100 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum

A little while ago on one of my email lists someone new to homeschooling was asking for advice about curriculum. I responded and part of my response was to recommend 2 different books that I  remembered liking. I even went to Amazon to read the description to make sure that I remembered the books right and then decided I should reread them so I put them on hold at our library. The first book was 100 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum by Cathy Duffy.

What I remembered liking about this book was the very first section where she talks you through establishing your “philosophy of education”, what you want your children to learn, and how you want your homeschool to work. She also has a great section on different approaches to education (examples: children working as independently as possible, highly structured resources that tell the parent what to say and exactly what the children should be doing) and then once you answer all these questions about your approaches you can add up the scores and see what styles would fit you best: Charlotte Mason, Unit Study, Unschooling, Classical, etc…

The next section is about figuring out your children’s learning styles and your teaching styles. After you figure out the learning styles she then rates the different curriculum based on how it works for different styles.

The rest of the book is reviews of her top picks for each subject area. So now my review.

What I did not remember was that this was a very Christian resource, that in itself doesn’t rule out books for me but, hmm, how can I say this. This book seems very in your face about it and it’s not just religion but political leaning (right) so it makes her recommendations (especially for science and history) worthless for me. I also feel that if you really want to get to know your children’s learning styles that reading a more in depth book instead of the short summaries in this one would be much more useful. That said I still say this book is worth reading just for the first section alone but if anyone knows of other books that help you figure out your educational philosophy and plan out your long term goals I’d really like to know the title (please!).

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