Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Books for Our First Year of Homeschooling

Next week, I will begin my journey as a homeschooling mom. My oldest daughter is not technically old enough for kindergarten in our state (the cut-off is September 1st and her birthday is around Thanksgiving), but she already reads and does basic math and I don't see a reason to hold her back for a year when we plan to homeschool all the way through anyway. So our first day of school will be September 5th and she will start her unofficial kindergarten year. Her younger sister, who wishes to be included, will also be doing some preschool.

Today, for Top Ten Tuesday's back to school topic, and also in response to Blog All About It's August prompt of "beginning," I want to share some of the books we'll be using as we start homeschooling.

  • Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding: A Science Curriculum for K-2 by Bernard Nebel
    We'll start using this book for science this year, and see how far we get. It seems like a good fit for me because it provides resources and information on the topics to be covered, but it doesn't give a rigid structure for actually teaching the material so I can adapt it to suit our family. The first topic we'll be covering is organizing things into categories, so I've also found a few books to cover that subject, including Like and Unlike: A First Look at Classification by Solveig Paulson Russell (which we own) and a series of books about sorting by Lauren Coss, which are available from our library through Hoopla.
  • My Backyard History Book by Linda Allison and Marilyn Burns
    Eventually, I will be teaching history in chronological order according to the classical trivium, but I wanted to take some time to introduce the concepts of history, the past, and the passage of time first. This book, which focuses on a child's personal and family history as well as the history of her home and town, seems like the perfect way to introduce these ideas. The audience for the book is definitely upper elementary, but I am sure I'll be able to simplify things for my daughter's level. 
  • Words Are Categorical series by Brian P. Cleary
    My daughter already reads at around a third grade level. As she continues to hone her reading skills, I plan to start teaching her the parts of speech. These books, which are available through the library from Hoopla, combined with Mad Libs and Schoolhouse Rock videos will be the means by which I introduce nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, etc. 
  • Primary Mathematics 2A (Singapore Math - U.S. Edition)
    My husband started our daughter on Singapore Math months and months ago and this is where she left off. We'll pick up here and see how she progresses as time goes on. Just looking over the problems, it seems like this will be fairly easy for her, but there is no rush!
  • Where is Thumbkin? 500 Activities to Use with Songs You Already Know by Pam Schiller and Thomas Moore
    This is the book I'm planning to use for my preschooler's "curriculum." She loves to sing, and this book provides a bunch of extension activities for a variety of favorite children's songs, so it seems like it will be a good fit. I don't plan to do very much in the way of formal teaching with her. This will just be a way for her to have fun one-on-one with me for a little while each day. 
  • The Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading by Jessie Wise and Sara Buffington
    This is how my oldest daughter learned to read, starting shortly after she turned 3. My plan for right now is to use it to introduce letter sounds to my second daughter. How she does with that will determine when we get into the rest of the book. 
  • Catholic Children's Treasure Box series by the Maryknoll Sisters
    These are sweet, vintage magazine-like publications for Catholic kids. We originally tried to read them during Lent last year but never finished, so I'm hoping to use them as read-alouds throughout the first few months of our school year. This will be in addition to my daughter continuing to memorize the St. Joseph catechism. 
These books will of course be supplemented by lots of read-alouds and lots of independent reads for my oldest daughter as well. I will be sharing more about those in my Read-at-Home Kids Reports in the coming months! 


  1. I'm tempted to take a month or so and teach about our family history! I like that idea. Make a family tree!

  2. How fun! We were considering homeschool for this year, and ended up making alternate plans. You have such great ideas. Thanks for sharing them. Here's my TTT.

  3. These look like you're going to get a lot done this year! Good luck :)

  4. Wow, this sure was a timely prompt for you! Best of luck in your homeschooling journey. :) I've never heard of any of these books, but it looks like it'll make a great curriculum, and hopefully you and your girls have lots of fun along the way.

  5. Great idea for a TTT post! Good luck with starting your school year!

  6. I was homeschooled for several years when I was a child. Those years were full of happy memories for me. I hope you and your children have an equally wonderful experience with it.

    Here is our Top Ten Tuesday. Thanks for stopping by earlier today.

  7. Good luck with school! Looks like some great resources here. Our neighbors homeschooled and so does my best friend, and while my kids go to public school I have almost made a change a few times. I think there's so much to be said for it.

    I love some of those colorful covers, and the My Backyard History Book looks great!