Homeschool Resources

My hope for this section is to continually update resources that we've found useful for our home education program (a.k.a. homeschooling). I am posting these resources in good faith; however, some of them may vary in usefulness depending on your state and/or school district.

  1. Your local school district. It may seem strange to think of your local school district as a resource when you are purposefully choosing to teach your children from home. However, many school districts are supportive of homeschooling families, and they will share their curriculum materials with you. This is a win-win because you can get free curriculum that is already aligned with state and Common Core standards for education. Pennsylvania (and many other states) require homeschooling families to still take standardized tests, which are also designed by the publishers of major textbooks. You still have the freedom to use the parts you like and ignore the parts you don't, but free materials provided by the school district could just save you from buying an expensive curriculum. If you are really lucky, you might even score consumable materials that save you from using your own paper and ink as well.
  2. Your local public library. As if free books weren't enough of a reason to visit your local, public library, you may be lucky enough to find other materials as well. Many libraries stock games, learning materials, and educational guidebooks as well. If there is any sort of educational programming geared to the age of your students, more's the better.
  3. Teachers Pay Teachers. What happens when certified teachers take to the internet in order to share their personal created materials? Teachers Pay Teachers. If you aren't familiar with this resource already, I highly recommend it. You can find tons of activities, printables, and lesson plans geared to the age of your learners and aligned with current educational standards. Many items are FREE and many more are reasonably priced.
  4. Blogs. I happen to really be loving Quill and Camera, My Little Poppies, Laura Grace Wheldon (Free Range Learning), Camp Creek Blog (Project-Based Homeschooling), Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers, and Simple Homeschool right now. They have lots of great resources and so many ideas, but more importantly, they provide a wonderful, online network of support for homeschooling. For a mom living in an area without a lot of person-to-person support for homeschooling, these blogs can feel like a lifeline!
  5. Podcasts. I am still pretty new to podcasts, but so far I think that Your Morning Basket from Pam Barnhill at Ed Snapshots and Read-Aloud Revival from Sarah Mackenzie at Amongst Lovely Things are incredible resources.
  6. BraveWriter. This lifestyle is all about building writing habits into your family routine. It encourages Big Juicy Conversations, Family Movie Night, Poetry Teatime, and so much more. The founder, Julie Bogart, is a published writer who has successfully graduated her own five children from homeschool. She offers tons of resources and interaction with parents, and much of it is available for free. If you are looking to raise successful writers, do yourself a favor and look into Brave Writer!

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