Monday, November 9, 2009

Free & Low-Priced Curriculum

Homeschooling doesn't have to break the bank. Here are some of my favorite money-saving teacher tools!

Free Pre-School Curriculum:

Free and Nearly Free K-12 Complete Curriculum: 
  • Easy Peasy All-In-One- Homeschool - This is a complete, free online Christian homeschool curriculum! It uses only free material found online, so it's a great choice for those stationed overseas with limited book choices. If you're in the states, you can join Facebook groups to find other families using it in your state. There are also Facebook groups for questions and support. This is probably the easiest-to-use, free choice. (This one does include math but I'd feel best using Khan Academy for that subject) 
  • Old Fashioned Education Christian HS Curriculum - This is a free curriculum available online for you to print off, containing a full 40 week schedule for Bible, math, science, social studies, language arts, literature and history for grades K - 12. It's written by a home school mom using free public domain texts available on the internet. If you need a low cost complete curriculum, check this out! You can read a thorough description about it here
  • Ambleside Online is designed to be as close as possible to Charlotte Mason's own private schools. It has a free printable 36-week schedule and makes use of as many free, online books as possible and includes a free support group as well. You will need to add your own math (check Khan Academy) and foreign language. I'm a fan of the Charlotte Mason method, so I like this one. 
  • Lesson Pathways - After signing up as a free registered user, you can access their curriculum for K-12 students. They utilize a variety of reading materials, videos, games and hands-on activities. It can be used as a core curriculum or as a hands-on supplement to another program.

Free Curriculum for Specific Courses:
  • Khan Academy - You can take free courses here and learn just about anything... like math courses by grade level), science, history, computers, and economics. 
  • Prayer University - Definitely check this site out, and follow them on Facebook!  They present videos on a great variety of ideas, making it easier to understand and share the values that shaped America. 
  • Free Ed - free online home school courses and self-study programs for anyone and everyone. They even have test-prep for AP, CLEP, ACT, SAT, and GED, and college-level courses.
  • I also list my favorite resources (some of them free, some not) by subject at the bottom of my Teacher's Tools page.  

Low-Priced Curriculum:
  • I recommend checking out the free curriculum guide from Simply Charlotte Mason. They have reasonably-priced curriculum and resources for 1st-12th grade. Their combined Bible/History/Geography course is the backbone of the program and you can get a teacher's manual for just $10-15 that covers all grades from 1st-12th. You do need some books with it, but many can be found in your local library or free online in the public domain.   
  • For children age 12 and under, you may also want to look into "Five in a Row." It utilizes the unit study approach based on outstanding children's literature.  It is a literature-based approach, as in the Charlotte Mason method, incorporating every subject's teaching to a classic book.  As their introduction states, "good books have always been the doorway to learning." I liked the concept of this program, but after finding Simply Charlotte Mason I prefer the latter. :) 

Making Your Own Curriculum or Supplements:

And as long as you're trying to save money...

  • You know that the military receives discounts at various places, but did you know that so do teachers? It's kind of hit-and-miss as far as knowing where you'll get a discount but it never hurts to ask! I've gotten a discount at office stores, clothing stores, and movie theaters. (You'll want to have a Teacher-ID made up and laminated. Be sure to include your photo, name, address, school name, school year (as in 2013-2014), and the word "TEACHER" prominently. If you're a member of HSLDA you can put their logo on your card as well. )


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