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angierossi

Favorite free resources?

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Hi all! I'm a new homeschooler, and on our tight budget I'm starting to look for fun and high-quality free homeschooling resources. Anyone have any suggestions? (my boys are ages 3 to 10)

 

Thanks!

 

 

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Mathematics Enhancement Programme and Education Unboxed for Math, Art For Kids Hub for drawing, Ambleside Online for book selections, Salsa from Georgia Public Broadcasting for Spanish.

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Well, MEP math is a great, free math program. A bit teacher intensive if you have a wide age spread, though. The website is a little unwieldy, but if you print a set of student pages and a set of coordinating teacher pages you will get the hang of it.

 

Arttango is a nice site for at lessons, although you need to apply the actual art-making stuff.

 

Duolingo is everybody's go-to for foreign language.

 

Progressive Phonics has a "print it yourself" reading program.

 

Don't bypass your library!! Mine has Story of the World, Life of Fred, a few reading programs, lots of great literature and non-fiction.

 

Ask some specific questions for more specific answers once you start to dig in!

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Many of our resources we use are free:
MEP

Dictation Day By Day

Meet The Masters (used this for 2 years before being given Artistic Pursuits)

Homeschool SkedTrack (to keep everything in one place)

Duolingo

 

 

At least 2-3 times a week I go on Homeschool Freebie of The Day to see what is listed.  I probably have two dozen things now saved in my favorites that we haven't gotten to yet, but will use when we do.

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Kahn - they are known for math, but their art history is fantastic

Currclick (make sure to click the "free stuff" button on the left)

Brainpop - free movie of the day

CNN Student News

 

 

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I second Progressive Phonics and DuoLingo.  Zearn.com has a good online math program that is free.  My boys are using it along with other living math resources.

 

allinonehomeschool.com is usually mentioned but I have never used it.

 

 

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The Library is #1 inter-library loan is like Amazon to me, but it's FREE!! I know there are are others with great link collections to vintage public domain materials--they're great. 

 

I agree Progressive Phonics is fun and useful. 

 

Mystery Science is free this year and we LOVE it. 

 

The Crash Course videos are awesome--there is a crash course for kids that geared toward the elementary set. 

 

 

Free Teacher Resources that can be adapted for Homeschool:

 

The Core Knowledge Foundation has pdfs of all of its curriculum for free online--you would probably need an ereader to really use the materials, but the lesson plans and stories are high-quality and could be adapted for use at home. 

 

ReadWorks.org

 

https://www.learner.org/

 

 

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Prodigy Math is an amazing free math role-playing game.  You can set assignments from a huge list of topics.  It is for grades 1-8.  We use it for spiral review.

 

Do yourself a favor and find a group buy and pay the $16 year membership.  The free version is fantastic, it really is.  But the premium version gives your player more game options, which makes them want to play even more.  

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Alpha Phonics, Math Playground online manipulatives and thinking blocks, Salsa Spanish, Typing Club, Education unboxed, Duolingo, Prodigy math, the Baldwin Project at mainlesson.com, Ambleside Online, Code.org, Mystery Science....

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Welcome Angierossi  :party:  :grouphug:  :hurray:

 

Over the years, I have learned that free to look at doesn't mean free to use. Also, if I'm on a strict curriculum budget, the rest of my life is often in chaos and I need to schedule and factor around the realities of that.

 

Things that are "free" and usable by families with a printer, plenty of paper, big bookcases to store things things on, home wifi, labor saving devices like a washer and dryer in their own home, etc., are not free or comfortable to use by people that don't have these things.

 

I grew up in more than one country, constantly switching back and forth between a surreal assortment of subcultures and income levels. The one constant in my life was access to novels. I read ANYTHING I could get my hands on and embarrassed my parents by constantly looking in trash for books.

 

I went through a phase of believing fiction was vastly inferior to non-fiction, and shunned the easy to acquire books that made me who I am today. I was surprised to find that I and my students didn't make the progress I expected using more expensive, boring and time-consuming materials. Life kept smacking me upside the head over and over. I went back to novel reading as the core of my own self-education and teaching.

 

Public domain titles make up the core of my default curriculum. My boys are grown and I am still in a break from tutoring while I settle down into my new home and just try to get my head on straight after the last few episodes of chaos. But I'm keeping up with my own self-education and compiling a default plan of mostly free books for when I jump back into teaching.

 

My textbooks mostly come in both hardcopy and ebook, so if chaos strips my hardcopies from me for awhile, I can muddle along with a pdf the best I can, until I can buy a new hardcopy to hold and scribble on and love. Right now, I really miss my Harvey's Grammar and Handbook of Nature Study and they are on my wish list, But I'm doing okay with pdfs for now. I also think I'm getting a HONS through interlibrary loan to use for a bit; my fingers are crossed that it is on the way.

 

With so much of the curriculum being older books, I carefully fill in the holes with new stuff where it MATTERS. I like Newspaper in Education stuff. Once I learned how to use the newspaper better, I was able to keep using the ideas with new issues. Also, if students are reading from a Kindle a lot, the tactile feel of a free day old newspaper is welcome. And our libraries have copies we can look at for free. You might like these elementrary level resources. Everything Ann West writes is excellent. And the Virginia Standards K-5 is conveniently broken up by grade level and subject. http://www.nieteacher.org/#elmsmulti

 

Here in the city, we love our parks. Handbook of nature study and some of the older geographies make up the core of my science curriculum. Then I hang some novels and chattier style older science books onto that core. I have read some Charlotte Mason on Nature study, but really have found the older geographies more helpful. CC Long Home Geography and Charlotte Mason Geography are popular among many homeschoolers now and have been reprinted, but my favorite is Payne's Geographical Nature Studies. https://books.google.com/books/about/Geographical_Nature_Studies.html?id=PMAXAAAAIAAJ

 

The Yesterday's Classics version science books are not free, but if you google the TITLES you will find free versions in pdf and sometimes even in free audios at librivox.org

http://www.yesterdaysclassics.com/catalog/displaycatalog.php?catalog=nature

 

https://librivox.org/search?primary_key=51&search_category=genre&search_page=1&search_form=get_results

 

Samuel Blumenfeld is my hero. He died recently and asked for all his books to be made free.

http://blumenfeld.campconstitution.net/Tutor.htm

I use the smaller version of Alpha-Phonics called Phonics for Success. I needed this in hardcopy, but appreciate the free backup.

https://www.amazon.com/Phonics-Success-Samuel-L-Blumenfeld/dp/1495144216

Don Potter wrote some excellent supplements for Alpha-Phonics and they are free. 

http://www.donpotter.net/reading_clinic.html

The arithmetic chapter in Blumefeld's How to Tutor is an excellent supplement to the free Ray's Arithmetic series. It is worth printing, if you can do so.

 

I'd check your library for Ruth Beechick's The Three R's. Her ideas are free. The spelling instructions are good far past grade 3.

https://www.amazon.com/Three-Rs-Ruth-Beechick/dp/0880620749/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1474033919&sr=1-1&keywords=the+three+R%27s

 

For art, I love the thin little Drawing Textbook. I do hold onto a hardcopy, but it is free here and concise enough to be worth printing.

http://dreamsteep.com/downloads/ebooks/124-audio-visual-drawing-program-drawing-textbook.html

and the crayon "paintings" in New Augsburg Drawing grades 1-3. Those are the only pages I print and use.

http://forums.welltrainedmind.com/topic/359033-augsburg-drawing-free-and-awesome-and-complete-1-8/

 

The newest version of my constantly being updated booklist is usually in my signature. Every book listed has a free version except the Little House on the Prairie books. Little house is free in Canada and Australia, but the USA pressured the over seas sites to take the books down. I scheduled the books anyway as so many people have access to the books in some form.

Edited by Hunter
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The library.

Seriously. If you don't go, you should start. Become friends with your librarian. Ask about interlibrary loan. See what resources they have on hand.

 

 

:iagree:

 

Need ideas for books? Look here.

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