Raising kids. Keeping House. Choosing joy, every day.

Our Favorite Homeschool Resources (Pt.1. Math and Language Arts.) Share Yours, Please!

I have received several requests for me to share what homeschool tools I use to educate my children, so this week I will be sharing what we use. BUT,

I feel funny telling you what works for my family, because any homeschooler worth their salt knows that each family and kid is different. Personality types of the child AND mother need to be taken into consideration before choosing materials. THAT is the beauty of homeschooling.

Hope learning to crochet.

1. So before you start choosing curriculum read this post which gives you five questions to ask yourself before you choose homeschooling materials for your family.

2. Remember that homeschooling is great but not an end all. In fact, God is bigger than our educational choices and homeschooling is not for everyone!

We have used many different things over the years. We started out with a traditional approach, mimicking the classroom until a friend gave me some great advice. Begin with the end in mind, she said. What did I want as a final product? That decision changed my approach to education, and I  gradually moved to a literature based approach. Living books became our best friends.

Today, our top pics for Math and English; tomorrow, History and Science. And then general resources that we cannot live without. (no, iced coffee is not on the list. :))

So here goes:

First, we tend to use a mix for all subjects except for Math and English. With those two subjects I am a Spartan mom: do it even if it kills you.

So I will cover the no nonsense stuff first:

We use BJUPress Math through grade six, and then we switch to the Teaching Textbooks (cheapest through Timberdoodle. com here. )and use them through 12th grade.

When the kids were young we also loved math wrap ups. We love using online math games to reinforce skills. We also use flash cards.

For English, we use several things at grade level:

Explode the CodeEasy Grammar, Wordly Wise, Writing With Ease, Language Lessons for the Well Trained Mind, Editor in Chief, Writing Strands,  and ABeka Grammar in 9-12th grade.

I rarely use spelling workbooks. The kids make spelling lists of words they commonly misspell and write those.

Handwriting was done with Italic and A Reason for Writing.

Reading was done with various readers including The Pathway Readers, Bob Books , and anything else that was age appropriate.

Literature was approached by reading complete works from the time period we were studying in History. So, instead of reading snippets of books, we read aloud Great Expectations, Hard Times, The Christmas Carol and Anne of Green Gables to name a few, and then we discussed the stories. Reading aloud as a family is one of my favorite family memories. If you are not familiar with the different parts of literature analysis (plot, mood, setting, conflict, etc) try to find a used copy of Heart of Dakota’s “Drawn into the Heart of Reading.”

Poetry was done on the Ambleside Online schedule here

Ambleside Online is a great resource for homeschoolers who want to use a literature based approach to learning. It uses many free books that you can find online, and although the website is confusing, they have a great community of women that can answer many of your questions.

AND, last but not least, let’s not forget our trusty LIBRARY CARD! (woo hoo!) What would we ever do without you, trusty friend!

What are your favorite resources for English and Math? Please share in the comments.