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Thursday, June 12, 2014

Home School General Curriculum Info

Disclamer:  I have been working on this for several months, it is a work in progress.  I want to go ahead and post it, but let you know that it will always be a work in progress - much like our children and spouses.   If you have something to add (or spot an error) please email me.  Then check back often to see any updates :)

After home schooling for 5 years, I am so glad that I am not living in the 80's - or any time before then!  Without help from the internet, I don't know what I would do!

As more families leave the structured setting of a traditional classroom, the need for free homeschooling resources continues to increase. More programs are being added and created everyday, so getting started is becoming easier than ever before. I know that when I first started out, I had no clue what I was doing, spent too much money, and had little to no help.  In the 21st century there is a plethora of information.  So much so, that I have recruited help from other moms to compile this list.  I cannot guarantee that all of these links will work when you click on them, but they did when I posted this.  I will continue to update this site and elaborate on the descriptions as I learn more about each site, and find more.  In the mean time, enjoy the fruits of my labor :)

General Curriculum:

K¹² - Free (private school option available)
All subjects are offered - grades K-12
Offers outstanding, highly effective curriculum that enables mastery of core concepts and skills for all kinds of minds. The minds that are superbly gifted--or that are gifted in some areas and struggling in others. The minds that need to use hands to learn on some days, and eyes or ears on others. The minds that move faster or slower than average. The minds that are connected to bodies that need to run off steam periodically, or that are medically unable to attend a physical school. All kinds of minds, not just the best and brightest—not just the ones that are easy to teach in a classroom.  K¹² offers free classes, but you must have attended public school the year that you want to use K¹², or the prior year.  The only loop hole I have found - enroll your children in public school for a week, then take them out and enroll in K¹².  Not a fan, but it is an option.

Connections Academy  -  Free (private school option available)
All subjects offered - Grades 3-13
Offers free, public schooling for grades K - 12. They are fully accredited with state-certified teachers who guide the program. Upon enrolling, each child receives all text books and materials free-of-charge. Parents are actively involved in the program as Learning Coaches, and work closely with the teachers to provide a unique and individualized lesson plan for each child. To help children socialize, the program has activities, clubs and field trips.Connections Academy also offers an online private schooling option for a fee.
  Connections Academy is very similar to K12, in the fact that you must have attended public school the year you want to enroll - this is a new Texas state law as of 2011 (if I remember correctly)

College Plus -$3000 the first year
Many degrees offered - they specifically advertise: Accounting, Anthropology, Biology, Communications, Computer Information Systems, Computer Science, Criminal Justice, Economics, English, Entrepreneurship, Finance, General Management, History, Human Resources/Org. Mgmnt.,  Humanities, Information Technology, International Business, International Studies, Journalism, Liberal Studies, Marketing, Mathematics, Music, Natural Science/Math, Organizational Leadership, Political Science, Pre-Med, Psychology, Social Sciences
I am still learning a lot about this one, but have friends who have children using this particular program.  I like any idea that will get my children through college for a fraction (ANY fraction of the price).  Distance learning is gaining popularity across the US, growing by almost 20% each year. College Plus students use a unique system to earn their bachelor's degree through a blend of CLEP and other exams, online classes, and onsite courses, depending on what their major requires.
Every CollegePlus student is guided by a degree coach that walks them through their entire degree process. This coach is knowledgeable in study skills, CLEP exams, and navigating the distance learning college the student will graduate from. College Plus consists of three phases that just about every student goes through before graduating: study skills and life preparation first, then credit by exam (CLEP and DSST), and finally online courses.

Time for learning  $19.95 a month
Subjects: Language, reading, math, science, social studies - Grades PK-8
The Time4Learning curriculum gives preschool to eighth graders who are homeschooled the independence they crave, as they progress at their own pace. The program also helps kids who are homeschooled advance, by teaching with individualized learning paths that assure skill mastery.This program is for anyone in home school, summer school, or wants after school advancement.

K12 Homeschool Online-
A Christian-based program, K-12 Free Homeschool provides a core curriculum, tuition free. Once a student is enrolled into the program they receive:
  • Interactive CD-ROMs
  • Textbooks
  • Workbooks
  • Audio programs
  • Video programs
  • Homeschool activities online and offline
  • Software for grading
  • Software for record keeping
  • A complete curriculum with more than 140 Bible-based courses
    Parents are asked to pay a small shipping and handling fee for the materials.
    A flexible program, the course content of K-12 Free Homeschool is adjusted based on the needs of each child. Parents can mix the grade levels of the subject materials according to the level of the child in each subject area.
    The school offers optional fee-based upgrades which include:
  • Unlimited assistance by a homeschool teacher
  • Elective courses
  • Creation of a portfolio

Ambleside Online -
The free curriculum provided by Ambleside Online follows the methods used by Charlotte Mason in her correspondence and private schools.Parents receive access to the curriculum guides, book lists and online books for their grade level, from kindergarten through twelfth grade, and a weekly schedule following a 36-week school year. Adherence to the schedule is optional as it is intended as a helpful resource for pacing the amount of reading a student must do. Parents do not need to register or notify Ambleside Online that they are using the material on the website. Joining the email list provides access to support; however, it is not mandatory. The program does not include a math program, a foreign language program or a preschool phonics program.
Available resources include studies in the following areas:
  • Bible study
  • Picture study - art appreciation
  • Folk songs and hymns
  • Composer study - classical music appreciation
  • Nature study - science
  • Study of the lives of Plutarch and Shakespeare
  • History
  • Geography

Free World U -  
Offers curriculum for grades preschool through 12. The program uses accelerated learning methods that are faster than conventional methods, and offers a rolling enrollment, meaning children can join at any time during the year.
Information is given via flashcards in small facts that students can mark as correct or incorrect and sort into learned and unlearned categories. More than 20,000 flashcards are available on the site with additional content added frequently.
Students can use the flashcards and projects on their own or enroll in the accredited program which includes project learning, student assessments for individualized lesson plans and socialization.

Abacus -
The Abacus Educational Service, in association with the Excellence in Education Academy, provides free online classes and a virtual classroom for homeschoolers everywhere. This collaborative effort is an online educational experiment in response to the need for online homeschooling facilities. Abacus Educational Service uses the famous course management system, Moodle. Homeschooling parents download the Moodle user guide and add themselves as a teacher. They are then ready to share their expertise in an area.
Fee-based online homeschool courses are also offered by Abacus Educational Service.

Learning by Grace

Jubilee Academy

Head of the class - allows you to customize your child's curriculum by mixing grade levels and multimedia presentations. The curriculum is for preschool through grade 8 and includes worksheets, videos and interactive programs for all levels and subjects. Options include:
  • Videos of art projects and music
  • Worksheets
  • Coloring pages
  • Foreign languages
  • Strategies for customizing the plan to your child's level and ability
All content is free and can be used collectively or as a supplement to other homeschooling programs.


Splashes from the River is a DVD and online streaming site for English, grammar and essay courses. While these programs are paid, the site also offers a free online spelling course from grades 6 to 8. The course consists of 30 lessons, each with approximately 20 new words and several exercises to incorporate them into vocabulary and learn the proper spelling of each one.

The National Repository of Online Courses offers several free programs for high school students and for AP and honor students. Classes include algebra, physics, history, calculus and biology. Each class includes a syllabus, unit work and class extras. has free math and phonics, as well as math, phonics and grammar games and online lessons. Programs include:
  • Science
  • Language Arts
  • Social Studies
  • Math
  • Phonics and Grammar
Quizzes, games and themes are also available. The program is aimed at Pre-K through Middle School.

Heart of Wisdom - a guide to choosing resources for your homeschool classroom. The guide is based on the Heart of Wisdom teaching approach.

School Express - offers free thematic units and eWorkbooks.

Adam Smith Academy - this classical education website offers many free podcasts and online movies for homeschooled students.

Lesson Pathways offers many of the same subjects that Time4Learning offers for grades pre-kindergarten through five. You'll find lessons on language arts, math, science and history. They also offer reading and phonics for kindergarten through second grade. You can use complete curriculum outlines or choose from particular subject areas and unit studies. The site is supported by advertising and donations.

Bitesize is a British website offering free interactive lessons in math and reading. However, the grade levels in the UK are named differently than they are in the United States. You may have to spend a little time initially figuring out where your child falls in the British system. Once you've decided where to place your student, allow your child to view the animated lesson and game. Once the lesson is completed, print a worksheet that goes along with the topic and have your child complete the worksheet.

NeoK12 offers online videos, lessons and games to help homeschool students learn about a wide variety of topics. Lessons can be found for English, math, science, social studies, geography, history, music lessons, sports lessons and arts and crafts. You won't find a lot of worksheets, so you may want to use this site more as a reinforcement of concepts being learned through your curriculum. If you do choose to use NeoK12 as a  complete solution, you'll find quizzes on the site that are sorted by topics.

Homeschool Share is a site full of moms who have generously shared their resources and ideas. The site is definitely geared towards those who lapbook, notebook or do unit studies. However, if that is your cup of tea, you will find a bounty of foldables, as well as whole-language type resources that help your child write about what he's learned. It definitely has a Charlotte Mason feel, so if you're looking for worksheets that look more like what your child would get at school, you won't find it here. However, the site is especially ideal for little ones who are into making their own books. That's not to say that big ones who lapbook or notebook won't find ample resources here as well.

edHelper is neither geared specifically towards homeschoolers nor teachers, but rather features numerous worksheets in just about every topic imaginable. EdHelper is popular with homeschoolers because it offers high school level worksheets, and the site features an easy-to-use format. There is a subscription level to the site which allows you access to more worksheets as well as the ability to create your own. With that said, there are literally thousands of worksheets available at the free level.

SchoolExpress is another site that is ideal for those who use a traditional approach to education and are looking for some reinforcement in certain topics. Again, like most sites of this nature, there are subscription options. However, they still boast about 16,000 worksheets that are available for free in a variety of subject areas.

Holt McDougal has Holt online learning and Class Zone, both of which allow you to access various activities including worksheets. The catch is, of course, that you have to purchase the book, but the worksheets are incredibly well-done. Likewise, Saxon publishers have math worksheets that correlate to the lessons in the textbooks, as well as extra activities to reinforce ideas and general mathematical awareness.

LearningPage, is a good source for free teaching materials that you can use in place of more traditional, fee-based online or book-and-paper homeschool courses.
To download courses at the Learning Page, a parent must register with the site. Membership is free. You can browse through lesson plans, activity sheets and themed workbooks according to your child's grade level and interests. You and your child can choose from a variety of themes and archived pages devoted to making learning an enjoyable experience.
Super Teacher Worksheets
Worksheets by Grade Level
Lesson Plans and Printables

BrainPop is relatively new when it comes to homeschooling curriculum. BrainPop was devised by a doctor with the goal of making difficult concepts easy for young students. They are a subscription based service, however, there is plenty there to take advantage of for free.

MIT Open Courseware is for those parents who are looking for help with high school and college courses. All courses are free and there isn't instructor guidance. . .but these are real MIT courses.

Homeschool Central

Old Fashioned Education

Homeschooling in the blue grass

Successful Homeschooling

 Mercury Online

Smart Tutor

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