(Red highlights are books, blue highlights are articles to read)
This is by no means an exhaustive list, just sharing some that have worked well for several of our kids and have a great track record:
Reading and Language
Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons
Abeka Curriculum-I have honestly only used this curriculum in limited amounts. This curriculum is very good, but can be overwhelming. However, you may have children who will thrive using it!
Five in a Row –LOVE this one and it works well if you have different ages you want to teach at the same time. You can do as much or as little as you want, so there is much flexibility and we ALL can use some of that, right? Jane takes a wonderfully gentle approach, so this is particularly great for the younger kids or older kids who are resistent to traditional methods.
Learning Language Arts Through Literature-I love the fact that this covers the gammit of language. I’m not worried about missing something. There is lots of variety. Currently, four out of the five kids we are still schooling are using this, including all of the high schoolers. (Be sure to look closely to make sure you are ordering the right grade level for your child)
Easy Grammar– Anything with the word “easy” in it, has my vote! This is your basic grammar book. For new instruction and always great for review!
K5learning (Geared toward K-5th, but our 12 year old used it to shore up her multiplication skills) I’m not big on having our kids do too much schoolwork online, but this website has been a blessing. Simple, user friendly, easy to read reports on how much time your child has spent working, what they have mastered, etc. Originally I used it simply to have our kids learn their multiplication tables, but I have found the reading comprehension, spelling and vocabulary to be helpful as those can be boring subjects in a book or to try to teach. The animation is simple, which I prefer as it’s not distracting, especially to our youngest who has attention issues. There is a free one month trial. When they ask who referred you, I’d love it if you would give them my name!
Saxon Math (be sure to look at the teaching dvds as well)
Teaching Textbooks (This is great for the child who really doesn’t like math, but if you are looking for a very thorough program, this might not be for you)
Consumer Math I am still amazed that consumer math isn’t a requirement to graduate! They need to know how to calculate a mortgage, car loan, know about utility bills and budgeting. (This link will take you to one particular consumer math book, but once your are at the page, you can look at other options including Christian versions.)
The Story of the World (World history for K-8. There are several books in the set and an activity guide as well)
Mystery of History (Jr. High/High School World History that weaves Bible and world history. This allows us to see how one affected the other and to see God’s great hand of providence through it all)
Bob Jones Press America the Republic (High School U.S. History) This is definitely more on the “textbooky” side, but if you have a child who wants more details on U.S. History (from a Christian perspective), this is great.
High School Science
Apologia-Thorough, colorful, lots of options for hands on, and biblical in perspective. Remember that you don’t have to do EVERYTHING they suggest, but they certainly give you lots of options. The ones we used the most were the particular science our kids were interested in, for instance: our son, Luke, wants to be a physical therapist, so he went through the anatomy book twice.
Biology 101 by Wes Olson-A dvd series taught by a homeschooling dad who happens to also teach college science. Creation based. Not overwhelming.
Chemistry 101 by Wes Olson-See notes on Biology 101
These are articles that give excellent reasons for not hurrying our little ones into schoolwork before they are ready:
Recently there has been much in the media regarding Finland’s methods of teaching. Finlanders have been turning out very well educated children and their system looks nothing like most others. It actually reminds me a lot of homeschooling!
General Homeschooling Encouragement:
Five Reasons Why You Don’t Need to Teach Your Kids Math-I’m not sure I’m 100% on board with this, but she had some really great points that took some pressure off!
I Don’t Remember Chemistry and I’m Not Homeless-This was just plain funny. Sometimes, when it comes to homeschooling, we take things WAY to seriously. So here’s a laugh for you!
Are We Starving the Hearts of Our Children?-A thought provoking article written by an older mom…”Children need time for inner strength and wherewithal to form. Time to listen to the wind in the leaves, birds, rain on the roof, or simply feel the warmth of the sun on their shoulders with a good book. Time to swing real high for the sheer joy of it and to explore God’s creation in all its grandeur.”
An Open Letter to the Homeschool Mom from the Certified Teacher-If you feel that you are somehow not qualified to teach your children, this is a great read!
Ted Talks are talks on very interesting topics that deserve to be thought through. There are several at this site that have to do with education and this is one of my favorites: Ken Robinson-Do Schools Kill Creativity?
Two Major Reasons to Build Academic Independence in Your Teen– This lines right up with what I have shared in my book, The Unhurried Homeschooler, regarding our teens “owning” their education. It is penned by my friend, Sherri Seligson, who has written the Marine Biology curriculum for Apologia. She has homeschooled all of four of her now grown children who are incredibly successful (educationally and in character)
Scientific Research on Why Chores are Good for Kids– Research shows that cleaning the house, taking out trash, washing windows or whatever else you might throw at the buggers instills a sense of mastery, self reliance, responsibility, empathy and respect for others — and the sooner you start, the better.
The Great Education Decision-There is no such thing as “neutral education”. God’s Word says that “a student will be like his teacher.” (Luke 6:40), therefore we need to make sure that our kids’ education is in line with the values we want to impart to them.
Educating the Whole Hearted Child-Kind of an all in one homeschooling guide with emphasis on the heart. I could never sit and read the whole thing without getting overwhelmed, but I love this book as a reference when I am needing some fresh ideas. DO be sure and read the parts about the heart though. They are really good!
For further information on using the head, hand, heart, health concept in your homeschooling approach:
Dr. Raymond and Dorothy Moore-This couple wrote the books in the 70’s and 80’s that I mentioned in my book. Sometimes new material is good, but often older books have great information that is somewhat timeless. I found much of that in these books.
The foundation from which this couple wrote is a wonderful guideline to help create our homeschool days.
1) Study from a few minutes to several hours a day, depending on the child’s maturity.
2) Manual work at least as much as study.
3) Home and/or community service an hour or so a day. Focus on kids’ interests and needs; be an example in consistency, curiosity, and patience. Live with them! Worry less about tests… if you are loving and can read, write, count, and speak clearly, you are a master teacher.
Although the Moore’s have since passed away, their website and services have been continued by others. You can visit their site here.
Here are some of their books:
Better Late Than Early -A solid argument against starting “school” too soon. This one was one of my all time favorites.
Michael Gurian has written several books on the differences in the way boys and girls learn. VERY interesting and and scientifically backed.
Educating the Whole Hearted Child-Kind of an all in one homeschooling guide with emphasis on the heart. I could never sit and read the whole thing without getting overwhelmed, but I love this book as a reference when I am needing some fresh ideas. DO read the parts about the heart though. They are really good!
This site has many articles relating to letting our children enjoy their childhoods:
Alliance for Childhood: www.allianceforchildhood.org This organization also has a FB page under the same name.