"'Education is the Science of Relations'; that is, that a child has natural relations with a vast number of things and thoughts: so we train him upon physical exercises, nature lore, handicrafts, science and art, and upon many living books, for we know that our business is not to teach him all about anything, but to help him to make valid as many as may be of––
'Those first-born affinities,
That fit our new existence to existing things.'"

Charlotte Mason, A Philosophy of Education
with a quote from The Prelude by William Wordsworth

Friday, September 5, 2014

Handwriting Fonts for Free

Handwriting fonts are a great idea if, for example, your 8th grader has just gone off to school and is now expected to write in cursive.  Yes, he had a cursive book that he sort of did, and his older brother learned cursive so quickly, and, but...

They are also a good idea for my younger son still homeschooled in order to create copywork based on Connect With History rather than have him separately work on penmanship (and he needs some work in that subject.)

Forget about Getty-Dubay or D'Nealian or any other font from educational vendors as they are cost-prohibitive.  Isn't there something among the thousands of free fonts out there?

I have found a nice grouping at Fontspace tagged "instructional" here.  You can get block, manuscript, and cursive (Learning Curve Pro is particularly good.)  You can also get fonts for music, sign language, and creating crossword puzzles (boxes with numbers in the corner.)  Some are solid, others dotted, and others with the paper lines included.

Wish I had found these years ago--some of them were created as early as 2007!  Now my 8th grader can type his assignment using Learning Curve Pro and then use that as a visual guide to transcribe his work in his own hand onto paper.  So long as he does not have to write in cursive in class.

Here is how you install them in Windows.  Once you download them, you will need to extract the files from the zip format (right-click and choose "extract all files".)  You need the files ending in .ttf or .otf (the latter is better if you get it.) Next, open the Control Panel and select Fonts.  You can copy and paste or just drag the files into the Fonts directory and you are done!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Professional Book Narration for a Song!

This will work only if you have a Kindle or Kindle app and device capable of installing the Audible app, which are available on both the Apple and Android platforms.  It is a really great way to get very cheap audiobooks and you don't have to have an Audible account to get them.

Amazon has a neat feature for some books called Whispersync for Voice that allows you to synchronize your visual book with you audiobook.  Let's say you are reading a book on your Kindle at bedtime.  The next day, when you go off in the car, you can synchronize your audiobook to wherever you left off reading.  That night, when you want to read more, you can synchronize to where the audio left off.  It works really well!

What's even better is that some books in the public domain--the kind homeschoolers are often reading--offer both the visual and audio books for incredibly cheap prices.  For example, Great Expectations Kindle edition is free and you can add on the professionally-narrated audiobook for a mere $0.99!  (Anyone that has listened to a poorly-narrated book will appreciate the benefit of professional narration.)  Once you buy it, just open the Audible app and it will show in the library for you to download onto your device.  It is very simple to use and I have found it very handy!