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a Christian Home School Resource Directory for the extended Portland Oregon metro area
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English & Literature Based Programs

We are fortunate that our library systems carry many of the books mentioned in homeschool literature/history programs listed below and are willing to to inter-library loans (see the reference library in your community library).
Clackamas County Library System
Chemeketa Cooperative Library System (Yamhill, Polk, Marion Counties)
Multnomah County Library System
Wasington County Library System


Includes Literature based programs for History

 
Ambleside. This a website that has free Charlotte Mason approach curriculum guides (grades 1-10) that lists suggested books together with a weekly schedule. It uses a number of online books which are linked.  Some good suggestions to glean from if you are interested in the Charlotte Mason or classical education approach or just a good list of literature to choose from (not all books will appeal to all Christian families). 
 
B & R Samizdat Express Publishers This is the modern idea of books on cdrom.  Samizdat publishes books you read on your computer (pc or mac), collected and organized in useful and suggestive ways on CD and DVD. They offer classics and out-of-print gems, organized by author, genre, time period, theme/subject, and geographic region. Books are in plain text form and are word/phrase searchable, printable, and editable. You can buy an entire library for the price of a single printed book. (For example, 50 G. A. Henty books for $12 plus $3 s/h.) You are also given a trial program that reads the books to you aloud.  The site also instructs how to copy the books to ipod or MP3 player format (there is some editing involved to format them for ipod or MP3).  The disadvantage with plain text is it is not in page format (you can't just go to a page, you would have to word search to find your place again.)  The advantage is it allows you to edit or format a book to suit your particular needs especially if your system needs are not compatible with other formats.
 
Beautiful Feet   A wonderful Christian, literature based history curriculum company. Also does a literature based science curriculum (through biographies of famous scientists). Buy the guides for the full program, or get the catalog for book ideas for kids reading!

Book Angles.com   Book Angles is the ministry of Sweet Home Press, owned by a Christian homeschool familiy, that offers reviews of popular literature books.  They state on their website: "We make no excuses for our target audience—families with traditional values who want help guiding children in what to read at each stage of their development. We also approach reviews with a Christian world view and apply biblical values as we see them."  Great resource for homeschooling parents trying to keep ahead of voracious readers!
 
BOOK It Reading Program.  This is a reading incentive program sponsored by Pizza Hut that has been around for 20 years.  It started in the public schools but has been made available to homeschoolers for about the last 10.  The concept is simple.  You and your child decide upon a monthly reading goal.  If your child makes his goal that month (choosing any books you would like--there is no required reading list), then you as the teacher award a ticket to him/her for a free Pizza Hut individual pizza.  The program runs from October through March, and you must register in May/early June to receive your tickets in August for the following school year.  Registration for the program is completely free.  This was a great incentive for our early readers!
 
Capstone Press/Blue Earth Books. Secular publisher of unique informational books. Check out the "Exploring History Through Simple Recipes" series which is a delightful unit study approach to history that involves learning about a particular period while developing some delicious meals of the times. This is a secular company, but the books in this particular series were overall balanced and wholesome, and just plain fun with lots of interesting historical tidbits! These books are available in our local library system.
 
Classic Reader  "We offer a large collection of free classic books, plays, and short stories by authors such as Dickens, Austen, Shakespeare and many others. You can read, search and even add your own annotations to any of the classic books. A selection of author biographies and portraits are also made available. All functions of this site are free to use although some functions require free registration."  There are a LOT of titles in this site free for the reading!
 
English 101  This website offers a review/supplemental grammar course for the middle/high school student for free.  It includes pre-tests before each grammar unit, instruction with interactive lessons, then unit tests.  A student may work at his own pace, redo each exercise or test, and receive a score for his work which you could then print as results for a portfolio.  The closest I've found (so far) for a complete grammar course online for free that is both useable and understandable.
 
Glencoe Guides. Another website for free unit study guides for literature books. Includes questions and projects. Secular, so again pick and chose, but overall very helpful. Click on your title to bring up the helps and link to the guides.
 
Greenleaf Press  A great Christian, literature based, history curriculum company. We loved their catalog suggestions and guides.  Use their guides in full, or just get their catalog for great book ideas for your kids!
 
The Gutenberg Project. A site with over 19,000 free ebooks for download. Search by author or title. Please surf carefully as this is a secular site with books which you may find are unsuitable for your family. However, many classics are represented in its inventory.
 
HyperGrammar is a free online grammar course produced by the University of Ottowa that  provides a fairly full set of grammar lessons with interactive review.
 
One Thousand Good Books. This is a list on a classical education loop that organizes the books by title or by grade level. It includes what that Chirstian editor believes to be the 1000 essential books. As always with any list, personal tastes and appeal varies greatly, so it will be important to review any book to make sure it fits your family. Great resource though of the "great" books.
 
Many Books.net  This site provides free ebooks for download too.  Most of the books are taken from the Gutenberg project above.  The advantage here is there are different formats to download (ibook, PDF, doc, etc). The site is well indexed to help you find your books. The book downloads are easy and smooth AND the pdf format we did is just like looking at a real book with pages on your screen or on your printout (but no illustrations).   Note: This site provides a A LOT of G. A. Henty books for free!
 
Shmoop is a collaborative website created by college teachers from major universities to provide literature and teaching resources "to make learning and writing more fun and relevant for students in the digital age."  It provides secular study guides and analysis for literature and history with a running commentary that attempts to create a passion for learning within the standard public high schooler.  Included are some useful links to original source works for contrast and comparision and interesting bits of trivia. 
 
Smarr Publishers  Fully integrated English courses (reading, composition, grammar, and vocabulary), philosophy course, and individual study guides for ancient, world, British, and American from a Christian worldview perspective.
 
Spark Notes. This is a GREAT site to get free discussion supports, study questions, character lists, and TESTS for literature (everything from Shakespeare to modern). You can cut and paste or print the tests through your browser. Secular, so pick and chose, but overall very useful. Find your book title, click on its highlighted name (NOT the study guide icon--that's the one to buy); then all the free helps come up.
 
Such A Time As This is Dr. James Stobaugh's college preparatory literary and history series.  This series provides educationally sound, rigorous literature courses. Students will learn: to think critically about their world and their participation in it; to write their thoughts, primarily through essays; to articulate their thoughts through small group discussions with peers, families, broader communities, and through occasional formal speeches; to enhance vocabulary through reading and studying quality literature; to converse about the major worldviews of authors of literature, past and present; and to develop and refine their own worldviews through participating in biblical application and Christian principles in weekly studies.
 
Tapestry of Grace. Tapestry of Grace is a classical, unit-study approach which guides the whole family though 4 years of study of world history, with an emphasis on western/American history, using primarily good literature. When you finish the 4 years, you merely start again, moving your children to more challenging books. This Christian curriculum covers history, literature, art and music history, church history, philosophy, geography, and writing for all ages. Government is included for the high schooler. While providing the lessons for you, Tapestry does recommend at least an hour of study each week for the parent to prepare for meaningful discussions.
 
Tree of Life School and Book Service is a Canadian Classical Christian homeschool program that weaves Biblical worldview through analyzing literature and history.  You can purchase per book, per curriculum set per class, or purchase the whole oversight program, or view their syllabus to help you develop your own classical reading program.
 
TRISMS  "TRISMS Curriculum is designed to impart a chronological survey and geographical progression of mankind throughout time. It is our goal to equip the home school and private, charter or public school students with skills that will prepare them for a lifetime of learning. TRISMS is more than a history study for high school and middle school. It is designed to build upon a foundation of research, discovery, and language from late elementary school through high school....Throughout the year the student will read literature, biographies, historical fiction, cultural studies, and most varieties of reference materials. TRISMS is easily adapted to a multi-level setting in the home school with all ages of students using a classical and innovative approach."