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Educational Products Recommended by Homeschoolers

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Saxon Publishers, Inc.
1320 West Lindsey, Norman, OK 73069. 1-800-284-7019. Publishers of Math textbooks, workbooks, and homeschool math curriculum. Excellent for math students who have put in their time with manipulatives and are ready for some drill and practice. The lessons are easy to understand, short, and they are filled with review. Older students can easily use these textbooks on their own. Saxon is very dry. There are no bells and whistles, no colorful diagrams, no little math games tucked between the lessons just for fun. Black and white textbook format. As with any education product, consider the learning style and requirements of your student prior to purchasing.

Activity Resources
20655 Hathaway, Hayward, CA, (510) 782-1300. Supplier of Math manipulatives, activities, books and workbooks. Carries Miquon Math and Cuisinaire, and more. This is Mary Laycock's company and the goods in the warehouse reflect her attitudes about math. Lots of workbooks on every math strand, (many authored or co-authored by Mary, a renowned math expert and instructor) which are designed to be used in conjunction with an array of manipulatives and games. Best of all, you can arrange a personal consultation with Mary for help in developing a math curriculum for your children.

Key Curriculum Press
1150 65th St., Emeryville, CA 94608. 1-800-338-7638. Miquon Math materials for grades K-3, and inexpensive, well-thought-out math curriculum for grades 4-12. Miquon Math - available through various catalogs including Activity Resources and Key Curriculum Press above. When I first saw a Miquon workbook - I didn't get it. It was so foreign to me. I was used to dry textbooks. These are workbooks that require the use of manipulatives (Cuisinaire rods and/or Base 10 blocks) to help you build the concept that is being taught - so that you can capture it in your mind's eye forever. Then, doing the math problems are a snap. My kids used this series when they were young. It provided a sound foundation for more sophisticated math explorations.

This program has been mentioned repeatedly by homeschool parents in recent years as a favorite. The program includes an emphasis on working with manipulatives to build concepts, viewing a video to hear and see how the process works, and then using workbooks to practice the concepts. Program is for K-12. Phone: 1-888-854-MATH (6284).

Harold Jacobs' Texts
1-212-576-9400. Good textbooks for elementary and advanced algebra & geometry. Order from PA Homeschoolers online at: www.pahomeschoolers.com.

Singapore Math
Lots of rave reviews on this program from homeschoolers who describe it as efficient - it moves quickly but teaches the math rules well.


Young Scientists Club
Is similar to a magazine subscription in that your child will be sent a complete science kit once-a-month, designed for ages 4-12. Each kit contains several experiments and takes, on average, one hour to complete (although there are some long-term projects such as growing beans and measuring rainfall). The kits cover topics ranging from batteries and fossils to the human body and volcanoes. In each kit you receive all the materials needed for the experiments except for common recyclable and household products (i.e., plastic bottles, jars, baking soda, vinegar, etc.) In addition, each kit contains instructions for the parents and special instruction for the children that are simple enough to encourage even young children to write down their observations, measurements, and conclusions.

Science kits for preschoolers, mailed every 4-6 weeks. You pay for the kits you keep.

Wild Goose Science
The most bang for your buck of any science kits on the market today. Finally, chemistry sets that give kids what they want - explosions! Flash cannons that launch burning projectiles; chemical reactions that produce heat; the use of matches, candles, test tubes, Bunsen burners; the required need for safety goggles and protective gloves. Wow! Not only that, your kids can actually read and follow the instructions which are loaded with admonishments to be safe and sane, but filled with humor and crazy antics. Some of the science kit titles include: Crash and Burn Chemistry, Kitchen Table Chemistry, Microcrystal Chemistry, Brain Ticklers, Oooh & Aaaah Chemistry, Slime Chemistry, Newton's Greatest Hits, etc. Kits are designed for grades K-8. Call for a free brochure. 1-888-621-1040.

Loose in the Lab
Very hands-on with great science explanations. Try Gems, Geodes and Cave Drippings - cool! 1-888-403-1189

Rainbow Science Curriculum
Offers a Christian-perspective junior high science course. It covers basic concepts in physics, chemistry, biology, and earth science. Complete package contains textbook, teacher's manual, home laboratory books & worksheets, and all needed lab materials. 800-831-3570.

Apologia Science Curriculum
Many homeschoolers seem to like this Christian-based science course designed for high school students.

Edmund Scientific
Ever wonder where scientists get their lab supplies? This catalog has everything from test tubes to astronaut ice cream and more! 1-800-728-6999.

Backyard Scientist
Recommended by the National Science Foundation and National Parent Teacher Association Magazine, Jane Hoffman has developed these books and kits based on years of teaching science to kids. All of the experiments are easy to perform and rely on fairly common household items. Ages 6-12. Email: backyrdsci@aol.com.

Blue Spruce Biological Supply, Inc.
Lots of unusual products & supplies for studying science. Equipment and specimens for dissection. Lab supplies. 1-800-825-8522.

Lab Essentials
A wide selection of microscopes and accessory kits for home science study. Excellent Service. 1-770-963-8703.


A History of US by Joy Hakim
Oxford University Press. If you want to give your kids a complete, culturally well-balanced look at American History, this is it. This series of books covers our nation's various eras from the Ice Age to the Information Age. I especially like the explanations for why people did what they did - no finger-pointing, just insights into the times and possible reasons. Additionally this book lets the reader understand what was happening in other parts of the world at the time history was being made in America - what a wonderful perspective! Written in short segments with lots of illustrations and sidebars containing interesting facts. An easy read for kids - but you will want to read along with them - get ready to be shocked at how much you didn't know! The entire series costs about $99 and is worth it. May be available in some libraries and can be purchased from most bookstores. Greenleaf Press also carries it (see below). PBS has created a series based on A History of US. For info visit: http://www.pbs.org/wnet/historyofus/about/ 

Greenleaf Press
1570 Old laGuardo Rd., Lebanon, TN 37087. 1-800-311-1508. Get this catalog. The full-color product descriptions and layout are designed to make finding what you need a snap. Greenleaf offers a complete History curriculum (you won't believe the spectrum of offerings). Owned by a Fundamentalist Christian homeschooling family, there are Biblical references and studies, and a distinct politically conservative viewpoint. However, the majority of the resources will appeal to and enhance the studies of the Secular and more liberal community as well. Greenleaf carries products for many subjects, but the focus is history.

Beautiful Feet Books
Wonderful literature unit studies in history, beautiful pictures and format. 1-508-833-8626.

Bluestocking Press
P.O. Box 1014, Placerville, CA 95667-1014. 1-800-959-8586. email: uncleric@jps.net web site: www.BluestockingPress.com fax: 530-642-9222 Catalog of Books, Documents, Music, Toys, and Audiotapes that are relevant to U.S. and California History, World History and Geography, and Government. If you are looking for some in-depth study of the American Revolution, or Pioneer Migration, and especially how the Government works, look no further. Create your own curriculum with these products or just use them for supplementation. Many of the items carried are unusual and not easily found elsewhere. A homeschooling family owns this company, and are happy to make recommendations or give additional help when you place your order. The catalog explains their philosophy and makes a good read all by itself.


Help You Spell And Enjoy Reading
1-800-464-2066. P.O. Box 179 Paso Robles, CA 93447. A spelling and reading program designed to help students learning to read and spell for the first time; students with learning disabilities; ESL students; and students needing remedial assistance.

McDougal, Littell Spelling Workbooks
(especially the 1994 edition) from McDougal, Littell & Co., Evanston, Illinois. 1-800-225-3809. If you want drill and practice workbooks combining word lists with basic rules for spelling, grammar, and speech - this is it. Workbooks also include word searches and other games to spice up the rote offerings. The workbooks have an orderly progression - with each new learned fact leading to the next. The lessons are fairly short. As with many workbook formats, maintaining flexibility is key to success.

Spelling Workout
by Modern Curriculum Press. Useful for spelling and writing, as the book often asks students to write a story, poem or sentences using either their spelling words or other words provided in the lesson. Available from: Pearson Learning Group.

Riggs Institute
Spelling curriculum and workbooks - phonics too. Order online.


Italic Handwriting Series
by Continuing Education Press, Portland State University, Portland, Oregon 1-800-547-8887 ext 4891. This is not your basic cursive handwriting. You're going to have to rethink what handwriting is, and is supposed to do. The idea is to write legibly so you can communicate with others - right? Well old-fashioned standardized methods have led to supposedly the brainiest among us (physicians) writing indecipherable Rx's! The italic system requires less mechanical skill (great for kids who struggle with fine motor control). Kids learn to print italics which segue into cursive italics. (You don't have to learn ball and stick printing and then an entirely different form of cursive handwriting - which is what we have traditionally required of students.) My kids enjoy this series and don't mind doing the few exercises on a consistent basis to gain skill. While italics cursive contains similarities to traditional cursive there are some differences. The series addresses these with brief instruction in how to read traditional cursive writing.

SmithHand Writing/Penmanship Method
1-906-639-2299 or write: SmithHand, N11492 Oakwood Rd., Daggett, MI 49821. A Penmanship program that trains students for cursive writing in a "natural motion."

Writing Strands
Published by National Writing Institute, 7946 Wright Rd., Niles, MI 49120. 1-800-688-5375. A progressive set of simple lesson plans that takes the student through the process of learning to write a simple sentence to an essay. Lots of good word-of-mouth on this one from homeschool parents.


Caught 'Ya - Grammar with a Giggle
by Jane Bell Kiester. This book is published by Maupin House. 1-800-524-0634. In just 10 minutes use the sentence-a-day technique to build grammar competency. A continuous story (that you create or copy) is the source for students to detect and correct grammar, punctuation, usage, etc. Develops great editing skills.

G.U.M. (Instruction and Practice for Grammar, Usage, and Mechanics)
by Zaner-Bloser. Basic grammar and useful for writing, as students are asked to write paragraphs on a variety of topics. This is the Zaner-Bloser website teachers' store. It has the G.U.M. books at the bottom of the page.

Easy Grammar and Daily G.R.A.M.S.
by Wanda C. Phillips. A set of drill workbooks with a unique approach---it teaches children how to identify prepositions and eliminate prepositional phrases from sentences first, which makes grammar MUCH easier to understand. Daily G.R.A.M.S. are short daily exercises that give the student opportunities to correct sentences containing errors in punctuation, grammar, and capitalization. The book also has a unique daily sentence combining exercise, where students are challenged to combine two or three sentences into one.

Editor in Chief
by Critical Thinking Books & Software. This program can be purchased in workbooks or on CDs. Each book contains a series of stories that need to be proofread and corrected. The stories are interesting, and the exercises are fun and easy to understand.

Grammar Smart & Grammar Smart Jr.
Princeton Review Series designed to remediate problems with usage, but stand on their own as complete grammar texts. Very funny example sentences used to explain proper usage. Available at bookstores like Barnes & Noble.


Phonics Pathways
by Dolores Hiskes. An excellent guide to the irregularities of English spelling and pronunciation.

Primary Phonics and More Primary Phonics Storybooks
by Barbara Makar. Available on CD too with workbooks that correspond with the Storybooks.


13366 Pescadero Road, La Honda, CA 94020. 1-800-333-7858.  Each month, children receive one audio-cassette tape in which they hear kids discuss topics from King Tut to Virtual Reality. A Parent's Choice Award Winner, I think it's a great supplement for Social Studies - as long as you listen along with your kids (in the car!) and discuss the issues raised. That may springboard you to additional studies of historical figures, current events, and societal issues. Write or call for catalog.

Social Studies School Service
1-800-421-4246. A catalog of educational products and supplies, this is a resource that was used by the legendary Colfax Family whose homeschooled sons graduated from Harvard.


Artes Latinae
1-847-526-4344; Email: latin@bolchazy.com is a programmed, self-teaching Latin course. Very popular with homeschoolers. Visit the web site: www.bolchazy.com to see a good bibliography of books in Latin. They even have Latin versions of some Dr. Seuss books!

Greek 'N' Stuff
www.greeknstuff.com has materials for parents and children who want to learn Greek and Latin. Their materials are biblically based. The workbook series, "Hey, Andrew! Teach me Some Greek!" uses activities to teach Greek to preschoolers. "Alone With God" gives mid-elementary students a verse-by-verse study of Scripture. "Latin's Not So Tough!" introduces students to classical Latin. TheirWeb site has a special feature where you can learn a Greek letter, a Greek word, or a Latin word each month. 1-309-796-2707.

Muzzy, The BBC Language Course For Children
Early Advantage; 1-888-327-5923. This a video course for teaching Spanish, French, German and Italian to young children. MUZZY is a bear-like character (from outer space). He has adventures with myriad characters in the language you choose -- and by watching the stories and listening to songs kids begin to learn the language. Activity books accompany the videos. Every course comes with an English version of the video as well. I found this problematic. My kids enjoyed the Spanish version of MUZZY but the minute they found out there was an English version as well -- it was difficult to get them to listen to the Spanish version. Award-winning. 5 videos, 2 audio tapes, script book, guides and CD-ROM are included. You can try it risk-free for 30 days.

Power-Glide Foreign Language Courses
Cassette tapes and workbooks use method that makes learning easy even for those who know nothing about the chosen language.1-800-596-0910.

Teach Me Tapes
1-800-456-4656; Email: teachme@wavetech.net has a set of tapes that teach foreign languages to children. Japanese, Spanish, French, Italian, Chinese, Russian and more. Teach Me Tapes has received several Parents' Choice awards. Teach Me Tapes believes that a child's early exposure to new languages and cultures enhances learning skills and promotes a better understanding of America's own multi-cultural society. They come with activity books to follow along with the tapes. About $15.

The Learnables Foreign Language Course
1-800-237-1830. Another homeschool favorite for all age levels. Courses in Spanish, French, German, Russian, Hebrew, Chinese, Japanese. Parents do not need to know the language and lessons are easy to use.


Jim Weiss Storytapes
Greathall Productions, Call 1-800-477-6234 or Email: greathall@greathall.com to request catalog. This is cultural literacy on cassette. Jim Weiss has a voice like honey and his adaptations captivate his audience. We have listened to every tape from Greek Myths to Sherlock Holmes and have never been disappointed. Consistent quality has earned Weiss 16 national awards. Tapes retail for $10., CDs for $15.

Kids Discover Magazine
Subscription $19.95 to: Kids Discover, P.O. Box 54205, Boulder, CO 80322-4205. In my opinion this is the very best kids magazine on the market today. No advertisements, just accurate information and incredible photos and illustrations on one subject with each issue like: Solar System, Pyramids, The Maya, Volcanoes, Roman Empire, Colonial America, etc. Back issues are available - and worth collecting. I enjoy this magazine as much as the kids do!

Rivertree Productions
1-800-554-1333 for free catalog. A man with an unusual name, is a storyteller supreme. The Hidden Grail and The Odyssey are just two titles in this superb collection. You can also write Rivertree Production, Inc., P.O. Box 410, Bradford, NH 03221. CDs and audiocassette. V/MC accepted.

Audio Bookshelf
The very best selection of unabridged family listening book titles on tape and CD. Website has suggested activities and curriculum connections that tie in with the books. 1-800-234-1713.

Audio Memory Publishing
1-800-365-SING. Learn grammar, parts of speech, states, capitals, and more through song!

The Teaching Company
Over 60 Audio and Video courses on philosophy, fine arts, science, religion, math, literature, and history by today's most compelling and charismatic university and high school lecturers. Highly recommended. Call for free catalog of course descriptions. 1-800-832-2412.