Nice quote

"The one thing that you have that nobody else has is you. Your voice, your mind, your story, your vision. So write and draw and build and play and dance and live as only you can." Neil Gaimon

Some Resource Books and Some Favorite Books

Resource Books, Sites and Catologs: 

"The Home School Source Book" by Jean and Donn Reed - Chock full of book recommendations on various categories/topics. Plus lots of interesting and thought provoking comments by the Reeds on life in general.  I love owning this book and find it helpful in choosing what to request from the library that I think my kids would like. - ie. When one of us is interested in a specific topic, I can use this book as a resource to find books, magazines, etc.  The thing I like best is that there are the item descriptions.  Plus I can find many of the books and some of the magazines in the library or through the library lending system.  Here is the Reed's online books store for your shopping pleasure! 

Here is the link to the Chinaberry catalog - Loads of excellent books with short explanations of what each book is about. They would like people to buy from their catalog (and sometimes I do), but I must admit that I have used this catalog to search for books my kids or I might be interested in and get them from the library first to be sure I like them - I can't buy every book they have that one of us likes as there are so many!!  You can sign up for the catalog to be delivered by mail or read about each item online.  I have found so many wonderful books and other items through this catalog that I can't say enough about it!  Here is a link to their audios: 

"Trust the Children" One day at the Eastern Branch of the Monmouth County Library in NJ, I was browsing the children's library shelves and was drawn to a bright yellow book with the title "Trust The Children" on the bookshelf.  The title spoke to me as I was involved with La Leche League and already believed it was best to trust my child in so many ways and I was beginning to read about and have thoughts about homeschooling.  I immediately noticed that the author had a hawaiian last name and this was exciting to me because we had just moved back from Maui a couple years before.  Though the book isn't very unschooly, I think it does have some good ideas and family activities in it.  I especially like the cool way to play tic tac toe on page 156 in the numbers section.  You can request it through the Maine Library Lending System:

Fun Books - Lots of titles to choose from for homeschooling books and resources:

Another great place to look up specific books, resources and more:

Kidsmomo (Found this site via a "Clickschooling" email. ):

Laurie Block Spiegel's site - chock full of links and book suggestions!
If you live in or plan to visit NY,check out the page called "What's Free or Cheap in NYC?"

"Carschooling: Over 350 Entertaining Games & Activities to Turn Travel Time Into Learning Time - for kids Ages 4 - 17" by Diane Flynn Keith
(I purchased this book, but haven't read it yet.)

"Books Children Love - A Guide To The Best Children's Literature" by Elizabeth Wilson

"Great Books for Girls" by Kathleen Odean

"Great Books for Boys" by Kathleen Odean

"Great Books About Things Kids Love" by Kathleen Odean

"Great Books for Babies and Toddlers" by Kathleen Odean

"Literary Laurels (Kid's Edition) A Reader's Guide To Award-Winning Children's Books"
 Organized by Award.  Explains about what the award is given for and what author or title
 won in what year.

Page with book titles for confident and courageous girls:

"The Wicked Good Book: A Guide To Maine Living" by Stephen Gleasner
This new book had lots of ideas for fun things to do and make!  Worth checking out (literally)!

"Birds of Maine" by Stan Tekiela (this is a field guide)

"What's That Bird?" by Joseph Choiniere and Claire Mowbraw Golding

"The Mammoth Book Of Fun & Games: Over 1,000 entertainments: Diverting word games, intriguing mazes, jokes, easy tricks, puzzles, clever quizzes, mathematical oddities, family games and party games"  by Richard B. Manchester

Fundraising books and information:
Hila Shooter is a Maine homeschooler who wrote a book called "Ticket to Ride" about her fundraising experiences as she raised $12,000 for a trip to Ecuador with Kroka Expeditions  She explains the different things she did to earn money and her ideas might be of assistance in brainstorming about fundraising ideas for your own adventure!
Connect with her on facebook:

Blake Boles wrote a book on fundraising called "The Unschool Adventures Guide to Online
Travel Fundraising."  It is just 99 cents on Amazon
and leads national and international trips and writing workshops for self-directed young adults.   

A former librarian on alwaysunschooled recently posted a link to find out which libraries have which books:

Living is Learning Curriculum Guides by Nancy Plent:
If you make your own curriculum or for some reason wish to know what is typically taught in a certain grade, you might like to look at Nancy Plent's Curriculum Guides.  Nancy compiled the information from many curriculum guides to form her books.

Biographies of Famous Homeschoolers: 
Mini biographies of some famous people who had minimal schooling. 

Misc Sites: 

Free lessons via video on math and many other subjects.


Comics and Graphic Novel thread:
If your child is interested in graphic novels or comics, you might want to check out this alwaysunschooled thread as there were some good suggestions posted: 

Magazines: Cobblestone magazines are wonderful - "ASK" is excellent and was my daughter's favorite! Appleseeds was another favorite. Any of the Cobblestone magazines are great! ( The library may have them for borrowing as well - or you could request them if your library doesn't carry the ones you would like.  The Cobblestone publications are some of my favorite magazines!!

Cobblestone Publishing has been producing high-quality social studies and science magazines for young readers since 1980. Our philosophy is that nonfiction, whether it deals with American or world history, world cultures, archaeology, or science, should be a combination of fascinating pleasure reading and factual resource material that educates and enlightens.
Two teachers who were looking for a way to promote reading and history to children developed the idea for COBBLESTONE magazine in 1979. Cobblestone Publishing's six theme-based nonfiction magazines let young people experience the pleasure of reading through an accurate, fascinating, and authoritative resource that is appropriate in the library, the classroom, and the home.
APPLESEEDS - social studies for ages 6 to 9 years
CALLIOPE - world history for ages 9 to 14 years
COBBLESTONE - American history for ages 9 to 14 years
DIG - archaeology for ages 9 to 14 years
FACES - world cultures and geography for ages 9 to 14 years
ODYSSEY - science for ages 9 to 14 years
All of the magazines strive to educate and entertain through a creative mix of articles, primary source documents, photographs, and illustrations, as well as fun activities, puzzles, and cartoons.

CRICKET began offering top-quality children's literature over 30 years ago, and since then we've created a line of beautifully illustrated literary publications for children of all ages:
BABYBUG - for ages 6 months to 3 years
LADYBUG - for ages 3 to 6 years
SPIDER - for ages 6 to 9 years
CICADA, a challenging and entertaining literary magazine for teens and young adults ages 14 and up was added in 1998.

MUSE magazine was launched in October 1996 to give readers interested in nonfiction topics an advertising-free magazine of the same high quality as CRICKET. Since then, the science and discovery line of magazines has grown to also include:
CLICK - for ages 3 to 6 years
ASK - for ages 6 to 9 years
I don't know how long this will last, but right now (May 2014) you can download a sample of the Cobblestone magazines for free:

Some Favorite Books and Audios: 
DealOz is the site my husband uses to look up books for cheaper prices:  Not sure how it compares to other sites, but I thought I'd pass along the one he uses in case it is helpful to someone. (I would double check their lowest prices directly with the suggested sites to be sure.) 

Maine Student Book Awards:

Millie Molly Mandie - The most delightful stories about a little girl who lives in a white cottage with a thatched roof! Katie and I Loved listening to Millie Mollie Mandie's adventures on cassette tape in the car. They always put good thoughts in our minds and were wonderful to listen to. The audio is no longer being made, though is available through places like paperbackswap.  I'd recommend getting the audio rather than the books as the narrator is what makes the stories so enchanting!
Here is a book that has many of the stories that are on the cassette:
And here is one of the books we own that also has some of the ones from the

Baby Island - by Carol Ryrie Brink Twelve-year-old Mary Wallace and her ten-year-old sister Jean survive the wreck of an ocean liner on its way to Australia and manage to make it to a seemingly deserted island in a lifeboat with four babies.
172 pages
(The Minerva lending library system has this...for those who live in Maine.)

Jim Weiss recordings (He's a great storyteller!)
Then see if the Maine library has them here:
He is the narrator for at least some of the Story of the World audios.

“Like the Willow Tree: The Diary of Lydia Amelia Pierce, Portland , Maine 1918” by Lois Lowry  - Part of the Dear America series.  This was GREAT! Available in various formats (book, playaway, e-audio book, and cd) through the Maine Library Lending System (minerva):
You can visit the Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village:

My son Li especially LOVES Choose Your Own Adventure Books
The library has some of them.

The Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan (the library has them all) - 
We loved to read them aloud, especially before we went to sleep.
Maine Minerva Library link to Rick Riordan's books.  (If your library doesn't have the title you want, you can request it from a lending library and have it delivered directly to your library.  For a fee which is usually reasonable, you can join a library that is affiliated with Minerva and take advantage of the Maine Library Lending System.  It is SO worth it!  Especially if you love books and movies!)

"Monsters and Legends" by Davide Cali - People used to think animals they had not seen before were real monsters!  This book explains why.  Did you know that Ronald Dahl believed in gremlins and Arthur Conan Doyle believed in fairies?  And when people sold mermaid's horns, they were really narwhal tusks?!  The book also talks about zombies, bigfoot, the Loch Ness monster, and a lot more.  If you like animals, mythology, monsters and mysteries, this book is for you!  The cloth-like feel of the large sized book is nice too. 

Would your children enjoy writing for and receiving free things in the mail?

Flat Stanley books

Childhood of Famous American series - Love these biographies -
Here's one on Laura Ingalls Wilder
I couldn't find it in the Maine Library system nor on the Maine Cat.
However, you can get it through amazon.  

"What To Do About Alice?: How Alice Roosevelt Broke The Rules, Charmed The World, And Drove Her Father Teddy Crazy!" by Barbara Kerley - Jim who knows so much about history even learned some new things in this children's book.  It is interesting that Alice was homeschooled too!  

Little House On The Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Netflix has many of the old tv episodes available on dvd and most libraries
have many of her books.
Other links with possible further ideas related to Little House on the Prairie:
Maybe one of them will stand out as an activity that your child might enjoy.  

American Girl Books 
The Kirsten books were one of our favorites and the first ones we read.  
There are many others for specific times in history.  There are movies about 
the American Girls too.  You can search for them at your library or online:
American Girl movies:

Jean Fritz biography books - Too many GREAT ones to name!!! These are excellent!
The library has many of them via interlibrary loan.
Some of Jean's books are geared toward older readers, some are geared toward younger ones.

Robert McCloskey's books:
"Blueberries for Sal"
"One Morning in Maine"
"Make Way for Ducklings"

Books by William Steig:  Love how the author doesn't “talk down” to kids!
"Dominic" -  My three oldest kids loved to hear this book read aloud before bed.
"Doctor DeSoto" is another favorite for young kids (well...I still love it and I'm in my forties!)
"Sylvestor and the Magic Pebble" – for your younger kids mostly, although older kids
would probably like it too!  I read this as a child and still love it!

Charlotte's Web" and "Staurt Little" both by EB White

"The Littles" - Series of books by John Peterson

Falling for Rapenzel by Leah Wilcox - A prince tries to get Rapunzel to throw down her hair so he can rescue her, but she misunderstands him and throws down random objects from her room instead.
Very funny book!

"Girls To The Rescue" - by Bruce Lansky
My daugher Katie loved these series of books! There are a few of them. Girls are the heroes in these stories.

A Mighty Girl website (books, toys, and movies for smart, confident, courageous girls): (listing this twice because it lists great books!)

I love the author Patricia Polacco - Some of the stories I or the kids especially loved are:
Babushka Baba Yaga
Betty Doll
Pink and Say
Thank You, Mr. Falker
John Philip Duck
Aunt Chip and the Great Triple Creek Dam
(She has so many good ones!)

Happy Hollisters - This series of books was one of our absolute favorite books to read!
They were first published in the 1950's! Both parents are alive in this series and the children
solve mysteries (similar to the Boxcar Children).
I read them as a child and so did my husband. Wonderful family story to read aloud before
bed or whenever!  The library has many titles: 

The Boxcar Children -
We have collected so many of these and the Happy Hollister books. Just like in the Happy
Hollisters series, the children solve mysteries. Very entertaining! I read these books as
a child too. I had forgotten about them until Jim, Katie and I found them in a lighthouse gift store while on a vacation in Maine (before we moved here).  The gift shop had the first story and the 8th one (The Lighthouse Mystery). We bought and read both of them and then went back to read the series in order!

Check out the Boxcar Children Cookbook too! 

The Magic Treehouse is a wonderful series of entertaining books that incorporate history, animals, facts and the many adventures had by two children, Jack and Annie. Kids solve things in this series as well.

"Victor Lopez At the Alamo" by James Rice (historical fiction)

"The Courage of Sarah Noble" by Alice Dalgliesh

"Sarah, Plain and Tall" by Patricia MacLachlan and "Skylark" and "Winter's End"

"Uncle Shelby's ABZ: a primer for tender young minds" by Shel Silverstein

"Uncle Shelby's Story of Lafcadio, the lion who shot back" by Shel Silverstein

"Andre" by Lew Dietz

"If I Built A Car" by Chris Van Dusen - very cool illustrations and very imaginative and inspiring.

Mercy Watson books (illustrated by Chris Van Dusen) - These are hilarious!

"The Dog Prince" by Lauren Mills

"Abiyoyo" and "Abiyoyo Returns" by Pete Seeger
There is also an audio recording of Pete Seeger telling the tale of Abiyoyo.

Tales of Old Ireland - A Superb story on CD!!!  Couldn't find it through the library or Maine Cat, but Amazon has it in various forms (though I'd highly recommend the cd as the narrator is awesome!!). It is SO good!  Esp if you like Irish tales!

“The Land of Stories: the Wishing Spell” by Chris Colfer.  My son Li LOVES listening 
to this tale which is a spin on fairy tales.  Captivating story!  You can get it in book format or on 
cd read by the author.  The Maine library system has both!  If you like fairy tales, I highly 

"The Sisters Grimm" by Michael Buckley - There are a few books in this series.  The Maine library lending system has them as books and recordings.

Not so scary stories for kids (books below with bullets):

  • "May We Sleep Here Tonight?" by Tan Koide - This is my son Kanoa's favorite book and has been since he was 3.  Gophers, rabbits and racoons are lost in the fog and find an empty cabin to stay in.  When Mr. Bear returns home, readers will wonder if he is a scary fellow....but alas he is not and he makes them all food to warm their tummies and even shares his bed.  
  • "The Spook Book" by Burton and Rita Marks - This book explains how to set up your own haunted house. It has craft and recipe ideas. Both of my boys especially like this book. 

"Jake, A Guinea Pig Finds Adventure" by Laura Koniver

"The Astonishing Secret of Awesome Man" by Michael Chabon

"Ox Cart Man" by Donald Hall

"The Tomten and the Fox" by Astrid Lindgren

"Stellaluna" by Janell Cannon

"Love Your Neighbor' by Arthur Dobrin

"The Barefoot Book of Heroic Children" by Rebecca Hazel

"Talking With Adventurers" by Pat and Linda Cummings

"Harry the Dirty Dog" by Gene Zion

"Click Clack Moo, Cows That Type" by Doreen Cronin

"Don't Let The Pigeon Drive The Bus" by Mo Willems
And any of the Elephant and Piggie books by Mo Willems!  They are so funny and the expressions of the characters are brilliant!

"Danny and the Dinosaur" and "Sammy the Seal" and "The Horse in Harry's Room" by Syd Hoff

"The Best Nest" by PD Eastman

Dr. Seuss's books - so many of them!

"Amelia Bedelia" by Peggy Parish.  Some also by Herman Parish.

"Widget" and "Widget and the Puppy" by Lyn Rossiter- McFarland - About a cat who thinks
he's a dog...very funny!

"Under the Sea" A First Discovery book

"Lost in the Woods" by Carl R. Sams II and Jean Stoick

"The Snowy Day" by Ezra Jack Keats (and many other great books by same author)

"Goodnight Moon" by Margaret Wise Brown

Great Tales from Long Ago "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" Retold by Jan Gleiter and Kathleen Thompson

"The Seven Silly Eaters" by Mary Ann Hoberman (great book!)

"A Bargain for Francis" and other Francis books by Russell Hoban

"Farmyard Tales" "More Farmyard Tales" and "Even More Farmyard Tales" by Heather Amery

"Fun in the Sun" by Ski Michaels (Troll Associates)

"Frog and Toad All Year" and other frog and toad stories by Arnold Lobel.

"Be Nice To Spiders" by Margaret Bloy Graham

"The Giving Tree" by Shel Silverstein

"Katy No-Pocket" by Emmy Payne

"Curious George" by H.A. Rey

"Punia and The King of the Sharks" Retold by Beverly Mohan

"Lyle Lyle Crocodile" by Bernard Waber

"The Story of the Kind Wolf" by Peter Nickl

"Good Dog, Carl" by Alexandra Day (there are other Carl the dog books too by the same author)  These books have no or very few words.

Tikki Tikki Tembo - by Arlene Mosel, illustrated by Blair Lent (The illustrations are really cool in this book!)

"The Story of Ferdinand" by Robert Lawson

"French Toast for Maleek" by Amy Carpenter Leugs

"Treasury of Stories" Originally Created by Beatrix Potter

"Ripley's Believe It Or Not" books

"The Kids' Summer Handbook"  - lots of ideas and activities for all kinds of summer days.

"Quotations For Kids: More Than 2,000 Quotations To Educate, Entertain, And Inspire Young Readers"

Some series books my kids enjoyed: Wishbone, Pixie Tricks, The Littles, The Secret of Droon, Pony Pals, Unicorn's Secret, Animal Ark and many others....

"Star in the Storm" by Joan Hiatt Harlow

"My Brother Sam is Dead" by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier

"The Dragon of Lonely Island" by Rebecca Rupp

"Captain Underpants" and other Captain Underpants books by Dav Pilkey

"Santa Paws" by Nicholas Edwards and other Santa Paws books

"Pippi Longstocking" and "Pippi in the South Seas" and other Pippi books by Astrid Lindgren

"Ben and Me" A New And Astonishing Life Of Benjamin Franklin As Written By His Good Mouse Amos" by Robert Lawson

"The Captain's Dog: My Journey With The Lewis And Clark Tribe"

A Child's Walk in the Wilderness:

"The Midwife's Apprentice" by Karen Cushmman

"The Secret Garden"


"Julie of the Wolves" by Jean Craighead George

"A Wrinkle In Time" (book, audio, graphic novel and movie)

"The Wind Boy" by Ethel Cook Eliot

"The Tale of Emily Windsnap" and "Emily Windsnap and the Castle in the Mist" and other Emily Windsnap books by Liz Kessler

"Warriors" series of books by Erin Hunter   

"The Pirate Lafitte and The Battle of New Orlearns" by Robert Tallant - When my daughter Katie was young, she loved this book - we all did!!  She still enjoys rereading it as a teen!

"Red Scarf Girl" by Ji-Li Jiang (communism - This is a true story to do with the Cultural Revolution under Mao Ze-dong, leader of China from 1949-1976.  The Cultural Revolution began in 1966.  There is a little bit of violence, but not very graphic - more in general about how someone looked afterward.)

"Winterdance" by Gary Paulsen (He's a famous musher and writer!)

"Eragon" by Christopher Paolini (and other books by same author...who was homeschooled)

Like lighthouses and history?  My husband is a very enthusiastic pharologist!  He has a friend (Seamond Roberts) whose book he purchased.  As he was reading it, he shared some of his favorite chapters aloud with some of our family.  They read much like Laura Ingalls Wilder's books - you felt like you were there and could see it happening.  You became endeared to the real life characters in the story. If you'd like to take a look at this book, it is called, "Everyday Heros: The True Story of a Lighthouse Family" by Seamond Ponsart Roberts with Jeremy D'Entremont.

Another lighthouse book I enjoyed reading is "A Lighthouse Family" by Harold B. Jennings

"Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah" by Richard Bach - Awesome book that helps us to look at the things we take for granted in life and question them!! Highly recommend listening to the cassette tape (doesn't come on dvd as far as I can tell)

"Everything Bad Is Good For You: How Today's Popular Culture Is Actually Making Us Smarter" by Steven Johnson

"Enjoy Every Sandwich: Living Each Day As If It Were Your Last" by Lee Lipsenthal, M.D.

"Your Money or Your Life" by Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robin

"Celebrating The Great Mother: A Handbook of Earth Honoring Activities for Parents and Children" by Cait Johnson and Maura D. Shaw - might be of interest especially for those who like some of the Waldorf ideas

Misc. Links (not sure where to put these):
Matthew Santoro - videos on all kinds of interesting things! (Thank you Liz Archer!)

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