~~ A word about curriculum companies: Naturally, being businesses, they will try to sell you the WHOLE kit-and-caboodle. Think wisely about what you REALLY NEED. If your textbook has end of chapter questions about what was just read, do you REALLY NEED a quiz book? If your textbook has end of unit questions at the end of each unit, do you REALLY NEED a test book? Why not just type out the questions you want your student(s) to answer and print them off? Do you really need those extra “test” books…or the teacher AND student books? Think about it before you make a costly purchase!
~ Alpha Omega – 1-800-622-3070; http://www.aophomeschooling.com/. Free catalogue. Workbooks (LifePacs), Switched-On Schoolhouse (CDRoms), Horizons and Weaver Unit Study. Workbooks can be great, especially for that child who likes to “see” progress as the workbooks get completed, they can also save you a little money, BUT you CANNOT re-sell them. Same advice as above concerning Videos/DVDs & CDRoms. Workbooks sold separately or in boxed sets of 10 per subject. The Weaver, also sold through AO, is an awesome Bible-based unit study – Complete lessons for every subject (except math) for grades K-12, reproduce-ables, there are 5 different volumes, so IF you do the whole thing you will work through the entire Bible in 5 years. However, it is one of the most expensive unit studies.
~ CBD (Christian Book Distributors) – 1-800-247-4784; http://www.christianbook.com/. Free catalogue. Incredible resources! ALWAYS ON SALE!! They offer: Alpha Omega, Apologia, Bob Jones, Bible resources and curriculums, Christian Liberty Press, classic literature, Classical education helps, unit studies, college prep, courtship/marriage/family resources, videos/DVDs/CDRoms, geography, history, creation science, math, homeschool helps, music, phonics, planners, reading skills, Latin/Greek, foreign languages, Saxon, Vision Forum, writing skills, maps, globes, science supplies…if you need it, it’s probably in there.
~ Farm Country General Store – 1-800-551-FARM; http://www.homeschoolfcgs.com/. Free catalogue. Many of the same items as in CBD’s catalogue plus items from Cindy Rushton, Dinah Zike, Keepers at Home; Training Our Daughters to be Keepers at Home* and Far Above Rubies* multi-year unit studies; Thematic Copywork Lessons, Pathway Reading Series, Sue Gregg cookbooks, Alpha Omega, Bob Jones Press and TONS of other curriculums and resources. Minimum $25 order required.
~ Rainbow Resource – 1-888-841-3456; http://www.rainbowresource.com/. MONSTEROUSLY HUGE FREE CATALOGUE!! Anything and everything in it. Orders of $150 or more receive FREE shipping.
~ Vision Forum – 1-800-440-0022; http://www.visionforum.com/. Free catalogue. My all-time favorite history and family resource catalogue! Books, videos, DVDs. Incredible resources for American and World history, raising strong families, homeschool helps; they are an incredible resource of old books brought back into publication, Lamplighter books, Henty books, Bible doctrine, worldview, family films, historic dolls (similar to American Girl), reproductions of historic toys for boys and girls, Creation science, etc.
~ Sonlight Curriculum – 1-303-730-6292; http://www.sonlight.com/. Free catalogue. Complete curriculum of all subjects, electives and other resources.
~ Answers in Genesis – http://www.answersingenesis.org/. Tons of great Creation Science resources, books, videos/DVDs/CDRoms, on-line resources and articles useful to your homeschool, all ages.
~ Cadron Creek – Margie Grey Unit Studies – http://www.cadroncreek.com/. One of our favorite unit study writer/providers! Home of “Prairie Primer” – spend the entire school year with Laura Ingalls Wilder using the 9-volume set of her Little House on the Prairie books as the basis for this awesome unit study. All of Margie’s unit studies have all you need except math and/or a spelling and grammar program! PP is most appropriate for boys and girls from K-4th grades. I think that up to 7th grade would enjoy and learn from it, just adjust your assignments to age appropriateness. She also has many suggested resources to use with PP available through the website. Bible based. ~~Margie also offers “Where the Brook and River Meet” – with this unit study, you will spend the year with Anne of Green Gables. This is geared toward Jr. and Sr. high girls. She also offers many of the suggested resources to go along with this unit study. Some are only available through Margie. Again, this covers all subjects except math. End the study with 6-1/2 credits toward graduation! ~~”Further Up and Farther In” takes you through a year covering the Chronicles of Narnia books. This is best for boys and girls in 4th through 8th grades. You will need a separate math. Bible based. THESE UNIT STUDIES ARE GREAT $$ SAVERS! These studies cover such subjects as: English, literature, history, social studies, geography, science, Bible, art, building character and some even have cooking.
~ Tapestry of Grace - 1-800-705-7487 or 1-301-963-0808; http://www.tapestryofgrace.com/. Free catalogue. If you like unit studies and Classical education, this is the best of both worlds! A Classical Unit Study!! That’s the best way I can describe TOG. Written by Marcia Somerville – wife of Scott Somerville, former Ohio HSLDA lawyer – and is the curriculum she has used on all of their children. Geared for ages K-12 and, if you wish, you may use this for your students’ entire school career! It’s made to be reused every 4 years – just adjust lessons to the ages of your children. This unit study is based on human history through the Bible and covers: History, Enrichment, Literature, Fine Arts, Worldview, Geography, Bible Survey & Church History. VERY complete lessons plans divided into the Classical education approach of Lower Grammar (lower elementary), Upper Grammar (upper elementary), Dialectic (approx. Jr. high) and Rhetoric (Sr. high). Great reproduce-ables and you can also purchase CDRoms of maps and other learning aids to print out for your students. Very detailed and beautifully done.
~ HSLDA (Home School Legal Defense Assoc.) – 1-540-338-5600; http://www.hslda.org/. Not everyone joins but I highly recommend you do. $115 per year covers ANY run-in with the law, truancy officers, school district, advice…all the way up to the Supreme Court, if necessary! Members receive a bi-monthly publication, The Homeschool Court Report, discounts all across the country at hotels, amusement parks, car rentals, curriculum and resource vendors, etc. You will also find information about Ohio homeschool law, the truth about charter/cyber schools, articles, support groups, legislative information, etc. If you are a member of CHEO or McCHEO, you get a discount!! You can even use them to get your grad’s announcements, cap & gown, and diploma!
~ The Old Schoolhouse magazine – http://www.thehomeschoolmagazine/. Not just because I work for them, but because I read the magazine BEFORE I worked for them and I really DO think it’s the best homeschool magazine around. Maybe that’s why it’s the biggest and most widely read! Their website has tons and tons of resources, articles, it has it’s own homeschool store with NO SHIPPING costs – EVER! You can sign up for free e-newsletters; find information about homeschooling special needs children, high schoolers, legislation, daily devotions, product reviews, etc. You name it, you can probably find SOMETHING about it there.
~ The Christian Homeschool – Gregg Harris. Biblical basis for homeschooling; how’s and why’s, getting past excuses, importance of support groups, etc. One of the most widely read books on homeschooling.
~ Homeschooling Methods (Seasoned Advice on Learning Styles) – Paul & Gena Suarez (publishers of The Old Schoolhouse). “A homeschool convention in a book.” Covers different styles and how-to’s: Classical Education, Principle Approach, Traditional Textbook (workbook), Charlotte Mason, Unit Study, Special Needs, Carschooling, Eclectic, Unschooling and Delight Directed, Whole-heart learning. Each style/chapter written by a well-known, homeschool figure familiar with the particular style.
~ Home Schooling: The Right Choice! – Christopher (Chris) Klicka (HSLDA attorney until his passing only a few short months ago). LOADED with information, mine is full of underlines and highlights. I try to re-read this every-other year. Covers such topics as: The Incredible Failure of Public Education, The Rising Hope of Home Schooling; The Right Choice: Teach Them at Home; A Desperate Foe: The Attack of Social Workers, School Officials, and Child Rights’ Advocates; A Successful Defense: The Legal Arguments and the Power of God; An Uneasy Peace: Conserving Our Freedoms; Persuasive Handouts and Home Schooling Resources.
~ Things We Wish We’d Known (50 Veteran Homeschoolers Share…) – Compiled and Edited by Bill & Diana Waring. As the title suggests, 50 well-known homeschool parent/teachers share what they wish someone would have told them about homeschooling before they started. A book like this takes away a lot of fear and 2nd-guessing. Very encouraging.
~ Educating the WholeHearted Child – Clay & Sally Clarkson. Another all-time favorite of many. This is a great book chock-full of wisdom, assurance and know-how. WholeHearted learning is about using “whole books” or, as Charlotte Mason used to say, “living books” for learning – real books, biographies & nature journaling instead of dull textbooks. There are chapters that have books suggested and organized by age/grade and subject; there are forms and planner sheets to duplicate. This book shows you how to fulfill Charlotte Mason’s definition of education: “Something to do, something to love, something to think about.” You will love this book.
~ The How & Why of Home Schooling – Ray E. Ballmann. Great book; along the lines of “The Right Choice,” above. If you need to convince someone about why you are homeschooling, this is it! Chapters include: Home Schooling: The Return to a Biblical & Historical Model of Education; Is Home Schooling for You?; Public Education: Retarding America & Imprisoning Potential; Why Home Schooling is the Best Alternative; The “How” of Home Schooling**; How to Begin; Why Grandparents Should Support Home Schooling; How to Win Over Friends & Relatives to a Point of Understanding; Reasons to Home School through High School; Common Questions Asked about Home Schooling.
*Far Above Rubies is a 4 year Bible-based life skills unit study, specifically for high school-aged girls (Blessed is the Man is the boy’s version). This study covers all academics except general or higher Math; all other academics are covered under the subject areas of: Bible and Christian Character, Cultural Studies, Reading and Literature, Composition, Math & Personal Finances, Science, Health and Physical Fitness, Practical Arts (skills needed to operate as an independent adult in society), and Decorative & Performing Arts. Suggestions for higher Math and Science resources are found in the Appendix. Training Our Daughters to Be Keepers at Home is a 7 year Bible-based life skills unit study, specifically for girls in Jr. and Sr. high grades. This study is a little more hands-on than F.A.R. but can be easily used TOGETHER! Academics and projects are covered under the subject areas of: Godly Womanhood, Fiber Arts, Caring for People, Cooking/Baking & Special Times, Home & Finances, Gardening and Miscellaneous.
** This is HIS OPINION and HIS SCHEDULE. Always remember that your homeschool is YOUR homeschool! You do what works best for YOUR family!