Educational Resource Roundup: Some Must Haves

I am the person that picks up all those flyers for events and programs. I have them stacked haphazardly on my table, crammed into books I am reading, crumpled at the bottom of my bag. I should take a picture of it and leave it there but I don't. I get swept up in the magic of type and brightly colored paper. The bad habit means my house will never be Instagram ready but is does mean that I have a great list of resources. for supplementing/homeschooling. 


1. Human Body Theater by Maris Wikes

We have been obsessed with this book since we got it at Barnes and Noble. The graphic novel teaches about the human body in great detail using beautiful vivid images and a stage show format. The jokes/content in the book are funny, my son loves the dance of the oxygen fairies, but it does not skimp on the information. I highly recommend the book. I will be using it to each lessons on the Human Body starting in March. 

I started a Pinterest board: Teaching Anatomy  to get some inspiration and gather ideas for lesson/activity plans. I would love to hear about other great resources for teaching anatomy,  


2. Compost: A Families Guide to Making Soil from Scraps by Ben Raskin

This interactive guide to all things composting is also a must have. We love it and if you are even slightly interesting in composting you will love it too. In addition to having helpful information, like a Wheel of Fortune style page that tells you if an item should be composted, there are stickers, places to write notes, and TONS of helpful tools and fun bonuses. I am especially in love with the worm identification guide and the Worm Lovers Society Card, which can be taken out of the book! The book is designed to get dirty and then get composted. Yup, the book itself can be composted. This book was the one that raised my expectations about how magical a book could be especially for little hands. I am currently working on a summer Food Justice/Environmentalism unit and this book is a major part of my plans. 

3. The Usborne Big Book of Stars and Planets

This book really conveys the wonders of our Universe.
— The Royal Society Young People's Book Prize 2014

Anyone who know me, knows that I am obsessed with Usborne books. This book is no exception. Usborne book are always overflowing with information and captivating imagery, but the images in the book are nothing short of amazing. The book includes 4 GIANT fold-out pages of the universe, solar system and the technology used for space exploration. I found a great video on Youtube of the inside of the book. This is a great bedtime book and I am currently using it for our Astronomy lessons along with See Inside the Universe, DK First Space Encyclopedia, and an old science textbook a friend found at a thrift store. See Inside the Universe does not have very many pages but it is full of information. I like it because it forces my son to slowdown and dive into each page in order to get everything out of it which is an important skill. 

You can grow with these books, thats what makes them must haves. I think we will have each of these for years and as our learning moves to greater depths these books will still serve a purpose. These books have also changed the way we interact with education, I started making me own worksheets and lap-books because I wanted to build lessons around these books.  I hope you enjoy them as much as we have. 


Usborne QuickLinks

Usborne books keep on giving. Each book has a list of quick-links to help you dive deeper into each topic. You do not have to have the books to use the links.

Revolutionary. Honestly, I would not be able to lesson plan without this handy tool and if you keep track of grades you can do that on this website as well. I love it because it keeps me on track. I really enjoy that I can print a schedule for my son if that is what we need, I can embed links into my lesson plans, move entire lessons forward if I don't get to it and so on. I am NOT a super organization homeschooler so I reduces the number of papers I have to track and if I don's use it for a week or a month everything is there when I get my life back together. I don't enter every grade but it important to me that if I can track what we have been doing. You can even create a rubric so if you pay for a music lesson, or other activity, you can ask the teacher to fill out a quick evaluation however often see fit. Best's free! I tried a few other similar programs and well..don't waste your time, head over to and get yourself a profile. 

CrashCourse/CrashCourse Kids

Educational Youtube Videos that work really well as part of a lesson or just a youtube binge watch, which we did when we first discovered them last November. We stick with Crash Course Kids which has great episodes like "Defining a Problem".  There are a wide variety of topics and the lengths a short. I think they are perfect for reinforcing lessons we have engaged with already. Here is one that we have watched a few times because there are a lot of great spring boards for diving into other topics like Energy. IT'S ALL CONNECTED and they do a great job of showing that. I so find that my son does not mind watching the same episode a few times. Repetition is a MAJOR KEY for him.  

That's all for my first round-up. Please send messages or leave comments about resources you're using or your experience with any of the ones I suggested. This is not a sponsored post.