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My Homeschool Top Ten

Updated on January 1, 2011

My Top Ten Homeschool Tools and Curriculum

When I made the decision to homeschool, I was confidant that I would be successful finding my way. However, I never anticipated how much 'stuff' there was out there marketed to homeschooling families. It was actually a little overwhelming! Though we've only just begun, I have a number of favorites that I know we'll continue to use even if we change paths in the future.

1. Story of the World

The Story of the World: History for the Classical Child: The Middle Ages: From the Fall of Rome to the Rise of the Renaissance (Second Revised Edition)  (Vol. 2)  (Story of the World)
The Story of the World: History for the Classical Child: The Middle Ages: From the Fall of Rome to the Rise of the Renaissance (Second Revised Edition) (Vol. 2) (Story of the World)

I absolutely love the Story of the World series. It is available in 4 volumes and activities books. It reads more like a book than a textbook, but it is very thorough for the younger grade school age child. I think it keeps their interest much better than a textbook does. Volume 1 - Ancient Times / Volume 2 - Medieval Times / Volume 3 - Early Modern Times / Volume 4 - Modern times


2. History Through the Ages

History Through the Ages: Historical Timeline Figures Collection
History Through the Ages: Historical Timeline Figures Collection

The artist, Amy Pak, has created a gorgeous time line collection. This product can be used for so many things. The pictures come with and without a description, so you can choose which format is best suited for your needs. They are also resizable so the pictures can be used for small timeline books or for full sheet coloring pages. We use them in our "Book of Centuries" or "Record of Time" notebooks.


3. The Kingfisher History Encyclopedia

The Kingfisher History Encyclopedia (Kingfisher Encyclopedias)
The Kingfisher History Encyclopedia (Kingfisher Encyclopedias)

The Kingfisher History Encyclopedia is huge!! It is almost 500 pages long. It has a lot of great pictures and is easy for an older elementary student to read. It gives the information in bite size chunks. It provides a lot of information about the time period and the pictures help it to stick in the students mind. This book is used in a lot of history programs because of its so thorough.


4. The Children's World Atlas

"Homeschooling is a very old way of doing things. If you look at any of the bills in your wallet or the coins in your pocket, they all have a picture of a homeschooler on them." ~ William Lloyd

5. Science Logic

As a former science specialist, I have created my own science curriculum, Science Logic. My goal in writing this curriculum is to provide a hands-on science curriculum that will challenge middle-level students and instill a love of science. I have included hands-on activities every week, readings, as well as long-term projects. All of the activities described have been field tested in the public school setting with students in 4th-6th grade. The lessons are written with homeschooling families in mind but can also be adapted to a co-op or classroom setting.

The first volume of lessons, Earth Logic: Our Dynamic Earth, is a 10 week unit study on the geology of our Earth incorporating scientific inquiry and language arts applications. It is available now - see the right side-bar. You may choose from an E-book (PDF) or a print version (comb or spiral binding).

My intent is to create three comprehensive collections: Life Logic (biology, botany, zoology, marine science and ecology), Earth Logic (oceanography, geology, meteorology, astronomy), and Physics Logic (physics and chemistry).

"Educating a child is a natural process. Homeschooling is nothing more than an extension of parenting." ~ Sue Maakestad

7. Singapore Math

Primary Mathematics 2B Workbook U.S. Edition
Primary Mathematics 2B Workbook U.S. Edition

Singapore Math was originally developed in the country of Singapore.

It has a strong mental math component (unlike many U.S. programs) that is one of its primary strengths. Logical, unique strategies are taught that help students truly understand mathematical concepts. Students are then able to solve problems mentally without always relying on paper and pencil. Singapore's Primary Mathematics U.S. Edition includes additional information to teach math relative to American culture (U.S. currency, pounds, ounces, etc.).

The core curriculum for grades 1-6 is called Primary Mathematics. There are two books that are used together, a textbook and a workbook. The year is divided up into two parts, so there is a textbook and workbook A and a textbook and workbook B for each year. The B books are not different versions or harder than the A books; they simply follow the A books. There are also a variety of optional supplementary books which are not a formal part of the core curriculum which provide additional practice (we don't use these components, however).


8. Themes to Remember

Themes To Remember, Volume 1
Themes To Remember, Volume 1

With Themes to Remember, your child will learn about the orchestra, opera, history of the composers, their individual styles and influences, musical terms and really come to understand the music. On each CD that accompanies the book, there is the composition and a track that plays the composition with the lyrics. It is pleasant and fun.

It sounds simple but you'd be amazed at how much your child will learn effortlessly with this program by just reading the biography, learning the music terms and singing the lyrics which is just the beginning!


"I still say the only education worth anything is self-education." ~ Robert Frost

9. Internet Access

There is a wealth of activity ideas and resources available to homeschoolers on the internet. Freebies include lesson plans, printables (worksheets, coloring pages, mini-books for lapbooking, etc.), and audio/visual language lessons. Many homeschooling families now also share their endeavors through blogs - a great way to see what others are doing. Forums are also a popular place to ask questions and seek out suggestions for projects and curriculum from experienced homeschoolers.

10. Your Public Library

You local library is perhaps the BEST resource for homeschoolers. Many libraries today provide access to the internet as well as videos and audiobooks. If you can't find a title you are looking for, don't hesitate to suggest that the library order it and put it on hold for you when it arrives.

This is where readers and friends can post comments about your lens. We call it the "Guestbook" module. It's up to you to approve or delete comments as they come in.

Homeschooling Top 10 Comments - What curriculum or resources do you like best? Let us know

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    • iijuan12 profile image

      iijuan12 6 years ago from Florida

      I use and love #1 & 7-10. Amen for public libraries! I posted what we use at . Blessed and liked.

    • blessedmomto7 profile image

      blessedmomto7 6 years ago

      I've used your #1, 3, 9 and 10. I love the library. Great resources you have here.

    • profile image

      marsha32 7 years ago

      great top ten

    • puzzlerpaige profile image

      puzzlerpaige 7 years ago

      We have some of the same favorites! Story of the World has been a good match for us. Internet is one of the biggest and the library is a treat - no matter how much we go. I agree, the choices can be overwhelming. The best way to sort through is to ask other homeschoolers their favorites - just like you are providing here. Thanks!

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      Pebblekeeper 8 years ago

      I was reading along with no thought to the author when I saw Earth Logic - pleasantly surprised that someone else enjoyed that too. :) Great lens. I love the curriculum that you chose as well. :)

    • luvmyludwig lm profile image

      luvmyludwig lm 8 years ago

      Great job on this, Congrats on Rocketmoms Graduation. Blessed by a Squid Angel

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      It's great to see a microscope on this list!

    • clouda9 lm profile image

      clouda9 lm 8 years ago

      Your passion shines on this lens! Now that my kids are grown I could so get into homeschooling the future grandbabes :)

    • RhondaAlbom profile image

      Rhonda Albom 8 years ago from New Zealand

      Some great ideas here. Homeschoolers are always so clever. I am lensrolling it to my homeschoolfun lens

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Nicely done! I'm lens rolling this to my Daycare School lens. Very creative idea for a top 10 lens. 5*****

    • Dianne Loomos profile image

      Dianne Loomos 8 years ago

      Love the Robert Frost quote! As a retired homeschool mom I think the best thing I did for my kids was read aloud to them. That's what they say anyway!

    • JanieceTobey profile image

      JanieceTobey 8 years ago

      Very nice lens! My homeschool co-op is looking for a science and/or history curriculum for next year, so we might consider your science curriculum! I'll read more about it, but we're looking for something which has both something to read, as well as lots of experiments to do.

    • verymary profile image

      Mary 8 years ago from Chicago area

      A great resource for homeschooling parents, I'm sure. It's always nice to see what someone's absolute essentials are, based on experience. 5*

    • AlisonMeacham profile image

      AlisonMeacham 8 years ago

      I always love getting ideas from other homeschoolers and you have some excellent ones here.

    • TreasuresBrenda profile image

      Treasures By Brenda 8 years ago from Canada

      Nicely done & blessed by Brenda!

    • Tiffany3 profile image

      Tiffany3 8 years ago

      Awesome list of tools!

    • SandyMertens profile image

      Sandy Mertens 8 years ago from Frozen Tundra

      great article about homeschooling.

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      badmsm 8 years ago

      Great job, home schooling is the best! 5 stars & a Squid Angel Blessing!

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      anonymous 8 years ago

      This is a great Lens, it's helped me finally decide what program I want to go with for our first 'official' year of homeschooling. Thank you so much!

    • seashell2 profile image

      seashell2 8 years ago

      Nice job... lots of information here!

    • mysticmama lm profile image

      Bambi Watson 8 years ago

      Very helpful info!

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      bdkz 8 years ago

      Great list!

    • profile image

      bdkz 8 years ago

      Great list!

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 8 years ago from Arkansas USA

      Great list! It's hard to imagine that we homeschooled without the internet (except a little bit the last couple of years), but we certainly used the library a lot! I like the sound of your science series, which I'm going to go look at in a minute, as soon as I lensroll this to my Homeschool Planning and Planners lens.

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      lingstar 8 years ago

      Singapore math rocks! Love how useful that is in teaching kids.