We get a lot of homeschooling questions, and we thought it would be fun to answer some of them here, in case other readers have the same questions.
What Spanish curriculum would you recommend for high school?
Well, I have to recommend Jason’s awesome beginning and advanced Spanish classes at HEGA if they are convenient for you. (I'm biased, but his classes are great!) But if you’re looking for a learn-at-home curriculum, there are a few good options. The Rosetta Stone’s Spanish Homeschool program is pricey (about $160 for level 1 but $290 if you buy levels 1-5 together), but it is a solid introduction to Spanish with an emphasis on conversational Spanish. Our library in Dunwoody (and lots of other libraries in the metro area) offers free access to Mango Languages; if you like it, you can pick up the full version of Mango Spanish (about $30/month for up to six students). If you’re looking for a program that’s more academic than conversational, look at La Class Divertida’s High School Espanol ($400 for levels 1-3), which focuses on building vocabulary and grammar through online classes, homework, and quizzes.
We have spring fever but no budget for field trips. What are some fun, free, outdoor field trip ideas?
A lot of nature centers in the Atlanta area are free. The Dunwoody Nature Center, in my neck of the woods, doesn’t charge admission and is blissfully uncrowded while school is still in session. Download a brochure for the Alpharetta Arboretum at Wills Park, and you can identify all kinds of Georgia trees along the nature path.(There’s also a cool community garden between the equestrian center and the basketball courts.) I think the Davidson-Arabia Nature Preserve is a great place for day hikes and rambling, and there’s no fee for parking or using the trails. (You can even go fishing in the lake if you have a valid state license.) I know we did a field trip report on it earlier this spring, but I can’t not recommend the Big Trees Forest Preserve in Sandy Springs, which is one of my favorite surprise nature pockets in Atlanta — and it’s free!
Thanks for recommending Egg and Spoon — we really enjoyed it! Any suggestions for a good follow-up readaloud?
Well, the thing I really loved about Egg and Spoon was how beautifully it incorporated Russian folktales into its story. Where the Mountain Meets the Moon incorporates Chinese lore and West of the Moon incorporates Norwegian fables in much the same way. If it’s the Russian flavor you fell in love with, check out a copy of Russian Fairy Tales (part of the Pantheon Fairy Tale and Folklore Library), which includes the complete stories for many of the folktale references in Egg and Spoon.
Do you have a homeschooling in Atlanta question? Email us, and we’ll try to help you out!