Thursday, January 19, 2006

Besides Rainbow Resource...

Anyone have any favorite homeschool catalogs? Here's my list of favorite and obscure sources for homeschool stuff. They all have dead-tree versions, which I far prefer for browsing.

American Home-School Publishing
No-nonsense catalog of "academically rigorous materials" oriented toward a classical education. Really good. I can't figure out why it's not better known.

Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers
These are the Artes Latinae guys. Everything your budding classicist could ever want. They have a printed catalog available. And a nice selection of Latin for little kids.

Chaucer Studio Recordings
Run by a professor in the English Dept. at BYU. I had an e-mail from him a while back saying he was having some new things recorded soon. Low prices, free shipping; they're just in it for the love of spreading Middle English. And you get a free cool Chaucer tote bag if you order enough materials. The grad student I talked to seemed amused that the department had tote bags.

Armor Forensics
For your budding CSI, or suspicious parent of teenagers. See their press release for all the cool details. Not really homeschooling, but my elder child loved browsing through it. And I'm sure I could find some use for 100 yards of "Caution: Crime Scene" police tape. Or an assortment pack of biohazard stickers.


Blogger Darwin said...

I love the various translations into Latin that Bolchazy-Carducci puts out, but I'm not quite sure what to think of Artes Latinae. I took several runs at it as a youth, I think first in 3rd grade, then again in 7th. I worked through the first volume or so of it during freshman year of high school, then dumped it to do Latin for real via Wheelock (and a family friend who's a classics PhD -- previously I'd been struggling along on my own).

Now, it could be that since you had to cover a lot of pages of Artes Latinae to get much down, I was just being too lazy when I was doing it self directed.

Also, I'd say that a heavily grammatical approach to language works best for me, in that I can understand the forms best if you get the full thing laid out clearly, rather than trickled out in bits for you to pick up on the fly. Of course, my great weakness is vocabulary. I never did really manage to set the dictionary all the way down...

However, one of my take-aways from my own experience was that I got seriously into a foreign language way too late. I want to get the kids started on a good language fairly early, and Wheelock is definately written for college students (or dedicated high school students) not third graders...

11:11 AM  
Blogger The Opinionated Homeschooler said...

Yes, I agree about Wheelock's, and in fact I use it to keep ahead of the young 'un baby-stepping through Artes Latinae. For a high school student or quick junior high student, going straight to Wheelock's is definitely best. But if you're starting them young, I do like A.L. better than most of the usual alternatives, which are packaged as easier but then spring tables to be memorized on you; at which point many kids just find themselves overwhelmed. Speaking from anecdotal evidence, anyway.

Also, today's A.L. is on CD-ROM, and you can buy cheap software for vocabulary and grammar drill that tracks with it, making it much easier to use than the old tape-and-workbook version.

12:59 PM  
Anonymous George said...

not related, but you may find this pretty funny, Sharon...

10:38 AM  
Blogger The Opinionated Homeschooler said...

Very amusing. I escaped the DVC so far myself, until this Christmas when an unnamed relative suggested it as a gift. I demurred, on the grounds that I like to read real history and don't have a lot of time for made-up stuff, and managed to escape with nothing worse than a surprised remark from said relative that I was not interested in books that asked Catholics to think for themselves. What could I do but agree.

Fortunately for me, another relative for Christmas got me Hans Urs von Balthasar's "Spirit and Fire: A Thematic Anthology of Origen's Writings." A wonderful book, and just right for a non-thinking Catholic like me.

11:47 AM  
Blogger MrsDarwin said...

Books like DVC are classified as "books that ask Catholics to think for themselves" because they happen to agree with what the giver thinks as well.

9:05 AM  

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