Books & stuff

Recommended books 
and homeschooling resources. 

Liberty Treehouse is a new 1/2 hour daily show (M-F) from Glenn Beck's  Hosted by Raj Nair, it covers social studies type subjects.  Holidays, relationships, science, history, politics, etc.; you name it, they'll cover it.  It's great!  We totally dig it.  There is a membership fee to join GBTV (approx. $10/mo. or $100/yr.) and it's totally worth it since you also get access to Glenn's radio show, t.v. show, a reality show, comedy show, and "Real News from The Blaze."  Plus, he's trying to add more to his network.  Enjoy!  We sure do.

God's World News.  A monthly magazine subscription that has a version for every age and grade level.  I highly recommend.  The kids can even read part of it!  And there's activity pages to boot...which are a great learning tool.  Woot!


Squanto and The Miracle of Thanksgiving by Eric Metaxas 
Undoubtedly our favorite Thanksgiving story.  (For more Thanksgiving resources, go here.)
George Washington: America's Patriot by Renee Maloche

Big George: How A Shy Boy Became President of the United States by Anne Rockwell

We are major G.W. fans! And we really enjoy this book, however there are some things in it that bother me greatly, and so in my copy I have modified these things. 
Be midful of the de-emphasis of God's protection over G.W. on the pages following the crossing of the Delaware, and the hint of feminism on the back page note.
On these pages discussing his "luck" during Braddock's defeat and his immunity to smallpox, it seems to be written as an attempt to belittle the procidential hand of God in his life.  Don't you think God allowed him to get smallpox as a child so he could be immune when it mattered most (during the Revolutionary War)?
Really, Washington was 6'3": an easy target in battle, yet was never wounded.  This is not "luck" or coincidence.  In Braddock's defeat, G.W. had 2 horse shot out from under him, and later found a bullet hole in his hat and 4 in his coat.  Please...let's give credit where credit is due.  (For more G.W. resources, click here.) 

Who Owns the Sun? by Stacy Chbosky

Written by a 14-year-old. Amazing.  Just goes to show that all teenagers are not mindless lemmings...most are, though.  I was so pleased with this story.  A stunning picture of the reality of slavery.

Almost To Freedom by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson
The story of slavery and a stop on the underground railroad as told by a slave girl's rag doll.

Letters From Rifka by Karen Hesse
Chapter book about a Russian immigrant's struggle in coming to America.

Back of the Bus by Aaron Reynolds
An unexpected perspective of Rosa Parks' historical moment that started a movement and changed the world.

A More Perfect Union: The Story of Our Constitution by Betsy and Giulio Maestro

I love this one.  A nice introduction to how the Constitution came to be.  It is informative and interesting.
Adventures in Odyssey: For God & Country by Focus on the Family
What a fantastic audio series!  The Star Spangled Banner, Nathan Hale, the Underground Railroad, Abraham Lincoln (including the surrender of Robert E. Lee and the assassination of Lincoln), Pearl Harbor... Our all-time favorite history resource.  Enjoy!

Drive Thru History by Coldwater Media
Dave Stotts hosts this fun and fascinating dvd history series.  He has several episodes about American history and even has a world history series (Greece, Rome, Asia Minor, Turkey).  Dave is goofy and adds a whole lot of silliness and Biblical references to true history.

Stepping Stones from Adventures in Odyssey: The Truth Chronicles by Focus on the Family
The Truth Chronicles is the AIO audio version of The Truth Project for children.  Just as The Truth Project addresses the Mayflower Compact and our current educational system's omission of the complete wording, so this episode addresses the same but adds an in-depth story about the Pilgrims from the time of their persecution in England, their incredible journey to America, and the miraculous help of Squanto.

Constituting America.  Teach your children (and yourself) the Constitution.  Now's the time!

USA Puzzle Map is a fun U.S. geography game.  My boys learned states by sight and they are able to locate them in an instant.  I wish times tables were this easy.  Ha!


Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand.  Laura Hillenbrand is the same author who wrote Seabiscuit.  Though I'm pretty sure she is not a Christian, she writes an excellent account of the life of Olympian and WWII POW Louis Zamperini.  This book is a fascinating true life story of a man who met HItler in the 1936 Berlin Olympics (Louie was an Olympic runner), fought in the Pacific side of WWII, survived a plane crash, floated at sea for 40+ days circled the entire time by sharks, washed up on the shore of the Marshall Islands and was brutally tortured in a Japanese POW camp.  His life is an absolute miracle.  You will love his story.  It's amazing.  Louie is 93 years old today and still ticking!  There's also an excellent interview that he did with Pastor Greg Laurie at Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, CA, and at the 2011 Anaheim Harvest Crusade.  I read this book so I could learn about his life, but from this story I learned much about the Pacific side of the War.  It is a very thorough account not only of the life of Louie Zamperini but of the Japanese involvement in the War.

The Help by Katherine Stockett.  The most well-written book I have ever "read" (I listened to an audio version).  Loved it, loved it, loved it.  Very insightful into this unique community of black women who served as maids/nannies during the civil rights era.  A must-read for sure. A historical fiction.


Mythbusters on Discovery Channel is quickly becoming one of our favorite science resources.  It has science for Brandon and things that blow up for Si.  What more is necessary in life?  LOL!  As I watch more episodes, I will update my opinion of this option.

Some may find this series dated, afterall it was filmed as early as the 1950's, but my kids don't care a bit.  These are truly classic videos that captivate my children and cause them to ask for them over and over again.

Jonathan Park by Vision Forum.
Jonathan Park is a creation-science audio adventure series that disputes the creation/evolution arguments.  This is great because it sites scripture at every turn and brings to light real evolution theories and the creation explanation of the evolution shortcomings.  Also, the importance of family unity is a main theme.  Character lessons abound as well.  Brandon will listen to an entire series (6 hours) in one sitting.  And then will give a report on what he learned.  This audio series also comes with study guides, and the website offers ideas on how to expound on the subjects that come up on various episodes.


The Child's Story Bible By Catherine Vos
We just finished this Bible and loved it.  A very thorough Bible that tells stories well and adds nice commentary.
Tawny Scrawny Lion by Kathryn Jackson
This one is just a whole lot of fun.  The comedy in it is great for mom & dad, too.
The Bear That Heard Crying by Natalie Kinsey-Warnock
A miraculously true story within a lost era.
Roxaboxen by Alice McLarren
This one is dear to my heart since it is set in a location so similar to where we live.  It inspires kids to get outdoors and create their own Roxaboxen.
All The Places To Love by Patricia MacLauchlan
Just makes you feel good and inspires the simplicity of family.


The Mission of Motherhood: Touching Your Child's Heart For Eternity by Sally Clarkson
This is a must-read for all moms.  I was one depressed mom when my children were tiny. In a life where everyday was "Groundhog Day," I was existing and not really living.  Then, I was introduced to Sally Clarkson's mom's conferences and books.  This book absolutely changed my life and perspective as a mom.  I now love every moment with my precious children and realize I have the most important responsibility in th world: influencing the next generation of world-changers.  All of Sally's books are excellent.  This is my favorite.


The Heavenly Man: The Remarkable True Story of Chinese Christian Brother Yun by Brother Yun
Yeah, I'm only halfway through this book and it's on my list.  You think you've got it rough?  Think again.  Or just read 2 pages from this book.  You will soon see things aren't so bad.  You will also be inspired to accept nothing less than holiness.


Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers
Clearly inspired by the Biblical book of Hosea.

The Last Sin Eater by Francine Rivers
I just can't decide which of these two Francine Rivers books I like best.  This one is amazing...and the movie is wonderful too.


Educating the Wholehearted Child by Clay & Sally Clarkson
I use this all the time as a reference, for ideas, and for encouragement.  Sally & Clay Clarkson have a gift for encouraging moms.  This is the best homeschooling handbook out there.  (Of course I haven't read any others, but when you find something so utterly fantastic, you want everyone to know about it.) 


What In The World Is Going On?: 10 Prophetic Clues You Cannot Afford To Ignore by David Jeremiah
I think the title really says it all.  This is a fascinating book and true so far.  Be enlightened and read this one.