Recommended websites, games and books
Some of the Very Best Resources for Homeschoolers
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.
HSLDA Home School Legal 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
Growing Kids for the Kingdom – Raising our Children to Know and Love God, Reflect His Character, and Share His Love with Others
Let’s Homeschool High School: Transcript Template
Building Your Own Curriculum: Facebook Group
Credits Before College Learn about getting college credits while in high school using CLEP & DSST.
Cultivated Lives—Heather Haupt Heather is a homeschool mom, speaker, and blogger
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.
Jesusonline.com: A resource for free Bible studies and discipleship material to help you disciple your children to know and love the Lord.
Sparknotes: A great resource for information and a quick overview of many subjects and pieces of literature.
World Magazine Online: Written with a Christian view of the news for the whole family
Thrifty and Thriving: 10 Simple Ways to Put Money Back in Your Pocket Today Written by Jennie Lodien, homeschool mom (a great resource to help you save money as you homeschool!)
Teaching your Children about Finances Lessons and activities by age on how to teach your children about money by annuity.org.
College Bound Teens: Financial Advice A thorough explanation of the various ways to help fund college and how to apply for the FAFSA, etc. ~ lots of great advice for any college bound student by annuity.org
Character Building Resources:
Mental Health and Addiction Resources
Addiction Group Information on alcohol, drugs, addiction treatment and resources. A great resource if you or someone you love struggles with addiction.
Mental Health Minnesota Our mission is to enhance mental health, promote individual empowerment, and increase access to treatment and services for persons living with mental illness. They offer peer support, a help line, public policy advocacy, education and outreach and a mental health ambassador program plus a wealth of information on mental health issues.
Mental Health America – similar to Mental Health Minnesota, but for the entire nation. Many resources available here.
National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI.org) offers classes, support groups, and a wealth of information.
Mental Health First Aid Course take a course to learn how to help those who struggle with mental illness and recognize danger signs
The Heart and Mind Connection offers programs and training as well as peer support
Recommended reading for the home school parent
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.
Special Needs Resources
SPED Homeschool: a resource for families homeschooling children with special needs
Neurodevelopmental Evaluations: In-home NeuroDevelopmental brain evaluations, training programs and products.
Brain Integration Therapy & Right Brain Learning: Learn how to correct and bypass learning glitches at home.
Homeschooling with Dyslexia: a wealth of information to help you teach a child with dyslexia
Innovative Speech Therapy – Joan L. Green is a speech pathologist with a desire to help parents with children who struggle with speech issues and other educational issues. She’s also written an excellent book called Assistive Technology in Special Education
Elemy.com – information on autism
Elemy.com – resources related to autism
Mod Math: free ipad app that helps kids with dysgraphia and dyslexia do math
Kahn Academy: free video teaching for most math concepts,
My Script Calculator: changes written math into type and helps calculate
Orton Gillingham Reading programs for the struggling reader:
- Reading Horizons (Discovery- ages 4-9, Elevate – ages 10+)
- Barton Reading and Spelling
- All About Reading
- Logic of English
High Noon Books and Reading programs: this site has high interest/low level reading options for older students who struggle with reading, plus some reading curriculum to help
Learning Ally– audio books for kids with dyslexia and other learning struggles
Overdrive: e-books and audio books for free
Librivox – audiobooks for free
Read to Go: ebook reader app with special features for LD students
Assistive technology to support students with reading and writing difficulties:
Voice Dream Reader – turn text to speech
Voice Dream Writer proof reads your voice to text writing
Dragon – speech recognition software
Notability: a note taking app for Apple
Games: 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!
Games: Elementary math skills:
- Prodigy Math online games for learning math
- Adapted mind math – math lessons & games for grades K-6
- Khan Academy – free online courses, lessons and practiceMath Marks the Spot: for ages 5+ to teach number recognition, colors, adding and subtraction
- Math Mat- Interactive talking math floor mat game challenges students to listen to an equation, do the math, and step on the correct answer. This Math Mat Challenge Game teaches numbers, counting, addition and subtraction up to the number 20. Ages 4+
- 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)
- Heppner’s Math Games Galore package
- 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)
- Right Start Math – A math curriculum for the hands on learner that has a wide variety of games
- Yahtzee (great game for ages 8+ that helps with adding, subtracting, strategy, and grouping skills)
- Money Bags Coin Value Game for ages 7+ to teach money skills
- Cribbage A great game for counting and strategy for ages 6+
- 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+.
Games: 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)
- Scrambled States of America game – ages 8+
- Geopuzzles – ages 4+, 6 puzzles in one box
- Sequence States & Capitals – ages 7+, 2-12 players, great way to learn the states and capitals
- Oceanopoly – 2-6 players
- 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.
Games: Language Arts Games
Some wonderful games for developing reading readiness skills are: (these may contain affiliate links)
- Alphabet Memory games: for preschool/kindergarten age children
- Alphabet Go Fish Matching Game:
- Alphabet Bingo:
- Alphabet SlapJack:
- StarMall Alphabet Letters Matching Puzzle ABCs Flash Cards with Animals for Kids
- Alphabet Adventure (Leapfrog) Kindergarten: (need Leapfrog Interactive Learning system to use)
- Sequence Letters (for phonemic awareness once a child knows alphabet)
- Snap it Up Phonics & Reading (ages 6+ – teaches phonics/reading)
Here are some games for developing phonics, reading and spelling skills:
- Candyland (add sight words to the color cards & have your child read the card as they move)
- K- 5 Reading Activities by Rachel
- File Folder games for Reading (grades 1-3) Build key reading skills—word families, long and short vowels, consonant sounds, parts of speech, compound words, and more – make your own file folder games with these templates:
- Scrabble or Scrabble Junior
- Quiddler (ages 8-adult, includes solitaire version)
- 10 Reading Comprehension Card Games (grades 3-5)
Once our children are fluent readers, there are some fun games for the older child that continue to build language arts skills:
- Taboo (age 13+)
Games: Logic/Strategy Games
Trash Pandas — Silly card and dice game. Requires adding and thinking skills
- Castle Logix: For children ages 3-8, problem solving puzzle with fun blocks, Helps develop logic and spatial reasoning skills
- AnimaLogic: Great problem solving puzzle game for ages 5-adult, Strengthens object recognition, sequencing skills, matching abilities, logic, critical thinking, creative thinking
- Hive – Critical thinking. An interesting take on a chess type gam
- 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
Games: Other fun educational games or games you can modify to fit your subject learned:
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
Games: Other Fun Games to Play as a Family…
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
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
NMBR9 – a fun game for 1-4 players, math skills
Azul – a fun game of strategy and planning, ages 8+, 2-4 players
HexHive – ages 8+, single player
Games: Physical Education
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)