9.16.2016

Not-Back-to-School Photos

A local friend and fellow homeschool mom who also happens to be a professional photographer offered to do Not-Back-to-School pictures, so we took some time away from the books one morning last week to meet her at the local wildlife sanctuary. She took dozens of photos, and they all turned out beautifully. Here's just a glimpse:


9.06.2016

It’s Time for a Cease-Fire


I wrote the following piece for today's issue of the Celebrate Kids' email newsletter...and I mean every word. 
Education is a hot-button issue.
In fact, it’s exceedingly rare to find a person who doesn’t have an opinion about what’s “best” in terms of kids’ learning. Some insist that public school offers the best opportunities and should be mandatory for all, and others maintain that homeschooling is the only way to go. Still others assert that private school provides the best of both worlds. And when we add the voices supporting each of the vast, almost infinite, variety of options within “the big three” – charter, virtual, voucher, Charlotte Mason, unit studies, classical, unschooling, Christian, Montessori, alternative…just to name a few – we find ourselves surrounded by an ear-splitting cacophony of aggressive activism.
That said, opinions in and of themselves are not bad. And children’s education is so important that the existence of strong opinions is understandable. In fact, anyone who knows me personally is familiar with my background as a classroom teacher in “at-risk” schools, the pride I now take in being a homeschool mom, and my particular, deeply held convictions about educational theory and practice. 
 But it’s time to poke our heads up out of the trenches and get some perspective.  
First, we must each realize that we don't have a right to an opinion about what's best for anyone else's child. My husband and I fully considered every educational option, have taken into account the ramifications of each, and have come to a conclusion about what's best for our children. We cannot be swayed...and we shouldn't have to endure unsolicited lectures - or "helpful suggestions" - from proponents of other options. But neither do we have a right to push our views onto parents who have chosen differently. In fact, unless we’re asked, we have no standing from which to state an opinion. Out of respect for parental authority, we must assume that all parents have fully researched the matter for their own children and have come to their conclusions in good faith. We might not agree, but it's simply not our place to butt in.
Conversely, we must also decide to stop being offended by others’ choices. My friend’s decision to enroll her children in the local private school is not an indictment of my homeschooling. My meme celebrating homeschooling is not an attack on a fellow church member’s decision to send her children to the public school down the street. And my relative’s announcement that his daughter made all-state for the public school’s volleyball team is not a jab at schooling options that offer different benefits. It’s possible that a rude, immature person might actually intend to offend in such a way, but why do we let ourselves assume the worst? 
The “school wars” have grown tiresome. And no one will ever win if we insist on continuing to usurp others’ parental authority over their own children. But if we can choose to agree that the widest possible variety of options should always be available and that each child’s parents have the right to decide for their own kids, we can reach d├ętente. It's time for a cease-fire.

Some people will have a hard time believing I mean these words because I am such an unflinching apologist for home education. In fact, I am fully convinced that any diligent parent - regardless of educational background or current circumstances - really can successfully homeschool, and I am profoundly and deeply troubled by much of what occurs within institutional schools of any stripe. And if I'm being completely transparent, I'll admit that I wish every school - public or private - would close tomorrow because every parent had withdrawn every child in favor of parent-led, home-based education. Of course, I don't go around saying that (despite admitting it here in this post!), but my strong advocacy in favor of home education is certainly not a secret. So I can understand why some would assume I don't really believe in parental choice.

And, though I cannot now recall specific circumstances, I'm quite sure I've crossed the line and "pushed" in regards to homeschooling. I'll probably do it again at some point...because I'm human. I'm not making excuses - when I've disrespected a parent's authority over her own children in the past and if I do it again - I have been - and will be - wrong. Without question. I should endeavor to prevent it from happening again...because I'm serious about what I say in the article about parental authority.

That doesn't mean I'll stop celebrating the joys of homeschooling. It's a wonderful endeavor - even in its unavoidable travails and struggles - and I feel the need to defend it because it is too often vilified by ill-informed blowhards who jump to conclusions and make ridiculous overgeneralizations. Because it's not at all mainstream - despite its long, successful history in the U.S. and around the world - it needs vocal support, and I'm happy to speak up for it. But, as I suggest in the article, my advocacy for home education should be seen as just that - support in favor of one particular thing in which I believe. And even when I write or talk about concerns with the system of institutional schooling - which I do on a limited basis and only with a matter of especially grave concern - I absolutely do not do so with a hidden agenda of seeking to shame parents who've chosen to use such schools. I cannot speak for anyone else who promotes homeschooling, and you'll have to choose to take me at my word, but that is the God's honest truth. 

At root, I stand deeply and profoundly in favor of home education and just as deeply and profoundly for parental authority. One does not trump the other...which means - from the bottom of my heart - that as much as I beg you to honor the decision of parents who home-educate - please stop trying to convince us that we're wrong! - I do fully and completely respect your choice to choose another option. I would not choose it, but your kids are not my kids and I know my place.

Bottom line: I desperately wish we could all agree on that cease-fire, and I hope I live to see it.


6.21.2016

Great Family Trip Locations

One of our family mottos is: All of Life is for Learning. In that vein, we understand that education happens during all of a child's waking hours and in the community and beyond at least as much as it does at home.

Practical realities - my husband's job and typical financial constraints - mean we can't continuously travel the world. However, we've taken local/regional "field trips" on a regular basis and plan for bigger trips as often as possible. And since the girls were toddlers, I've kept an informal tally, which I finally decided to compile in a running list here. As of June 2016, we've been to each of these places at least once as a family and can generally recommend them all to others. I'll continue to add to the list over time.

ILLINOIS
Lincoln Park Zoo, Chicago IL

IOWA
Laura Ingalls Site, Burr Oak IA

KENTUCKY
Creation Museum, Petersburg KY

MICHIGAN
DeYoung Family Zoo, Wallace MI

MINNESOTA
Laura Ingalls Sites, Walnut Grove MN
Niagara Cave, Harmony MN
SPAM Museum, Austin MN

OHIO
Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, Columbus OH

PENNSYLVANIA
Gettysburg Battlefield, Gettysburg PA

SOUTH DAKOTA
Ingalls Homestead, DeSmet SD
Laura Ingalls Memorial Society, DeSmet SD

TEXAS
Dallas World Aquarium
Fort Worth Botanic Garden
Fort Worth Stockyards
Fort Worth Water Gardens
Fort Worth Zoo
Fossil Rim Wildlife Center, Glen Rose TX
Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth TX
National Cowgirl Museum & Hall of Fame, Fort Worth TX
Western Currency Facility, Fort Worth TX

VIRGINIA
Colonial Williamsburg, Williamsburg VA
Jamestown Settlement, Williamsburg VA
Mount Vernon, Mount Vernon VA

WISCONSIN
Above & Beyond Children's Museum, Sheboygan WI
Apple Valley Orchard, DePere WI
Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary, Green Bay WI
Big Event for Little Kids, Green Bay WI
Bookworm Gardens, Sheboygan WI
Building for Kids Children's Museum, Appleton WI
Children's Museum of Green Bay
Discovery World, Milwaukee WI
Einstein Project Science Expo, Green Bay WI
Green Bay Botanical Garden
Heritage Hill State Park, Green Bay WI
Lake Lundgren Bible Camp, Pembine WI
Lambeau Field & Packers Hall of Fame, Green Bay WI
Laura Ingalls Sites, Pepin WI
Lincoln Park Zoo, Manitowoc WI
Madison Children's Museum
Milwaukee County Zoo
Milwaukee Public Museum
Mulberry Lane Farm, Sherwood WI
National Railroad Museum, Green Bay WI
Neville Public Museum, Green Bay WI
NEW Zoo, Green Bay WI
Old World Wisconsin, Eagle WI
Oneida Nation Museum, DePere WI
Paine Art Center and Gardens, Oshkosh WI
Peninsula State Park, Fish Creek WI
THE Farm in Door County, Sturgeon Bay WI
Timm House, New Holstein WI
Washington Island, Door County WI
Wisconsin State Capitol, Madison WI

5.11.2016

Required Hours? Relax!

Home-educating moms often express anxiety about how to meet a homeschool law's "required hours" rule. There's much I could say on the whole topic of state-mandated requirements of any sort, but I recently had some particular thoughts about this "required hours" issue that I believe warrant serious reflection. The numbers will vary but the principle is constant.

The state-mandated number of "required hours" for homeschoolers where I live is the same as is required of kids in the government school system (and in private schools) - as it should be if hours are to be dictated at all, since homeschoolers should not face a more draconian rule than any other child in the state. But in the system the hours are based on children's attendance in buildings - whether their bodies are present or not - not actual "instructional hours."  Kids typically spend six-and-a-half to seven-and-a-half hours a day in their school buildings, but the hours-mandate here comes out to a little less than five hours a day. That indicates that the rule doesn't account for lunch time and recess. And I can attest - from having taught here in a public high school for four years - that the number of hours is based on high school kids' presence in six classes a day (with each class being about 50 minutes long). Then that same number is just applied to middle school and elementary and comes out to 4.86 hours a day - in whatever manner each school arranges the time.

Obviously, that doesn't mean kids are actually engaged in learning for that whole time. In fact, even in an organized high school class, one can eliminate from instructional time at least five minutes after a bell rings for getting settled, and another five to 10 at the end. Additionally, we all know how much wasted time and/or kid zone-out time happens in the middle of lectures and in a typical elementary classroom, too.

But the system says if the kids are there, the hours count. So...by that same standard, if our homeschooled kids are with us (or with someone designated by us according to the homeschool law's parameters), their hours are counting. Thus, if we assume a child is awake for 14 hours a day on average and that our learning year is legitimately 365 days, not just 180, even if we're not always doing bookwork (because the rule is based on when our kids are present in the "school," same as with the system), that means we have 5,110 "school hours" in a year. And even if we remove three hours a day for meals (since the system appears to not count "lunch hour"), that's 4,015 hours. Of course, we homeschoolers can legitimately count our kids' "recess" time (as physical education/health/fitness), but even if we eliminate that, it's clear that we really have plenty of time by the system's standard of measure - i.e., that hours count if the child's body is present.

So...the lesson of the day in terms of time for us - in any state with "mandated hours" or even "mandated days" - is simple: Don't fret about it for even a minute. The fact is that homeschool hour- or day-mandates use the system's rules and stick them onto homeschoolers. We get freaked out by that when we shouldn't, because we can and should take the bureaucrats' rule and make it work for us. If they're going to say they have a right to mandate anything to us - which is, again, the topic for another discussion - then we can use their definitions to our benefit. They define attendance as the presence of the children's bodies, so we can too. Fair is fair!

So relax and enjoy your freedom. You've got the hours covered without even thinking about it...probably at least three to four times over.

4.03.2016

Mission Accomplished!

Since the summer of 2013, I've been on a mission.

As I wrote in a September post that year:

[I've become] deeply convicted that I am no longer to sell anything of value in terms of children's education - not curriculum, not other educational resources, and not even children's literature. Instead, I'm going to save and store everything I have worth keeping. ...I'm also working to find room in our budget to re-purchase copies of good material I've sold in the past, all of which I'll pack up into totes [for the girls to use with their children in due time]... I may end up with rows of totes stacked floor-to-ceiling, but I don't care.

Ultimately, I agree with Carole Joy Seid, who teaches that any parent can successfully homeschool with just a Bible, a library card, and a math book. But, since I've used curriculum of various sorts over the years and am able to hold onto it if I'd like, I've been on a mission to keep rather than resell the good resources we have; to regain solid material I'd previously sold; and to fill in with a few things I've learned of since launching The Homeschool Resource Roadmap. My goal has been to provide my girls with quality material to use with their children no matter what happens to educational resources over the next couple of decades. I obviously can't purchase multiple copies of most things, so they'll have to share. And they may each find some good resources to supplement what I've been able to collect; in fact, I'll be continuing to add more literature and a few other high school-level resources over the next few years. But my hope has been to gather a basic but complete "homeschooling trousseau" for all ages - a means of blessing my daughters and their husbands as they will undertake the task of educating their own children - so they won't need to add a thing if they don't want to.

And today I am thrilled to report that I have (almost entirely) accomplished what I set out to do! Yes, other than a few more high school-level resources - which I'll add during the girls' high school years - the trousseau is now complete!

In the coming weeks, I'll write some "planning" posts about each content area - i.e., sharing how I used and/or would recommend using these materials. For now, though, I'll simply share my inventory list:

BIBLE/CHRISTIAN LIVING

66 Books, One Story: A Guide to Every Book of the Bible - Reynolds, Paul
100 Most Important Events in Christian History, The - Curtis, A, Kenneth, et. al
131 Christians Everyone Should Know - Galli, Mark
Answers Books for Kids, Volumes 1-4
Bible Knowledge Commentary, The: New Testament - Walvoord, John F. & Roy B. Zuck
Bible Knowledge Commentary, The: Old Testament - Walvoord, John F. & Roy B. Zuck
Child’s Story Bible, The - Vos, Catherine (2 copies)
Egermeier’s Bible Story Book - Egermeier, Elsie (2 copies)
How Should We Then Live? - Schaeffer, Dr. Francis
How Should We Then Live? DVD Series - Schaeffer, Dr. Francis
Leading Little Ones to God: A Child's Book of Bible Teachings - Schoolland, Marian M.
New Answers Book Set, Volumes 1-4
New Answers, DVD Series, Volumes 1-3
New Inductive Study Series, The - Arthur, Kay *
One Year Christian History, The - Rusten, E. Michael & Sharon O. Rusten
On This Day in Christian History: 365 Amazing and Inspiring Stories... - Morgan, Robert J.
Picture-Smart Bible, The: New Testament - Peters, Dan & Juanene
Picture-Smart Bible, The: Old Testament - Peters, Dan & Juanene
This Day in Christian History: 366 Compelling Events... - Curtis, A. Kenneth & Daniel Graves
Training Hearts, Teaching Minds: Family Devotions... - Meade, Starr

MATH

City Creek Press: Addition the Fun Way: Addition Book for Kids *
City Creek Press: Addition the Fun Way: Addition Clue Cards *
City Creek Press: Addition the Fun Way: Subtraction Cards *
City Creek Press: Times Tables the Fun Way: Times Book for Kids *
City Creek Press: Times Tables the Fun Way: Division Cards *
City Creek Press: Times Tables the Fun Way: Times Clue Cards *
Improve Your Math Fluency Series: 7,000 Multiplication Problems Practice Workbook
Improve Your Math Fluency Series: 10,000 Addition Problems Practice Workbook
Improve Your Math Fluency Series: 10,000 Subtraction Problems Practice Workbook
Improve Your Math Fluency Series: Addition Facts Practice Book
Improve Your Math Fluency Series: Algebra Essentials Practice Workbook
Improve Your Math Fluency Series: Decimals Workbook
Improve Your Math Fluency Series: Division Facts Practice Book
Improve Your Math Fluency Series: Fractions Decimals & Percents Math Workbook
Improve Your Math Fluency Series: Factions Workbook
Improve Your Math Fluency Series: Master Long Division Practice Workbook
Improve Your Math Fluency Series: Master Long Division with Remainders Practice Workbook
Improve Your Math Fluency Series: Mixed Fraction Workbook
Improve Your Math Fluency Series: Multiplication Facts Practice Book
Improve Your Math Fluency Series: Negative Numbers Workbook
Improve Your Math Fluency Series: Subtraction Facts Practice Book
Life of Fred: Statistics

READING 

Phonics/Skill Development & Practice
Amish Pathway Readers: Learning Through Sounds, Book 1 (2 copies)
Amish Pathway Readers: Learning Through Sounds, Book 2  (2 copies)
Amish Pathway Readers: Learning Through Sounds Teacher's Edition (2 copies)
Amish Pathway Readers: Before We Read Teacher's Edition (2 copies)
Amish Pathway Readers: Before We Read Workbook (2 copies)
Amish Pathway Readers: First Steps Reader (2 copies)
Amish Pathway Readers: Days Go By Reader (2 copies)
Amish Pathway Readers: More Days Go By Reader (2 copies)
Amish Pathway Readers: Busy Times Reader (2 copies)
Amish Pathway Readers: More Busy Times Reader (2 copies)
Amish Pathway Readers: Climbing Higher Reader (2 copies)
Amish Pathway Readers: New Friends Reader (2 copies)
Amish Pathway Readers: New Friends Teacher's Edition (2 copies)
Amish Pathway Readers: New Friends Workbook (2 copies)
Amish Pathway Readers: More New Friends Reader (2 copies)
Amish Pathway Readers: More New Friends Teacher's Edition (2 copies)
Amish Pathway Readers: More New Friends Workbook (2 copies)
Amish Pathway Readers: Building Our Lives Reader (2 copies)
Amish Pathway Readers: Building Our Lives Teacher's Edition (2 copies)
Amish Pathway Readers: Building Our Lives Workbook (2 copies)
Amish Pathway Readers: Living Together Reader  (2 copies)
Amish Pathway Readers: Living Together Teacher's Edition (2 copies)
Amish Pathway Readers: Living Together Workbook (2 copies)
Amish Pathway Readers: Step by Step Reader (2 copies)
Amish Pathway Readers: Step by Step Teacher's Edition (2 copies)
Amish Pathway Readers: Step by Step Workbook (2 copies)
Amish Pathway Readers: Seeking True Values Reader (2 copies)
Amish Pathway Readers: Seeking True Values Teacher's Edition (2 copies)
Amish Pathway Readers: Seeking True Values Workbook (2 copies)
Amish Pathway Readers: Our Heritage Reader (2 copies)
Amish Pathway Readers: Our Heritage Teacher's Edition (2 copies)
Amish Pathway Readers: Our Heritage Workbook (2 copies)

Literature/Literary Analysis
BOOKS, BOOKS, AND MORE BOOKS! - all levels, all twaddle-free *
All Through the Ages - Miller, Christine
Book Projects to Send Home: Grade 1 - Sanders, Lori & Linda Kimble *
Book Projects to Send Home: Grade 2 - Sanders, Lori & Linda Kimble *
Book Projects to Send Home: Grade 3 - Sanders, Lori & Linda Kimble *
Book Projects to Send Home: Grade 4 - Sanders, Lori & Linda Kimble *
Book Projects to Send Home: Grade 5 - Sanders, Lori & Linda Kimble *
Honey for a Child’s Heart - Hunt, Gladys
Honey for a Teen’s Heart - Hunt, Gladys
Invitation to the Classics - Guinness, Os & Louise Cowan
Lit! A Christian Guide to Reading Books - Reinke, Tony
Movies as Literature - Stout, Kathryn L.
Reader’s Odyssey, The - Luchsinger, Dena M.

LANGUAGE ARTS

Composition
Brave Writer: Help for High School
Brave Writer: The Writer’s Jungle
Cover Story Writing
Essay Styles for High School 
Grading with a Purple Crayon - Luchsinger, Dena
Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW): Student Writing Intensive A
Out of the Holding Tank - Luchsinger, Dena

Elocution/Speech
Jeub's Guide to Speech & Debate, 5th Edition - Jeub, Chris

Grammar
Eats, Shoots & Leaves - Truss, Lynne
King Alfred’s English - White, Laurie J.
Winston Grammar: Advanced Level
Winston Grammar: Basic Level

Penmanship
Inspirational Quotes: Inspiring Quotes for all Seasons - Stebbing, Barry
Pentime Penmanship: Grade 1, Book 1 (2 copies)
Pentime Penmanship: Grade 1, Book 2 (2 copies)
Pentime Penmanship: Grade 2 (2 copies)
Pentime Penmanship: Grade 3 (2 copies)
Pentime Penmanship: Grade 4 (2 copies)
Pentime Penmanship: Grade 5 (2 copies)
Pentime Penmanship: Grade 6 (2 copies)
Pentime Penmanship: Grade 7 (2 copies)
Pentime Penmanship: Grade 8 (2 copies)

Spelling
All About Spelling: Basic Spelling Interactive Kit
All About Spelling: Level 1
All About Spelling: Level 2
All About Spelling: Level 3
All About Spelling: Level 4
All About Spelling: Level 5
All About Spelling: Level 6
All About Spelling: Level 7
Natural Speller

Study Skills
Victus Study Skills

Vocabulary
Rummy Roots Games: Vocabulary Building Games
Word Power Made Easy - Lewis, Norman

SCIENCE

Answers in Genesis: God's Design for Life Complete Series
Berean Builders: Science in the Ancient World 
Berean Builders: Science in the Scientific Revolution
Berean Builders: Science in the Age of Reason
Berean Builders: Book 5 *
Big Book of Play and Find Out Science Projects - VanCleave, Janice
Body of Evidence DVD Series
Creation Illustrated Magazine *
Exploring Creation with General Science, 2nd Edition
Exploring Creation with General Science, 2nd Edition Lapbook Journal
Friendly Chemistry
Go Science DVD Series, Volumes 1-6
Moody Science Classics Complete DVD Series

HISTORY+

American History
1620: Year of the Pilgrims - Foster, Genevieve
Abraham Lincoln's World - Foster, Genevieve
All American History Volume 1 Student Reader
All American History Volume 2 Student Reader
America’s Pioneers and Patriots - Emerson Caroline D.
Andrew Jackson: An Initial Biography - Foster, Genevieve
Child’s First Book of American History, A - Schenck Miers, Earl
Child’s Story of America, A - Christian Liberty Press
Finding a New Land - Christian Liberty Press
From Sea to Shining Sea - Marshall, Peter & David Manuel
George Washington's World - Foster, Genevieve
How to Study the World - Prahl, Stephanie

World History
Annals of the World, The - Ussher, James
Augustus Caesar's World - Foster, Genevieve
Christians, The - 12 Volume Series
Mystery of History, The: Volume 1 - Creation to Resurrection
Mystery of History, The: Volume 2 - The Early Church and the Middle Ages
Mystery of History, The: Volume 3 - The Renaissance, Reformation, and Growth of Nations
Mystery of History, The: Volume 4 - Wars of Independence to Modern Times
Story of the Ancient World, The - Guerber, H.A.
Story of the Greeks, The - Guerber, H.A.
Story of the Romans, The - Guerber, H.A.
Story of the Middle Ages, The - Guerber, H.A.
Story of the Renaissance and Reformation, The - Guerber, H.A.
TruthQuest History: Beginnings - Creation/Old Testament/Ancients/Egypt
TruthQuest History: Ancient Greece
TruthQuest History: Ancient Rome
TruthQuest History: Middle Ages
TruthQuest History: Renaissance, Reformation & Exploration
TruthQuest History: Age of Revolution I (America/Europe, 1600-1800)
TruthQuest History: Age of Revolution II (America/Europe, 1800-1865)
TruthQuest History: Age of Revolution III (America/Europe, 1865-2000)
World of Columbus and Sons - Foster, Genevieve

ART

Artistic Pursuits: Early Elementary Book 1
Artistic Pursuits: Early Elementary Book 2
Artistic Pursuits: Early Elementary Book 3
Artistic Pursuits: Elementary Book 1
Artistic Pursuits: Elementary Book 2
Getting to Know the World's Greatest Artists Series - Venezia, Mike *
Masterpiece: The World's Greatest Paintings Art Collection *


MUSIC

Guitar
Bridges Guitar Repertoire and Etudes Preparatory Level
Hal Leonard Guitar Method - Book 1
Hal Leonard Guitar Method - Book 2
Hal Leonard Guitar Method Easy Pop Melodies
Hal Leonard Guitar Method Easy Pop Rhythms
You're in the Band for Rhythm Guitar - Book 1 - Clo, Dave

Piano
4Him Songbook - Vocal/Piano
Ada Richter Piano Course, The - Book IV
Alfred's Piano Fun Book - Level 1A
Alfred's Piano Lesson Book - Level 1A
Alfred's Piano Fun Book - Level 1B
Alfred's Piano Lesson Book - Level 1B
Alfred's Piano Technic Book - Level 1B
Alfred's Piano Duet Book - Level 2
Alfred's Piano Lesson Book - Level 2
Alfred's Piano Solo Book - Level 2
Alfred's Piano Technic Book - Level 2
Alfred's Piano Theory Book - Level 2
Alfred's Piano Lesson Book - Level 6
Alfred's Piano Recital Book - Level 6
Bastien Duets for Fun - Book One
Bastien Piano Basics Performance Book - Level 2
Bastien Popular Christmas Songs - Level 2
Bastien Popular Christmas Songs - Level 3
Bastien Popular Christmas Songs - Level 4
Broadway Favorites - Kotwitz, Kenny
Colonial Keyboard Tunes - Darling, J.S.
David Car Glover An Adventure in Jazz - Book 1
David Car Glover An Adventure in Jazz - Book 2
David Car Glover Jazz [etc.] On 88 - Level Three
David Carr Glover Piano Student - Level 3
David Carr Glover Piano Repertoire - Level 3
David Carr Glover Piano Student - Level 4
Easy Piano: The Best Praise & Worship Songs Ever
Faber FunTime Piano Christmas - Level 3A-3B
Faber FunTime Piano Christmas - Level 4
Faber Piano Adventures Lesson Book - Level 3A
Faber Piano Adventures Performance Book - Level 3A
Faber Piano Adventures Theory Book - Level 3A
Faber Piano Adventures Lesson Book - Level 3B
Faber Piano Adventures Performance Book - Level 3B
Faber Piano Adventures Lesson Book - Level 4
Faber Piano Adventures Performance Book - Level 4
Faber Piano Adventures Theory Book - Level 4
Golden Era of Ragtime, The - Esposito, Tony
John Brimwell's Teaching Fingers How to Play Pops - Issue 1
John Thompson's Modern Course for the Piano - Teaching Little Fingers to Play
John Thompson's Modern Course for the Piano - The Fourth Grade Book
Leila Fletcher Piano Course, The - Book 2
Little Keyboard Book, A - Darling, J.S.
Michael Aaron Piano Primer for the Early-Age Beginner
Nutcracker for Easy Piano, The
Selections from Disney's Princess Collection Vol. 2
Steve & Annie Chapman Songbook
Technic is Fun: Preparatory Elementary B - Hirschberg, David

Voice
America's 200 Favorite Praise Choruses & Hymns - Kee, Ed & Sarah Huffman
Geography of the Voice - Obert, Kerrie B. & Steven R. Chicurel
Great Songs from Musicals for Teens: Young Women's Edition
Oliver! Sing-Along Vocal Selections
Teen's Musical Theatre Collection, The: Young Women's Edition - Lerch, Louise

History/Appreciation
Getting to Know the World's Greatest Composers Series - Venezia, Mike *
Music and Moments with the Masters - Year 1
Music and Moments with the Masters - Year 2
Music and Moments with the Masters - Year 3
Music and Moments with the Masters - Year 4
Stories of the Great Composers - Montgomery, June & Maurice Hinson

Other
Fireside Book of Children's Songs, The - Winn, Marie
Fireside Book of Fun and Game Songs, The - Winn, Marie
Heart of the Artist, The - Noland, Rory
Hymns for a Kid's Heart, Volume 1 - Wolgemuth, Bobbie & Joni Eareckson Tada
Kids Hymnal, The: 80 Songs & Hymns - Elkins, Stephen
Passion Hymns for a Kid's Heart - Wolgemuth, Bobbie & Joni Eareckson Tada
Usborne First Book of the Recorder, The *


FOREIGN LANGUAGES

Mango Languages *

LIFE SKILLS

Abeka Keyboarding and Document Processing
Basic Economics - Cleveland, Paul & Clarence Carson
Passport2Purity

HOME MANAGEMENT

Focus on the Family Complete Guide to Baby & Child Care
Girl's Guide to Home Skills, A (2 copies)
Lessons in Responsibility for Girls: Level One *
Little Keepers at Home Handbook (2 copies) 
Nanny Textbook, The: The Professional Nanny Guide to Child Care (2003) - Merchant, A.M.
Polly's Birth Book: Obstetrics for the Home - Block, Polly

HOMESCHOOL PARENT RESOURCES 

Biology of Behavior, The DVD Craft, Dianne
Better Late Than Early: A New Approach to Your Child's Education - Moore, Raymond S.
Blessed Is the Man - Coats. Lynda
Brain Integration Therapy Manual - Craft, Dianne
Children of Caesar, The: The State of America's Education DVD - Baucham, Dr. Voddie
Class Dismissed DVD
Complete College without Compromise, The - Wightman, Scott & Kris
Checklist, The: A Homeschool Curriculum Guide - Downes, Cindy *
Chucking College - Ellison, Melanie
Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling - Gatto, John Taylor
Far Above Rubies: Volume One - Coats. Lynda
Far Above Rubies: Volume Two - Coats. Lynda
For the Children's Sake - Macualay, Susan Schaeffer
Guerrilla Learning: How to Give Your Kids a Real Education... - Llewellyn, Grace
Homeschool: An American History - Gaither, M. 
Homeschooled Teens - Patterson, Sue
Homeschooling in America: Capturing and Assessing the Movement - Murphy, Joseph F.
Homeschool Made Simple DVD - Seid, Carole Joy
Indoctrination: Public Schools and the Decline of Christianity Book and DVD
Joy of Relationship Homeschooling, The - Campbell, Karen
Love the Journey: Homeschooling Principles and Practices - Somerville, Marcia
Senior High: A Home-Designed Form+U+La - Shelton, Barbara
Teaching from Rest: A Homeschooler's Guide to Unshakable Peace - Mackenzie, Sarah
Teaching the Right Brain Child Book and DVD - Craft, Dianne
They're YOUR Kids - Sorbo, Mrs. Sam
Underground History of American Education, The - Gatto, John Taylor
Weapons of Mass Instruction - Gatto, John Taylor
When You Rise Up: A Covenantal Approach to Homeschooling - Sproul Jr., R.C.

GENERAL PARENTING RESOURCES

8 Great Smarts - Koch, Dr. Kathy
Age of Opportunity: A Biblical Guide to Parenting Teens - Tripp, Paul David
Blessing of a Skinned Knee, The - Mogel, Wendy
Element, The: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything - Robinson, Ken
No More Perfect Kids - Savage, Jill & Dr. Kathy Koch
No More Perfect Moms - Savage, Jill
Raising Godly Tomatoes - Krueger, L. Elizabeth


NOTES

Some resource listings are marked with an asterisk (* or *) because they require a bit of explanation:
*****

  • BOOKS, BOOKS, AND MORE BOOKS!: I've always leaned toward the use of living books, so I've collected crates and crates of literature - everything from picture books for toddlers to unabridged, high-level classics - all stored for the girls to use. I'll also be buying several dozen more books over the next few years to add to the collection;
  • Berean Builders: Book 5: This book has not yet been published, but will likely come out to complete the series in Spring 2017;
  • New Inductive Study Series, The: Kay Arthur has written 31 New Inductive study guides, covering every book of the Bible. I have four so far, which I've been using in my personal Bible study, and will continue to add to the collection until I have them all;
  • Answers Magazine and Creation Illustrated Magazine: We've been subscribing to each of these magazines for a number of years. They do not contain time-sensitive content so I can save and pass on what we collect for as long as we subscribe;
  • WORLD Magazine: WORLD is also a magazine subscription, but its content is time-sensitive, so saving old issues wouldn't be helpful. If the magazine is still being published when the girls have families, I'll encourage them to subscribe; alternately, perhaps I'll purchase annual gift subscriptions for each family;
  • Mango Languages: This is a monthly online subscription program. The girls will have to purchase Mango on their own if it still exists when they need foreign language resources;
  • Masterpiece: The World's Greatest Paintings Art Collection: This is a collection of over 350 high-quality reproductions of various paintings, along with detailed notes about each artist and work. It was formerly published by International Masters Publishers (IMP) - given to us as a monthly gift subscription by my in-laws - but it now appears to be out of print.

*****

  • City Creek PressThe Usborne First Book of the Recorder and The Checklist: I purchased these resources several years ago, and I found them quite useful so I want to keep them for the girls. However, in recent years, all three publishers have chosen to correlate their materials to the common core standards (CCS). Because I cannot in good conscience promote anything with a connection to the CCS, I can no longer recommend them to others and suggest attempting to find something similar from non-CCS vendors and/or to purchase them on the used book market;
  • Book Projects to Send Home: These books are published by a subsidiary of Carson-Dellosa, which is actively aligning its resources to the CCS. I do not recommend purchasing any post-2009 Carson-Dellosa affiliated products, but these books were written in 2004, have not been updated since (and, thus, cannot contain CCS content), and appear to be available only on the used book market, if at all;
  • Getting to Know Series: Mike Venezia's books are published by Scholastic, which is actively aligning many of its products to the CCS. The company has not currently altered or correlated Mr. Venezia's books to common core and has no plans to do so, but it may be best to seek out pre-2010 editions on the used book market;
  • Our Presidents Rock, Our Constitution Rocks, and Lessons in Responsibility for Girls: Level One: I have attempted to learn each author's stance on the CCS. However, they have not replied to my queries so I cannot guarantee that these resources currently remain independent of the initiative. 
*****
I still can't really believe the task is done! While I'm certainly not in a hurry for my girls to leave the nest, I know I can't stop their growing-up process. So before I know it, there will be weddings to help plan and babies to celebrate. And I'm really glad I can offer this homeschooling trousseau as my gift to the girls and their families.
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