Instead of comprehensive programs that dictate your lessons and timetables, I highly recommend purchasing good reference materials. That way, answers can be researched when questions are asked. Begin with basic titles such as those shown with an asterisk (*). Then you can add to your library as needed.
These resources are a sampling and NOT a requirement. In fact, things like historic coloring pages or map outlines can be printed from the internet if you'd prefer. Pray first, listen to the Lord, and select what would be best for your students according to what God is telling you.
Note: Many of the additional resources listed by subject below are geared toward elementary ages. That is because my daughter is still in this category and so I can make recommendations based on actual experience.
Check back as the lists will be updated from time to time.
At-a-Glance Basic Reference Library (For All Subjects)
- *Handy English Encoder Decoder: All the Spelling and Phonics Rules You Could Ever Want to Know by Harvey Bluedorn
- *Noah Websters Reading Handbook by Darrel A. Trulson
- *Children's Dictionary (geared for elementary) OR a Student Dictionary (geared for upper elementary and older)
- *The Only Grammar Book You'll Ever Need: A One-Stop Source for Evey Writing Assignment by Susan Thurman OR The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation: An Easy-to-Use Guide With Clear Rules, Real-World Examples, and Reproducible Quizzes by Jane Straus
- *The Usborne Illustrated Dictionary of Math
- *Math On Call: A Mathematics Handbook (upper elementary)
- *Science Encyclopedia (check out Usborne, Kingfisher, or DK)
- *The Usborne Illustrated Dictionary of Science
- *Kingfisher History Encyclopedia AND/OR Kingfisher Atlas of World History
- *Children's Encyclopedia of American History (DK Smithsonian)
- *Classroom Atlas by Rand McNally AND/OR Junior Classroom Atlas by Rand McNally OR National Geographic Student Atlas of the World
- *Uncle Josh's Outline Map Book (or CD) by Josh Wiggins
- *Timeline Figures (nice but more expensive set put out by Homeschool In the Woods although you can always find public domain images on the internet and make your own)
Resources Worth a Look That Support Exploration and Discovery
Reading & Writing
- Phonics Pathways by Dolores G. Hiskes
- Phonetic Readers similar to the Alphabet Series compiled by Francis Bloom
- Editor in Chief by The Critical Thinking Co. (for support/practice, mid-elementary or older) OR Daily Paragraph Editing by Evan Moor (and NO, you don't have to do it daily)
- Sequential Spelling by AVKO (again, unless your child is dyslexic and you are trying to address a reading disability, you don't have to do this daily. Use as God leads you. At minimum it is an excellent source of word family lists that you can use however you want. You don't need the student book as it's blank lines for writing on - you can use your own paper).
- Rummy Roots Card Game (4 games in 1 for various ages and abilities)
- Crazy A's Phonics Card Game (formerly sold as "Whizizzle Phonics")
- Check the Library: Readers and Read Aloud Books; children's books on different parts of speech like those by Ruth Heller, etc.
Mathematics & Critical Thinking
Note: Workbooks are a fun way to practice math skills they've already been introduced to, but I would avoid centering your math activities around a workbook.
- Activities for the AL Abacus by Dr. Joan A. Cotter
- Any Lynette Long Games & Activity Books (Fabulous Fractions, Marvelous Multiplication, Dazzling Division, Wacky Word Problems, etc.)
- Life of Fred Books by Stanley F. Schmidt Ph.D
- The Math Chef: 60 Math Activities and Recipes for Kids by Joan D'Amico and Karen Eich Drummond
- Family Math by Jean Kerr Stenmark, Virginia Thompson, and Ruth Cossey
- My Calendar Book published by Christian Light (nice interactive way to learn about the calendar and seasons)
- Hundred Chart or Poster (numbers 1-100; I used a small size so that we could do tabletop activities like putting a marker on all the evens, etc.)
- My Business Math from Simply Charlotte Mason (unit study for kids 8-12 yrs. - choose to run a pet store, bookstore, or sports store)
- Check the Library: You can find all sorts of children's books on math topics like fractions, area, perimeter, etc.
- The Way Science Works (DK - also has experiments)
- Science Chef: 100 Fun Food Experiments for Kids OR Science Chef Travels Around the World by Joan D'Amico and Karen Eich Drummond
- Any Field Guides for your region (you can look for some kid-friendly ones like The Pocket Naturalist Series by Waterford Press, Usborne Spotter's Guides, National Geographic Pocket Guides, or National Audubon Society)
- Peterson Field Guide Color-In Books
- Check the Library - anything age appropriate about scientific topics or a series like:
- Let's Read and Find Out Series
- National Geographic Readers
- Rookie Read About Science Series
History & Geography
- Maps.com World History Atlas AND/OR Maps.com United States History Atlas
- The Student Bible Atlas by Tim Dowley
- Timechart History of the World by David Gibbons (This is really cool if you can find it)
- The Victor Journey Through the Bible by V. Gilbert Beers
- History Coloring Books like those published by Dover or Bellerophon (these are great for kids to do during a read aloud about a related topic)
- TruthQuest History Guides
- Beautiful Feet History Studies (literature-based - you can easily use their study guides as general guidelines - you do NOT have to follow their timetables or do all their activities)
- Story of the World by Susan Wise Bauer (easy reads with a book of activities, maps, and discussion questions you can use for your support; audio also available)
- Check the library: Biographies, biographies, and more biographies! (Reading about real lives in the context of their time is a great way to learn history)