7 Homeschool Resources and Ideas For New Teachers
I would not be where I am today without homeschooling. While I did well in public school, I spent a lot of time bored. In grade school, they let me wander around and explore the old stacks of books in the basement or go to the library. At one point, I spent about 25% of my school day just reading. My Dad taught me a lot of what you learned in the first two years of grade school before I even stepped foot in one. I had an excellent grade school with very top-notch teachers. I am in contact with at least one of my teachers to this day.
I skipped 6th grade because my parents didn’t send me to school until I was six so I was behind a year.They broke up, and at one point, my mother ran away for several months, and no one knew if she was even alive. So I started school late. I think they just kind of forgot about it, but part of the issue was that in my rural area of Western Washington, there was no Kindergarten until the year I went anyway. The nearest program was 10 miles away, and the buses wouldn’t pick up kids out that far so that they could go to Kindergarten.
I completed one semester of 7th grade at the middle school and got fed up with it. Too many people and a lot of drama. By 16 I got on a Greyhound and headed to North Carolina where most of my family is from anyway.
I spent a lot of high school just raising goats, Great Pyrenees, and, chickens. In 1999 I bought my first goat for $20 and then worked cleaning out a barn to get another bottle baby. I had the girl’s bred and suddenly I was in the goat business. I worked a fast food job in town and at the library and poured my money into expanding my goat herd. By the time I left for college in 2001 I had 16 goats and a lot of family land cleared.
Homeschooling allowed me to get to work and figure some things out.
I know a lot of parents are struggling with homeschooling. Many express a lack of confidence in their ability to educate their children. I think the biggest struggle is that most households cannot afford to have a parent stay at home and watch kids or educate them. I do not doubt that many parents would excel at teaching their children. Don’t think that the government can do a better job than you! Unless you are just the most impatient person in the world, chances are you will do just fine.
Here are some sites and resource suggestions for homeschooling. They range from totally free curriculum to online resources that can help supplement any program. I have also included some monthly subscription boxes that include educational activities for children. Costs vary, but I have not included anything expensive.
This site is a fantastic resource for those that want to homeschool on a budget. It is a Christian based program for K-12. Everything is free! The lessons are online, but you can also use them offline. I got nostalgic about the reader program being based on McGuffey’s readers. I learned to read on a McGuffey reader that was published in 1936. I highly recommend checking out this site.
The founder of the site designed it based on her years of homeschooling experience with her own children. There are links to support groups on Facebook for parents that are using the curriculum.
Khan is a free homeschool program that is operated as a not for profit agency. If you would rather have a secular program, this one is a well known option for K-12.
This is another Christian based free homeschool curriculum. They even have a curriculum designed especially for families that are trying to teach children in the middle of a disaster.
Digital Library Resources
My local library system offers access to a lot of research tools, journals, periodicals, archives, and electronic books. There are even a bunch of online courses that you can take. All you have to do is put in your library card number and create a password. Your local library website probably has a list on their site. If you live far enough away that you are not eligible for a free library card, it may still be worth it to pay the small yearly fee for a card so that you have access to the electronic resources.
This site has a lot of different interactive games and activities that you can sort by grade level. While it is not an all in one curriculum, it is a big help for kids that are more visual learners or those that don’t really like traditional book work that much. Making learning a game can be a big help.
Education.com is a wonderful source for printable worksheets. It appears that this site is just for K-5, but after looking at it, I think that I could use this site and a few other books and design a decent custom curriculum for basically no money. At most, you will need a printer and some paper.
They do offer a premium subscription for a very low fee. I am not sure what extras you get for your money.
Educational Subscription Boxes
I like monthly subscription boxes. They are generally a great value. There are a ton that are educational and designed to keep kids learning and entertained. There are far too many for me to list here, but if you follow this link, you will be taken to a site called Cratejoy and their selection of kid’s educational boxes. Prices vary, and you can often find a good coupon. There are boxes available that contain science experiments, books, gardening projects, foreign language learning, outdoor activities, geography, and more. I think that the science experiment boxes would be convenient. I remember that labs were something that was missing from homeschool programs when I was growing up.
Online Advanced Courses
I will mention The Great Courses as a possible resource for advanced learning activities. A lot of adults that want to continue their education use The Great Courses. At the moment you can get a trial. There is also MasterClass. I am considering signing up for a month of The Great Courses site during the winter time because I do like to learn new things. I went to college but I feel like I didn’t have a chance to learn a lot of the things that I would like to.
What homeschool resources would you add to this post? Please share in the comments below!