Recently, I conducted a poll on my facebook page, asking fellow homeschoolers to share their favorite free or nearly free homeschooling resources.
Why would I do this? It's simple really... look around you, families all around are struggling to keep their heads above water, whether they homeschool or not. However, when you homeschool, that is an added burden to the pocket book. Usually one parent is at home, add to that the fact that we are also responsible for our children's educational needs.
I do not have to look very far to see the effects of the current economical climate. My husband lost his job 2 years ago, while he has a new job, we still have been living on only a fraction of his previous earnings. This has given us the opportunity to see God provide in ways we could never imagine, as well as, really test my ingenuity.
We never were wealthy, so I have always looked for ways to get the most for my money.. or spend no money at all! Applying this principle to all areas of our life, including educating our children, has served our family well.
What you will find below are the results of my facebook poll, as well as, my favorite resources. Please leave a comment below, I would love to hear what you and your family have done to keep homeschooling affordable!
I want to start by saying that over the years, what I have found is that when you are purchasing boxed curriculum, you are purchasing the convenience of someone else dong all the leg work for you. However, if you are willing to put in the time and effort and the leg ( or finger) work, you will find that you are still able to create a curriculum for your children, far superior to what you had even imagined. You will no longer be at the mercy of your pocketbook!
As a side note, before we move forward, I want to remind all of you, that it is up to you, to use your God given discernment to know if any of these resources are or are not appropriate for your children. Click through, investigate and enjoy creating your homeschool learning environment!
To start, I want to share a bit about what our homeschool group does. We have a curriculum lending library. Members have the ability to check out available curriculum and keep as long as they need, and as long as they are members. No fee or late fees! Only requirement, you must be a current member! The next thing we offer is a used curriculum sale. We meet in one of our members church, and set up tables and invite homeschoolers in the area. This event serves 2 purposes, it allows us to make a little money on our books we no longer need, as well as, gives us the chance to purchase products we may need at a fraction of the cost.
If your homeschool group does not offer a used books sale, or if you are not a part of a local group, try the website www.usedhomeschoolcurriculum.com for both buying and selling! This site is run by a homeschool family, and there are no fees to buy and sell.
Now onto the suggestions:
The first suggestion was to utilize your public library for books, high school courses on CD and even better you can utilize their heat and air conditioning! Also, our library has periodic 'friends of the library' sales where you can pick up a book for 25 cents up to $1, and the last day of the sale is $1 a bag. This is an awesome deal. I was able to pick up 2 Landmark American History textbooks on the $1 a bag day!
Visit any Nature Center, Zoo, Aquarium or Museum website, they usually are jammed packed with awesome resources.
http://www.englishgrammar101.com/ Free online grammar lessons designed for Middle or High School
http://www.oldfashionededucation.com/fullcurriculum.htm Has free homeschool curriculum for K-11th grade. Uses books that have lost their copyright (old) and are available on line for free, among other sources.. You can print for the hard copy, or simply read online.
http://www.answersingenesis.org/cec/online_resources.asp FREE Answers in Genesis Books, including study guides to go with them!
http://peacecreekontheprairie.com/?page_id=196 Free large family printable homeschool forms.
http://www.starfall.com/ For early reading skills (preschool up to around 2nd or 3rd grade). There are online books, games, and a free language arts/writing workbook you can download.
http://harvestministry.org/twghw Teaching With Gods Heart for the World
http://homeschoolheartandmind.blogspot.com/2010/09/homeschool-for-free-math-resources.html This is my friends blog. She started a new weekly posting on free homeschooling resources. This week is a full listing of math resources!
http://homeschoolheartandmind.blogspot.com/2010/09/homeschool-for-free-reading.html This is my same friend, this is a listing of free reading resources.
http://donnayoung.org/index.htm Awesome printables and other resources, both for your home and your homeschool!
http://simplycharlottemason.com/ Lots and lots of resources!
http://www.amblesideonline.org/index.shtml More Charlotte Mason resources.
http://www.currclick.com/ When you sign up for their weekly newsletter you will receive free download each and every week!
http://homeschoolingonashoestring.com/lapbooks.html Lapbooking on a shoestring.. however, this entire website has lots of resources!
http://www.gardenofpraise.com/art.htm Art Appreciation
http://stosselintheclassroom.org/ You can order free dvd's, can be used for civics.
http://www.spellingcity.com/ Online spelling practice and tests.
http://www.theheadoftheclass.com/ K-4th resources, many subjects.
http://www.education.noaa.gov/ National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
http://www.mrdonn.org/ Lots of great history and geography information.
http://lewis-clark.org/ Great Lewis and Clark information
http://www.the-simple-homeschool.com/simple-schooling.html Too many resources to list!
http://clickschooling.com/ClickSchooling is an ezine that brings you one, F.R.E.E, web-based curriculum idea every day Monday through Saturday!
There are many many more that have not been listed here! So please, post your comment below and let me know what sources have helped your family!