Recommended websites, games and books

Some of the very best

MACHE   Minnesota Association of Christian Home Educators; MACHE has great homeschool resources and helpful articles available on their website. I highly encourage you to attend their annual conference in April.

 

portrait5HSLDA  Home School Legal Defense Association; a homeschool organization that helps homeschool families with legal issues as well as many other aspects of home educating their children.

 

National Home Education Research Institute (NHERI)  **see the latest NHERI report on research about homeschooling

 

Smoothing the Way  Mary James; a course for those just getting started in homeschooling

 

Cathy Duffy’s curriculum reviews:  great curriculum reviews written by a veteran homeschooler

 

Let’s Homeschool High School: Transcript Template

 

Building Your Own Curriculum: Facebook Group

 

Credits Before College—Cheri Frame  Cheri’s emphasis is on getting college credit using the CLEP program, but she also has great info on many aspects of homeschooling through high school and getting college credits inexpensively. Cheri also offers Career Direct Assessments.

 

Cultivated Lives—Heather Haupt  Heather is a homeschool mom, speaker and bloggerq

Career/Personality Testing with Career Direct  

Village School of the Bible:   Provides a deep and thorough study of God’s Word plus college credit as well.  For high school students and above.  http://villageschoolsofthebible.org/

Sparknotes:  A great resource for information and a quick overview of many subjects and pieces of literature.

Jesusonline.com: A resource for free Bible studies and discipleship material to help you disciple your children to know and love the Lord.

Recommended Games for Learning

Language Arts:

 

Some wonderful games for developing reading readiness skills are: (these may contain affiliate links)

Peaceable Kingdom Alphabet Go Fish Letter Matching Card Game - 52 Cards with Box

Here are some games for developing phonics, reading and spelling skills:

Bananagrams WildTiles Vocabulary Building and Spelling Improvement Lettered Tile Game for Ages 7 and Up

ThinkFun Zingo Sight Words Early Reading Game

  • Quiddler (ages 8-adult, includes solitaire version)

Once our children are fluent readers there are some fun games for the older child that continue to build language arts skills:

Taboo Board Game

Early Math Skill Games:

  • Candyland  This classicis fors  for ages 3-6 and helps teach colors as well as building fine motor skills for little ones. It’s a great introduction to games!
  • Chutes & Ladders  Another classic game for preschoolers up to age 7 that helps children learn to play games while building basic counting skills. 
  • Snakes & Ladders  Another classic game for kids that helps reinforce counting and numbers learning. For ages 6+. this version is magnetic so it’s great for on the go learning! 
  • Hungry Hungry Hippos  Another great preschool to early elementary age game that’s wild and crazy but helps kids learn to count!

Elementary math skills:

Math Marks the Spot:  for ages 5+ to teach number recognition, colors, adding and subtraction

  • Snap-it Up Math  In this fast-paced game, players pick and pass numbers as fast as they can, using adding and subtracting as they do. Great for ages 6+.
  • Sum Swamp Addition & Subtraction  Imagine hiking through a swampy path using math skills such as adding and subtracting to find your way! Great for ages 5+.
  • Roll-a-dollar (money game)  Using die with coin amounts on them you shake and try to earn a dollar!   Player shakes 4 dice at a time, and they get 2 rolls per turn –  if  they don’t reach a dollar, no points earned. One point for every time you reach a dollar on a turn. 20 points wins! You can also use the die to match what’s on the die with actual money to learn money value. 
  • Dino Math Tracks If you have a child that loves dinosaurs, this game is for you! It teaches place value, counting, addition, and subtraction for children ages 6+.
  • Smath  Playing crossword with numbers for ages 6+.  Great for learning addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. 
  • Uno  Earn points from others players when you go out first. Teaches matching, colors, numbers and strategy for ages 7+.
  • Skip-O  One of my all-time favorites because I played it with my grandma, teaches number order and strategy, for ages 7+.
  • NMBR9 (ages 8+ – strengthens adding, multiplication skills, plus critical thinking skills & spatial recognition)          

 

 

  • Math War (deck of cards without face cards, each layer turns over 2 cards, adds them together, whoever has highest points gets all the cards for that round)

 

  • Dominoes (child makes up problems as they put the dominoes together) Double Six Professional Dominoes - White with Black Dots, Case Color May Very
  • Right Start Math – A math curriculum for the hands on learner that has a wide variety of games

 

 

 

  • Dragonwood a game with dice for ages 8+ a fun way to practice basic math skills

 

  • Sushi-go  A fun game for 8+-year-olds that reinforces probability, strategic thinking, and visual discrimination

Act Your Wage (Dave Ramsey) – a great way to teach your kids money management and budgeting for ages 10+.

Online Math games:

Logic/Strategy Games

  • Rush Hour – (ages 8+) helps with critical thinking, reasoning and planning skills, and judgment skills, recommended by vision therapist also
  • Tip Over– (ages 8+) teaches critical thinking, problem-solving and strategy development

  • Clue – (ages 8+) problem-solving skills  
  • Outfoxed – a cooperative game for ages 5+, 2-4 players

 

  • Catan ages 8+, 3-4 players, strategy, problem-solving, planning 

 

  •  Village – ages 12+, great for building planning, strategy skills 

 

  • 7 Wonders – ages 10+, 3-7 players, critical thinking skills, strategy skills 

 

  • Istanbul – ages 10+, critical thinking skills, strategy skills  

 

  • Race to the Treasure – ages 5+, 2-4 players, a cooperative game where players  work together to beat the ogre to the treasure

  • Chess – ages 6+, a classic strategy game

  • Quirkle – ages 6+, sorting, counting, patterns, stacking, spacial recognition, planning, and problem-solving skills. 

 

  • Quixx – ages 8+, 2-5 players, reinforces probability, mat, and strategic thinking 

 

  • Carcassone – ages 8+, 2-5 players, strategy, planning skills

  • Goblet Gobblers – ages 5+, 2 players, strategy game 
  • Blokus – ages 7+, 2-4 players, a great strategy game for the whole family 

Geography Games

  • Risk – ages 10+, 2-5 players, strategy skills  

 

  • Ticket to Ride – ages 7+, 2-5 players, fun game for the family, strategy building skills, planning skills (cities are not always in exactly the correct geographical location)

Days of Wonder Ticket To Ride

  • Hit the Habitat Trail – ages 8+, 2-6 players, features the habitats of the world – knowledge cards ask wonderful questions and give the answers too! Wisdom cards tell the hazards to the environment.

Stack the States

 

 

Phy-ed/Break Games

Fitivities – ages 6+, 2-24 players, fitness games for the family or co-op class, great fun!

Bean Bag Toss – Triumph 2-in-1 Three-Hole Bags and Washer Toss Combo with Two Game Platforms Featuring On-Board Scoring, Six Square Toss Bags, and Six Washers

Twister  –  ages 6+, fun team building game. Add a TWIST: using foam circles, write letters or numbers on them, then lay them out on the floor and call out not just the color and whether it’s the right or left hand or right or left foot, but also the letter or number they need to put it on)

Twister Ultimate Game

Other fun educational games or games you can modify to fit your subject learned:

 Memory Game – for all ages, make your own game using index cards. Write words or draw pictures of things you want your kids to memorize, make 2 of every card. You can use this for working on letters, sight words, numbers, addition problems (make one card with an addition problem and another with the answer), etc.  Place all the cards face down on the table, take turns turning over two each, looking for matches. When you get a match, you go again. The person with the most matches at the end of the game wins.

Go Fish – for all ages, make this game like the Memory game above (you can use the cards for either of these games). Deal out 7 cards to each player and set the rest of the cards in the middle for a draw pile. Then player #1 asks another player if they have the match to one of their cards. If the player they ask doesn’t have the match, they say “go fish”, and player #1 draws a card from the draw pile. Next player #2 asks another player if they have the match to one of his cards, and if they do, they must give it to player #2. If a match is found, then player #2 goes again until he has to “go fish”.  The play continues on until all the cards are gone, the player with the most matches wins.

Sidewalk chalk – for all ages, use sidewalk chalk to make games on the sidewalk such as hopscotch or to write letters or numbers or draw pictures.

Pictionary – team game, ages 8+, drawing skills, thinking skills

The Game of Life – ages 8+, great game to understand what life is like, full of surprises

Horseopoly – ages 8+, 2-6 players, great for those who love horses

Animal Tracks –  ages 5+, 2 or more players, learn about animal tracks by matching the animal to their tracks

 

 

 

Other Fun Games to Play as a Family…

Bible Trivia – ages 7+, 2-4 players or teams

Pop the Pig – ages 4+, 2-6 players, silly but fun!

Big Bingo Bundle – ages 6+, a fun way to learn core alphabet, number, object, and arithmetic skills. Develops memory, listening, literacy and matching skills.

Skippety – ages 5+, 2-4 players, Skippity is the perfect game to hone player’s tactical maneuvers, strategical planning, and forward thinking. 

Ocean Raiders –  math game for grades 1 and above, addition skills, 2-4 players

Rack-O – ages 8+, 2-4 players

Pit – ages 7+, 3-8 players, a fast-paced, loud game that will thrill the whole family

Winning Moves Games Deluxe Pit

Othello – ages 7+, 2 player, strategy

Rat-a-tat Cat – 2-6 players, children’s card game that helps develop timing and basic mathematical concept and teaches strategy, memory building, and addition.

Taboo – ages 13+, 4+ players, fun word game

Professor Noggins Educational Trivia games – several versions: History of the World, Wonders of Science, Human Body, Insects and Spiders, Wonders of the World, Ancient Civilizations, American Revolutions, Presidents of the US, Civil War, Reptiles and Amphibians, Earth Science, Countries of the World, North American Wildlife, Safari Wildlife, History of Art, Horses, Birds of America, Medieval times. Farm, Baseball, Outer Space, & History of the US

Forbidden Island – ages 10+, 2-4 players, Strategic thinking, problem-solving and cooperation required

Uno game ages 7+, 2-10 players

Battleship – ages 7+, 2 players, strategy game

Battleship Board Game with Planes, Ages 7 and up (Amazon Exclusive)

 

NMBR9 – a fun game for 1-4 players, math skills

Nmbr 9

Azul – a fun game of strategy and planning, ages 8+, 2-4 players

HexHive – ages 8+, single player

 

Recommended reading for the home school parent

The Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling
     by Debra Bell

    A great book for those just getting started in home education.

 

Charlotte Mason Companion
     for those interested in learning more about the Charlotte Mason approach to education.

 

Educating the Wholehearted Child
     by Clay & Sally Clarkson

     Excellent resource for home educators with a lot of helpful information.

 

The Three R’s
     by Ruth Beechick

     A simple but very helpful book that helps set the overall goals of teaching the “three R’s.”

 

Homeschooling at the Speed of Life
     by Marilyn Rockett

     A helpful book for learning how to set priorities in your homeschooling.

 

The Way They Learn
     by Cynthia Tobias
     A great book on learning styles.

 

The Christian Homeschool
     by Gregg Harris
A great resource to understand homeschooling; Contains a chapter on Delight Directed Studies.

 

Shepherding a Child’s Heart
     by Tedd Tripp

     Teaches the importance of looking at the root issues of the heart when disciplining.