A. Additional parent helps specific to the age range 11-13 years old:
The Home Schooler’s Journal is an inexpensive way to keep track of what you have done or to plan your the week’s work for your child. Not as necessary as for high school years, but this Journal was helpful to show my children what was expected during the week (unless, of course, something more important came up!)
B. Language Arts and Literature specific to the age range 11-13 years old:
Writing in Narrative: A Comprehensive Story Writing Program for Grades 3 through 12. Whereas the “WIN B: Seven Sentence Story” is for beginning writers, this is the comprehensive story writing program for children a little older. It adds the “5th story part” and brings a young writer to mastery of the story writing process.
Honey for a Child’s Heart by Gladys Hunt has gone through several editions. Hunt offers many suggestions for making reading more rewarding and includes a large section of annotated book recommendations of the best in children’s literature organized by subject and age.
Honey for a Teen’s Heart. Help Your Teen Catch the Lifelong Reading Bug. Honey for a Teen’s Heart spells out how good books can help you and your teenager communicate heart-to-heart about ideas, values, and the various issues of a Christian worldview. Sharing the adventure of a book lets both of you know the same people, see the same sights, face the same choices, and feel the same emotions. Life spills out of books–giving you plenty to talk about! But Honey for a Teen’s Heart will do more than strengthen the bonds between you and your son or daughter. You’ll also learn how to help your teen catch the reading habit and become a lover of good books. Gladys Hunt’s insights on how to read a book, what to look for in a book, and how to question what you read will challenge you and your teenager alike. It’s training for life! And it’s fabulous preparation for teens entering college. Including an annotated list of over four hundred books, Honey for a Teen’s Heart gives you expert guidance on the very best books for teens.
Listen My Children, and You Shall Hear, Third Edition. One of the more interesting exercises you can do with your child is to steadily increase his ability to listen and comprehend. Although research continues to emphasize the importance of good listening comprehension skills as the foundation for strong oral and written language, listening remains one of the most neglected areas of instruction. Listening is a critical skill needed for success in any arena. Listen My Children, and You Shall Hear, Third Edition addresses this significant issue. This revision of a classic collection of stories and exercises helps children develop listening skills, auditory memory, vocabulary, and imagination.
Spelling Power, Fourth Edition. This “big orange book” has been used by hundreds of homeschoolers through the years. It contains a diagnostic to determine at what level to begin with your child. This award-winning spelling program by Beverly L. Adams-Gordon just got better. Spelling Power features 21st century technology yet still teaches solid back-to-basic spelling skills. Your students will use research proven steps to master the 5,000 most frequently used words. Each level of Spelling Power is organized by phonetic principles and spelling rules. Spelling Power’s six levels of built-in review guarantees your students will master every word. Everything you need to teach all of your students spelling skills to the college level is contained in this one curriculum package. You ll even find everything you need to teach them proofreading and dictionary skills. Spelling Power now comes with a Teacher s Resource CD-ROM, providing a wealth of printable resources. Canadian/British spellings are still included in both the Flow-Word Lists and the Searchable Word List to make it easier for non-American spellers to use. This allows individual teachers to decide which spelling convention to teach. Even if you are new to teaching, you ll find that Spelling Power’s all new, easy-to-understand, step-by-step manual and the included Quick Start DVD Seminar will help you give your students Spelling Power in just 15 minutes per day!
Easy Grammar Plus. How much grammar does a child need? In my opinion, this one book does it all in a few weeks or months. The most clever approach to learning the subject! It is a comprehensive grammar program that introduces all the parts of speech. Your child may forget most of the grammar he learns, but at least he will recognize when someone mentions a noun, adverb, preposition, etc. Facing pages are identical with left side containing the answers. Simply cover the left side while the child works on the right. Consumable.
Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing Deluxe – 25th Anniversary Edition SB. Do not neglect to have your children learn to type correctly! One of the most important skills needed today in this digital world in which we live.
Italic Handwriting Series Book G. Don’t neglect penmanship! This is a complete series and Book G is the final one unless your child wants to move on to calligraphy. Produces very legible penmanship.
Increase your child’s English vocabulary by playing the card games Rummy Roots
and More Roots. You and your child do not need to know any Greek or Latin to play these games. Games begin by first teaching basic roots (“bios” = “life”) and increase in complexity by stringing roots together so students can decode complex vocabulary words (“micros”/small+”bios”/life+”logos”/study of = “microbiology”, or “the study of small life forms”).
Build your library of great literature. “The one constant that can be found among the best students is the number of good books in the home.” (see other age groupings for more great literature recommendations):
- The Complete Chronicles of Narnia (text only) by C. S. Lewis,P. Baynes. Not sure why the description says “text only”. This is our favorite version of these classics. A magnificent and beautifully illustrated book in full color. As far as we know, this is the only book containing all of Ms. Bayne’s lovely illustrations. A treasure!
- Cheaper by the Dozen (Perennial Classics)
- The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
- The Best of James Herriot: The Favorite Stories of One of the Most Beloved Writers of Our Time
- Big Red: The Story of a Champion Irish Setter and a Trapper’s Son Who Grew Up Together, Roaming the Winderness
- The Complete Adventures of the Borrowers
- Favorite Poems Old and New: Selected For Boys and Girls
- The Hiding Place
- Old Yeller (Perennial Classics)
- Tales from Shakespeare
C. Science specific to the age range 11-13 years old:
Vocabulary Vine: A Spiral Study of Latin and Greek Roots. One of the things that makes science study difficult is the unique vocabulary science subjects have that are not found in any other field. What if you had a way to learn the few root words that would allow you to instantly know what a scientific term meant? This little booklet was written for just that purpose.
Dr. Jay Wile’s Science Program:
- Exploring Creation with General Science, 2nd Edition (Textbook Only)
- Exploring Creation with General Science Student Notebook
- Solutions and Tests for Exploring Creation with General Science, 2nd Edition
- Multimedia Companion CD (Exploring Creation with General Science)
Brock Magiscope Basic Microscope, 20X Magnification. This is the best microscope for homeschoolers. Rugged! Basically unbreakable. Can be taken outdoors and used to magnify many objects including those microscopic. Ever stronger lenses can be added for ever greater magnification. A great science tool for homeschoolers!
Unlocking the Mysteries of Creation, The Explorer’s Guide to the Awesome Works of God, Second Edition. Called “The explorer’s guide to the awesome works of God’s creation.”
The Weather Wizard’s Cloud Book: A Unique Way to Predict the Weather Accurately and Easily by Reading the Clouds. This is one of those amazing little books that homeschoolers discover and tell others about! Can your child predict the next days’ weather simply by how the clouds look today? Yes, he can. Colorful pictures of clouds and what they mean for the weather to come. Wonderful!
Brown Paper School book: Blood and Guts. Illustrated and humorous, shows the incredible you inside and includes experiments.
D. Thinking Skills and Logic specific to the age range 11-13 years old:
The Building Thinking Skills Series is one of our favorite sets beginning in the early years. One of my sons credits these books with his success in college. In my opinion, the Teacher’s Guide is necessary for Level 3:
- Building Thinking Skills® Level 3 Figural
- Building Thinking Skills: Level 3 – Figural, Instruction and Answer Guide (Lesson Plans & Teacher’s Manual)
- Building Thinking Skills® Level 3 Verbal
- Building Thinking Skills: Book 3, Verbal (Book-3 Verbal Lesson Plans and Teacher’s Manual)
- Critical Thinking, Book 1: Problem Solving, Reasoning, Logic, Arguments
- Critical Thinking, Book 1: Instruction / Answer Guide
E. History and Geography specific to the age range 11-13 years old:
One historian has commented that history is driven by evil men imposing their wills on those who simply want to be left alone to live their lives in peace.
Others have said the study of history tends to follow one of 4 approaches:
What happened?: Facts and dates of historical events
Who made it happen?: Men and women who caused the events
Why did it happen?: Local and worldwide environment that caused the events
What were they thinking?: Worldview of individuals and societies that caused the events
Beautiful Feet Books offers a comprehensive history curriculum inspired by the Charlotte Mason (Living Books) Approach to learning. For 30 years, families have learned their history reading famous historical novels and historical fiction all while following BF Books’ study guides. All grades are covered. Topics include Ancient, Medieval, Early American, Modern US and World, Science, and Classical History. Learn History Through Literature.
TruthQuest History covers both World and American history with levels appropriate for each age. The program is written to look at history—not as a mere litany of human deeds—but as a way to help students probe for the beliefs which drove kings, artists, thinkers, warriors, scientists, and everyday citizens to behave in ways that affected the world and changed the future. Since God is the truth, spiritual principles should be placed at the center of every action, and history should be the study of how God is the central Figure as Initiator, Creator, and Establisher of the singular truths which alone bring security, strength, opportunity, and blessing. People may or may not believe in this Truth; however, one thing is certain: how individuals and societies respond to Truth always affects their impact on history. Thus, in TruthQuest History, we see the kings and commoners, wars and paintings, buildings and books, scientific discoveries and social issues, all in their rightful context: as indicators of the great issues at the core of life…which not only shaped the historical past, but are shaping our present and future! GO HERE to view this company’s many offerings.
There are many remarkable things about The Narrated Bible in Chronological Order (NIV)This is the complete text of the NIV Bible but arranged historically/chronologically so it reads like a history book! The historical narrative is combined together and the prophets are interspersed into the text where they actually lived and wrote which causes their prophecies to make greater historical & spiritual sense. The gospels are combined and the New Testament letters are interwoven into the Book of Acts historically. Historical notes accompany each section to help the reader better understand the times in which each section was authored by the Bible writers. The paperback version is titled The Daily Bible but we think its font is too small making this hardcover version worth the small extra cost.
Kingfisher Illustrated History of the World : 40,000 BC to Present Day. Don’t confuse this with the newer version Kingfisher History Encyclopedia. Also, don’t be put off with the book’s beginning (history began 40,000 years ago). This is a beautifully illustrated book.The main reason I choose to use this book as our main world history resource is because I wanted my sons to have a broad overview of world history, to know the names of each of the 10 historical periods and to know why each began and what happened that brought about its ended. I first read through it myself and highlighted the most important points with which I thought my sons should be acquainted. If someone mentioned the Renaissance would you know what he was talking about? Renaissance means rebirth. What had “died” that was being “rebirthed” and why is that even important? The book has been replaced by its newer title, but you can still find this title on Amazon.
Mapping the World by Heart. If you placed blank sheets of paper in front of your students, could they draw a detailed map of the entire world? It may seem hard to believe, but after exploring the innovative Mapping the World by Heart curriculum, students have a comprehensive knowledge of geography that allows them to map the world entirely from memory! Teaches students to draw entirely from memory detailed world maps including the names, borders, mountain ranges, rivers, and major cities of more than 190 countries. – Gets students excited about geography and encourages them to think globally.
Whatever Happened to Justice? (An Uncle Eric Book). This “Uncle Eric” classic shows what’s gone wrong with America’s legal system and economy and how to fix it. It also contains lots of helpful hints for improving family relationships and for making families and classrooms run more smoothly. Discusses the difference between higher law and man-made law, and the connection between rational law and economic prosperity. “Whatever Happened to Justice?” introduces the Two Laws:
1) Do all you have agreed to do, and
2) Do not encroach on other persons or their property.
Can be used for courses in Law, Economics, Business, Finance, Government and History.
What follows is a list of favorite classical works for history study:
- The Diary of a Young Girl: The Definitive Edition. Also known as The Diary of Anne Frank.
- The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom is the classic story of one Christian family who hid Jews during the Holocaust, of their tragedy and how Corrie found forgiveness.
- My Glorious Brothers. This is my sons’ favorite historical novel. In fact, it is my sons’ favorite novel, period. Following the death of Alexander the Great, Jews were ruled by the powerful Syrians. This book is based on the true story of how one priestly peasant family led a bloody and successful revolt against their oppressors in 167 BC. The holiday of Hanukkah derives from this story. This is definitely a boys’ book and the battle scenes are amazing. My youngest son gave his copy of the book to Mel Gibson in the hope Gibson would make a movie of the story. Still waiting…
- Across Five Aprils
- Amos Fortune, Free Man (Newbery Library, Puffin)
- The Bronze Bow
- The Eagle of the Ninth Chronicles (The Eagle of the Ninth / The Silver Branch / The Lantern Bearers)
- The Endless Steppe: Growing Up in Siberia
- A Girl Of The Limberlost
- The Hawk and the Dove Trilogy (3-in-1 Volume) (Redesign)
- Streams to the River, River to the Sea
- The Hawk That Dare Not Hunt by Day
- Caddie Woodlawn
- Incident at Hawk’s Hill
- Island of the Blue Dolphins
- Johnny Tremain
- Louisa May Alcott: Little Women, Little Men, Jo’s Boys (Library of America)
- My Indian Boyhood, New Edition
- Number the Stars
- The Shining Company (A Sunburst Book)
- The Silver Branch (The Roman Britain Trilogy)
- Squanto, Friend Of The Pilgrims (Scholastic Biography)
- Streams to the River, River to the Sea
- Star of Light (Patricia St John Series)
- The Cay
- The Yearling (Aladdin Classics)
- Toliver’s Secret
- Treasures of the Snow (Patricia St John Series)
- Where the Red Fern Grows
- To Kill a Mockingbird
- Poor Richard
- Carry On, Mr. Bowditch
- Of Courage Undaunted
- The Great Little Madison (Unforgetable Americans)
- The World of Columbus and Sons
- The World of Captain John Smith
- George Washington’s World
- Abraham Lincoln’s World, Expanded Edition
F. Math specific to the age range 11-13 years old:
Before your student begins upper-level math (Algebra and beyond), he must already have mastered his multiplication and addition facts; the math concepts of fractions, decimals, and percents; as well as have an understanding of what math functions to substitute for words in a word problem such as “and”, “is”, “more than”, etc. And, he must be familiar enough with these concepts that he can use them with ease. For mastering addition and multiplication facts, we used the game Math It and the inexpensive “Key to…” books (see below). Also, you can google math operation clue words for lots of freebies to help your student get “inside” the vocabulary of math word problems.
Math it has been a favorite of homeschoolers for a long time. Teaches addition, subtraction and multiplication for all ages. Includes the math tricks helpful for quick responses to math problems.
Muggins & Knock-Out Wooden Math Games. A double-sided wooden game board, marbles and dice. What more could you want in a math game that teaches math concepts. Hours of fun!
Life of Fred: Why do we have to learn math from a book? Here is a radical thought: Why can’t math (and any other information for that matter) be learned in Context? By context I mean, learn something because you have a practical need to know that information.
For instance, we learned the Pythagorean Theorem by fencing in part of our backyard. Voila, an actual reason to know a math concept!
My next favorite way to learn a math concept (if you are stumped with creating a context) is to find a math game that will at least make learning the math concept fun.
My next favorite way to learn a concept is this: create a series of stories around a fictional character and put that character in situations where he must use math to make it through life.
Well, guess what? A fellow homeschooling family from Michigan just introduced me to Life of Fred. Fred is the brainchild of math professor, Stanley Schmidt, PhD who presents math concepts through the mind of a 5-year-old math genius and professor at a make-believe college. Fred is faced with all sorts of crazy situations in which he must use math to solve the problems faced by a typical (?) 5-year-old. This course begins with the most basic concepts of number recognition and ends with advanced Calculus. Filled with wonderful Fred adventures, one mother wrote that her child wanted his Fred books read to him at bedtime!
The books are large, hard-bound, and, compared to other hard-bound math books, cheap. The most expensive in the entire series (at over 500 pages) is Life of Fred, Beginning Algebra Expanded Edition: As Serious as It Needs to Be ($39.00).
The author recommends the titles listed below for this age/grade range.
- Life of Fred: Fractions
- Life of Fred Decimals and Percents.
- Life of Fred : Elementary Physics Yes, you read that right! Fred believes in learning Physics before learning Algebra.
- Life of Fred: Pre-algebra 1 with Biology
- Life of Fred: Pre-Algebra 2 With Economics (Hardcover)
G. Computer Programming specific to the age range 11-13 years old:
Computer programming skills have become essential in today’s modern age. A love of computers starts early and many computer programmers write their first programs in middle school. A homeschooling couple with computer science and electrical engineering backgrounds (as well as years of software experience) founded Homeschool Programming so homeschooled students can have access to the basics of programming at their appropriate age level. This course has already won many awards. Two levels are offered: KidCoder is for pre-high school students (see the high school page on this site for high school level). Click on KidCoder (below, in bold) to be taken to the publisher’s website to view details of this program.
KidCoder for ages 11-13 (approximately grades 6-8) and for younger students who read well.
This self-study computer science course teaches students how to create their very own websites, computer programs, video games, and apps! No programming experience necessary. Free tech support provided. Purchase the Textbook Kit (comes with student textbook & accompanying CD or DVD). Everything your student needs to begin programming is included in the kit.
H. Music and Art specific to the age range 11-13 years old:
Music Masters Full Set – 18 CDs. What is so amazing about these 18 CD’s is that each classical composer’s music is interspersed with fascinating stories about his life. You will listen to them over and over and they will keep your kids enthralled even while on trips. Everyone loves these.
Top 100 Classical Music 1685-1928 1-10. What is so great about this set is that it is not only the 100 greatest classical compositions ever composed, they are arranged in historical order! You and your child can listen to great music while hearing how music changed throughout the ages. 10 high quality discs of 10 compositions each.
- Artistic Pursuits, the Element of Art Composition: Junior High Book 1
- Artistic Pursuits, Color And Composition: Junior High Book 2
I. Entrepreneurship specific to the age range 11-13 years old:
Rich Dad Cashflow 101 board game. Expensive? Yes, indeed. But we loved to play this game as it teaches the realities of entrepreneurship.
Whatever Happened to Penny Candy? A Fast, Clear, and Fun Explanation of the Economics You Need For Success in Your Career, Business, and Investments (An Uncle Eric Book). In “Whatever Happened to Penny Candy?” Richard Maybury (“Uncle Eric”) uses historical events from Ancient Rome to explain economic principles. This clearly written book about economics is a remarkably easy and fun explanation of investment cycles, velocity, business cycles, recessions, inflation, the demand for money and more. Essential for every student, businessperson and investor. Recommended by the late William Simon, former U.S. Treasury Secretary. It is also on many recommended reading lists.
J. Miscellaneous specific to the age range 11-13 years old:
Life Skills for Kids: Equipping Your Child for the Real World. Does your child know how to use a check book? Boil an egg? Do the laundry? Read a map? Homeschooler Christine Field helps parents systematically teach kids – from preschool to the teen years – what they need to know to thrive as adults.