Budget-Friendly Home School Resources
For many parents it becomes apparent over time that public, charter or private schooling is not benefitting their child, and they start to look into home schooling options. The reasons for choosing home schooling are as varied as the children who leave traditional schools to be home schooled: Parents often do not agree with the subject matter taught at traditional schools or the methods that are used to teach the subjects. They may not believe in the morals underlying the instruction in the classroom. Parents may have a child who has health issues that make it challenging for him or her to be surrounded by too many people. Maybe their child is being bullied or struggling with social pressures.
Does this sound familiar to you?
Home schooling a child can be more affordable, depending upon where you obtain your curriculum, books and which extra-curricular activities you participate in. Most home school parents also supplement their curriculum with activities that will give their child a greater understanding in the subject matter. Many Internet sites will charge you a fee to use their resources, though others are free of charge. Adding additional tools to your curriculum can be the extra boost your child needs to succeed.
Below is a list of sites where you can download and print activities that your child will learn from and enjoy, which charge nothing for their usage:
This site has materials for children from preschool until college. One of their fundamental values, which are integrated into their lessons and activities, is raising a self-reliant child. Subjects covered are reading comprehension, math, novel studies and cursive writing. Other activities include social studies, art and music. For example, there is one unit on King Tut that covers his life, translates Egyptian Math into standard math and has you write about the items you would place in your tomb with you. Holidays are celebrated by centering the skills that need to be learned on the holiday. Educents also invites feedback from website users.
This site has worksheets available for grades PK—5. They have an extensive holiday section that includes activities such as poems to ponder, puzzles to solve, songs to sing and cards to make. They have an array of thematic units, worksheets and lesson plans that can be adjusted for your child’s level.
This is a web-based math game geared towards the middle grades. Students can challenge each other or play by themselves to hone their math skills. The math subjects covered by the game are various and include fractions, factors, and linear equations. The newest game available is called Distance. The web service for Calculation Nation is provided by NCTM Illuminations Project. The games are extra practice for the skills that students learn in their lessons, but are presented in an entertaining way.
Have you forgotten how to solve geometry and algebra equations? Does your child learn better by watching videos? This teacher is a professor who knows people sometimes have trouble with math skills. He has made a series of videos that take you and your child through the entire process. The skills that he teaches are from upper elementary to college. He is also available to answer your questions. The main lesson taught is that in order to learn math, you have to practice it just like a piano. You can start and stop the videos along the way, just in case you are stuck or would like to rewatch a step.
The resources at this site are meant for 18 month-old children and older and can be adapted for any age. For each letter of the alphabet, there are suggested reading books, songs, crafts and printable pages. Just jump on in and start learning.
How to Use Your Resources
Before you take on the responsibility of home schooling your child, you will need to visit HSLDA.org to see if there are any documents you need to provide to your school district or if your children will need to take annual standardized tests. While it is not required, many families prefer to inform their school district of their intent to home school.
After speaking with your school district, it is time to choose a curriculum. A variety of home school curricula are available, and review sites can help in your search. Another option, if you’re less of a do-it-yourselfer, is an online private home school that provides instruction and a Bible-based curriculum. One affordable option is Enlightium Academy. Enlightium Academy is an accredited school which supports students from preschool through 12th grade. Students in the older grades are eligible to take a wide variety of elective courses, which sparks a high level of interest. All students study the Bible, and coursework is written from a Christian world-view.
Next, gather as much free material as possible and organize it according to the curriculum that you are using. We hope that the resources provided in this post can help you in this process. Don’t forget to visit museums, libraries and other educational places. Since no two children learn the same, they should not be taught in the same way. Don’t forget to have fun along the way!
Have you found a great online resource you’d like to share with other home school parents? Do you have a favorite supplementary activity that has been beneficial for your child? Please share your insights in the comment section below.