(Yes, this will be a "shameless promotion". But, I can't help it.)
I began using Usborne books for school before I became a consultant. I was trying desperately to keep up with our Classical Education group without Usborne books and realized quickly that I really did need the Ancient History Encyclopedia and some geography books. So, I ordered a few. Right after that, I saw a once-in-a-lifetime consultant sign up offer. I thought about it for a few days then jumped in with both feet and have never looked back.
So, you ask, how do I incorporate these books? I'll give you a few examples. The World History Encyclopedia is an absolute necessity. We are studying the Medieval / Early Renaissance time period this year and it is so much fun. The encyclopedia is not only gorgeous to look at, it is informative and easy to read in small bits. The internet links are the biggest time saver and homework helper. For example, last week, Baker wanted to report on Clovis. We read about him in Story of the World, Volume 2 and the encyclopedia. We then went on line to the encyclopedia-specific internet links and found some great pictures that we could print to go along with his oral report. He was so excited about it that he wasn't nervous at all about giving his report in class! I couldn't have done it without the Usborne encyclopedia.
We used the World History Sticker Atlas (also internet-linked) last year to help him connect the geography with the history. It was also a great way to sneak in some fine motor skill development. We still get to use that book this year since we didn't finish "stickering" last year (only because I held him back from doing it all at once).
I have Learning Palettes for Math and Reading. These are self-correcting, independent, non-consumable, skill reinforcement activities. (How's that for some teacher lingo?) He has reviewed number order, phonics, rhyming, graphs, ordinal numbers and many others using these.
I truly could go on and on - Playtime Activities, Science Things to Make and Do, dot-to-dot books, phonics readers, abridged classics, etc. These materials have added so much FUN to our school days and beyond. Baker's been known to stretch out on the couch with an encyclopedia or atlas just because he wanted to look. Don't you remember how fascinating those types of books were when you were young? I certainly do. I love seeing him have the same experience.
I can see that these resources are developing in him a love of learning and isn't that one of our ultimate goals as parents? If it isn't, it certainly should be. I would be honored to help you select some great things for your specific needs, hold a workshop/home show and even sign you on as a consultant if you so desire.
Onward and upward, parents! Let's raise a generation of LEARNERS not test-takers.