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Friday May 10th 2024

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Educational Resources Homeschooling Families Love for 3- to 8-Year-Olds

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Educational Resources Homeschooling

Families LoveĀ for 3- to 8-Year-Olds

By Linda Dobson

homeschoolingParent at the Helm shares many posts about how to use materials you already have for some fun learning with your 3- to 8-year-olds. Today, this post reveals a few more items that you don’t necessarily already have, but homeschooling families consider invaluable. A savvy shopper, particularly one who frequents garage and estate salees, could have fun seeking out bargains on the following:

  • Fishing gear
  • Globe
  • Microscope
  • Telescope
  • Stopwatch
  • Easel with whiteboard or chalkboard
  • Maps
  • Craft supplies
  • Build it yourself shortwave radio

What about Books for Homeschooling?

By now you’re probably asking, “But where are the books?” The number and type of books used for homeschooling is, of course, your choice. Remember, you’ve got your library card, and librarians are often sympathetic to a homeschooling family’s need to check out books for longer than the library’s usual policy. It’s worth checking into.

Then there are books just so beloved by your children it would break your heart not to make them part of their personal library. You’ll know which ones they are by the number of requests to read them – again and again. Keep a list of favorite titles and watch for them at library book sales and garage sales. Share your list with family when birthdays and other gift-giving holidays roll around. If your children receive an allowance, plant the seeds early that they can save to purchase books. It’s a habit that could last a lifetime.

As a homeschooling parent you will become a book-gatherer, perhaps not even realizing it until one day you say, “Honey, we really need another bookshelf” – or three. You won’t be able to help yourself. You’ll notice books everywhere. You may even replace your current favorite saying with “so many books, so little time.”

See also R*E*S*P*E*C*T: Find Out What It Means to Your Child

Gwenn likes to share the story of the time she found a perfect book in the bookstore of the St. Louis Gateway Arch. Written at the third- to fourth-grade level, it was a biography about the man who helped build her family’s hometown. Trouble was, it was $22 and she sadly left it behind on the bookstore shelf.

The next day Gwenn attended her library’s book fair. There on a table waiting for her was the same book, now part of her family’s library. Cost? 50 cents.

Homeschooling Books for a Desert Island

Just for fun, while preparing to write Homeschooling the Early Years, I asked questionnaire respondents, “If you were homeschooling on a desert island and could take only ten things for this with you, what would they be?” (See the highlighted box below for the homeschooling families fun answers.)

Depending on how many other resources they wanted, respondents listed varying numbers of books, mentioning some by name and repeatedly. For your consideration and enjoyment, here are the ones mentioned most often:

For Homeschooling Parents:

  • You CAN Teach Your Child Successfully, Ruth Beechick
  • Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons, Engleman, Siegfried, and others
  • Teach Your Own, John Holt
  • The Homeschooling Book of Answers, Linda Dobson
  • How to Teach Your Child, V. B. Bautista
  • What Every ____ (fill in the blank with Kindergartener, First Grader, etc.) Needs to Know, E. D. Hirsch
  • Teaching Children, Diane Lopez

Curriculum Related to Homeschooling

  • Saxon math books
  • A History of United States, Joy Hakim
  • Five in a Row curriculum
  • Schaum basic math outline
  • Learning Language Arts Through Literature

Books for Homeschooling Children

  • Swiss Family Robinson
  • Usborne History of the World
  • Chronicles of Narnia, boxed set, C. S. Lewis
  • Complete works of Dr. Seuss
  • A Beka readers
  • Considering God’s Creation, Mortimer and Smith
  • Poetry books
  • 20th Century Treasury of Children’s Literature

Consider homeschooling purchases as carefully as you consider the many others that you make. Solicit input from your child whenever you can as she’s the one who will be using the homeschooling material – or not! Keep in mind that a book or game that another homeschooling family raves about might not fit your child’s interests or learning style, and proceed accordingly. Mistakes in purchasing homeschooling resources aren’t life-threatening, but I’m sure I’m not the only homeschooling parent who looks at a book collecting dust on the shelf and daydreams about what useful resource we were doing without because of it.

If You Were Homeschooling on a Desert Island & Could Only Take 10 Things with You, What Would They Be?

10. A book about local flora and fauna

9. Dictionary

8. Encyclopedia set

7. Musical instruments

6. Box of colored pencils, markers, and/or crayons and “one very large paper source”

5. Bible, hymnal, and/or catechism

4. Art supplies

3. Pencils and paper

2. Computer, software and Internet access

1. Lots of books (or as one person who got down to her tenth item wrote, “As many books as I could convince you are one!”)

Of course, several of these ten things could get surprisingly bulky and varied – but that’s how homeschooling families see the world: Where others set limits, they look for opportunities!

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