It’s time to plan for the new school year!
With more than 450 classes for grades PreK-12, in every subject you can imagine (and you few you probably wouldn’t even think of), we consider SchoolhouseTeachers.com to be our most flexible and affordable choice for delight-directed learning, electives, high school prep, enrichment, and core classes. It also is classified as a COMPLETE CURRICULUM for grades K-12. For one low monthly or yearly price, you can homeschool your entire family (and that price never changes as long as you maintain a membership). They have frequent sales and I have a coupon code (BENANDME) you can use anytime for a huge discount on the monthly membership.
Never in my wildest imagination did I think we would fall in love with BJU Press. In the past, I’ve been sort of anti- “textbook” learning. But when I went looking for a biblical worldview curriculum for high school and discovered Biblical Worldview from BJU Press, it changed everything. In fact, to finish out high school, we have added Economics, Government, and Spanish as well, because these 3 courses also include a “distance learning” option (video-based lectures) that I think will greatly benefit Ben. If you’re looking for a strong biblical worldview curriculum with or without a video component, check out what BJU Press has to offer.
Compass Classroom impressed us from the beginning when we were first introduced to Word Up and Visual Latin during Ben’s late elementary years. Since that time we have happily incorporating many of there video courses into our homeschool, include Dave Raymond’s History Series and Economics for Everybody. You can download FREE LESSONS for pretty much any course you’re interested in! And if you want it all, they have a membership program where you can get everything for a low monthly price. If you are new to homeschooling, I highly recommend a tour with Homeschool Made Simple before you begin buying any curriculum.
Unit studies have long been the staple of our homeschool. Still today we often homeschool topics using this method. When you are looking for pre-written unit studies, don’t overlook UnitStudy.com (formerly Unit Studies by Amanda Bennett). With options for grades K-12, in many subjects from science, history, and geography to foods and holidays, you can use these resources to homeschool all of your children at once in a fun and interesting way that will serve most any learning style well. They run weekly specials most every week, and here’s a hint for you. If you check back each week and make purchases during these specials, you can quickly amass quite a collection of unit studies at killer prices.
Another of our favorite homeschool companies, Writing with Sharon Watson publishes both fiction writing and nonfiction writing curriculum for high school students, designed to fully prepare your students for college-level writing. We will be using these resources during Ben’s final years of high school. But for now, we are excited to be using their latest resource, Illuminating Literature: When Worlds Collide, a literature course also written for high school students. Illuminating Literature. This course combines 8 books — covering apologetics, classics, and modern literature — into a biblical worldview course that I feel confident will help Ben to develop the ability to discern anything he reads in the future. You can try the first two lessons free here.
One of the most solid writing programs available to homeschoolers, I wish I had discovered it when Ben was younger so we could have always used it. But we didn’t discover it until Ben was ready for WriteShop 1 & 2. However, I have reviewed several levels and last year helped the owner of the company with her booth at a homeschool convention. I was so touched (and impressed) when parent after parent stopped by to share how using WriteShop had changed their writing-reluctant students into wonderful writers. A few students even came by for the honor of meeting (and getting a picture with) the person who had helped them greatly improve their writing skills. Whatever the grades of your children, from K to middle/high school, if you’re looking for a common sense approach to teaching writing, I highly recommend this company. Be sure to visit their blog for tons of FREE writing prompts.
And because I couldn’t stop at 10 . . . here’s a bonus company that you may not have even heard of, but that you’ll want to know about if you are homeschooling high school.
When searching for high school electives especially, you’ll want to take a peek at 7Sisters Homeschool. With courses in everything from Psychology and Financial Literacy to Philosophy and Early Childhood Development, as well as English, Speech, and Drama, these courses are well designed and customizable for every level of ability — even advanced learners. They also have a fantastic blog with all kinds of helpful instruction and encouragement for homeschooling high school, as well as a fun and informational podcast. If you’re just starting to homeschool high school, be sure to grab their free course on homeschooling high school.
Five More Top Homeschool Companies
Okay . . . so let’s say I was going to expand this selection to my Top 15 Homeschool Companies. Which companies would I add? Off the top of my head, they would include:
Five in a Row – For those of you teaching young students, grades Pre-K to 3, start here. I still have all of my manuals from Ben’s early homeschool years. I hope to use them with my grandchildren some day! Add Ruth Beechick’s The Three R’s book and you’ll have everything you need to get started homeschooling your little ones.
Northwest Treasures – This company should probably be in our top 10, but I’m not sure who to boot down the list to make room. Their earth science courses were some of Ben’s favorites in middle and early high school. Their geology kits are amazing and make science hands on without being gross.
Notgrass History – If you’re looking for biblical worldview history, especially in middle school, we recommend Notgrass. America the Beautiful stands as a favorite to this day. Also, be sure to check out Notgrass’ membership site – HomeschoolHistory.com. This membership sites provides history-related videos, websites, games, and more to enrich your history studies.
Pilgrim Institute – Suprise! Another history recommendation (can you tell Ben LOVES history?). My recommendations from this company include their history for younger kids – Mighty Works of God – as well as a video course for both high schoolers and adults – Restoring America’s Biblical Foundations. If you are looking for history that focuses on biblical principles (Principle Approach method), don’t miss this one.
Okay, that covers most any homeschool curriculum company we would typically recommend. Is it an exhaustive list? Probably not. So if you don’t see exactly what you’re looking for, reach out. Tell me what it is you are looking for and maybe I can help. Over my years of homeschooling I have looked at and reviewed A LOT of curriculum!