All free. You’re welcome.
So, you’re stuck homeschooling, but don’t know how?
And you can’t afford a ton of new curriculum and workbooks and don’t where to start?
Well, I finally compiled all of my links and resources, and this, reader, is the gold mine you’ve been looking for.
I’ve been a homeschooler for a long time.
Like way, way back, when public schools were still a thing, when children rode busses, people hugged in public, and when parents homeschooled because they wanted to and not because they were afraid all of the teachers would die.
I mean, I was a homeschooler *before FACEBOOK.*
And I know for a fact that you, too, can homeschool.
Yes, even if you don’t want to. This year, we all have to. And once you take a look at some of these links, you’ll be wishing you were a kid again and someone would homeschool you.
How do you get started? Check your state guidelines. Join a local Facebook group so you know what the regulations are. Read this article about why you’d want to homeschool and why you shouldn’t teach chemistry, even if you could, and then take a deep dive into the links below.
Best of all?
Every single resource is free.
Off you go.
I’m going to start with the links that we end up using again and again, that I’ve used with all of my kids, and the things I couldn’t homeschool without (though really, the top one should be your local library. That’s also free, and a good place to start.)
The most important, go-to, amazing, fantastic links:
This is one of the best places to start:
They have discounts on the curriculum that you want to buy, but more importantly, they have free trials on almost everything. So you can go there and check out three different math programs for two weeks each and see if your kids like them before you spend $100 on a program that isn’t going to work.
And you can also check out their free links here, which are more links like these, to museums and interesting places that your kids will enjoy:
And the most secret resource that no one knows about, the field trip guide, here:
There will be things right next to your neighborhood that you never even thought about doing as a field trip. It’s a great resource!
This is the BEST. It’s from John Green (the guy who wrote “The Fault in Our Stars”) and his brother Hank Green (who’s forever known as the Crash Course guy who talks way too fast.) They have fantastic videos about American history, chemistry, biology, literature and more. Go watch a few. They’re really fun, and you’ll learn a lot.
My kids get kind of obsessed with this, and I do, too. You can play one or two rounds for free and then you need to pay $1 or so. This game drops you in the middle of Google maps somewhere, and you need to explore the world around you and figure out where you are. It’s way more fun than you’d think.
Guesthollow: I *love* Guesthollow. It’s a bunch of different curriculum made by a homeschooling mom for her kids that she shared online.
Some things are free, some you pay for, and if you can’t afford it, tell her and she’ll work with you.
And her history links to movies and books about every period of history is the best I’ve ever seen ANYWHERE.
Her history shelf:
Harry Potter Puppet Pals, the mysterious ticking noise. We couldn’t have homeschooled without this. It has 192 million views for a reason. Don’t ask why Dumbledore is naked. (This is the only weird thing I’ve thrown in, I promise. My kids said it was a centerpiece of their childhood, so I’m keeping it.)
One link that’s not free if you order the CDs, but it is if you get it from your library:
Audio CDs or downloads from Jim Weiss. He’s the voice of our homeschool. His stories are the best. From fairy tales to mythology, he’s fantastic. Need a break for an hour? Put on one of his stories. You’ll have a quiet house, and you might want to listen, too. You can order his CDs here, but if you want free you’ll have to put them on hold at your library.
Cool typing game that my kids loved.
Dancemat typing. From the BBC, and a fun way to learn:
Another cool typing program:
Data about marine biology and oceans:
Real science with real data:
Biology for kids. Lots of great plans.
Lesson plans and resources for teachers and parents:
Great lists of classes you can take for electives, from ASL to sign language to cake decorating:
Whole classes from Stanford. Everything from engineering on down.
Coursera does the same thing: Tons of classes through university level, free. Want to learn something in-depth? This is the place to do it.
Outschool is a place where people just teach classes. Whatever they know about — unicorn science, dinosaur math, Harry Potter fan fiction, biology, English lit, whatever. The classes are not free, but range from really cheap to not cheap at all.
Math and English curriculum through high school https://www.matchfishtank.org/curriculum/
At FreshPlans our focus is on literacy, STEM and STEAM education, health education, and 21st century skills. ALL our lesson plans and learning activities are free. Myfreshplans.com
Teacher-crafted learning activities. Very “schooly.” www.Education.com
Online virtual curriculum through Florida Virtual School https://www.flvs.net/
Teachers Pay Teachers
Some free stuff, some paid. A marketplace to buy curriculum, learning plans, and resources. Lots of freebies and ideas.
One of the backbones of online learning. Math, world history, calculus, third grade, social and emotional learning, civics and government, all for free. Plus you get badges!
Worksheets. Lots of them. If your kids like worksheets, this is the place.
Mobymax. Thirty days free, and it’s a great way to close learning gaps. Lots of people love it. https://www.mobymax.com/families
K-12 curriculum online
History, biology, geography, science. Only with added ducks.
Social justice, Black Lives Matter, and teaching for change:
A new way of looking at history and at the world, for people who don’t want to teach their kids that Columbus discovered America.
Teaching Central America:
How to create stories, games and animation, while learning coding called “Scratch” https://scratch.mit.edu/
How to code:
Also how to code:
Complete phonics and reading program
Phonics games and lessons and a complete reading program:
Spelling and Vocabulary:
Excelsior Online Writing Lab: Full of information about how to write papers https://owl.excelsior.edu
Free access to thousands of books
Pobble365 is a free UK website with a writing prompt for each day of the year and lots of activities to go alongside
All sorts of help for all sorts of math. Can’t figure out your kid’s math problem? You can figure it out here.
Stem Curriculum for K-12
K-5 math learning online for free
Centre for Innovation in Mathematics Teaching
Lots of math help for every age. https://www.cimt.org.uk/projects/mepres/primary/index.htm
Math from Harvard Instructors:
Another app. Dragonbox math is an amazing game where you grow a dragon using algebra. Search “Dragonbox Math” on the app store.
Multiplication tables. That’s it.
Centre for Education in Math and Computing. Amazing math resources for grades 3–12, including full online curriculum for 7–12.
A game that kids get obsessed with. It’s light on actual math teaching, but fun.
It’s an app that’s a lot of fun. It might be $1.
Search for “Stack the States” on your app store. Geography of the US States.
More than 400 map quiz games in 36 languages: https://www.seterra.com/
Popular Mechanics for kids. A series of TV shows from a ways back the my kids loved. You learn about everything from electricity to racecars. You can watch it free if you have an Amazon Prime account, or on Netflix:
Mystery Science: You can get a free year’s curriculum right now, and lots of kids love this:
Because National Geographic is still cool. And because the platypus will always be amazing.
Because the National Wildlife Federation is also amazing:
More cool animal stuff: Explore.org has tons on live streams where you can see animals at zoos, sanctuaries, in nature. There’s even a livestream of bears in Alaska who are hanging out catching salmon jumping out of water.
A whole curriculum based on the Magic School Bus: https://www.scholastic.com/magicschoolbus/parentteacher/activities/index.htm
Fun science and technology links:
Middle school and high school maths & sciences, and a fantastic resource for math and science with lots of tutorials and explanations: https://www.expii.com/
Big History Project. It’s hard to explain, but go check it out. A great resource for history and exploring the world.
“The Big History Project is a joint effort between teachers, scholars, scientists, and their supporters to bring a multi-disciplinary approach to knowledge to lifelong learners around the world.”
Teaching History with 100 objects. Really fun way to explore the word and history.
PBS Kids: Games, videos, educational stuff.
General brainteasers and interesting things:
Cool videos that kids should see. Hours of stuff to watch and learn from:
Another one with random cool things and lessons:
Arcade games to learn things like multiplication:
Learning games for all grades:
And another one:
Teach Rock — helps teachers engage students by connecting the history of popular music to classroom work across the disciplines. From social studies and language arts to geography, media studies, science, general music, and more.
Campkinda.org is really cool, an online “summer camp” that has daily activities that falls under a certain theme weekly. The themes are interesting, the activities are varied. For K- middle school
Charsima, cooking, how to tie a tie, how to do banking and investing: