By Rebbecca Devitt via HowDoIHomeschool
With the cost of home education already high in many families, the appeal of a free homeschooling curriculum program is significant. Indeed, free online curricula have been the difference between many families choosing (or being able to) homeschool at all!
Of course, the worry is that a curriculum you don’t pay for isn’t worth anything. But, I’ve seen some great curricula that have been produced because eager teachers and parents want to make home education available without curriculum cost being so much of an issue (the Easy Peasy program is an example of this). Continue reading below for curriculum ideas!
Easy Peasy All-in-One is probably the most popular free Christian homeschooling curriculum available today. Written by a Christian mom who selflessly desired to make home education affordable, this program is easy to follow and is an eclectic mix of home education methods.
Boasting a full curriculum from K-12, Easy Peasy also has different subjects being written constantly by other generous parents. In my opinion, this is one of the best free programs you’ll find today. Read more about EP at this link.
If you’re a big fan of the Charlotte Mason home education method, Ambleside Online is a good option for you. Complete with thousands of links to relevant resources and free books, this curriculum gives you a detailed schedule and lots of information. There are also many forums where parents who use Ambleside talk about their questions that have to do with the curriculum. This free homeschooling curriculum is, I believe, the best curriculum for CM fans today. This is evidenced by many of today’s CM curricula being founded on Ambleside Online materials.
Note: Some parents struggle with all the reading they have to do out loud. For this reason, some Charlotte Mason home education families use Audible (affiliate link) to cut down on the amount of reading they have to do. It’s also a good option for parents who might get a croaky voice after a while and want the reader to take over. You can try it for free for one month to see if it suits your family.
If you love the theological steadfastness of the Puritans, the Puritans Homeschool is a great free option for your homeschool. This program is produced by the Puritans Network and is a homeschool program based on Puritan thinking.
Please note that this curriculum isn’t a full program; you won’t find all the subjects covered. However, you will get solid reformed Christian teaching and many good books from this resource.
An Old Fashioned Education offers many free homeschooling curriculum printables. As a compendium of curricula, literature, and textbooks, this website gives parents a great list of free resources they can use to supplement other free curricula or resources they’re using.
Many of the resources on this site are from the public domain (meaning they were printed before about the 1920s and are now free of charge as they’ve run out of copyright).
The author, having found that there were almost too many free home education resources, created her website in an endeavor to organize the free resources so they were in a useable, ordered pile. This seems like a problem most home educating parents might face – especially if they’re figuring out their own specialized curriculum. So, An Old Fashioned Education provides a good resource that shouldn’t overwhelm us (compared to if we were to go looking for free resources ourselves).
While I’m not thrilled with the prospect of an education that’s mostly conducted online, you can pretty much do this with the Khan Academy.
The great thing about KA is that you can track your progress as you go. You can see the problems you’re struggling with and the ones you’re breezing through. That’s almost unheard of in a free homeschooling curriculum package!
Like the Khan Academy, Hippo Campus is another broad collection of videos targeted to high-school and college-level students. They boast over 7,000 videos (with links to the Khan Academy) in 13 subject areas. Hippo Campus is an open resource for public learning (meaning you don’t need to login to access the content).
This is also a secular curriculum that’s funded by Google Grants and the Bill and Melinda Foundation (as you can see on their ‘About’ page).
Because I’m a big fan of Classical education, I decided to include this link to a classical education curriculum for free. Like Ambleside, you may be able to get a lot of the books which are past copyright for free online. But, you may also need to buy a few. It depends on what you decide to purchase. Like Ambleside, you can get a lot of books on audio from Audible (affiliate link). To see if you like it, you get the first month free.
If you’re open to other classical curricula options that are available for a price, head to this link showing 5 classical curriculum options.
If you’re keen to start home educating your little ones at an early age, Little House Kindergarten might be the curriculum for you. This program is funded by the generosity of parents who use the curriculum and pay what they can (meaning you don’t need to pay at all if you can’t afford it).
Created by a teacher turned homeschool mom, this program is used in homeschools as well as kindergartens and other small schools across the world. It is based on U.S. standards and is downloadable in a PDF format meaning you don’t have to expose your kids to too much screentime in order to get a free education for them.
Mater Amabilis is written by Catholics with the desire to ‘encourage other Catholic home educating parents’ in the Charlotte Mason method of education. The curriculum is more of a structure CM style (as opposed to a method that’s just ‘influenced’ by CM ideas).
Each level has its own set of materials, although parents can move their children up or downgrades depending on where they’re at educationally.
Like An Old Fashioned Education, Freedom Homeschooling offers a compendium of links to free homeschooling curriculum options. For instance, if you’re in need of some supplementary math, just head to their math curriculum page and scroll down the list of resources.
Because so many home educators are Christians, this program also indicates what curricula are explicitly Christian-based, making things easy for Christians who want a purely Christian curriculum.
Cost of Home Education and How a Free Homeschooling Curriculum Reduces It
In the article, the Cost of Home Education, we go through the average cost of home education in the United States. By looking through a series of articles, I’ve roughly calculated my homeschool might cost around $2,000. But, this cost would include a bought curriculum which takes up a significant portion of the budget.
Be aware that home education costs can vary considerably, and, as the video below indicates, it can be very cheap ($0 ) or expensive, depending on the amount of work you’re willing to do yourself (and the free resources you’re willing to track down and use).
Although the cost of home education is high and we have to give up a lot to educate the ones we love, a free homeschooling curriculum can be a sweetener we hadn’t foreseen. With an array of good options to suit your chosen educational style, there are few reasons the right free program wouldn’t work for your family. Also, with online support through many Facebook groups today, a free program can easily be troubleshot if there’s a problem with the coursework. Because there are so many curricula available, if you’re not happy with one subject area, you can easily supplement it with material from another curriculum. In my opinion, a free program would be a good option for many families.
(The the original article here)
Other Curriculums & Resources:
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