Welcome to the second part of my Homeschool Resources series. For the beginning of the series please read Homeschool Resources Part 1.
The first part of the series focused on the major elements I use in our homeschooling. It contains various websites including the Math curriculum we’ve chosen – Singapore Math. I also mentioned in my previous post, that I included our own Language Arts curriculum. Before I delve deeper into the curriculum we have chosen, I would like to point out that a concentrated Language Arts program is not part of the Charlotte Mason mythology of schooling, especially at a younger age. However, in our situation and after much research and discussion, Steve and I felt it was something that would greatly benefit our son, Goose.
We wanted to ensure that the concepts which we love about Charlotte Mason were not lost in a more structured Language Arts program. After a lot of research we have very happily chosen to go with Learning Language Arts Through Literature. I cannot stress enough how amazing this program has been for our son and as a teacher it is truly enjoyable as well.
The publisher – Common Sense Press – offers sample lessons and placement tests to ensure you pick the right level for your child. For Goose – the Yellow Book (level 3) was the best option and has turned out to be a wonderful addition to our daily work. When our daughter, Monkey, begins formal lessons in September 2021 she will start with the Blue Book (level 1).
We chose to purchase the full physical Blue Book package – minus the read aloud books as we already had most of them. For Goose, we choose the ebook option for the Yellow book, both the Student Activity Book and Teachers Manual – which is much cheaper and turned out to be perfect for that level. We are extremely happy with our choice in Learning Language Arts Through Literature and will continue to use them for the remainder of our schooling (provided they continue to work well for both our children).
I managed to find an almost complete set of the 1979 starter edition of the Childcraft Encyclopedia (numbers 1 – 15) with the additional supplement books up until 1997. YES, some of it is dated, but they are an amazing resource while also teaching children that knowledge, ideas, thoughts, cultures and societies can and do change over time.
If you have the chance to pickup a newer edition of the Childcraft, World Book or Discovery Encyclopedia’s I highly recommend it. We currently use the Poems and Rhymes, Places to Know, World and Space and Indian (badly named!) Book in our homeschool lessons.
This children’s classic weaves together illustrations, photographs, activities, and a child-friendly tone to create a comprehensive picture of the world. Colorful photos and bold, playful illustrations add to the fun activities and help young children to learn about arts, plants, the universe, earth, human body, history, and more.
Large text is suitable for beginning readers while colorful sidebars and fact boxes break up paragraphs and encourage exploring. Diagrams are used to make sense of concepts when necessary and full-page photos and illustrations cater to the visually inclined. Topped off with a helpful glossary and index, these books are written specifically for children so they can strengthen their research skills and make sense of new ideas without stumbling over high-level vocabulary.
With a whole world to explore wrapped up in 12 updated and expanded volumes, this successful children’s series has proved to be a hit for generations.
I encourage you to spend time in your local library and used book stores. Keep an eye out for quality used classics. Try to find unabridged editions. It is amazing what you can find when you start looking. I keep a running list of books I’m looking for on my phone so I can refer to it quickly.
If you don’t know what specific books to look for consider the free book lists on both AmblesideOnline and Learning Language Arts Through Literature.
Lastly, I encourage you to find a good book on values or ethics. AmblesideOnline uses wonderful books for this topic, but I found them far too religious for our family. Unfortunatly, if you are looking for a more secular book on ethics, it can be quite difficult. Thankfully, I happened to stumble upon a wonderful book at our local library and promptly bought it online.
E Is for Ethics—an indispensable parenting tool to help instill a sense of morality and fair play in young children.twenty-six simple, clear, fun and original stories have been carefully crafted for parents to read to their child, aged four to ten. Each insightful story features one of two children, Elliott or his sister Lucy, centering on a different positive ethic, such as tact, empathy, and understanding. At the end of each story there are several questions that will help children and parents discuss the implications of each tale. R. A. Holt’s charming illustrations add to the fun.– Simon & Schuster Website
In the next part of my Homeschool Resources series I will delve into the Charlotte Mason concept of ‘Riches’ – composure, artist, folksongs and handicrafts.
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