Tag Archives: homeschool curriculum
It’s curriculum shopping season and as you are browsing catalogs, hitting up conventions, and scouring the web, you may ask yourself what the top history curriculum is. Well, the truth of the matter is there is NO perfect curriculum. However, we can break it down and help you find a great curriculum that works for your family.
Here are five of the top history curriculum out there!
- Bob Jones University– This textbook based History program is a solid one that is offered in many Christian schools. BJU offers a comprehensive bible based history program that is fairly independent and not teacher intensive.
- Sonlight-Sonlight is a literature based program, with history as it’s “core”. Each core package focuses on one area of history. The instructor’s guides includes geography and timeline activities as well as study guides. The best part of Sonlight for many families is the fact that it focuses on the importance of reading high quality books.
- Veritas Press– This curriculum is a self-paced history course. With 5 courses to choose from, each course has 160 class periods covering 32 historical events. It offers interactive teaching, clever games, engaging video footage, and a talking historical character. Veritas Press is sure to motivate your child throughout the entire school year.
- Mystery of History– Mystery of History is designed to give parents a break from traditional textbooks. It combines read aloud information with age appropriate activities to create a multi-sensory history and geography curriculum. It is bible base.
- Story of the World-Story of the World is a chronological world history program that is classical based. There are four volumes available as well as an activity guide with book suggestions, craft ideas, review questions, and other resources. There is also a volume of tests available for additional purchase.
These are just a few of the many top history curriculum out there. You can see some of these and many more at the Southeast Homeschool Expo!
Randi’s Curriculum Choices
There are way too many curriculum choices. Some are excellent and a lot are not! In creating this list, I didn’t want to add to all the noise and burden parents to just buy more stuff to put on their shelves. I wanted to keep my recommendations to only the books that are very, very special. There are many more books, but most people don’t have very much time and their children don’t either. So read and use the really good books first and then if time permits, read the rest.
- Leading Little Ones to God/Marian Schooland (Best written beginning devotions)
- Big Thoughts for Little Thinkers/Joey Allen Series of Books on Theology for Little Ones
- Proverbs For Parenting/ (Must have book for training and disciplining children. Categories include: lying, fighting, honesty and many others)
Georgia State History
- This is Your Georgia by Bernice McCullar ISBN:0-932659-01-2
Science and Geography
- Exploring Our World by Tony Hare ISBN:0-7651-1027-x – This is an excellent book to use with all ages of children. It can be used as a Geography or Environmental Science book from an ecological zone perspective. Enhance study by using lapbooking techniques. Its easy to use the unit study and Dina Zike’s dioramas to make the nine biomes come alive!
- Hands-On Chemistry Activities with Real-Life Applications for grades 8-12. by Norman Herr ISBN: 0-87628-262-1 – Now this is the way to study Chemistry! Your students will learn more about Chemistry by working through this book than any old textbook. You may have to invest in a few things that you can get from Carolina Biological Supply or some other supply house, but you can do this book with the whole family. Fun and educational! Start this book in 8th or 9th grade, go slow and do 3-5 pages at a time. Leave enough time to do the Bob Jones Chemistry textbook and you will have a great science student!
- Quest of a Hemisphere by Donzella Cross Boyle published by Western Islands – Don’t miss this great history book! ” Written in an engaging narrative style, Quest of a Hemisphere is a factual American history written from documents, manuscripts, journals, diaries, letters, newspapers, and rare books… Illustrations feature the art of historical periods – reproductions of sketches and paintings, portraits of famous men by artists of their time, and copies of documents in the original style of printing.” This is a great book for the Charlotte Mason approach or unit studies.
- God and Government I and II by Gary DeMar – These books are great for read aloud and discussion. Although there are many questions, the author follows up with the answers which are probably better for study than answering the questions for yourself.
- Government by the People by David Magleby ISBN: 0-13-192159-2 – Generally used as a college textbook, this surprisingly well written government book is interesting and covers all the points that allows students to test out of their college government course. Be sure to take the CLEP or SAT Subject Exam after completing this book!
Don’t tell your child you were terrible at math! The best way to teach math is to purchase a copy for yourself and a copy for your child and do the problems along with her. I promise, it won’t be as hard as when you were in school. You will be so glad you did this!
- College Outline Series – Pre Algebra ISBN , Introductory Algebra ISBN 0-15-601524-2, and Intermediate Algebra ISBN 0-15-601522-6 – Over and over this is my favorite set of Algebra books. The subject Pre Algebra is essentially fractions, decimals, and percents which are usually taught in 7th and 8th grade. Even with my public and private school kids, I have to pull out this book to help them learn concepts. It is more systematically written and clearer than any other textbook I have used. Once a person uses a well programmed textbook, they never go back!
- Geometry – Notables Interactive Study Notebook ISBN 0-07-868213-4 – This is a consumable workbook that makes a very good Geometry textbook. It doesn’t focus heavily on proofs, which is a good thing.
- Videos – Chalk Dust – Chalk Dust might cost more than other videos but it does a better job and you can always resell it, so your net cost is not so great.
- Prentice Hall Math Textbooks – Better than Glencoe and way better than McDougal Littel! What does better mean? Better formatting, better questions, better explanations.
Life Skills –
- Just Do Something/Kevin DeYoung (Making Good Decisions) Helps the reader understand that determining your career calling is not as important as establishing proactive behaviors to bloom where you are planted!
Textbooks for HI/LO – High interest for middle thru high school, low reading level 3-4 with larger than normal print, shorter chapters, and clear questions. When your student has learned how to read and you want to transition him to a textbook. These are good choices. Interestingly, these are also good choices for the very young, academically gifted child.
AGS Globe, now part of Pearson has great textbooks for Mathematics, Science, Social Studies and Language Arts. http://www.pearsonschool.com/index.cfm?locator=PSZ1Ai
The National Bible Bee for ages 8-18 www.BibleBee.org
Have you stayed away from the Homeschool Expo just because of the magnitude of it all? Looking at the listing of workshops or a peak into the exhibit hall can give you a deer in the headlights look! Where do you start?
- Plan ahead by reading about the available workshops and making a note of when it will be held. If there are two you want to attend at the same time, consider which would be best to attend and get the other on CD. If you go with a friend or a spouse, you can each attend one and share notes afterwards.
- Have a list of curriculum you want to look over. Plan on taking the time you need and ask the exhibitors your questions.
- Know your prices. If you buy at the conference it will save on shipping, but you will want to have some kind of luggage or cart on wheels to save your strength.
- Do you have a budget? If you do, don’t spend it all at once! The school year is long and you will probably need something else before the year is out.
Attending the Homeschool Expo is educational and exciting. The workshops and exhibitors are there for you. You might also want to consider Homeschooling for Excellence, a one day conference for beginning homeschoolers.