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Five Fantastic Homework Helpers You'll Love!

Back to School is my total, absolute jam. As a teacher, I loved getting all ready for Back to School. As a homeschool mom, I'm even more swoony over the time of year. And having complete access to Usborne Books amplifies the giddy-factor by about a million. 

I get asked ALL OF THE TIME for my top recommendations for Back to School and homework helpers. This question is nearly impossible to answer, but I've compromised and am bringing you my TOP FIVE SERIES you should definitely consider for your home!

Each of these has a fantastic variety of subjects to fit your families' specific needs, and they're all listed & linked below for your convenience! :) 

For access to sales and discounts, tips and encouragement for raising readers, to follow along on Buck & Chuck's homeschool journey, and to get regular peeks inside all UBAM has to offer, make sure you Join our Literacy Group by clicking here!

And now, five homework helpers you'll love!

1. Lift-The-Flap Everything!

Lift-the-Flap are MA.GI.CAL and Usborne Books has perfected the art of combing a fun, engaging activity with the opportunity to reinforce aaalll of the necessary skills for success. Lift-the-Flap allow your kids to practice their important new concepts without feeling like homework or drills. The colors and flaps are inviting instead of overwhelming and intimidating like so many boring and dry worksheets; and the motion of the lifting flaps actually helps the brain reinforce learning! My kids can sit and lift these flaps for an impressively long time, and they're actually interested in the questions and answers! Click on the photo to see inside!

Here are just SOME of the subjects you can get in this awesome format. Some subjects are available in multiple styles for a variety and age levels, and some are available in Spanish! Click to see these:

2. Encyclopedias

In an era of the internet, I am a firm believer that every home should have quality encyclopedias. Unlike just anybody posting on the internet, encyclopedias provide quality, reviewed content by authors and publishers held accountable for the information they put out there. Usborne encyclopedias are incredibly well-designed, contain magnificent photography as well as information presented in bite-sized chunks! This makes the content accessible to young readers instead of intimidating or overwhelming. Our encyclopedias are also internet-linked! This means there are links or QR codes provided throughout the book. When followed, they will take your student to safe, reviewed websites with even more fantastic information on whatever subject they desire! Click on the photo to see inside!

Check out the variety of encyclopedias at your disposal. Geography, Science, and History are available in paperback as well:

Animals | Children's | First Human Body | First Science | First Seas & Oceans | Geography | Science | World History | World Religions | Or Get our Popular Collection of three hardback encyclopedias!

3. Dictionaries

These aren't just your old Websters Dictionaries. These are the most beautiful, helpful, necessary to all families everywhere MATH AND SCIENCE dictionaries. Believe me when I say: these things come in handy. FOR REAL. They are so well written, with verbiage and explanations that will help either your CHILD navigate their homework on their own, or help YOU as the parent be able to explain tricky ideas or remember concepts you've long forgotten! They're full color and beautifully illustrated for inviting, appealing adventures through the worlds of math and science.

4. Activity Books

Usborne Activity Books are TOP NOTCH. They are creative and engaging to keep your kiddos interest, but also rigorous and thorough, to be sure they're getting impressive practice! The workbooks are consumable (one-time use), but have LOTS of great pages for practice. The wipe-clean are great to use over and over again! 

5. Writing Tools

Writing is a difficult skill to master. Good writing requires creativity, structure, and an extensive vocabulary - all endeavors that can be intimidating to overcome. Our Write Your Own series is fantastic for developing these necessary skills in a FUN, low-stress environment. They give your kids the freedom to create and explore writing while simultaneously gaining incredible skills in organization, vocabulary, and imagination! I HIGHLY recommend also adding a thesaurus to your wish list. My personal favorite is the Not-Your-Everyday Illustrated Thesaurus! 

Bonus: Wrap-Ups & Palettes

More like toys than homework helpers, the Learning Wrap-Ups and Palettes have become a STAPLE in our homeschool. We use them DAILY! My kids think they're fun, they are a great way to get a little movement in, avoid the fine motor skills my son despises while still getting in INCREDIBLE practice. They are simple to use, self-check, and cover a wide variety of skills (including reading, math, Spanish and music theory! 


Classical Conversations Cycle 2: Usborne Books

Are you ready to stock up on Classical Conversations Cycle 2 books from Usborne Books & More? Below you'll find handy dandy lists of my absolute favorites, my top picks for each subjects, and VIDEOS to peek inside EVERY TITLE LISTED!! (Don't forget to PIN IT!)

I can get your books DISCOUNTED or FREE! MESSAGE ME and ask how!

Join our Literacy Group to follow along on our CC Homeschool Journey, keep up with all things Usborne Books, and be a part of a community of people RAISING READERS!


If you don't pick up ANY OTHER books for the year, or you want to keep it as simple and streamlined as possible, I recommend our ENCYCLOPEDIAS! Click here to peek inside this stack. 

These encyclopedias have fantastic photography, are well laid-out, full of great info without being overwhelming, and are internet-linked!! They are absolute must-haves for every home.

The top three encyclopedias here are sold as a set in HARDBACK, or you can buy them individually in hardback or paperback. 

The Medieval World Encyclopedia is included IN the World History Encyclopedia!


All of these math books are fantastic. In our home, we use the Lift-the-Flap REGULARLY as part of our math practice. The activity books are engaging, bright, creative, and perfectly challenging! Peek inside this entire stack here

(Activity books also available in Fractions & Decimals, Adding & Subtracting, and Telling the Time)


If I had to pick just one of these, it would totally be the Lift-the-Flap (an obviously favorite in our home!) It's fun to explore, full of info, and still a great map reference! Peek inside of them here


Each of these Bible Story Books are fantastic in their own right. I love the Illustrated Bible Stories because of the fantastic, bright illustrations. I love the Book of Bible Stories because it's a dual reader. Dual readers have TWO levels of text, one for beginners and one for more advanced -- an absolutely perfect pick for shared reading! Click here to peek inside!


We are particularly excited about history this year! What a fantastic line-up of studies! From this stack, I recommend definitely grabbing the Timelines of World History book. It will be a great reference for ALL THREE Cycles! I also highly recommend the World Wars book. It is sooooo well done, perfectly written for a variety of ages, and loaded with beautiful photography!


If we're talking the Renaissance, we can't skip Shakespeare! My favorite book in this stack is Complete Shakespeare! EVERY PERSON needs this book! It is an abridged version of ALL of Shakespeare's plays, written in modern English. These are great for introducing his works before moving on to complete and original versions. Peek inside here!


Definitely, absolutely, without question. GRAB THE Not-Your-Everyday Illustrated Thesaurus!! Thank me later. Look inside the enter stack here!

(Note: The photo here needs to be updated, but the list corresponds with the full video!)


I am so surprised at how much use we've gotten out of this stack of books! They're great for all three cycles and all incredibly well done. The First Book about the Orchestra was a fantastic intro for my five year old this year. We also spend a lot of time with the Lift the Flap Art book.

Art Treasury is my personal favorite, because it teaches about artists and then teaches the reader to create art using the same techniques! Informative and fun!

(Listed are the Cycle 2 artists/musicians you can find in each book)
First Book about the Orchestra
Famous Composers: Dvorak, Brahms, Beethoven, Classical, and Romantic
Art Treasury: Degas, Monet, Van Gogh
Famous Artists: Rembrandt, Degas, Monet, Van Gogh
Famous Paintings: Rembrandt, Gainsborough, Degas, Monet, Morisot, Van Gogh
Lift-the-Flap Questions and Answers about Art


Narrowing down my favorite in this stack is near impossible. They ALL get a lot of use in our home! The pocket books are probably pulled out most often. Otters, Snails and Tadpole Tails is an EXCELLENT book of poetry that I cannot recommend highly enough!!

If you're only grabbing one thing from this stack, I would pick one of the science dictionaries. The Illustrated Elementary Science is thorough, beautiful, and written in a very accessible but informative manner. The Illustrated Dictionary of Biology is a staple for any home. Consider grabbing the Illustrated Dictionary of Science (not shown here), which is a combined volume including Biology book as well as the Physics and Chemistry versions!


We have SO MANY great space books that they needed a category of their own for sure! Again, I could make a case for every book in this stack, but if I were forced to pick just a couple, I would say our two personal favorites are Look Inside Space and Big Book of Stars and Planets

Decide for yourself by peeking inside here!