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How can I homeschool if I can’t afford a boxed curriculum? Are there options beyond it? What if it’s all I know? Is it hard to transition? But really, what are the options beyond the boxed curriculum?
These are questions well worth asking.
The fact is, if you want to learn just about anything, you can find the materials… much of it on-line. But you can also use the library, real-life people, books purchased, classes taken, public schools (depending on where you live you can take one or two classes) and really, the sky’s the limit!
In today’s post we’ll talk about how you can use a free curriculum or piece together the curriculum that you need.
Free Curriculum up to grade 12
There is a whole world out there to explore and free curricula with which to do so. Do note the free doesn’t always mean everything is free. You may need to purchase supplies like a microscope, books (novels), science materials, paper, writing implements, craft supplies and more.
Free doesn’t mean you don’t have any sort of outlay, it’s just that your expenses might be different than if you buy an inclusive curriculum.
- Easy Peasy All-In-One Homeschool – EP seeks to free families from the burden of pursuing the “perfect” and encourages them to let it be “enough.”
- The Puritan’s Curriculum. Promoting Puritan Reformation in Family, Church and State.
- AmblesideOnline is a free homeschool curriculum that uses Charlotte Mason’s classically-based principles to prepare children for a life of rich relationships with everything around them.
- CK-12- curriculum(K-12)– wanting students world-wide to have access to an education.
- An Old-fashioned education links to curricula from days gone by to help you educate your child.
- Edhelper.com. worksheets and no prep resources.
- Free World U– Free flashcard curriculum (k-12)
- Core Knowledge– (Pre-K-12) The mission of the Core Knowledge Foundation is to advance excellence and equity in education for all children…. offer detailed curricular guidance and materials.
- Homeschool Share offers unit studies and lapbooks. Perhaps not a complete curriculum but covers a large amount of information.
- SAS Curriculum Pathways. Our resources are intended to supplement instruction to engage students in meaningful learning experiences that foster a deep, robust understanding of concepts.
- Teachers Pay Teachers: Free Resources and Lessons (K-12)
- School Express gives unit studies for a variety of topics. Multi-age unit studies.
- KHAN ACADEMY. Math, Science, Computer science, art, and more.
- Bitesize bits of information at BBC. Even if you don’t have to prepare for national exams you’ll find much useful information.
- Charlotte Mason has a free history curriculum. You can find that here.
- Moby max-They have a free and paid option, their goal to help cover learning gaps.
- Connections Academy– if you live in the United States, check to see if there are options for education.
- Hippo Campus has a wide range of videos for middle school through high school.
- WatchKnowLearn.org– Thousands of free Educational Videos on a variety of topics.
- GuestHollow.com– This isn’t completely free as the syllabus as cost and then there’s the question of buying the specific materials needed. The Kitchen Chemistry course intrigues.
- Freedom Homeschooling maintains a list of free curriculum places.
Piecing together what is needed
Recognize that regardless of what you will do there will be gaps. It’s best to accept that fact. My son the other day was upset with me that I never taught him the order of the months. My response to him was that he refused to learn them when I tried to teach them. He was stunned! He didn’t remember being too stubborn to learn. Moments like that will happen.
The advantage is that you can tailor your child’s education to the child. You aren’t stuck with “this worked for child A ergo we’ll use it for child B even if child A and child B learn best in different style. Isn’t it great though if you have a hands-on learner and you can meet his needs though? Or if you have a voracious reader who loves a literature based education?
The fun, yes, the fun of using different companies to educate your children. Each company has their own philosophy or mind set. So using different curricula exposes our children to that. One year my son and I read through different history encyclopedias. It was so fascinating to see the viewpoint of the companies writing these books as they were quite different from each other in how they looked at history. Because of that we learned so much in discussing, looking back, and comparing, see how the focus on.. say the art aspect of history compared with the militaristic viewpoint of another and how they meshed.
It does take more work to piece together a curricula than it does to purchase a big box curricula. To find just the right science, history, math or geography program. It takes time to understand what should work best with each of children, and how to combine the learning if needed.
Combining learning is advantageous if you have students close enough in abilities. Group learning adds a dimension that single learning doesn’t have.
Not using a boxed curriculum means you can use your children’s interests as a point of study. Have a student who loves anatomy? There’s a science credit there. Another interested in oceanography? Geography and science. My son has a love of the middle ages and weaponry… we have used that so much over the years.
Use what you can, research companies, spread your wings. There is more out there than boxed curriculum.