Home school curriculum companies are a great source for good books. Often these companies will provide book lists that complement their history and literature courses. Sometimes the company sells those books right on their site; other times they just list resources and you will need to source them yourself.
Where to Find Home School Curriculum Companies
A quick Google search for “Christian home-school curriculum” brought me two thorough lists. In a post about choosing Christian curriculum, Exploring Homeschooling links to 30 sources. Enchanted Homeschooling Mom has a list of 40+ suppliers broken down into categories by subject.
Once you have navigated to the curriculum site, look for headings such as Reading, Language Arts, Readers, Literature or History. Some sites break things down further, by categorizing according to grade level or age. Usually, a book will be presented with a short write up about it. If the summary doesn’t give you enough information to make a decision about whether the book is suitable for you, enter the book name, followed by the plus-sign and “review” in your internet search box, and you will often be able to find reviews of the book.
Walking Through the Process
Finding good and great books through home school curriculum companies basically resolves itself into four steps:
1) Choose your curriculum company. You can either use one of the curriculum company resources listed above, or go directly to the website of a company you already know and trust.
2) Choose your subject. As we’ve already mentioned, this doesn’t have to be just Reading. Many curriculum companies include suggested reading under Language Arts, Literature, History, Social Studies, etc.
3) Choose your grade level (where applicable). If you are planning to read the book aloud, this doesn’t matter quite so much, since most children can listen to a much more complex story than they are capable of reading on their own. Age-appropriate content is still of importance, of course.
4) Enter the book name + review in your internet search window. This will often give you a more detailed picture of the story than you could glean from the publisher’s description. It can also raise “red flags” in areas of concern.
If you are still not sure whether you want to spend you hard-earned money on this particular story, try looking for the title at your library, or through your library’s inter-library loan catalog. For more information on the inter-library loan system, see our previous post:
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