Giant List of Homeschool Recommendations & Resources

This recommendations and resources page is brand new… I decided to start collecting all the books, links, curriculum, etc. in one place. This list will change & evolve over time. I hope it’s helpful.

School & Office Supplies

Read my complete blog post about what we use & love on a regular basis here.

Poetry Books

  • Mother Goose – this is my favorite edition. It’s beautifully illustrated and has 100 of the best Mother Goose rhymes. Great for all ages, but especially great for 1-5 year olds
  • Nature Poems – amazing pictures, by National Geographic
  • Animal Poems – amazing pictures, by National Geographic
  • Inexpensive Poetry Collections by Author – Simply Charlotte Mason “Enjoy the Poems” Collections.
  • Hilaire Beloc’s Cautionary Verses – We stumbled on Hilaire Beloc through our absolute favorite all-ages poetry memorization “curriculum,” from IEW. The kids latched to a couple Beloc poems and they always made us chuckle. So we checked out this book from the library and laughed our way through it. I promptly bought a secondhand copy.
  • IEW Poetry Memorization Program – here is a pdf of the intro about why poetry memorization is so important; you can buy the teacher’s book from IEW, Rainbow Resource or Christian Book. You don’t need any other pieces of the program to be successful, though the CD is helpful and recommended. The student books are optional and fun for coloring in the pictures as the kids go. Alternatively, you can photocopy the teacher’s pages of the poems for your children and stick them in a folder or binder for easy review.

Math Programs

I’ll share my personal recommendations, but Kate Snow has an entire website devoted to helping homeschool parents teach math confidently and thoroughly. She has a math degree from Harvard and homeschooled her kids, so you should probably just read her in-depth explanation of how to pick curriculum with reviews.

  • Singapore Math All their strands are good. We started out with Dimensions and switched to Primary 2022 when it came out. It’s been great for my kids, but you do have to learn how to teach it if you grew up in a typical American math education program with a heavy emphasis on procedures. It’s not rocket science to teach, but it takes a little effort.
  • Math With Confidence the math program that is the best combination of both rigorous in math concepts & easy for parents to teach. (Only available through 3rd grade as of May 2023. Releasing 1 grade level per year. My go-to recommendation for newer homeschooling parents.)
  • Right Start amazing foundation, teacher intensive; alternatively you can use the Games & Cards kit or the Abacus Activities Book to supplement a different math program.
  • Beast Academy Rigorous, problem solving style. We’re just dabbling in the online memberships now, so I’ll have to postpone my review/ opinions until we have more experience. I am considering Beast Academy & their higher level math curriculum through AoPS for math down the road too. So far, my kids like it and it’s challenging! Also, Kate Snow approves. I just have to figure out how to teach/ manage it if we want to switch to it as our main curriculum.
  • Math Mammoth – This program is simple, inexpensive and teaches concepts well, while mixing in review. It’s pretty easy to teach. You could use Kate Snow or Right Start math games if you wanted activities to supplement.

Learning to Read

STEP 1 – Assess readiness and start with phonogram sounds

You can teach your child to read. And it doesn’t have to involve tears. You can buy an expensive program, but you don’t have to. You’re better off learning the general process of how kids learn to read and then working towards fluency one-bite-of-the-elephant at a time. Some kids learn quickly; many take years to go from a says ah to enjoying reading independently.

Personally, I suggest all beginning and struggling readers begin with phonogram flashcards & playing this blending game. Regardless of what curriculum you choose to do, these 2 things are the absolute foundation and learning them before you dive into expensive curriculum will serve you and your children well.

Not sure if your child is ready to learn to read? Walk through this checklist.

Once the child can easily complete the last phase of that blending game and knows the first 26-30 phonogram sounds, you can begin a simple “open and go” reading program.

STEP 2 – Build words and learn to sound them out

I’ve personally used Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons to get our kids going on just reading words, sentences, and stories. I tried to use it as-written with my first and about died. LOL But with our other other kids, I’ve used it at our own pace and it’s been a great tool. It’s nice to just have reading lessons that open, go, and increase in difficulty gradually. (The intro and script can be a guide if it’s your first time.)

Explode the Code can be a good supplement to the above approach that I’ve taken.

The Good and the Beautiful Kindergarten Language Arts program is also inexpensive and focuses on teaching 5-6 year olds (ish) to read. Personally, I would skip the reading booster cards in this program and just buy the main spiral bound book, the Reading Booster A & B books, and My First Nature Reader.

STEP 3 – Practice, practice, practice!

Once your child is fluently reading, you can continue in an all-in-one Language Arts program (such as TGTB) or you can shift to just reading increasingly difficult texts. I have friends who swear by TGTB and Logic of English Foundations. Personally, they’re all too time intensive and busy-work feeling for my homeschooling personality. That’s just me, though! Do what works for you! I highly recommend downloading samples and trying things before buying.

I chose the just read approach for our 3rd child, who picked up reading very easily. Once he could read basic “I am Sam and the fat cat ran” type texts, we worked our way through the All About Reading Readers, one book at a time. He read aloud to me 10- 15 minutes a day… often alternating sentences/ paragraphs/ pages. These are the best readers I’ve ever seen! Engaging stories, gradually leveled, and great illustrations. My son and I loved them. They’re especially worth owning if you have more than one child. There isn’t an easy way to order all the books… you just have to navigate to the level you want and order the readers only. There are 2 readers for each level, except level 1 has 3 readers.

Language Arts

Unpopular Opinion – you don’t need an expensive, comprehensive Language Arts program. The goals of Language Arts studies are to understand the mechanics of the English language, become a good reader and writer, fall in love with reading and stories, communicate effectively, enjoy & appreciate a variety of poetry and art and you might even add map studies to Language Arts. (Map studies also integrate well with history… which is just the story of people… which can be told through language arts and literature… so it’s all connected and we’ve come full circle. LOL)

Anyway, all that to say, the following activities take the place of a Language Arts Program:

  • read aloud a variety of poetry and literature
  • require independent reading
  • have your children practice handwriting and do copywork (or begin a writing program in 3rd-5th grade)
  • memorize poetry
  • study maps
  • sing Musical Memory English Grammar Songs (prek-5th grade)
  • add basic grtammar (3rd-6th sometime)
  • art & music appreciation
  • art lessons
  • music lessons

I have chosen to not use a comprehensive language arts program because that fits my homeschooling style (for now) and we do all the other described activities in our homeschool. We don’t do every single thing on that list every single day, but we hit all of them throughout the year.

If you reeeally want a full blown step by step reading or Language Arts program that will take 30-60 minutes a day, then I recommend:

  1. The Good and the Beautiful
  2. Logic of English Foundations
  3. All About Reading or All About Spelling (I know their website says otherwise, but you don’t need both.)
  4. Learning Language Arts Through Literature