Monday, May 13, 2013

Homeschool Resources

I realize school is coming to a close for most homeschoolers, but now is the time to begin thinking about homeschool resources for next year. You have worked with your current curriculum and resources for the last eight months or so and have an idea of what did or didn’t work for you and your kids. You also have a better understanding of what you might like to try next year.

I like to “try before I buy” whenever I can, and I LOVE freebie resources. Some free resources are not too great, but now and then you come across some that are very educationally sound. I will list some of my favorites later.

One important aspect of considering new curricula or resources is gathering as much feedback about what you can. Talking to other home schooling families about what they use is one way to achieve this. Just because one or two families don’t like a particular product, resource, or curriculum doesn’t mean it is not a fit for everyone. Their needs are not your needs. Things that didn’t work for them very well be just what you are looking for.

Another method of obtaining feedback is by visiting educational forums and blogs. Homeschool reviews are quite popular these days and you will find as many pros as cons about almost everything you read. The trick is to analyze the pros and cons against the needs of you and your children. Does the resource of program meet your teaching style? Does it meet the learning styles of your children? Is there a contract involved? Is it affordable? Is a science curriculum offered? Is a math curriculum offered? Does the program offer resources for language arts, math, social studies…? Does it lend itself to multiple learning styles? Is it flexible enough for all of my kids to use it? Is the record keeping done for you? These are just a few of the questions you should ask yourself as you look at the multitude of possibilities.

Here are some of my favorite free resources: (various grade levels and subjects covered at each site)

Learning Games for Kids
Vocabulary Is Fun
Khan Academy
Vocabulary Spelling City
Homeschool Literature
Time4Writing (is a paid site, but has lots of free resources available)
Mr. Donn
Let's Homeschool Highschool