Thursday, August 18, 2011

Book Titles I Recommend

On a friend's blog, The Mom mentions some books she loves and recommends.  I thought I might do the same.  (I know copy cat).  But she had a very good idea.

I like Hooked on Phonics.  I have taught four children to read with this program and I love it.  However, it can be very expensive.  I have used the same books and tapes for all four kids so it was a good investment for me, seeing that number five is now using the 10 year old books.  My friend, The Mom, recommends Teaching Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons.  I have seen it at the library, but I have never tried it.  I didn't know about this program before I stared with HOP.  Free is good!

I love Singapore Math.  Last year was the first year I used their Kindergarten math with the Aesop's Fables books.  Loved it.  It was fun and engaging.  Stories and Math (not unlike the Mom's recommendation of Five in a Row for Preschoolers) together is engaging for that grade level.  My son loved it.

When it comes to Junior High and High School we now switch to Life of Fred.  My oldest took Beginning Algebra (Algebra I) in 8th grade, my second son in 9th.  This series is humorous and engaging, and almost self-teaching.  With minimal help from mom, my oldest has aced math up through Trigonometry.  Stan Schmidt (the author of the series) was a college math teacher and developed this series after he saw the deficiencies in the public school systems methods of teaching math.  He was also a protestant minister at one time, so he has employed Christian principles in the stores without being overtly Christian.  IOW, anyone can use them.  I cracked up one time when I read a negative review of his books because he mentions Fred, who is 6 entering a bar.  The writer was quite offended.  However, she apparently didn't read the story very thoroughly because it was a JUICE bar.   (Note:  I am happy to see that Mr. Schmidt is now developing more Life of Fred Books for the younger grades.  I look forward to looking at them and perhaps getting them for my younger ones.) 

We use the Faith and Life Series for religious education up through 8th grade.  While I also have my children read various saints stories and we try to do fun crafts and activities tied to the Church year, the material is solid and engaging.  It is thoroughly Catholic and the kids actually have a solid foundation in their Faith.  We use the texts and the activity books.  I use the teacher's resource manual but it is not strictly necessary for home use.  We use Fr. Laux High School series later on.  Plus, The Catholic Catechism by Fr. Hardon, the current Catechism of the Catholic Church, and various other recommendations by Kolbe Academy Homeschool for High School Theology. 

I will add to this as I have time in the coming week with History and English.


aka the Mom said...

I love Faith and Life. I don't know how I left it off the list.

Our new parish uses it for RE. That along with their refusal to let the Girl Scouts in but have Little Flower and American Heritage Girls instead has me hopeful. I'm still not comfortable with the bongo drums.

cathmom5 said...

I talked our DRE into using F&L last year for my second grade class. This year all the classes (1st-6th grades) are using it! I am sooooo happy. What really clinched the decision was Archbishop Coakley's endorsement of F&L online.

I am so glad to hear they do not have G.S. at your parish. Little Flowers is wonderful. I've read about American Heritage girls. I believe it is/was protestant, but it seems to be a solid Christian program for girls.

I know what you mean about the drums. There are still on or two songs (they're not hymns) I refuse to sing at Mass.

God bless Texas. ;-)

cathmom5 said...

P.S. I hope you didn't mind me copying your idea.

kkollwitz said...

I got good results with Hooked on Phonics as well.