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.
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
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:
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!
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.
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.
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:
Blue Spruce Biological Supply, Inc.
Lots of unusual products & supplies for studying science. Equipment and specimens for dissection.
Lab supplies. 1-800-825-8522.
A wide selection of microscopes and accessory kits for home science study. Excellent Service.
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:
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.
P.O. Box 1014, Placerville, CA 95667-1014. 1-800-959-8586. email:
email@example.com web site:
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
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.
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.
Spelling curriculum and workbooks - phonics too. Order online.
HANDWRITING & COMPOSITION
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."
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.
GRAMMAR & ENGLISH
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
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.
by Dolores Hiskes. An excellent guide to the irregularities of English spelling and
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.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org 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
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.
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: email@example.com
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.
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.
ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDATIONS IN ANY CATEGORY
Jim Weiss Storytapes
Greathall Productions, Call 1-800-477-6234 or Email:
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!
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.
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.
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.