May 13, 2008

Some of Our Favorite School Books

Waaaaaay back in February my niece asked me about the books we use for school. I know that every family has their own "flavor". Each child is a unique gift. It's up to you, the parent/s, to decide what curriculum you'll use to best get into your child's thick skull (joke, people) what he needs to learn in order to be a productive member of society and be able to fend for himself.
However, If I were stranded on a desert island, or even a dessert island, there are several books I would not want to live without.
Alpha-Phonics by Samuel L. Blumenfeld
This book is inexpensive and was a very easy, practical way to teach our sons to read. There are 128 lessons-it takes less than 15 minutes a day to complete most of the lessons. Once the boys had completed that book I just checked out mountains of library books and had them read out loud every day as practice. I did try to check out books based on things they were interested in learning about.
Exploring Creation Series by Dr. Jay L. Wile
(Science curriculum)

A Child's History of the World by Virgil M. Hillyer
(A fun, easy to read book for elementary age students)

You Can Teach Your Child Successfully by Ruth Beechick (for grades 4-8)

Science Experiments and Amusements for Children by Charles Vivian
(Elementary grades)

An Easy Start in Arithmetic by Ruth Beechick (grades K-3)

A Strong Start in Language by Ruth Beechick (grades K-3)

The Basic Home Schooling Workshop by Gregg Harris
(This is a wonderful tape series that will help you either get started or give you a much needed boost in your home school career)

A Mom Just Like You: (The Home Schooling Mother) by Vicki Farris

I've started, but haven't finished A Charlotte Mason Companion by Karen Andreola and The Well Trained Mind by? So far those two books seem wonderful, encouraging, and helpful.

The Right Choice by Christopher Klicka

A Home Start in Reading by Ruth Beechick (grades K-3)

Geography Matters-Galloping the Globe by Loree' Pettit-this is a geography unit study for grades K-4

English From the Roots Up-greek and latin root words

The Mystery of History series by Linda Lacour Hobar

We also used KONOS as a guide because the boys love/loved hands-on projects. Boys were most definetly not made to just sit, sit, sit all day!

We start every morning by reading the bible together, outloud. The best way we've found to do this is to read a chapter a day-each one of us reading 3 verses at a time. By reading the bible this way the boys don't day dream-they know their turn is coming and they better be ready!
After we read the bible, I read a chapter out loud from another book. Sometimes we'll read a fictional story, at other times we'll read a biography, autobiography, or a book that may help them grow spiritually. I've listed some of our favorites:

Vinegar Boy by Alberta Hawse

Hinds' Feet on High Places
by Hannah Hurnard

The Screwtape Letters
by C.S. Lewis

Foxe's Book of Martyrs
(I didn't read this one out loud, but a couple of the boys read it when they were old enough to deal with the content)

The Hobbit etc.
by J.R.R. Tolkien (I was mean and rotten and would not let the boys see the Lord of the Rings movies until they had read all the books.)

Follow the River by James Alexander Thom
This book, and From Sea to Sea, should NOT be read by your children alone. They are wonderful books, and well written, but Thom goes into details about "certain things" that are not appropriate for little ears. It was easy to just "edit" those things out as I read. These 2 books are good for older kids-maybe junior high and high school. The book From Sea to Sea has been my all time favorite read aloud book. I learned soooooo much about our country's history by reading it with the boys. Patrick Henry's famous speech "Give me liberty or give me death!" moved me to tears because for the first time in my life I could see and hear and feel and practically taste what our founding fathers were feeling as they dealt with cutting ties with England. I just can't say enough about that book so I won't say any more at all. Please, please, please just read it! :-)

The Hiding Place
by Corrie Ten Boom

From Sea to Sea
by James Alexander Thom

A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23
by Phillip Keller

God's Smuggler by Brother Andrew

The Chronicles of Narnia (I've been mean and rotten with this series too. Can't watch the movies til you've read the books!)

Through Gates of Splendor by Elisabeth Elliot

**The tape series and the 2 books with the "*" are resources that have helped shape our personal home school philosophy and even our family goals.
That's it for now. I'm sorry if my grammar, spelling or punctuation are atrocious. For some reason I'm feeling really "foggy headed" today. If you have questions about any of these books please feel free to leave a comment and I'll be happy to give you more info.


  1. Very cool. Thanks for sharing!

  2. I LOVE THIS POST! I'm always thankful to get a review of reading material from a real-life homeschool Christian mom. Thanks so much.

    (About the "certain things," could you email me privately and give me a little more detail about what I can expect to censor? Language? Thematic elements? Fornication?

    graftedb at yahoo dot com


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