it installed on the computer and was ready to roll. I started the first lesson, dawdled my way through it, forced myself onto the next lesson, and then another. The interactive gems disappointingly turned out to be nothing more than one vocabulary game. True there were experiments, but you had to do them off the computer with actual chemicals. A few weeks later, we stopped battling with the program and left it to gather dust on the shelf. Not one of our better purchases.

Of resources I bought myself, the most disastrous was a USB stick. I loaded it up with files, pulled it out of the computer, went to another computer, tried to access my files and...These files have been corrupted. I thought it was just a one off thing, and tried again. Several more ruined files later and I had to admit it wasn't the best thing I'd ever bought.

One Resource You Liked Last Year

We found it online, a brand new, black, ereader. It caught our eyes at once. Images of thousands of books in one small piece of technology filled our brains. Suddenly we thought of hundreds of uses for one of those. Quickly, we persuaded Mum to buy it. Once it came, we were hooked. One ereader wasn't enough. We bought another, then another. Soon we all had an ereader of our own. We read many of the free books that came with them, downloaded new books, and generally enjoyed. Then we discovered free, classic ebooks, and our world was never the same again.

One Resource You'll Be Using Next Year

A university! (I'm sure that counts as a resource.) Soon I won't be a homeschooler any more. Next year I'll be studying through Open Uni.

One Resource You'd Like To Buy

We're a Shakespearian family. Everyone down to Gemma-Rose, who's seven, loves sitting down to watch a new play, or a new version of an old play. We've got our favourite versions. Probably our most favourite versions of some plays are directed and acted by Kenneth Branagh. I'd love to own more plays produced by him, especially 'Much Ado About Nothing.'

One Resource You Wish Existed

For the most part, I'm quite happy with what I have. But if there's one thing I hate, it's reading through my work, and finding that I've missed out words. What I really need is a program that finds places where I've missed out words, and tells me about them. Anyone care to invent one?

One Homeschooling Catalogue You Enjoy Reading

Probably more of a question of a homeschooling mum. As a student, I don't actually read any.

One Homeschool Site You Visit Regularly

Do blogs count as sites? I'll pretend they do and say that I read Creating With Wisdom, and Stories of An Unschooling Family (I appear quite frequently in the stories on the latter blog.)

Normally, once this meme is completed, it's passed on to six other people. However, I don't actually know anyone to pass it on to. If you'd like to have a go at answering it, consider yourself tagged. Otherwise, go and visit my Mum's blog and read her answers


  1. I loved reading your answers, Immy. We've, also, found a lot of interactive games and apps to be nothing more than simple quizzes. You can't beat a good book, can you?

    I agree with the ereaders and Shakespeare - both are great resources. And Open University, next year?! Good luck! I'm sure you'll do really well:)xx

  2. I have to admit I had to really think about these answers. Though actually, writing something that doesn't tell a story was probably even harder. You probably noticed I tried to include some stories in the answers.

    I've often found that books are far better than text books and courses. I'll read from one of my chemistry books, pick something out of what I've read, and go and research it, using both a text book and the internet. To me that works much better.

    I'm rather looking forwards to Open Uni, but dreading it at the same time. There'll be so many things about homeschooling that I'll miss. Probably the hardest thing will be working on my own, with nothing learnt with the girls. But doing an actual course might be fun.

    Thanks for tagging me, and for stopping to comment. I always enjoy reading and replying to your comments. They're always so lovely.