Homeschool Books and Materials: Singapore Math to Memoria Press

I opened the door to my daughter’s room Friday morning, camera in hand, to tell her that she needed to help me get some pictures for my blog, and this is what I saw, just inside her door:

We’re not taking dowry offers yet, so don’t even ask.

Anyway, my idea was to use the blog to answer the question that I so often am asked,
“What do you use for homeschool books and materials?”
I told the kids to gather up their main schoolbooks, and anything else they’d like to show you all, and then we’d take some pictures. So here we go…

My sixth-grader spent the first half of this year studying ancient and classical history, using Dorothy Mills’ Book of the Ancient World, then Story of the Greeks (Guerber), and Famous Men of Rome. He’s now doing a whirlwind review of the rest of world history, which will end with A Little History of the World, by E.H. Gombrich.

For literature, he is reading through Bulfinch’s Mythology, and The Book of Virtues. Earlier this year, we studied and then watched Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. He has also read, on his own, great reads such as The Lord of the Rings trilogy, GA Henty books, and, right now, Hitler, by Albert Marrin.

He’s just begun to use the Life of Fred series for math, and it has turned my math-hater into a math-lover. For English, we use Rod and Staff’s series, grade 5, and Spelling Wisdom, by Sonya Shafer.

Our Latin program is new, put out by Memoria Press, called First Form Latin. We are learning together; we each have our own workbooks, and I take the test every Friday, just like he does.

In science this year, he is doing a bunch of sustainability projects. The program is through the homeschool company WinterPromise. It’s been really great, but it was written for an older child, or for one who is a lot more interested in science than my oldest one is, so we’ve had to monitor and adjust a lot. There have been enough rewarding experiences that it’s been worth it.

This Friday, he baked an apple in his newly-made solar oven. Here, he checks the temperatures of two different focal points:

My daughter is studying Greece and Rome this year, using the same books that her brother used last semester, along with Veritas Press’s history cards. Memoria Press puts out workbooks for her Latin (Latina Christiana I), and her literature (D’Aulaire’s Greek Myths), and her Bible study (Christian Studies I).

She uses Rod and Staff English, grade 4, and the aforementioned Spelling Wisdom, and loves both of them. She’s not quite as fond of her Singapore Math.

We only have one of Apologia’s books, Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day, and she is using it this year for her science studies, along with their optional workbook.

My first grader is just beginning his first year of Latin, a baby-steps program Prima Latina, that will prepare him to use his sister’s book next year. He’s still working on becoming a fluent reader, so I have him read lots of books, just easy stuff that we have around the house. My whole goal for the beginning years of school is to see to it that a child can read to learn on his own, so he reads. Lots.

I’m using Christian Liberty Press’s materials for English for the first time this year, both their phonics and spelling, for first grade. He howls almost daily about this, but it gets the job done, fairly efficiently. (If anyone has a better idea, let me know. My son would love you for life.) We use their Nature Readers, too, and like them. Our math, again, is Singapore. It’s a perfect fit for him, fast-moving and challenging, and not too much repetition. No howling there.

History is sort of tricky at this age. He’s not mature enough for the studies the older two are doing, but his mind is lively, and he needs to do something. Evan-Moore’s History Pockets are perfect. Good information, at his level, and fun activities that don’t involve a lot of materials that I might not have. He’s doing Ancient Civilizations. He is now studying the Greeks, and reading Usborne Greek Myths, which happens to be what his sister is studying right now, too. She joined him in putting on a Greek play on Friday.

My little guy’s drive and focus extend into his schooling time, which means he’s easy to teach, if I don’t interrupt him when he’s working on something else. He is beginning reading and writing with Memoria Press’s brand-new First Start Reading. It’s the phonics program of my dreams. Wish they’d had it when I first started teaching, seven years ago. I also teach with my old tried-and-true AlphaPhonics, making up sentences as we go for him to read. Once he learned to write all his numbers, I started him on Miquon math. We go through it very slowly, and I only use the first book before we start Singapore, maybe next year.

We’re almost done with Rod and Staff’s Bible stories, with the corresponding coloring book, and then I’m not sure what we’ll do after that.

The older kids each read a story to their little brother every day, and I read fables and fairy tales to him. He is also using an Evan-Moore pocket book: Mother Goose. Here he shows off two of his creations from the book:

My oldest thought it would be a good idea to have you all join us in our Latin lessons. He chose the first two words for you to learn:

He’s a good brother/son, for sure.
Do you think we’re looking at the future here? Should I call him The Professor?

For next week: Real-Life Homeschooling

20 Responses to “Homeschool Books and Materials: Singapore Math to Memoria Press”
  1. mom says:

    Oh, Julie, it makes me want to go back and do it all over again! It all seems so ALIVE. Thanks for the post…. and pictures of the kids.

  2. It looks like you have so much fun! That solar oven is pretty awesome. I’m tucking away this list of resources for future years. I’m curious how you chose what to use. I’d love to hear your comparisons of math curricula, for example, as I don’t know what distinguishes one from another.

  3. Shelly says:

    Some familiar things and many new things- an ever changing world of homeschool materials. I echo your mother’s words- I want to start all over and layer up all the new things that could be learned. Won’t eternity be fun? and can I live in the loft with you guys? 🙂 Looks like you’re lighting fires of learning- what a treasure. Thanks for the pics of your kids, I enjoyed that. Blessings

    • Julie says:

      You are a part of the path that lead me to homeschooling. Thanks for lighting the way!

  4. Courtney says:

    Love this post, Juile! We are still undecided at this point, but the more I research, I think I would love to honeschool part time and find a Christian based co-op as well. But, who knows? I still have a few years to think about it. I can’t wait to read your future posts on the topic!

    • Julie says:

      Homeschooling has been a really fun journey. It took us a while to figure out what works for our family, and I’ve learned far more than the kids have in the process. I’d love to hear more from you as you explore you options.

  5. Karen Wolfe says:

    Julie and all,

    I surely could use your prayers as I have once again entered the home school arena with my 13- and 14-year-old sons. How I wish they were more teachable, and had a love of learning!

  6. Grandma Sing says:

    You shared so much and it is very exciting to see the kids enjoying the activities. Thanks for all your hard work.

  7. Annie says:

    Hey Julie! I absolutely love, love, LOVE your post. Your pictures make my heart absolutely sick to be there with you. I really need a “Julie’s House” fix. I’m so glad you’re such a book-finder so that I can ride on your hard work when I start teaching my little ones. I would say “just kidding”, but I’m not! 🙂 HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Julie says:

      Book-finder? I’m sure I don’t know what you’re talking about! 😉
      I’d love to share with you, and I can hardly wait to see that little one.

  8. Anne Galivan says:

    Awesome stuff! Came over from the Hip Homeschool Hop.

    • Julie says:

      Thanks for the link, Anne. I really enjoyed reading your blog. You’ve got lots of helpful information.

  9. Mary says:

    Love all the book pictures!! What a great idea. I may do that at the start of our new school year 🙂


    • Julie says:

      We took a LOT of pictures before we managed to cram all those books in! I see you have some great curriculum reviews on your site. Thanks for posting them!

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