As I watch everyone around me talk about back to school shopping and getting back into a “school” schedule, it’s a reminder to me that homeschooling has reduced some stresses (like shopping for supplies, clothes, shoes, etc.). But there are other things homeschool parents need to prepare for, and that is new curriculum. This year, we officially have two homeschool students (as in, two that are legally required to be in a school setting). If you’re new to homeschooling, or thinking about it, here are some tips you can use.
As a new-ish homeschooling parent, I’m always looking for resources and communities to strengthen and enhance here are some tips you can use. While homeschool is a more budget friendly alternative to private school, it can still be costly if you’re not sure where to go, or what resources you need. There are thousands of curriculum out there and plenty of opportunity for you to purchase books or courses for study online.
One thing we’ve learned as we enter into our third year of homeschooling is that what works for some, may not work for others. And what works for one child may not work for another child. So just practice patience and don’t feel bad if it takes some trial and error to figure out what works best for you. As I continue with our homeschool journey, I’m always bookmarking helpful sites, resources and curriculum. So I wanted to put together a small list as a stepping stone for others who may be considering or are just getting started with homeschooling. Our kids are ages 4, 5 & 7 (soon to be 4, 6 & 8) so most of these resources are for younger/elementary school aged kids.
Free homeschool curriculum and resources:
This organization was started by an innovative family who homeschooled their children for nearly two decades. The mission of NBHE is to highlight and uplift African American homeshooling families across the country. NBHE has grown to become the premiere destination for black homeschool families. They are also affiliated with HSLDA (Home School Legal Defense Association) and provides great membership benefits.
Homeschooling is on the rise for African American families and this site is dedicated to providing encouragement and resources to African American homeschoolers. There is also a supportive Facebook group.
This is a structured and FREE Charlotte Mason style curriculum for Catholics. I wasn’t initially sure what a CM style of learning meant, but it can be a relaxed, almost unschooling style to a more formal, structured method. This particular curriculum leans more towards the structured approach. When reviewing the details, I liked that this curriculum teaches independent learning early on.
This is a complete and free online Christian homeschool curriculum that is easy to follow for pre-K through high school. This family has created this platform in order to empower other families to homeschool, especially those who feel like they can’t due to time or money pressures. Their six children ages range from 2-15 so they have all the grades covered just about.
5. Khan Academy
This is a free homeschool resource based on the Catholic religion. What I love about this site is that it breaks down each school level. Even if you’re not Catholic, there is a ton of great info, including sample schedules, free resource sites for printables, and more.
This site has a wealth of knowledge around homeschool, and where to get the latest deals for free or discounted curriculum. They also have a really great list for free “homeschool goodness” so be sure to check it out. Some of it may be full curriculum, and some is part curriculum and is broken down by category.
I just recently discovered this awesome free tool. It is free and includes 42 videos that you can watch anytime. It also includes curriculum downloads right on the site at no additional cost. Each session starts with the objectives as well as the correct pronunciation. The first lesson starts here and there is no need to set up a new account. Just click, watch and learn.
This is another recently discovered site as we were looking for ways to incorporate more fine arts. Lucky for me, my family grew up in the performing arts. So our kids will be taking East African dance and language lessons this summer. But as someone who played the recorder and then the flute for over ten years, I want my kids to experience all types of music and be able to appreciate it. I like that Classics for kids has lesson plans associated with it.
I came across this awesome YouTube channel that will literally help you teach your child to play the recorder and learn how to read music at the same time. I was so excited and the kids are too. As soon as we pick up one more recorder, they will start their lessons (because we don’t need anyone fighting over whose turn it is). They have lessons available on the site for most musical instruments.
Even if you’re not a homeschooler, these are some really great resources for you to utilize as a supplement to what your kids are already doing. If you already homeschool, hopefully, some of these resources have been helpful for you.
Ok so this one is technically not free, but it has been an excellent resource! This swim school is not only year-round, but they also offer swimming programs specifically for homeschoolers. The KIDS FIRST® Swim Schools are America’s largest provider of year round warm water swimming instruction, operating 24 locations across 5 states, teaching over 100,000 students annually. My kids started taking classes there this summer and I was so excited to have a program that is dedicated to homeschoolers, and our schedule. It was also a plus that the Manager of our local school is a product of homeschool.
What are some of your favorite free homeschool curriculum and resources that you’ve come across that should be added to this list?