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best HS resource book?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
So, I'm going to start actively homeschooling my 4 yo, but there are so many resource books out there. What do some of you think are the best ones? I'm looking for books that can give me lots of curriculum ideas. Unschooling is not going to work for us, I don't believe.

Also, maybe some of you can provide titles for curriculums that you've really enjoyed w/younger kids. I went to a local bookstore recommended by another HS mom I know, but I didn't find anything geared toward younger kids. My son is so bored w/being read to (I often tell him to read the stories to me, instead) and needs something to focus his mind on.

post #2 of 9
I don't have a book list in front of me, sorry, but I can give you the gist of the books I have benefitted from the most I really loved any book written by an experienced HS mom, no matter the style professed; ones by moms with big families usually cover the topic of different kids = different methods for different subjects. Your son is only 4, so I would recommend the Unschooling Handbook, if only to understand how to *sneak* education into everyday life (or, as I do it, call everything in life, education) :LOL John Holt is a wonderful resource, but I found his writing to be more inspirational to the parent as opposed to *how-to* homeschool. Have you read "The Well Trained Mind"? This book covers traditional education (3Rs, Latin, etc) and is inspirational in itself. Five In A Row is also a good place to start for kids his age, you should be able to get the guide book and the required reading books at your library ~ don't be afraid to use your favorite books in the same manner as described. Grab anything that describes Waldorf or Montessori at home. There are really cool Kindergarten Curriculum workbooks I found at Sam's Club; Wal-Mart is another good resource for workbooks on various subjects. (At that age, I found both my kids just love the idea of workbooks, like they already learned that workbooks=school : )
Hmmm... I'll be at the library this week and I will write down some titles for ya

post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thanks, Diana

We've got some workbooks from WM and we color a lot. Today, I checked out some HS books (1 on Montessori), just to maybe jolt my brain. He doesn't want to learn to read or write, and he knows how to count and letter recognition type stuff already. He knows the basics: colors, shapes, numbers, alphabet. He likes to draw people and boats and stuff, but doesn't want to do interactive computer programs by himself. I'm just not sure where to go from here, b/c I feel like I ought to be doing something more to encourage him, but I don't want to burden him and distort his mindset toward learning, either.

I visited the "The Well Trained Mind" website, but I didn't see that book at my library. I'll have to look for Five in a Row (I've heard reference to it on MDC before). At this point, I don't want to invest any money, b/c I'm not sure what will work for us.

Maybe I'm just rushing things? I appreciate your help...
post #4 of 9
Chaka Falls~

I think Sonlight is a great curriculum. They have a pre-school program.
Also, Critical Thinking (which you can get from Sonlight) has a lot of really cool, interesting things.
I second the Unschooling Handbook as a great place to get resourses.

There are some great web sites that sell HS stuff...
Tobin's Lab, Timberdoodle, Elijahco...
Sorry I don't know the exact addresses.

Some of these are a little Christian, but you don't have the buy the Christian parts if you don't want it. There are tons of neutral things that are worth looking at.

post #5 of 9
Is he bored with reading because he wants to do something more active and hands-on? He may like learning by cooking together, a lot of the Montessori activities (do a search on yahoo's egroups page for "Montessori preschool" and you may find a ton. I like Montessorri makers, Montessori materials, and Montessori preschool at home. Montessori materials has some good descriptions of sequences of activities to introduce in their files sections, Montessori makers has lots of posts on how to make stuff used in Montessori activities. Do find out whether Montessori has 1 r or 2 or try both cause I can't remember at the moment Oh, it's Montessori--just had to look in my email box!

He might like manipulatives, games, and opportunities to build/fix/make things. Does he get to pick out books in the library for home reading? I think some kids go through stages with reading where they'll want every Dinosaur book 10 times a day for a month and then the next month nothing interests them that much. "Five in A Row" has activities related to the stories, isn't too pricy (you can look for it used, too) and seems to be pretty popular.

Some sites with info and lots of links:

Good luck,

post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thanks, PerfectLove and Sherricp!

Sherricp: Yes, he likes more hands-on stuff. He loves to help me cook and play w/play-doh. Lately, he's been infatuated w/cooking on his kitchen set. I suppose I should just foster his natural likes? I let him do whatever he feels like most of the time, except when it comes to real cooking and playing in sinks. He's very messy! :
post #7 of 9
Chaka Falls-
i also have a 4yo that i'm planning to h.s. i have already started with some preschool workboks i found at Costco and Target. she has similar skills as your son. she can write her name, starting to recognize letters and numbers. she loves to play on the computer - she has a great Clifford cdrom that teaches sequence, building skills, etc. i also found the McGraw -Hill Educational Materials For The Home. it has really great workbooks and learning games, and not too expensive. also, The Sycamore Tree has some very useful learning aids.
i have been collecting info since she was born on HS! i was thinking of starting her in kindergarden in january because she seems so anxious to learn, but i decided to wait til fall and start then. with these workbooks at least she will have a start and be familiar with learning from workbooks- probably what other kids are learning in pre-school(out of the home).
i hope any of this was helpful to you - i feel like we're sort of in the same boat!
here is the site for McGraw - www.mhkids.com
Sycamore Tree - www.sycamoretree.com

good luck!!
post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thank, chicklet! I really appreciate the links. I didn't realize McGraw-Hill had a resource like that.
post #9 of 9
To get an idea of what approach I want to take with Annabelle I mostly stuck with researching on the Internet. My favorite first site is http://www.gomilpitas.com/homeschooling/index.htm . The About.Com site is also very good.

Once I figured out which style would best suit Annabelle I started in on books. I had really loved Waldorf home schooling but it's not what fit best with Annabelle. She seems to be doing well with "The Well Trained Mind". She's two and very eager to learn how to read.

From this point, I just need to do it! HTH!
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