Homeschool books we use

July 17th, 2008

One of the questions my wife and I are often asked is what books we use for homeschooling. People are interested to know if we use a full curriculum or other books.

While we have looked at a number of curriculums over the years, we have decided on a combination of books and CD Roms that cover the main learning outcomes that are required in Western Australia. Some of the books we use are the same ones kids use in most schools and some are sourced from other places like Wooldridges.

Here are a few of the main ones we use…

1. Signpost Maths (Pearson Education Australia) – This is fairly common in most schools. Each year it moves up to the next level and covers that main learning outcomes. They have lots of colour and pictures and our kids seems to enjoy them. There is also a cut down version called Signpost Mentals which we use in the second part of the year to reinforce the learning from the main book.

2. Grammar once a week (Pearson Education Australia) – As the name suggests it looks at all aspects of grammar. It looks at all forms of communication and teaches how to write stories, papers, letters and about nouns, verbs, adjectives and the like. It has practical activities that the kids enjoy and it makes learning grammar fun.

3. Comprehension once a week (Pearson Education Australia) – Again it is another once per week book. It looks at stories and other forms of information and asks the kids questions to make sure they are understanding and taking in what they read.

4. Text Types for primary schools (Oxford University Press) – This books looks at different types of texts and helps the kids to understand and write proceeedures, recounts, information reports, narratives and poems. I have actually learned a lot from these books as we have been teaching the kids!

5. Spelling skils and strategies (Oxford University Press) – As the name suggests it focusses on spelling. However they also touch on areas like upper and lower case, parts of speech, prefixes and suffixes, homophones, similies and antonymns.

6. Targeting WA Handwriting (Pascal Press) – This one has a number of written exercises that teach the kids to use modern cursive font which is used in Western Australia. It progresses through from printing to running writing as we used to call it in the old days! This is just to make sure the kids have good handwriting in a day where computer use is on the rise.

While we use a number of other sources like the internet and CD Rom, these are the main books we use. Each of them has the appropriate book for the year of school the kids are in and they progress through. At the start of the year we just see how many pages are in the book and divide it by the weeks of the term and then the kids work through one or two pages of the book per day.