Homeschooling A Large Family

Lamplighter Books and Giveaway

I’m always on the look out for good books for my kids to read.  If it has an interesting plot, teaches godly character traits and inspires, then I’m sold.   In a culture where reality TV is more popular than good literature, finding these types of books can be difficult.  But not anymore!!

Enter LampLighter Books!!

hedge of thorns

Lamplighter Publishing Company is a non-profit organization that seeks to re-publish out of print, rare and hard to find books written in the seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. These books all share a common thread; they seek to represent the character of God and are full of spiritual truths.   I was first introduced to the Lamplighter books several years ago at a homeschool convention.  We were encouraged to read a “Hedge of Thorns” a wonderful story written by John Carrol in 1611.

The author tells of a gripping and painfully sad event in his childhood where he learns the lesson that God places hedges of protection around us the hard way.  In the book, he recounts how he let his disobedient spirit take over and the consequence his beloved little sister suffered because of it.

I could go on and on about this book, but I don’t want to reveal too much.  Suffice it to say, my husband and I loved this book so much that he even preached a message on the biblical truths found in this book!  If you’re thinking that a book written in 1611 would be hard to get through or difficult to understand, let me just say that our children looked forward to reading this book every night!  On nights that my husband was working, he made us promise not to read the book without him!

We have since read several of the Lamplighter books and each one is better than the next. {Although, Hedge of Thorns remains my personal favorite ;) }  The books are broken up into age categories so it is easy to find a title that would be suitable for your family. You could also search for books based on specific character qualities such as self-control, sibling rivalry, laziness and so much more!  These books will be a cherished collection to your home library.  They will be a blessing for generations to come.  And I really mean it!  The books are beautifully bound with cloth covers and have a vintage look and feel.  You will not regret investing in these classics!

Lamplighter Publishing has recently started converting some of their most popular titles into audio books and you can even find some of them in kindle format!

I contacted Lamplighter and they have generously offered a free MP3 download or e-book of Hedge of Thorns!  I haven’t yet listened to the audio version myself, but I’m sure it would not disappoint.  This will be a quick giveaway, so enter now!!
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1st, 3rd, 4th, 6th, & 7th grade Curriculum Choices

I finally finished putting together the kid’s curriculum! Yay for me!  You’d think that after 7 years of homeschooling, I’d know what I want.  But that’s the beauty of homeschooling-change and flexibility.  :)  This year I changed things up a bit so most of my picks are new to me.

My homeschooling philosophy is pretty simple. We put an emphasis on Math and English and rely on living books, field trips and videos to learn about the rest. So if you’re interested, this is what we’re doing. :)

6th & 7th grade

Math: Teaching Textbooks


We LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Teaching Textbooks.  Teaching Textbooks is a CD-Rom math curriculum.  They are a little pricey (ranging from $120-$185, depending on grade) but you get to use it for multiple students over and over again. So think of it as an investment.  I love how clear the lessons are explained (think Khan Academy) and how easy it is to check their progress in their grade book. Teaching Textbooks was a God send.

Spelling: Phonetic Zoo by Institute For Excellence in Writing phonetic zoo

This is another investment for us.  We used this last year primarily to help my son.   We saw a dramatic improvement in his spelling and confidence, so we’re sticking with it again this year.

Literature: The Giver by Progeny Press

the giver

This is new to us although I’ve heard a lot about Progeny Press.  Basically, they offer study guides for hundreds of classics dissecting the book from a Christian worldview. We only chose one book and guide because I want to test it out first.  I was very impressed by the selection of books and liked that they are broken up by grade, making it easy to find a book.  I’ll definitely keep you updated on how it goes for us.

Logic: The Fallacy Detective by Nathaniel Bluedorn & Hans Bluedorn


I’m really excited to start this one with my two oldest.  I think I’d learn a lot from it too.  This books offers to help you recognize common fallacies like the Red Herring, Ad HominemTu Quoque, Straw Man and many more.  Did I mention that I’m really excited to start this?!

Economics: Capitalism For Kids: Growing Up To Be Your Own Boss

The title of this book sold me.  It was something I stumbled across and thought it looked interesting.  Some of the chapters include, “Capitalism and other Isms”, “The Family That Works Together” and “The Wonderful World of Work” just to give you an idea.

English: Essentials in Writing

essentials in writting

This is another “new to me” goodie.  It’s a dvd program that as the name suggests, teaches the essentials in writing that your children need to know.  We were doing ACE’s Paces last year and really enjoyed it, but I was really looking for something that offered some interaction.  This year I need to focus on the younger guys, so it’ll be nice knowing that they can listen to a real teacher and hopefully that’ll make learning more fun.

1st, 3rd & 4th grade


English: ACE Paces (Accelerated Christian Education)

We used this last year and had great success with it.  The kids enjoyed it and so did I, so we’re sticking with it. :)

Math: ACE Paces

Same thing here.  The kids liked it, it works and I know how to use it.  Easy peasy.

All Grades

Science: God’s Design for Life by Answers in Genesis

Aig science

We love anything by Answers in Genesis, so I’m sure we’ll enjoy their science curriculum.  I’m hopefully going to get my husband involved in some of these lessons as I think he’ll be better at it than me. :)

Art: Mark Kistler’s Online Art Academy


As you know, I have an aversion to doing crafts with my kids, but this seemed simple enough for even me, so I’m actually looking forward to starting this as well.  Basically, you view an online lesson taught by Mark Kistler, that teaches various aspects of drawing in 3-D.  I’ve heard a lot of good about this program and the best part is? all you need is paper and a pencil. :)

That’s about it! I really hope some of these new picks work out for us.  I have high hopes.  Have you used any of these resources? If so, did you like it?


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