Yesterday I had a reader of this blog ask me a very good question. She is looking for free homeschooling resources as she is just starting out on the homeschooling journey. Unfortunately, I am not an expert in this area, but I want to do what I can to help her. I am going to offer a few suggestions here, and if anyone has additional suggestions, please leave them as comments to this entry. I know this lady would really appreciate it.
Whenever I have a question on any topic, one of my first steps is to google it. So that is my first recommendation. Try typing “free homeschool, ” “free homeschool resources,” “free homeschool printables,” etc. into an internet search engine. I just briefly tried this myself earlier today, and it brought up many websites that would be worth looking into.
Now I will post one disclaimer here. One site that comes up in such a Google search is for K-12 Free Homeschool. We tried that as a supplement for Kara last year, and we do not recommend it. It is basically a site that links to other educational sites. Although they say they are free, they took a “Christmas donation” out of our checking account without our approval. They did give us a refund when we asked for it. So, even though this is a “free” resource, I do not personally recommend it.
That does bring up another option that should not be confused with it, however. The K 12 Online Curriculum is a completely different program that is offered by several states as on online option to public schooling. From what I know of it, I think it is probably a good, but secular, curriculum. In our state, there is a virtual public school that uses this curriculum, and because it is a “public” school that is supported through tax money, it is tuition-free for the families that choose to use it. In many cases, not only the curriculum, but even the computers are provided for little or no cost. There is a list of states that have such schools by clicking here. Now I must say that this is a secular option, and I think that one of the whole purposes of homeschooling is to teach our Christian values. So, if I were using this curriculum for financial reasons, I would supplement it with Bible curriculum, and would watch out for issues like evolution and worldview. I know many families use this K12 curriculum and are quite happy with it.
Another source of free homeschooling information that I have used is Yahoo groups. There are several of these where parents post things that they have used and enjoyed. I am a member of a few of these, and they are worth joining for ideas. Here are some that I use. Clicking on the titles will take you to the page where you can request membership: Christian Preschool Printables, Click Schooling, Lilliput Station, and Sites for Learning. To get the most out of these groups, read the messages, but also look in the files and links sections for more ideas. Again, I am sure that if you type “free homeschool” or “free homeschool resources” into the Yahoo group search engine, it would bring up many, many more of these groups.
I also started a link page for my own kids that has some good sites as well. It is at http://guest.portaportal.com/colbylobrien . The categories “Preschool Sites” and “Elementary Sites” are not exclusive. By that, there are good things for older kids in the preschool links, and there are probably good things for younger kids in the elementary sites. I divided them up that way for my own kids. So, go through those and see if there is anything helpful.
I hope these suggestions are helpful. Really the best place to start is with an internet search engine. Please, if anyone has anything to add to this list of ideas, please leave a comment.