Homeschool Resources, Part I

Because you asked. At least, a number of people have asked in the past, and every time there’s a school shooting, more friends write to ask about homeschooling. Below is a short list of resources we’ve used. None of them are affiliate links, so save yourself some money and check them out from the library, or buy them used or whatever.

General Homeschooling

The Well-Trained Mind 

Better proselyting material for the gospel of Classical Education doesn’t exist. Do you  want to give your children a well-rounded education in the humanities, in particular western civilization? Is appreciating great works of art and literature important to you? Poetry memorization, Latin, good handwriting? This is the starting place.

Bonus Points: It has lists and lists of recommended resources, books, and materials for carrying out the ultimate classical education.

The Read-Aloud Handbook

This one  probably belongs under language arts, but I’m putting it here. It should be required reading for anyone who has anything to do with children. Even if you already understand the importance of reading to children, buy it and read it.

Bonus Points: It also contains a goldmine of book lists for every level, from preschool through high school.

The Core Knowledge Series

Not to be confused with Common Core, this series is really awesome for providing a skeleton of what to cover in each grade level, in order to give a solid foundation of cultural literacy and general knowledge in every subject. Having googled it just now, it looks like it has expanded into a full blown school program. If you don’t want to spend a fortune, you can just check out “What your [insert grade level] Grader Needs to Know” from the library to get a feel for what it is. They’re lovely. My Mom made us memorize poems from these Walt Whitman and Langston Hughes from these books, and I’m so happy she did.

Sonlight

This is whole Christian curriculum program that lots of Protestant families love and use. I love and use the booklists in the catalog. Maybe it’s a dirty trick, but after having purchased their used materials online, I’ve found that they’re hit and miss for us, especially in the religion sector. The earliest materials emphasize the Nicene Creed, and just a touch too much Calvinism. Sorry friends. Mormons gonna Morm.

Protip: If you want to try out Sonlight and don’t have several hundred dollars lying around, go to homeschoolclassifieds.com. They’re like a delightful cross between Fight Club (being clandestine and scrappy) and Craigslist (being online and secondhand). What could go wrong?

Fluent Forever

This, like Core Knowledge, started with a book and ended in all sorts of fun stuff. Polyglot language nerd Opera singer Gabriel Wyner applies the methods of SLR, or spaced repetition learning, to the rapid acquisition of languages. The method is fascinating, and can be applied to a lot of stuff besides foreign language. It’s worth checking out!

 

That is the short list of general homeschool reference books. One of the hardest things in homeschooling is deciding what you won’t do. There’s so much to do, and it’s OK not to do it all. At least, that’s what I frequently tell myself. Good luck!

 

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