Language Arts History Science Math Art Bible Music
Grades 1 through 6: Our Favorite Publishers (by Subject)

While we used to be a one-stop shopping webstore, we ultimately decided to focus on the things that we do best: elementary achievement testing, curriculum development, and evaluation services. So we dropped the bulk of our inventory. Many people shop on Amazon or anyway, both of which provide you with the best deals you can find.

But while we quit carrying the products, that doesn’t mean that we don’t still have favorites. So while we’re not giving you chapter and verse, we are telling you who we like in different areas and why, as well as some general principles:

(1) Don’t feel locked into any one publisher’s program.
(2) Feel free to pick and choose in each area, and get the materials that are suited for your student (and that may vary from student to student).
(3) We recommend teaching language arts and math on grade-level, but for everything else try to get multi-grade teaching materials.
(4) Familiarize yourself with Charlotte Mason’s concepts.
(5) Remember to include work and service along with academics.
(6) Consider the whole student.

Language Arts
Until we get our Elementary Lightning Lit completed (we’re doing one grade per year, and as of the summer of 2014 we’ll be through Grade 2). We will be field testing Grade 3 from the fall of 2014 through spring of 2015. We recommend using Write Source ( They have wonderful handbooks that are easily adaptable to a writing curriculum. The older versions covered one, two, or three years. We still wouldn’t buy each grade, but pick one that will last a year or two. Their skills books provide a well-balanced grammar study that’s easy to use and grade. Guide your student through each type of writing.

Winston Grammar does a great job of teaching parts of speech, but it doesn’t cover other grammatical issues. It is a great preparation for studying a foreign language, just as diagramming is. Some moms like Rod & Staff grammar, Analytical Grammar, and First Language Lessons.

For literature and composition we like the Jamestown “Best” books for grades 5 and 6 (you can find these on our website).

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Of all the product lines we recommend, this is our favorite. Russ and Rea Berg have given one of the greatest gifts to the home-schooling community that we have ever seen. Currently, Beautiful Feet Books has guides for Ancient History, Early American History, Medieval History, a History of Science, a History of Music, Western Expansion, US & World, Geography, a History of the Horse, Character, and a History of California.

The Geography Through Literature study guide and map set which accompanies the Holling Clancy Holling books Paddle-to-the-Sea, Tree-inthe- Trail, Seabird, and Minn of the Mississippi is one of our favorites. Make sure that somewhere between third and sixth grade you take this year-long course! You won’t regret it.

Beautiful Feet has chosen to cover American History in the primary grades. Children understand best what they’re familiar with. Starting in junior high, BF adds the other historic periods from ancient to medieval. From everything we’ve heard, children that study with Beautiful Feet books learn to love history - not dread it.

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For science, there are two programs that we like. For elementary we like Gravitas ( and for junior high and above we like Apologia (

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For years we have endorsed Saxon Math. We’re not sure where they’re going content-wise now that Pearson owns them. Many of our enrolled students like Teaching Textbooks. Find what works best for your student. For tactile children, Making Math Meaningful, may be a good choice.

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Discovering Great Artists and Great American Artists for Kids (PreK– Grade 7)
Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain, and Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain Workbook by Betty Edwards (teens+)
Drawing with Children by Mona Brookes (all ages)
Drawing Textbook by Bruce McIntyre (all ages)
Mudworks by MaryAnn Kohl
Scribble Art (or Scribble Cookies) by MaryAnn Kohl

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The Hidden Treasures in the Gospels: Jesus Our Savior and Friend by Evelyn Wheeler (Gr 4–6)
The Hidden Treasures in Philippians by Evelyn Wheeler (Gr 4–6)
What the Bible Is All About for Kids: Bible Handbook for Kids by Henrietta Mears (Every family with children should own this.)

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from Alfred Publishing My First Patriotic Recorder (Gr 2 –6)
Stories of the Great Composers (Gr 1–3)
Meet the Great Composers (Gr 4–8)

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Helpful Websites
Find Write Source at
Find Spelling Plus at
Find Saxon at
Find Beautiful Feet History at
Find Gravitas at
Find Teaching Textbooks at

Price-wise, and are your best bets. Alibris and eBay are good choices for used books.

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