Friday, August 10, 2007

Back to Homeschool Week

Randi came up with a great idea: Back to Homeschool Week. I would have loved to post about each of her topics this week, but between going out of town and playing catch-up once we got back, I didn't get a chance until just now, so I guess I'm just a Friday-only participant in her clever blog idea.

Today's topic is curriculum. I cannot even imagine how many different materials I've used over the past 20 years I've been homeschooling, but several favorites come to mind:

1) Rod and Staff preschool workbook series.
I'm not big on formal preschool work, but child #3 insisted on her own schoolwork at age 4 so she could be like the big kids, and this workbook set wonderfully filled the bill. I ended up buying two more sets when #4 reached that level developmentally (he's my guy with Down syndrome), and he loved them, too. They've got great activities, including cut and paste, and not a superhero in sight.

2) The Miller Series
These readers are fantastic family read-together books. You can get them with workbooks, or just keep them around for good reading material. Titles include Prudence and the Millers and Wisdom and the Millers. They're available at Rainbow Resource, among many other places.

3) Miquon Math
After giving up on the overly stringent (at least for our family) A Beka Math Grade 3, a trip through the series of six Miquon books, along with a lovely box of colorful wooden Cuisenaire rods, was just what the doctor ordered. We got our books from the Timberdoodle and the rods from God's World Books.

4) Saxon Math (54 and on, skipping one or two, through Advanced Math)
Yes, Saxon can be dry and repetitive, but once they were old enough, my kids got a great math foundation from these books. Combined with a separate one-year geometry course, I credit them with my son's high ACT and SAT scores in math.

5) Childhood of Famous Americans series
These terrific biographies are now being reprinted; I grew up on the originals, and loved them so much I read every one that my school's library owned, most more than once.

6) Geography: A Literature Approach by Rea Berg/Beautiful Feet Books
This inexpensive guide, when combined with available maps and some wonderful books by Holling Clancy Holling, is worth its weight in gold.

I know I have used lots of other good products over the years, but those are the ones that immediately came to mind. Of course, I don't need to buy much new curriculum these days, so I'm not up on all the good stuff that's come out over the past few years, but I hear from others that they're finding some real gems.

1 comment:

Janet said...

We have done all the MIllers books. OH, do I LOVE them! SO good!