Category Archives: Homeschooling Help

Better Ways to Choose Homeschool Materials

Great Homeschool Video

Have you ever thought of lap booking to increase your homeschooling fun and education?  Here is a video of a great Cells Lap book.  Search You Tube to see how homeschoolers do lap books.

Website Recommendations II and Books

Choosing Textbooks and Websites

Randi St.Denis – Director/Home Educators Encouragement Alliance,

Educational Consulting/Tutoring

770-594-1266   9/24/2010

Choosing Textbooks and Websites

  1. Strike a balance between independent and tutored materials.
  2. The weight of the textbook does not determine the quality of the textbook.  Textbook publishers count on you thinking otherwise.  Match the content with the reader’s abilities.
  3. Good textbooks have full tables of contents, indexes, and glossaries.
  4. A Ready Reference or other laminated card helps determine the scope of the textbook
  5. Some textbooks are more conceptual and others are more detail and data oriented.
  6. Pictures and graphics teach too, and are not merely there for filler. ie.  Usborne books or pictures of cells that illustrate the details being learned
  7. Math – both Computations and Word Problems.  Choose at least one textbook that focuses on graphing calculators.  Solution manuals are more important than answer keys and teacher guides.
  8. Support the textbooks with Videos. (With Caution), The Teaching Company – Videos
  9. The best organized textbooks outline and group the information – tell you what you will learn in the chapter and have a condensed review at the end of the chapter
  10. Great Literature Books zero in on a complete picture including Biography of the author.
  11. Great Books! It’s all about the great content.

Younger  Students: Books that are clearly written with great vocabulary.  Don’t read abridged classics.

Mathematics is: Computations of the 4 basic operators, Memorization of  facts, Concepts (includes word problems)

Students love hands on:  Think  – Unit Studies

Prepare for your unit studies in advance.  A little planning brings a lot of enjoyment.

Consider lap booking.

Children love books with photographs

Older Students:

Correspondence Schools

American School

Penn Foster High School (formerly Thomson Learning)

Computer and Website Design Training, thousands of video training sessions

State Practice States for All Ages Students

Government, Civics, Economics, History

God and Government by Gary DeMar  American Vision

Western Civilization Textbook: Understanding the Modern Culture Wars by Paul A. Cleveland

The Law by Frederic Bastiat

Quest of a Hemisphere by Donzella Boyle Western Islands

Understanding the Times by David Noebel

The Politics of Guilt and Pity by RJ Rushdoony

The Economic Way of Thinking  by Paul Heyne Prentice Hall

Whatever Happened to Penny Candy? By Richard Maybury and other books in the series

How to Lie With Statistics by Darrell Huff

How to Lie With Charts by Gerald Everett Jones.

Economics – and anything else by Ludwig Von Mises

Animal Farm by George Orwell

**Our American Government – Online Book

**American Government and other Online Courses and Course Notes:

American Citizenship Tests:

Real Time Economics by Wall Street Journal

Historical Movies in Chronological Order passed along without endorsement:


Life:  The Science of Biology William Purves W.H. Freeman Company

Geography and Environmental Science: Exploring Our World by Tony Hare

Exploring Creation with Biology Jay Wile Apologia

Chemistry published by Bob Jones

**Harcourt Brace College Outline Series: Chemistry or Physics and all other subjects

Conceptual Physics by Paul Hewitt

Biology Made Simple

** Physics CD’s

Many, Many Science, Math and Test Prep Websites

Best Cell Biology Website

Fabulous Cell Videos, hard to get!

Best Physics

Music, Science and History

By far the Best Chemistry Site with many interactive tutorials in each chapter

Chemistry Games

**Dynamic Periodic Table of Elements

Fabulous List of Online Science and Math Materials

The Professor’s Links Page

Chemistry, Biology, Physics, Math – Accelerated Online Classes, Great Pricing

Anti Drug Abuse for Teaching Teens –


Chemistry, Social Studies, English and Math Games –

Lessons, Games, and Activities for High School to College Math and Computer Programming, includes Math Caching: Really FUN Math Games

Geocaching – Hunt treasure all around the world, maybe in your backyard –


Reviews and Discussion of Math Books:


**TI84 Calculator:  Getting Started with the TI-84/83 Graphing Calculator by Carl Swenson ISBN: 0471742074

Brendan Kelly has written a series of $19.95 graphing calculator books that are fun and can be used with younger kids to explore upper level math before they have to do the hand calculations.  I have found that heavy use of the graphing calculator allows students to more easily retain many math topics and to more easily become proficient in pencil and paper calculations.  Here is one title in the series:  Functions With the TI 84 Plus Calculator by Brendan Kelly – ISBN-10: 895997259

Graphing Calculator Tutorial:

Online Graphing Calculator Handbook: (Very Good)

** Kinetic Books Algebra I CD

** : Online Math Instruction with personalized mastery incentives

Math Videos

**Chalkdust Videos,

The Teaching Company Videos, Videotext Interactive,

Math Textbooks

Randi’s Recommendation:

**College Outline Series Pre-Algebra (7th-8th), Introductory Algebra (Algebra I), Intermediate Algebra (Algebra II) by Alan Wise ISBN; 0-15-601524-2, etc.  Harcourt Brace College Outline Series.

This book is programmed, systematic and easy to use.  Parents should work alongside their student and learn along with them. These books do not teach graphing calculators, so an additional graphing calculator workbook should be added.

Pre-Algebra is fractions, decimals, and percents, plus a simple algebra equation and its components, regardless of what textbook you choose.

Algebra I and II – Prentice Hall, Glencoe, Saxon, or Math U See, Switched on Schoolhouse/(good for enrichment)

Free workbooks:

8 very well written Free workbooks:

Glencoe Mathematics (Glencoe has a fabulous website with many free tutorials, quizzes and tests) Their Geometry is especially good.

Prentice Hall – Pearson FREE online lessons, quizzes, tests and video tutorials

Geometry –

**Noteables Interactive Study Notebook for Glencoe Geometry ISBN 0078682134, this can be a stand-alone Geometry Textbook.  Usually the student needs the parent to do the work alongside them.

PreCalculus and Trigonometry

**Best PreCalculus Book:

PreCalculus Functions and Graphs (A Graphing Approach) by Larson, Hostetler, Edwards ISBN: 0-618-39476-1 Sixth Edition a little easier than previous editions

Be sure to also purchase Solutions Manual for the correct textbook edition ISBN 0-618-39481-8

The Larson Book Notes:

More Larson Notes:

**Excellent and Inexpensive Online Teaching of Ron Larson’s Math Textbooks:

**Algebra and Trigonometry by Sullivan and Sullivan, Prentice Hall (The Graphing Utility Book) ISBN: 0-13-065912-6   Be sure to also get the Solutions Manual:  ISBN:  This book is also good, a little easier than the Larson book, but explanations in Larson book can be better.

See all the trigonometric functions at one time

Visual Math Instruction –

Easy, Easy Calculus, for even a 4th Grader! Calculus Without Tears:  Lesson Sheets for Learning Calculus for Students from the 4th Grade Up ISBN:  0-9764138-0-9  Volumes 1-3.  By: William Flannery See detailed descriptions of each volume at

Book with very helpful extra practice sheets:  Algebra Teacher’s Activities Kit by Judith Muschla ISBN: 0-7879-6598-7

Math Teacher’s Book of Lists:  Very useful book with one page lists like Exponents, Logarithms, and Parabolas.

Individual math contests

Trigonometry review questions

Dave’s Short Course in Trigonometry

Great Site! Math Help, Graphing Calculator Videos, Math Games

You will love this website! It has many JavaScript games, flash cards, and generators for flash cards and worksheets.

You can generate a HUGE number of worksheets from this site

Computer Instruction

Learn computer programming and all kinds of computer skills with video tutorials, inexpensive, unlimited access to 600 titles.

Online Projects any student can create without needing to know programming – this is a competition:


Hundreds of Music Games and Worksheets

Piano Discovery – No longer published.  Can find used on Ebay.  Must download patch for new computers, find this on the internet.  The best teach yourself and your children piano program.

Money Skills


Logic Tutor is a free, complete and interactive course on Logic


Online library, originally known as bluewebn, of outstanding Internet sites categorized by subject, grade level, and format (tools, references, lessons, hotlists, resources, tutorials, activities, projects). This searchable website is amazing!

AT&T Education Page

Huge flashcard website with games and tests:

Worsley School Online:  This started as a 1996 project and has thousands of exceptional pages for all subjects.  Very useful for homeschooling


Adventures in American or English Literature Best Edition:  Classic Edition.  Also good, Athena and Pegasus Edition Publishers: Harcourt Brace or Holt Rhinehart Winston

Themes in World Literature edited by George P. Elliott  Houghton Mifflin Company.

**Trinity Forum Series by Karen Thorpe and Os Guiness

  1. Entrepreneurs of Life: Faith and the Venture of Purposeful Living

  1. The Journey: Our Quest for Faith and Meaning

  1. Steering Through Chaos: Vice and Virtue in an Age of Moral Confusion

Gutenberg Project of Copyright Free Books

1000 Good Books List and 100 Great Books List by grades

Spark Notes help you understand the finer details of literature and other subjects or


Spelling and Vocabulary Success in 20 Minutes a Day.  Many great books in this series, “Success in 20 Minutes a Day”.

Robert Conklin Grammar Key and Mechanics  2 $9.95 CD’s teach everything you need to know

English Grammar 101

The Tongue Untied:   Guide to Grammar, Punctuation and Style. Worksheets and Quizzes


**Ultimate Vocabulary/Software – $67

Vocabulary from the Classical Roots – workbooks by EPS

Wordly Wise 3000 – workbooks by EPS


**Writing Skills I and II by Diana Hanbury King – published by EPS, these appear as workbooks but are better used as teacher’s manuals.

** Format Writing by Frode Jensen

Purdue University Owl Writing Lab:  This is a giant website full of information on how to write well.

Find writing topics on college websites teacher’s pages.  Look for the English Composition Courses.

Standardized Tests:  CLEP, AP, GRE, etc.

Kaplan SAT Books (The best SAT study book)

Q Cards teaches 2674 words expands and sharpens your vocabulary. Q Cards is an efficient vocabulary building tool, helping you add new words and boosting your confidence about the words you already know.

Free SAT Practice

Free Standardized Practice Tests

Fee practice for CLEP and DANTES $20 per month.


tremendous website!  A huge number of courses from around the world and all the lecture notes!

Online GED Tests:

Joint Enrollment – PSO now called ACCEL

Application and Guidelines

Power Point Presentation regarding info and questions and answers


Education The Web’s best student homework and teacher, parent reference resource: an educational card catalogue and web directory to the best Pre K-12… JumpStart is an award-winning adventure-based 3D virtual world that is super-personalized, wildly imaginative and really fun, but don’t let that fool you… A free website to teach children to read with phonics. For preschool, kindergarten, and first grade. Exciting phonics games and online interactive books. Teaching spelling is easy with Input spelling lists for your students to use for games free spelling help. Students can learn spelling words, … is an interactive website that provides elementary school students with tools to make reading a more pleasant activity, and encouraging them to improve their reading skills.

Giant Websites National Geographic provides free maps, photos, videos and daily news stories, as well as articles and features about animals, the environment, cultures, Free, Thousands of Lesson Plans and Movies Providing a wealth of lessons, tools, and resources for K-12 science educators, Science NetLinks is your guide to meaningful standards-based Internet experiences for students. Gigantic Website…Thousands of Free Lesson Plans in Math Social Studies Art Language Arts

Books The 1000 Good Books List by the CE Loop Kiddie Records Weekly is devoted to the golden age of children’s records.  This period spanned from the mid-forties through the early fifties and produced a wealth of all-time classics.  Many of these recordings were extravagant Hollywood productions on major record labels and featured big time celebrities and composers. These are FREE recordings Your source for free audio books. Download one in mp3, iPod and iTunes format today. … Today’s featured free audio book.

Foldables and Lapbooks Dinah Zike is noted for inventing and developing three-dimensional educational manipulatives, also called graphic organizers, that. many templates and ideas

Medical We offer direct access to a national network of board-certified, US-based physicians who are licensed in your state. These doctors can diagnose, recommend treatment, and prescribe medication* for non-emergency medical issues you might have. We have physicians who specialize in both adult medicine and pediatrics and can address medical issues for members of any age. Samaritan Ministries International is a community of Christians from around the world joining together to bear one another’s health care burdens in a loving, cost-effective manner that doesn’t involve health insurance. Come join the Samaritan fellowship!

Homeschooling for Excellence 101 Video Reviews

Yesterday, new homeschoolers or parents thinking about homeschooling were able to attend the Homeschooling for Excellence 101 one-day seminar at the 2010 Southeast Homeschool Expo.  Many parents came away encouraged and ready to start a totally new experience with their children – AND THEY WERE EXCITED!  Here is what some of them said:

If you weren’t able to attend, you can contact us for how to purchase the CDs. And plan on attending next year!!