Parenting and Homeschooling Resources I've Used

These are resources that I recommend to you if you feel drawn to a literature-based education that engaging, creative, inexpensive, and stimulating.
Another really, really comprehensive list of homeschooling for free is here.

Ambleside Online Book lists and lesson plans for a Charlotte Mason-style education. Covers art and music apprecation as well. Many books can be downloaded for free from Project Gutenberg and also as audio books. Recordings of Books on the Ambleside List - Librivox Wiki

Check out for booklists with links to download for Waldorf and Charlotte Mason style homeschooling. I really enjoy the books by Eva March Tappan. Heritage History also has some great selections to read from the website.

Learn more about the Charlotte Mason method by reading A Charlotte Mason Companion by Karen Andreola. She distills the philosophy into a very readable and enjoyable book. Charlotte Mason's original homeschooling writings are available free on Project Gutenberg as well. Karen Andreola used to publish a magazine called Parent's Review. It is wonderful; very encouraging and inspiring. I was so thankful to have many issues passed down to me. Simply Charlotte Mason has some great lists on narration questions, handicrafts, etc that you can print out for your teaching idea file.

Nothing New Press - Christine Miller's book, All Through the Ages, provides extensive book lists by era and geography. A must-have, and it is available as an ebook download for around $17. This book can take you all the way through a high school education. 

A Kindle (or simply the Kindle for PC/tablet app) can come in very handy for a literature-based education, because the classics that are in public domain are free. You don't have to track down hard to find titles in print at homeschool conventions, simply browse through Project Gutenberg or the Kindle store to download them. The Kindle saves your place in multiple books and can hold thousands of them.

Veritas Press has great book lists as well, and the timeline memory songs and cards that are reasonably priced. We enjoy the self-paced online curriculum as well. It makes topics that could be really dry to an elementary kid, and makes it fun! The readers from the Phonics Museum (for K and 1st) are really lovely, and historical. Where else do you see an easy reader about Queen Elizabeth or Martin Luther? We also use the timeline book from Sonlight.

We prefer math with Teaching Textbooks. Before I got this cd-rom program, my kids and I were butting heads and both frustrated. My son tells me, "This is the best math curriculum! I like this much better than you teaching me!"

A great Squidoo lens that offers great insight into doing artist appreciation/picture study. Visit, where out-of-date calendars can be purchased of artist's works for as little as $1.39. Great investment! You can laminate them, and you have big, beautiful reproductions of great works.

Christian Cottage Unit Studies - I've extensively tried Konos, Weaver, and writing my own units, but I like these better for simplicity for younger elementary ages (especially if you want to do chronological history units like we do). You can download them at individually as you need them, or get the whole notebook or CD-Rom from their website.

We love history around here, so I'll tell you what I like and use on a regular basis. We actually use the mp3 versions, but Story of the World audio series is great. My son listens to them while riding his bike, eating, going to sleep, you get the idea. Mystery of History is written very conversationally, and activities are included in the book. Best I think, for middle elementary 4-6th. Another good read-aloud book that is not dry (at least to me) is A Child's History of the World. We also use Tapestry of Grace...I bought it used at a great price, and will keep for junior high/high school. Jim Weiss with Greathall Productions has audio stories that my kids love.

Consider getting your children involved in something like 4H (Head, Heart, Hands, Health) a state-funded program where children learn skills, leadership, and how to serve others. Past projects have included: pottery, screenprinting, needlework, photography, cooking, arts and crafts, livestock, public speaking, and much more. Google your state and 4H. For local moms, East Fort Worth 4H is great, and filled with other homeschoolers! The SCA (Society for Creative Anachronism) is a worldwide group that re-enacts the Middle Ages. There are activities for kids varying by kingdom such as Youth Combat and Page School.

Charlotte Mason and Maria Montessori emphasized in different ways the importance of environment to a child. Provide an example for your child to observe - they learn best through imitation/demonstration. This will be unique in every family, but make this a priority to discover how to best create a rich, grace-filled atmosphere of delight, creativity, and discovery in your own home.

I find inspiring tidbits from various blogs that mesh well with Charlotte Mason and my artsy, nature-loving leanings, but I don't agree with all the human philosophies behind them, such as Waldorf and Montessori. So, toss what doesn't work for you.

Practical Pages - A CM blog with notebooking ideas. She is so creative with her artist studies, it blows me away.
Michael Olaf - High-quality montessori materials and tips for parents
Harmony Art Mom - she has a great art curriculum and helpful, experienced mom advice.
Courageous Beings - Karen Kindrick-Cox's inspiring blog
Homeschool Highlights - website of Karen Andreola
Free seasonal pre-k/k lesson plans at Wee Folk Art 
Waldorf Inspirations - free waldorf lesson plans and teaching tips
Serendipity - free great lesson plans for geography, letters, and history that combines all of my favorite styles of education: Charlotte Mason, Waldorf, Montessori. Catholic-friendly.
Christian Unschooling  - for those moms who lean more towards a interest-led learning lifestyle

Ten things to do with your child before they are ten - Trivium Pursuit
Coloring with block crayons DVD set - Waldorf style crayoning
Rhythms of Home magazine - pretty, earthy/artsy online publication
Download the High School Guide from NARHS for free; it contains great info on transcripts and record keeping for high school credits.

And if you decide to get on the path to a simple, book-based education - the clamor of other methods, ideas, curricula will try to get your attention now and then. It might help to unsubscribe from blogs and other things that tempt you to purchase new exciting things or become discontent with your family's methods; that's what I've had to do. There is no perfect solution to homeschooling, and I've tried just about every method out there. This one stands the test of time for US, and what I've come back to again and again.

And just some assorted things the kids and I have liked:
Moore Formula Manual and Minding Your Own Business from Raymond and Dorothy Moore
Download this free unit study curriculum – Teaching God’s Heart for the World. Raising our kids to have loving, serving hearts is the most important thing; this curriculum lays out plans to teach your kids about missions and evangelism incorporated in your own studies.
Kidzui – a children’s web browser that has fun games and videos. It’s free!
Heart of Wisdom  Excerpts and Bible verse printables here. Robin's book is very good too.
Time4Learning Paid monthly membership, fun online supplement.
Starfall Kids learn letters, phonics on this free website. We never had to do formal phonics instruction because of this site! They now do memberships for $35/yr with math and expanded activities.

Netflix: creation science documentaries, Drive Thru History, PBS Colonial House, Cherub Wings, The Miracle Maker, etc.
Bible Adventures with Mr. Fix It – Great old fashioned dvd featuring live action combined with still illustrations. Bible stories with the friendly Mr. Fix It. Available at Vision Forum or Moody Publishing.
Nest Animated Bible Stories and Hero Stories (not totally accurate but entertaining and may inspire further research)
Cherub Wings Cherub teaches kids under 7 about Jesus and fruit of the Spirit.
Sing The Word Scripture Memory Songs – Excellent music and solid, catchy straight from Bible songs.
Mr. Henry’s Wild and Wacky Bible Stories – hip, rockin’ scripture memory song
Above Rubies – free print magazine that is encouraging and challenging to moms.

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