Our Main Home Education Resources

Inspired by Helen, I thought I’d list our main resources for this, our first year of secondary age home education. You never know, it might help or inspire someone…plus it will make me feel better after a day of feeling inadequate.

So here’s a round up of what Emily is using. She’s 11 and three quarters or 11 going on 30 depending on her mood πŸ™‚ and likes “serious” books rather than frivolity and pretty pictures.

So You Really Want to Learn English Book 3 – only just started this. The literature parts are not proving popular since, although she loves to read, Emily hates formal literature study. The language parts are good though. I’m hoping the literature will grow on her!

How to Write Essays: A Step by Step Guide for all Levels

Mathematics Enhancement Programme Year 7 books – free! free! free! free! Did I mention free?

GCSE Law – Daddy’s domain.

Economics Student Workbook and Matching Textbook – these are A level books; we’re working on the recommended short macroeconomics route through the book at the moment rather than the whole text. It’s difficult, but Emily loves it.

British Politics in Focus AS Level – another A level book, but right up her street. Reading-heavy, but has good exercises to do. I’ve recently seen some other politics A level books that we might switch too, however, if only because I’d prefer a more up to date one. This only covers up to 2001 or so.

Complete Biology and Longman Chemistry 11-14 – these are OK, but we’re struggling with science at the moment. Meaningful chemistry experiments can’t be done as we don’t have the equipment beyond kitchen cupboard stuff. Would love to build a proper lab using this book, which details exactly what equipment and chemicals to get and provides high school level experiments to do…. but it’s hard to get hold of the equipment and chemicals in single or small quantities, not to mention expensive.

Letts KS3 Geography Classbook and Trail Guide to World Geography – Emily’s not keen on geography, but both these books are very good. The trail guide, especially, is a brilliant concept and we must try to make better use of it.

This is Citizenship GCSE – nearly finished this one. It’s a good jumping off point for exploring moral and ethical topics and was a decent introduction to basic politics and economics before we went further.

Hodder This is History books – we’ve done several of these now; good books with free downloadable teacher’s notes from that link, but a little bit basic with many activities being a bit of a waste of time. Dying for the Vote, which we’re working on now, will probably be our last one.

Schools History Project books – also published by Hodder and with a very similar feel. We have the Northern Ireland one from the Modern World Studies range and the Elizabethan one from the Depth Studies range, both of which are slightly more grown up.

History Odyssey – Early Modern Level 2, Modern Level 2 – I’m slightly schizophrenic when it comes to history and may well go back to History Odyssey in the near future. We did Ancients Level 2 a few years ago and it was a brilliant course. They have a try before you buy feature on the site now where you can download the first 10-20 lessons of each course free. The problem with the modern history ones is that they are, of course, very US-centric, but still rigorous and interesting.

Heinemann History Study Units – (told you I was schizophrenic) – I love these books too. A more in-depth coverage of topics like the Renaissance (just ordered that one), the French Revolution and the Crusades.

Cambridge Latin Course Book 1 – got half way through this a couple of years ago but we’re now going back to it.

Living Italian – a grammar based Italian course; just ordered today but it sounds good. I speak fluent Italian and various other languages but haven’t yet been very proactive with Emily and languages. Shame on me. Will fix that.

Plus the usual home ed house full of books and DVDs which may or may not be used at any given time….assuming we can find the one we want!


Today’s efforts included more English, looking at the poem La Belle Dame Sans Merci, maths with a quick revision of ratios and percentages, some logic puzzles and lots of parrot squawking. This afternoon we attempted a neuroscience/touch piece of work from Neuroscience for Kids but it didn’t really work, either in terms of the experiment or in terms of fascinating its intended audience. Indeed, its intended audience wore a look of determined disinterest throughout. Sigh. I’ll blog about our science problems another time.


About nikkielysian

Writer, astrologer, home educating Mum.
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4 Responses to Our Main Home Education Resources

  1. HHaricot says:

    wow for speaking italian! SB having a go learning [thus all of us!] so we are currently starting with cd’s!

    • nikkielysian says:

      Oh, I love, love, love Italian. It’s the most beautiful language in the world πŸ™‚ I lived and worked in Italy for a while and until a while after Emily left school also worked as a freelance Italian-English translator and interpreter. Hope you’ll love it!

  2. dawny says:

    enjoying your new blog, looks as if you are going to be very very busy πŸ™‚ good luck with it all and looking forward to seeing how things go with you. Our Lana is heading back to school for year 11 because we got a bit swamped with the GCSE thing! I’m really Not as organised as you !!

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