Deuteronomy 6:6-7

And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. ~ Deuteronomy 6:6-7

Friday, November 19, 2010

KB Teachers

What is the biggest advantage of homeschooling? Well, you could ask one, ten, a dozen, hey, even a hundred homeschooling parents that question and get just as many answers. I would venture to say though, that one of the top answers would be the ability to tailor the teaching style to each students' learning style. So, what's your style? I think I tend to lean towards the traditional schooling methods, although I "borrow" from the other styles as necessary to meet the learning needs of my children. When I think about traditional schooling, I often think of worksheets, which brings me to the subject of my review here.

KB Teachers, or Knowledge Bears, is an award winning teacher website founded by Christophe T. Popper. For $29 per year, or $49 for two years, you gain access to the site's premium worksheets, printable pages, and workbooks, suitable for students K-12. Now, I will be the first to admit that I am a bit of a geek when it comes to teacher resources. There is nothing that gets me going more than browsing through the local teacher stores and various websites. Ahh, there's nothing quite like the smell of a freshly printed worksheet. Mmmm....well, anyway, when I began exploring KB Teachers, I was like a little kid on Christmas morning. There is a LOT of great stuff here!

I'll start with my favorite section - seasonal printables and worksheets. Even before I was a homeschooling mom, as a preschool teacher I loved the beginning of each month, and all of the fresh activities and special events to plan for. If you share my enthusiasm for those things too, you're going to love this page. November is well under way now, and KB has some adorable Thanksgiving printables. There are turkey, pilgrim, and native american posters, stickers, and mazes, that can be used for all kinds of crafts, games,and whatever else you might think of. I love the turkey posters for Thanksgiving, in fact, I've customized some of them for our Awana program. So cute and festive!

Their fall section also features an assortment of autumn -themed worksheets to supplement your studies, whether the subject is math (count the falling leaves in the picture) or handwriting (trace the letters and words). As an added bonus, you have the option of printing your pages in color, or leave them black and white, which allows you to also use them as coloring pages. My daughters really love these and joyfully proclaimed that this was "the best way to do school ever!" Math happens to be our most challenging subject at the moment, so the colorful pages and the seasonal characters available for this area keep the interest up for my girls. Also, KB allows you to change up the numbers simply by clicking the "generate new numbers" icon, so I can generate a new set of problems for them to work on without spending a lot of time and effort.

You'll also find that KB features monthly web quests for various days of the month. Learn about a few famous people born during the current month, or jazz up your day by researching peanut butter fudge day, or parfait day. It was fun to discover that I share a birthday with Charles Schulz, founder of the famous Peanuts comic strip.

If that were all this website offered, it would be impressive. But there is so, so much more! As I just mentioned, the worksheets are programmable, so you can customize each one for your specific needs. Whether you need alphabet pages for your kindergartner, or you're older child needs practice writing an outline, you'll find it all here, taking you through each step. You'll find it helpful that each subject is categorized by grade level, so you can quickly get where you need to go.

How do you teach math? Does your child learn better by counting images? Does she need practice with word problems? Are you teaching them about counting money? It's all here, no searching all over the place, no waiting for your downloads, everything is but a click away.

I should also mention that KB is always creating fresh worksheets for you, and, if initially you don't find what you're looking for, contact them and they will either find it, or create it for you! A teachers dream!

KB offers the same awesome features for other subjects as well.

The science section features virtually everything you might think of, whether you're studying astronomy, marine biology, or the weather. You could even call it your one stop shop, because KB has done most of the work for you. This would be so valuable to a busy household with a wide range of grade levels. I mean, there are complete lessons and workbooks here! Incredible!

You'll find more of the same in the social studies section - outlines, tests, essays, yeah, it's all there.

The last section featured on the Knowledge Bears website is kind of a miscellaneous group of activities. Here are coloring pages and workbooks of dinosaurs, the four seasons, and for the little ones, various basic skills pages.

As if that weren't enough, there is a nice little collection of art project ideas, suitable for every student K-12, as simple as an egg carton caterpillar or as complex as ancestral self-portraits. We had fun crafting a version of the soda pop penguins, modifying it a bit to suit our available materials. So cute.

Be sure to browse through the clip art available for your lessons, presentations, to jazz up your various projects and crafts, or add them to your blog.

I'm confident that you'll be as pleased to have access to this resource as I am. You are given the opportunity to look through their library before you join. When you do become a member, you have 30 days to change your mind and get a refund - although I doubt you'll want one.

The website is updated frequently, so there are always fresh ideas waiting for your use. Now, get yourself over there and try it out today!

* Note * - KB Teachers gave me a free one year premium subscription to their website, and in exchange, I agreed to try it out and provide my honest opinion of it, with no additional compensation.

KB Teachers

Price: $29 one year subscription or $49 two year subscription

Ages: K-12

You can also check out the homepage for TOS Homeschool Crew. You'll find all kinds of reviews and great resources to look through and add to your homeschool. You'll be glad you did!

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