Recommend some supplementary schoolbooks for my elementary school aged kids

We’ve relocated from a very good school district in Ohio to a mediocre school district in Florida. The school my kids are in is rated an “A” by the State of Florida, but given my experience with Florida schools my guess is this just means that it’s probably better than many other Florida schools, but won’t stand up to our previous school. My experience so far with local school administration has done nothing to dissuade my opinion.

So, I’m looking to supplement my children’s education as best as possible. Has anyone had any experience with this? Can you recommend some texts, particularly on Math and Science? If we were still in Ohio both of my children would be given accelerated course work during the week, if that’s any help, but I wouldn’t classify either as a super genius (or evil genius, although the boy tends in that direction).


Well, in SoFla we have a bunch of ‘teacher supply’ stores with books. I’d say call up to the schools and get a list of the student’s texts for the next year, and then branch off of that, working with your local home-school group to build up supplemental work and exams.

Are you a teacher or a home-schooler?

You might like to get a book on homeschooling, too; many of them have suggestions for good textbooks or reading material. A lot of people like The well-trained mind, which has a lot of detailed recommendations (they’ll comment, for example, that this math book is good for that type of kid, or this other one might work better for a different kid, and if you’re not confident about your own abilities try this–also they tell you if the grammar book or whatever tends to be religiously based, and if so, how much). Another good one is Home learning year by year, which has a different system and lists what each grade level should contain. Both books are secular, and you can use them to figure out what you want to do yourself. (I am not a home-schooler, my kids are still little, and I haven’t decided whether I will or not. But I’ve enjoyed both these books and will use them whatever I do, because they are great resources.)

Teacher stores are great. I love teacher stores, but I can’t go too often or I’ll spend too much! The two stores here, anyway–they have tons of great projects and stuff to do, not just workbooks.

Waterford Early Learning is a tremendous product line. Two 30 minute VHS tapes taught our toddler the alphabet, some writing skills and basic phonetics in about 2 days. They have products going from 2 year olds up through junior high IIRC.

May not be available to the general public, but then again it might (it’s been a while).

Outstanding products for early learners.

Neither at this point. The kid is only one, so we’re just doing the usual home-teaching of foods and words and toys and reading and things.

My parents were big education supplementers, and we had lots of books around all the time, discussions about politics and history, math games, word games, lots of ‘teaching interaction’ but I’m already gearing up for and working with the one we’ve got.

My team lead and my office buddy both homeschooled their pre/teens through most of Junior High school, and that’s pretty much what they did. They signed up with a non-religious saturated home school group and worked from the plans/lessons provided and I believe did supplemental work as well. I think one did better than the other, but one had support at home in the form of an older sibling assisting that the other did not.

I’m a former homeschooling mom and I’d like to recommend Saxon Math . We found this curriculum to be superior to any offered in our local teachers supply store because the students are continually refreshing what they’ve learned in previous lesson by one or two of the old problems being incorporated into the current lesson. In other words, there will not be four weeks of fractions and then the students don’t see fractions again until next school year, which is very common. Each lesson builds on previous lessons learned.

When our childern returned to public school last year, I found that public school books were about two years behind the Saxon curriculum. This summer we purchased the books again and our children will continue doing a lesson per day at home to keep on target with their advanced math skills.

There are online tests which your child can take to insure proper placement in their series.

Good Luck :smiley:

I know you asked for math and science, but I was just cleaning out closets and found some of my old Cricket magazines - it’s a great literary magazine with a fantastic broad cultural selection of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. (I ran into their booth at ALA this year and they’re still evidently producing the same great magazine they did when I was a kid). I think they also do spinoff magazines for younger and older children - Amazon lists Cricket as either 9-14 or 6-14, depending on what part of the entry you’re reading. :slight_smile: It’s a great way to have a wide selection of the good stuff delivered to your home every month, so the kids want to read more about whatever the theme of the issue was - like a good accessory to the public library.

Thanks for all the input so far. To Zsofia’s point, literary stuff is fine too, it’s just that Math and Science is where I expect the local curriculum to be weaker in particular, plus both of our kids love reading and books, so it’s not too hard to keep them engaged there. But it doesn’t hurt to have things that keep them directed so I’ll look into that as well.