Wednesday, January 23, 2008

All those books!

A Beka. Sonlight. Christian Liberty Press. Apologia. And, of course, there is But which books do I buy??? And how do I know what I’m supposed to buy? These were the challenges I faced when I started this venture.

The first step was to figure out what subjects I’ll be teaching. Because I want to finish out much of what Jacob is currently taking in tenth grade of his public school, I’ve decided on:

Global History
Spanish I

Buying the Geometry book was rather simple: I ordered what Marcia uses at the homeschool center since she will be teaching him - Geometry, Second Edition, by Harold R. Jacobs. She gave me the link, and I found the book used on along with the teacher’s text. That set me back about $35 each, or a total of $75.

Biology. I went with Marcia’s suggestion and got the Apologia textbook, Exploring Creation with Biology, 2nd Edition, and the Solutions and Tests that goes with it. During that first long phone conversation, Marcia had said that the Apologia books were written in a conversational style and that students liked them. On top of that, the labs were simple and geared towards home study. I ordered the CD as well. The three items were $87.

For English, I’ll both have Jacob read some of the classics and some Christian books about missionaries. I’ve read quite a few of them, so I can pick out the ones that are well written. And I’ll have him do some vocabulary-building exercises. Maybe even put grammar in there somewhere. And, of course, have him write essays. Oh, he’ll really be annoyed, but I love English and he is weak in it. On, under the tenth grade curriculum I found a vocabulary-building book called Wordly Wise 3000. There is a Wordly Wise book for each grade level along with a test booklet with answer key, and they’re only $9.99 each. I bought a set for grade 10, and then because Nita said that these books were hard, another set for grade 9. Maybe I’ll start Jacob in grade 9 instead of ten, if his ego can take that.

Global History. For now, I’m planning on sticking with the book Jacob currently uses – World History: Patterns of Interaction. The school let me keep it through the end of the school year. It even has questions at the end of each section, though if I can’t find a teacher’s guide, I’ll have to read the text myself and see whether he’s answered the questions correctly. It’ll be a bit of work. And how will I test him? Well, I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it. Maybe I’ll find a teacher’s guide, but I haven’t looked for one yet.

Spanish. I didn’t get anything because I have no idea what to do about Spanish! Nita offered to teach Jacob, but we haven’t finalized anything. She seems to always be going in two directions at once, so I’m not sure how it would work out to have her teach. And I can’t do it; I studied French…35 years ago. OK, one thing at a time.

For music, Jacob will simply continue with his piano lessons, but spend much more time practicing that in the past. No text needed here. It’s kind of like taking orchestra. He’ll have a year-end recital. Maybe even play at a nursing home with his sisters.

The Health is a half-year requirement, so I thought I’d teach it now and get it out of the way. Jacob had been taking computer programming as an elective, and I know I can’t teach that! Although Marcia told me that she never used a textbook for Health and Nita hasn’t gotten around to teaching Health at a high school level, I like the formality of a good book that contains all the information in one place. I found what looks like a good book on just by looking around. It's called Total Health. I also bought the teacher's edition, and the test and quiz master book. They were $35, $35, and $20 - another $90.

I didn’t find all these books on the same day. I’ve been ordering and ordering. And they’ve slowly been showing up at my house.

Now we need a new bookcase for them all.


Anonymous said...

If you are interested in homeschooling computer programming, check out Just BASIC. It's completely free, and it contains an easy to use tutorial. It also has a large friendly online community forum.

Also take a look at Run BASIC. It is a version of BASIC you can use for free at When you go to that site look at the Learn tab for some starter lessons.

The Reluctant Homeschooler said...

Thanks for that information. I will check it out! There certainly is a lot of information out there, though some of us newbies don't know where to look yet. In time...

What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal.”
— Albert Pike, Scottish Rite Freemason (1809-1891)