China Homeschool Resources

This year  and next we are studying the history of the Eastern Hemisphere. It has been one of our most fun and interesting studies in a history program that has been full of fun and interesting. We are currently working our way through China and I just had to tell you about a few of the amazing books that we have read.

In our homeschool where we have high expectations for books and it is commonplace for our children to beg to “do more school”, “read one more chapter, pleeeease” and to ask “please may we have school today”, this book still stood out as exceptional. Young Fu of the Upper Yangtze is a fictional story of a young Chinese boy who moves to the city in order to support his recently widowed mother. It gives wonderful insight into life in a Chinese city during the turbulent period that occurred between the last emperor stepping down in 1911 and the beginning of the Nationalist government in 1927.

Eric Liddell in the Christian Heroes: Then and Now series has been inspiring and puts us to shame when we read about  his faith, willingness to sacrifice and how God provided and used him for His glory. We really like all of the books in this series. It is wonderful for our children to have Christian historic figures to emulate. Our all time favorite is the one about George Mueller, but he wasn’t in China so that should be a different post.Chinese writing

Since I’m doing this post I must to include the Ancient China-Treasure Chest. This includes a neat book that we read, but the main attraction is the hands-on activities included. Some real Chinese coins and a game to play with them, an inkstone, inkstick and caligraphy brush to try your hand at writing Chinese characters, a fan to decorate, etc. The children love working on these projects and since I’m not great at doing hands on activities with them this fills the gap a bit.

When I told the children about this post they all begged me to include Mission to Cathay. This book was an independent reading assignment and while I usually read books before I give them to the children to read, this one fell through the cracks. They have all cried at the end of the book, declared it to be one of best books they have ever read and “mom, you have got to read this book”. (I will say that they make the “best book we have ever read” comment frequently.) So, “Mission to Cathay” comes highly recommended by my 12, 11, and 8 year old girls and my 9 year old boy. Any mom’s out there who have read it and can give an adults perspective?

Do you have any favorite resources for studying China?

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4 Responses to China Homeschool Resources
  1. Dawn @ Olive Plants
    April 18, 2009 | 11:02 am

    Thanks for posting. These look like interesting reads that will fit some of our up-coming studies.


  2. Kim
    July 5, 2009 | 9:59 pm

    I am looking for history curriculum right now. Do you mind sharing what program you are using?



  3. Raising Olives
    July 6, 2009 | 7:03 am


    We are currently using Sonlight for history. Although I tend to be ecclectic and add a lot of additional reading for the children. Sonlight also works well for our family because I am very involved in the actual teaching and discussion.

    Whenever I recommend Sonlight I do so with a few caveats:

    1) The Sonlight authors are not 7-day creationists. I have not noticed this blatantly in any of the curriculum, but it is good to be aware of that fact.

    2) Don’t make the assumption that all of the books that Sonlight recommends will be suitable for your family. There have been several books that have needed some editing and a few that we have skipped all together.

    3) Sonlight does not have to be as expensive as it’s listed on the Sonlight homepage. I buy almost all of our books used, but I do purchase the most recent teacher’s guide from Sonlight.

    4) I use one level of Sonlight for ALL of our school age children. A lot of people use a different level for each child,but Sonlight is designed to work in the manner that we are using it in our home. I have spoken to several of Sonlight’s curriculum advisers, so this is not just my opinion. We are currently working through Sonlight Level 5 with six children ages 5-12. It does take some tweaking, but I’m working on a few posts about multi-grading and Sonlight is a perfect curriculum to multi-grade. Next year we will begin two levels of Sonlight. Both Level 1 and Level 6 cover the first half of world history, so we integrating both levels as we move through world history.

    This is perhaps more information than you wanted, but no curriculum is perfect and I hate to recommend Sonlight without those cautions.

    My second choice for history would be Mystery of History. We used that in conjunction with Sonlight a few years ago and as a straight history program I perhaps prefer that to Sonlight, although it is a little more difficult to implement.

    If you have any other questions, please feel free to let me know.



  4. Stephanie
    November 18, 2010 | 1:11 am

    Voice of the Martyrs sold a book titled Safely Home which was excellent.


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