Hi everyone! Welcome to the second post in our series “How to Afford Homeschooling”! Last week, we talked about why families need to have an open discussion about finances. This week, I wanted to share some of the free homeschool resources that help us teach our kids on a budget.
I was homeschooled myself from sixth grade onward. My mom used two very traditional curriculum providers: Calvert School (Grades 6-8) and American School (Grades 9-12). I got a good quality education during those years, but the cost of those programs was pretty high and they’ve only gotten more expensive since then.
Now that we have the Internet, though, there are more free resources for homeschoolers than ever before! If you’re new to homeschooling, you might be surprised to find out that you can literally put together an entire K-12 curriculum for free. Here are some of the great resources we’ve either used or plan to use to compile our children’s curriculum:
- Donna Young – I have used nearly all of the printable homeschool planning forms on Donna Young’s website at one point or another. There are plenty of great bound homeschool planners you can buy, but this site has most, if not all, of the same planning sheets for absolutely free. She also features a few planning pages that allow for more than one child at a time, which is a big help to families that are teaching several kids at once (like us!).
- Scholastic – Scholastic has a great library of resources for teachers that includes printables, activities, craft ideas, lesson plans, and videos. Nearly all of the material is free to use and you can sort it all by age or grade.
- Khan Academy – Khan Academy is a completely free video portal with tutorials about Math, Science, and Economics, among others. This site is geared toward middle and high school students, which means I’ll be hitting up these tutorials to remind myself how to solve for X in a couple of years.
- CK-12 – Most of the resources at CK-12 are for grades six and up, but some are for PreK through elementary ages. I really like this site because you have the option to either view entire textbooks online or download them in PDF format. Free teacher guides are also available for download. Textbooks cover subjects such as Algebra, Chemistry, and Statistics.
- Houghton Mifflin EduPlace – EduPlace is provided by the textbook company Houghton Mifflin. It’s actually designed to complement the material in the company’s textbooks, but the online content is so thorough that you could use it without having the textbooks at all. EduPlace has resources and lesson plans for grades PreK through 8 in subjects such as Math, Language Arts, and Social Studies.
- Ambleside Online – AO is a complete, free Charlotte Mason curriculum designed for grades K through 12. We’re eclectic homeschoolers, but we implement many Charlotte Mason methods. What I really like about Ambleside Online is that you can pick and choose the aspects of it that you want and just skip the parts you don’t. Everything is laid out in a week-by-week lesson plan, which makes it a breeze to plan each grade. Almost all of the books on the reading list are also available for free and AO provides links to most of them directly on the site.
- Core Knowledge – Better known as the company behind the “What Your __ Grader Needs to Know” series, Core Knowledge also offers a downloadable sequence for grades K through 8. This is a huge help when you’re planning your school year, since you can just take a look at the sequence to see which topics you’ll need to cover each year. (Make sure that you check your state’s list of educational objectives as well.)
- Easy Peasy All-in-One Homeschool – We featured this site as one of the Websites We Love last week, but it deserves another shoutout here. Hundreds of online resources arranged in daily lessons for grades K through 8 in one place!
Do you have any free homeschool resources that you use to build your curriculum? Let us know in the comments! And come back next week for the next part in our series “Making Friends with Your Local Library”.
Keep on learning!