I started homeschooling officially back in 2011, but really I was a homeschool mom when my first child was born in 2006. Along the way, I’ve tried and tested out every curriculum on the market (or at least that’s how it feels – ha!) I have five children now, and they’re all as different as night and day. One thing they all have in common is how loved they are, and how much I love homeschooling them!
Here are some of the homeschooling resources and products that we LOVE in our family. I’ll update this list as I go along to keep it updated and current.
A Library Card. You knew I was going to say that, right? But seriously, there are so many great resources available at the library. And it’s all free – unless, of course, you forget to return your books. 🙂
ABCmouse.com Early Learning Academy – I love this one for little kids, ages 3-7. My children have all used this program (except for the baby, he’s too young!) It has lots of fun activities and games, all focused on preschool/kindergarten education. It covers early math, phonics, science, and even has a parent dashboard. You can elect to get emails from them that will keep you up-to-date on your child’s progress within the program, and you can have multiple profiles. This is important so each child can have their own profile that tracks their progress. It’s a great program and I highly recommend it. Also, they have a generous FREE trial policy – a whole month!
Kids Cook Real Food – What an amazing program! This is an online cooking school for kids that teaches them how to really cook! I stumbled across this because my eight year old daughter is obsessed with baking. I am so glad I found it. The videos and lessons are so clear, and are great for kids of all ages (and even some adults could benefit – like me! Ha!) Kate offers a FREE sample video lesson. Just like at the grocery store – FREE samples are good things! 🙂
Update: I wrote a post about Kids Cook Real Food here, if you want to check it out.
My 8 year old daughter baking:
Reading Eggs – This is my favorite program for teaching kids how to read. I started using it when my oldest daughter was four years old – it was a brand-new program back then! She’s a voracious reader now, and mastered the program before her FREE trial was up! Since then, I’ve had two more children complete the program. They also have a math program called Math Seeds that you get as part of the Reading Eggs sign-up. My kids have all loved Reading Eggs, but have been less enthusiastic about Math Seeds. Your kids may love math, and grab onto the program. My kids love reading, and part of that I know is because they became such strong readers through this program.
My 6 year old daughter after she completed the Reading Eggs program recently:
Pimsleur– Pimsleur is a leader in foreign language – and offers just about every language you can imagine. They offer a free lesson trial, which is how I got started using it in our homeschool. The lessons are flexible, and easy to understand – and their method teaches the language so quickly. I’ve been so impressed with the program! It’s for elementary all the way up through adults. I used it when I was a student and am now fluent in Spanish. It’s an awesome program, and makes homeschooling a foreign language so much easier. They also offer a generous FREE Trial! 🙂
Mango Languages – This program is available 100% for free from my library. It’s an online program, so kids use their library cards to log in to their account. I bet your library has it, too – or something like it. 🙂
Little Passports – If your kids love opening presents, that’s what this feels like when the box comes every month. It’s an amazing subscription service that you can customize to your needs. You can focus on different cultures and destinations around the world, depending on what you are interested in teaching your children. It’s such a great program, and one that the kids look forward to every single time we get it! I love it because everything is laid out for you, the materials are fantastic, and it’s super easy to use. Definite recommend! Use the code: LOVE for 15% off! 🙂
Craftsy – We love Craftsy! They have so many great classes for arts and crafts. I first signed my daughter up for their classes when it was pay-by-the class. Now they are on a “Craftsy Unlimited” model, so you get all the classes for one low price. For me, it’s worth it because my kids love the classes, and the content is top-notch. I’m not an art major and I don’t know how to knit, sew, or even draw more than a stick figure. True story! But my kids have learned so much about art, illustration, photography, and even cake decorating from the Craftsy classes. There is a FREE trial (gotta love the free trials!) available for a limited time.
Craftsy is now Blueprint – and now offers even more classes. They sent me a special offer to share with you – not sure how long it will last, so go now if you’re interested! Get a FREE 7 Day Bluprint Trial + 33% Off First 3 Months – Or – $20 Off Annual Subscription
Here’s the link to the all new “Blueprint” (which is basically Craftsy Unlimited with some new types of content, like yoga and writing classes.) Enjoy!
All About Spelling – This is my favorite program for teaching spelling. It is from All About Learning Press, which also offers the All About Reading program (also a fantastic learn to read program!) They offer a FREE resources library available on their site with free printables, free e-Books, and other helpful educational materials to help with spelling, reading, and language arts.
Middle School/ High School:
Grammarly – We have used the Grammarly software to great success in our homeschool. My daughter is writing her first novel (at age eleven) – and this helps her so much with all the pesky grammar rules and spelling snafus. They offer a very generous FREE trial, and for us, the program has been amazing to help my daughter become a better writer. I’ll let you know when her first novel is available, so you can be the judge! 🙂
Master Class – This is a resource my husband and I wanted as much for ourselves as for our kids. We started looking into it back when you paid by the class, but the price seemed a little high to us. Now you can get all the classes for one low payment – and that was all the sign we needed. The classes are amazing and taught by the BEST in the world. My husband loves the Gordon Ramsey class on cooking. My daughter loves the Judy Blume writing class. You can’t go wrong with this, and yes – there is a FREE trial. Yay!
Magoosh – One of my friends with older children recommended Magoosh to me. I haven’t tried it personally, but she gave such a glowing review, I had to include it. It’s test prep for SAT, ACT, and other exams that your child might be preparing for as they think about college or graduate school (if that’s their path). Gone are the days of dog-eared SAT Prep Books, like the ones I used back in high school. Now it’s customized, high-tech, responsive, and available on your smart phone, tablet, or computer. I plan on using this as we are pursuing early college for our kids – which is a whole other post! I’ll let you know how it goes for us – or better yet, you use it and tell me how you like it! Haha. They also have a FREE trial (7 days, I think).
That’s it for now. I’ll keep adding to this list as I find more awesome homeschooling recommendations. 🙂
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