After 15+ years of homeschooling, we’ve probably had 30x of major decluttering of homeschool materials, books, supplies and yes, even toys. I’ve passed on many of our favorite story and reference books to younger cousins but I’ve kept my all time favorites because the children, though a bit older now, still love looking at many of these timeless pieces and I guess, I still use several of them with my last homeschooled son at level 5.
But there are indeed timeless pieces which I want to keep in a room with a rocking chair and a rug! Can you picture what I am envisioning? God willing, I will one day become more than just Tita Donna welcoming little and grown up nieces and nephews in my home with their favorite chocolate chip cookies. For the little ones, I sometimes read them a book, do some arts and crafts or homeschool a bit here and there. God willing, I will be, hopefully be a cool, endearing and warm grandmother with the best books and toys in her house!
Though not arranged in level of importance, here are my top favorite printed material: reference books, storybooks, and chapter books!
- For the Study of God’s Word and Character Education:
2. Stories we just kept reading night after night for maybe close to a decade and our favorite Read-A-Louds!
All Time Favorite Read A louds:
- My Father’s Dragon
- Mrs. Piggle Wiggle series
- Five Dog Stories
- Number the Stars
- The Tale of Despereaux
- Mr. Popper’s Penguins
- Dr. Dolittle
- Christian Heroes Then and Now Series
- Mystery of History and Apologia What We Believe Stories
- and many others!
3. Nothing beats Apologia Science Resource Textbooks – These are written as Read-A-Loud material with easy to apply Science experiments doable at home!
4. To keep the Filipino culture, history and language alive in a practical and relevant way.
I supplement these Adarna History Story books above with my own Read A Loud Style ( or assign chapters for reading for the independent student) using the following and my student’s own Social Studies textbook. So I do read ahead sometimes so I can read the historical texts like a story!
Health, Science and Filipino Language (and culture) for the win, from Hiyas! Available in OMF Bookshops.
6. World History
a. The Mystery of History series
b. The Story of the World Series
7. How I became the kid’s first Art and Music Teacher
If you’d like to start an art series with your preschoolers, try this series on this blog. Just use the search bar and type Art, colors, lines and shapes and you’ll see a whole lot of Art Lessons you can do at home!
8. Various Reference Books!
Though online materials are truly award-winning, engaging and cost-efficient, we prefer to have a library of quality materials. With four children, nephews and nieces, even using them as guides in teaching others how to homeschool, and probably grandkids in the future, I truly believe that costs both in time and money (endless searching for good deals, discounts, sharing balikbayan boxes with others, purchasing some in installment), were all super worth it.I am sure some books in our library which were not mentioned for this first blog post of favorite materials feel bad! (“We were not featured yet we taught them so much!!!” said the unmentioned books.) I will add and edit along the way but these are the ones that came to mind instantly! For Math, we’ve been Mathusee users for more than a decade and supplement a bit here and there with other approaches like Singapore Math or Simpao Math (Hahaha! The practical way of applying Math I guess!).
I shared these materials to give you a picture of what to look for in reading materials to purchase! You may come up with a totally different set of titles and that’s surely OK! I guess the best gauge for good quality materials would be how often they are used, the memorable experiences they bring and the in depth learning they provide.
“Without libraries what have we? We have no past and no future.” -Ray Bradbury
Proverbs 10:14 “The Wise treasure knowledge.”