Inexpensive and Free Homeschooling Curriculum & Resources
If you are on a limited budget free homeschooling can be done, if you don't count basic supplies like paper and pencils. With a library card and internet access, you can homeschool very inexpensively.
You really don't need a complete curriculum that guides you and your children through every subject. Don't worry about “keeping up” with the public schools or be concerned about your own skills in teaching their children. You know your children better than anyone else, and believe me, after seeing public schools from the inside for ten years, it is not hard to surpass them in the quality of education your child will get at home.
Understand that the reason public schools use the materials and methods they do is because there is one teacher and 25 or more students. Even in a large family your ratio is much less. Plus in a large family you don't have every child at the same level so you can often partner up two of your children to work together while you are giving one-on-one time to another child.
Also understand that there is a lot of time wasted. You and your children can cover more in a fraction of the time. Last year my youngest was officially in Kindergarten, but was doing 1st grade material. She would go through her school work in about 45 minutes and have the rest of the day for hands-on learning of her own choosing and creative play.
When using a boxed curriculum you can miss out on some of the benefits and freedom that can be reaped from homeschooling:
- self-motivated learners
- learning that capitalizes on the learning style of each child
- learning through real life examples, and more!
There really are many free homeschooling resources, and inexpensive ones, that can meet the needs of your children.
Cost of Homeschooling Compared to Public School
Really as homeschoolers, we can get by pretty lightly compared to other parents at “Back-to-School” time. Most parents with children in public school have a list of required materials which is very specific. A couple years ago the mother of one of my art class students told me that she spent about $80 per child just on the required school materials on the supply lists – and this doesn't include the back-to-school clothes and public school “got to have” crazes.
Copyright-Free Books – Free Homeschooling Books
Several years back I bought a used Accelerated Achievement Curriculum cd on ebay. This CD contains an entire K-12 curriculum and even at retail cost of about $99, it is a great value. It includes books that are no longer under copyright restrictions, so the developer of this curriculum could include them all on the CD. You can get complete libraries of children's books on CD on ebay as well. Since that time I came across the Old Fashioned Education website. Miss Maggie has an entire K-12 curriculum on her website based on copyright-free books that is completely free. You could use just this site and your library if you are on a very tight budget. Just make sure you have a good quality printer. (Go to Affordable Homeschooling page for printer recommendations)
I have included links to Old Fashioned Education and other free homeschooling curriculum below.
Buy Used Homeschooling Curriculum or Borrow Homeschool Books
I really recommend getting used curriculum whenever possible until you know the material suits you and your child. If you have only spent a few dollars on something and it doesn't work for your child, you can re-sell it on ebay or give it away. The curriculum should fit the child, not the other way round.
Often times other homeschoolers will have books they are not using that school year or not until later in the school year that they will let you borrow. Looking through a book is not always enough to really see how it will work for you and your child. Sometimes you may look over a book that you think your child and you will not like and it turns out to be great and vice versa.
CurrClick is a great site if you suddenly find you need a resource for you child and need it NOW. All the books and audios are downloadable immediately and you can access any of your purchases from the website if you forget to save them before reformatting, or even worse, have a computer crash. Since the ebook can printed multiple times for your own families use, it can save you money, and having resources in Ebook form saves room on your bookshelves.
If you subscribe to CurrClick's Free Newsletter, they will send you the details and link to a free homeschooling resource each week, a tip, and information on current sale items.
Free Homeschool Curriculum
Old Fashioned Education - a complete curriculum using copyright-free books
Ambleside Online – free Charlotte Mason curriculum
K-12 Free Homeschool
Inexpensive and Free Homeschooling Phonics and Learn to Read Resources
Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons
Starfall – Online phonics and readers for beginning readers
Free Language Arts materials and resources
Free Grammar and Writing Handbooks - print Gr. 1-6 Scott Foresman handbooks and other free lesson plan resources
Graphic Organizers – free printable graphic organizers
FreeTypingGame.net - Free Touch Typing Lessons - Comprehensive 30 lesson trainer:Free typing games, lessons and tests. Play online. No download or registration required! Realtime scoreboard. 30 keyboarding lessons including homerow (home row) and realtime scoreboard.
Spelling City – free online spelling program that makes practicing for spelling tests fun
Free Bible Resources
Answers in Genesis - free books to print
Keys for Kids – from CBH Ministries. Online daily devotional and other bible resources. You can also request Keys for Kids to be mailed to your home at no cost.
Christian Media - Free Downloadable Christian Books
Free Financial Education Resources
EconEdLink – free K-12 economic lessons
Free Online Money Games – Apples4theTeacher site has free educational games and education resources for kids and teachers.
Free Homeschool History books & Geography resources
G.A. Henty – download and print for free (ManyBooks.net)
H.E. Marshall – download and print for free (The Baldwin Project)
Brainy Games - Practice your skill in geography, foreign language, English and language arts, or history in these brainy games from ClassBrain
State Reports - free resources and tips to writing reports for all 50 states
If you are looking for more ideas to save on homeschooling costs, subscribe to the monthly Homeschooling Freedom Newsletter!
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