Have you thought about homeschooling, but don't think you can afford to do so?
Are you already homeschooling and have experienced a change in your family's finances requiring you to make budget cut-backs?
Or, do you just like saving money? (We all like to do that, right?!)
Then, you're in luck. Today's blog post is all about how you can acquire homeschooling curriculum and materials for FREE. Yes, I said FREE! This is a list of some of my most favorite FREE homeschooling resources. Enjoy!
1) The McGraw-Hill Companies offer printable English Language Arts workbook pages online for FREE! The printable worksheets include subjects such as: Spelling, Phonics, Vocabulary, Grammar, Reading Skills, Poetry, and more. The workbook is offered in it's entirety, in addition to supplemental workbooks, if needed. You may choose to print only pages you deem necessary, saving ink and paper, thus money. The grades offered range from Kindergarten through Sixth Grade. These workbooks are what you'd use or see in a typical American public school. Here's the linked page: National Treasures Workbooks. If you want to save money on printing ink, you can purchase these workbooks at Amazon for little cost.
2) Does an education rooted in reading classical literature and putting an emphasis and interest on Art, Music, History, and Nature Study appeal to you? Then, Ambleside Online is a website you should check out. It's based on the Charlotte Mason method of teaching. The information on the site is offered completely FREE.
A suggested time frame or "scope and sequence" is already laid out for you. This is particularly helpful for new homeschooling families who may need or want that structure. Grades or what they call "Years" range from Kindergarten through Year 12 (high school). As much as possible, the suggested reading lists are linked to resources online where you can read the books or print them for FREE.
To learn more about the Charlotte Mason method of teaching, you can find all sorts of videos on YouTube for FREE. I would suggest to start your research by watching videos from "Simply Charlotte Mason". Here's some of my favorites:
- Five Flavors of Homeschooling
- Sonya Shafer on Narration
- Sonya Shafer on Habit-Training
- Basic and Intensive Phonics
- Charlotte Mason Picture Study Demonstration
- Prepared Dictation Explained
3) Easy Peasy All-In-One Homeschool is another great full curriculum website offered completely for FREE. The levels go from Pre-reading through High School. The subjects covered are: Art, Bible, Computer, Foreign Language/ Spanish, History, English Language Arts, Math, Music, P.E., Reading, and Science. Here's a link to their "About" page. Some of their materials are offered for sale (EP store or Amazon), if you like the feel of an actual book in your hands, but the entire curriculum is offered online for FREE. The suggested materials are also online and FREE.
4) Personally, we use the FREE educational videos on YouTube, nearly daily. Karen Hua wrote a good article entitled Education as Entertainment: YouTube Sensations Teaching The Future for Forbes online, wherein she highlights some of the best YouTube educational channels. Some of her top channel picks are also channels we've enjoyed in our own homeschool, including:
- Khan Academy (channel on YouTube)
- Khan Academy (website)
- Crash Course (channel on YouTube)
- Crash Course (website)
Additional channels we've enjoyed are:
- Math Antics
- Faith4lly Homemade (A former elementary teacher turned homeschool mom shares how she uses elementary resources. She also makes her own for her TpT store.)
- Pepper and Pine (A homeschool mom demonstrates Waldorf style activities, including chalk drawings, unit studies, and peg dolls.)
- Learning with Jady (One of my personal favorite YouTube channels focusing on Montessori inspired preschool activities.)
- Kiboomers (A preschool and early elementary channel with a focus on music.)
- Storybook Nanny (Online book readings focusing on preschool and early elementary ages.)
- Hooked on Phonics
- eHow Education
- National Geographic Kids
YouTube has compiled their most popular channels and informational videos into YouTube EDU, where you can subscribe for FREE to the sub-category channels:
5) Teachers Pay Teachers is a website where you can download and print teacher-made curriculum resources. Although many downloads are for sale, there are plenty offered for FREE. Each seller must offer at least one item for free on their store, buy many offer multiple items for FREE. All grade levels and subjects are covered. There are search options on the left side of the page. Be sure to click on the "Free" option. Once at the resource's download page, most offer a free preview of the material, so you can determine if it's worth the printing expense. I've printed off tons of materials from TpT, either laminated them or inserted them into sheet protectors and have created wonderful binders on specific topics. TpT is one of my most favorite go-to websites.
(Here's a little bonus tip. Insert your worksheets into a sheet protector. Then, have the child use a dry erase marker to complete the work. The dry erase wipes right off. For any stubborn dry erase that might stay behind, use some rubbing alcohol diluted with water and a rag or paper towel. It will come right off, thus leaving your worksheet clean to reuse for another practice session or for another child.)
Libraries have come a long way, since I was a kid. They're not necessarily the boring and dreary places they once were. When I was a kid, I'd rather have gone to the dentist than to our local public library and have to use the card catalog to try to find a book. By the time I finally found one I thought I might be interested in, it was time to go home, and the thrill of a Saturday outing was diminished. The experience wasn't a pleasant one.
However, the local public libraries of today have adopted much brighter, clean, and interesting decor. The computerized catalog system has greatly reduced the time spent on searching for that one book you think you might be interested in. And, the book selections are displayed in a more enticing manner. Many libraries have personal computers, which let's face it skyrocket the interest level of today's kids and parents. Some libraries offer a textbook lending service where you can try out textbooks or other books you've deemed a part of your curriculum, or they can help you find it elsewhere. I've even heard there's some libraries that carry entire curriculum that can be lent out to homeschooling families on an extended basis. There's no harm contacting your local library to see if they offer any of these programs. Who knows? Maybe, you can get your local library to start offering this service in your area.
Well, I guess this is enough information to get you started finding fantastic materials for educating your children for FREE. I hope this information serves to save your family money and time. What's your favorite ways of saving money or homeschooling completely free? Leave some of your favorites in the comment section. Happy homeschooling!
(Disclaimer: Please note. I am not being sponsored for sharing the content and resources within this blog post. These are my opinions only. The mentioned companies shall not be responsible for the content in this post.)