Jacksonville Zoo

How To Start Homeschool With 10 Easy Resources

**This post does contain affiliate links with which I may earn a small commission if a purchase is made.

Has the thought of homeschooling entered your mind? Maybe you’ve bounced the idea around but you just aren’t sure it is right for you and your family? I know I thought about it when my oldest kids were in school but at the time it just wouldn’t work for us. I thought it was going to be too difficult but I was wrong and I’ll share some of our favorite resources with you. You can read more about our homeschool journey here.

You’ve made the decision to homeschool but you aren’t sure where to start. Maybe you just want to give it a test run during summer break to see how it goes and if it will work out for family. There are so many different programs and curriculums it can be quite overwhelming and there is no ‘one size fits all’ out there. Below are our favorite resources many of which are absolutely FREE to use.

Easy Peasy All-In-One Homeschool

This site was such a God send when I stumbled across it in while starting our homeschool journey. I was paying for another service but it was too frustrating for my special needs son and it just wasn’t working. After conferring with my friend Google I came across this site and we still use it to this day.

This is a FREE online Christian based homeschool curriculum with courses for all grades. We like that we can do some of the studies together as group too. They also offer the Genesis Curriculum (paid).

I also like the fact that many of the readers and workbooks can be bought on Amazon to be used offline so we aren’t constantly relying on the internet. The first year we used this program I didn’t buy any books at all and we just printed off the work as we went along.

They also have several different Facebook Groups for advice and support.

Discovery K12

I found this site the summer after we first started homeschooling and I like it a lot too. They offer 7 standard courses for grades Pre-K through 12th. Each of the kids has their own login ID and I let them explore it as they like. The little guys really love the videos and it set up in an easy to use format that they can scroll through independently.

My high schooler has also been using this site for most of her classes. The site offers a Parent Account for a small fee and they will keep track of grades and attendance for record keeping which is required in most states.

They also have several different Facebook Groups for advice and support.

Homeschool Manager

So talking about record keeping and portfolios can be a bit scary. I did keep records and consulted Pinterest for ideas on portfolios when we first started out. Then I found this little program which helps us to schedule and keep track of grades, attendance, and hours completed all in one spot. It also lets us print out report cards and transcripts too. There is a small annual fee but it is well worth it. (I believe that they do offer a FREE month to start with but I knew right away that this was the program for me.)

They also have a Facebook Group for advice and support.

Kids Cook Real Food

This is a site that I just recently found around Thanksgiving last year and we are in love. I was so impressed I went ahead and purchased the VIP package and haven’t regretted it a bit.

My kids have already learned so much from the few lessons that we have completed and it is so simple to use. You can check out a couple of the FREEbie offers here:

FREE Download: 5 Paleo Snacks Your Kids Can Make

FREE Download: 10 Snacks Your Kids Can Make

They also have several different Facebook Groups for advice and support.

SkillTrek

Even if your kids were ni public school there are areas that are missed. Things that just kind of fall through the cracks especially since a lot of the Home Ec classes are not taught anymore. This program help with that and I have recently enrolled with them to help incorporate some of these lessons into our homeschool so that my kiddos will be better prepared for life when they are out on their own.

They offer a variety of bundles and packages that you can purchase to use in your own home. Not sure? Check out a FREE Lesson with the link below before making any purchase.

They also have a Facebook Group for advice and support. Their customer service via email is pretty outstanding too!

ABC Mouse

You’ve probably seen the commercials for this one on TV. I was kind of skeptical at first but then I was able to give it a try through a special promo link and boy was I impressed. My kids love it! It is designed for kids ages 2-8 but all of my younger kids use it.

This is a great program to use for young kids, preschoolers, and those already in skill as it not only teaches new skills but encourages them to keep learning skills while reinforcing skills they have already learned.

It works perfectly for my special needs son who is 15 but is at a kindergarten/1st grade level in most areas. It is also good for my daughter who is 11 as she is a bit behind in some areas as well. It helps to reinforce some of the lessons she has already learned and she likes to play the games on it.

If you use this link here you can try this out FREE for a month.

Florida Unschoolers

This was also a God send around the time that we started our homeschool journey. I don’t know if I found this or the Easy Peasy site first but both of them completely changed our lives! It was FREE to join which was right up my alley at the time as I’d already invested a chunk of money into a program that just didn’t work for us and I was afraid to invest anymore money into anything.

Don’t let the ‘Unschoolers’ part of the name scare you as Florida Unschoolers is a private umbrella school for unschoolers and other home educators in Florida. We do not consider ourselves ‘unschoolers’ maybe more like relaxed homeschoolers but this was the best option for us to be able to homeschool in a way that fits our family’s needs.

Even if you don’t live in Florida this site has some great information that may help you if you are just starting out. They also have a couple of wonderful Facebook groups that have been simply amazing and so supportive. You may be able to research and find groups in your area as well.

Step Up For Students Scholarship

While many of the resources we use are FREE or relatively cheap we do sometimes encounter some expenses for materials and such especially when it comes to finding materials and ways to enrich the homeschool experience for my special needs son.

This scholarship has been a blessing in so many ways as it has allowed us to be able purchase materials and such that he would not otherwise have access to without the funding from this scholarship.

This scholarship has certain requirements and is only available in Florida but your state may have other scholarships available.

They also have a wonderful Facebook Group for advice and support.

Local Library

I love the library! My kids love the library! And it’s FREE! While we do have a pretty extensive book collection sometimes it is nice to be able to find ‘fresh’ reading materials.

One of my biggest mistakes I made when we first started homeschooling was that I bought EVERY book I could find. I went to the thrift shops and Goodwill and bought so many books I had to go buy a few big bookshelves to keep them on. Everything was fine and dandy until we moved into our little house here and we’ve had to purge some of the books but I know that we can always plan a trip to the library as it is pretty close to us.

Facebook Groups

Almost everyone has Facebook nowadays and while it has its downfalls it can also be very informative. There are many different groups where you can find helpful information and support. Just be careful as there are always ‘trolls’ out there, as I found out early on, and you just need to recognize them and ignore them.

Your reasons for considering homeschooling may be similar to ours or they could be very different. The one thing to remember is that every child and family is different. I was completely overwhelmed and bounced back and forth between curriculums to start with. I wish I had found a list like this when I first started. Good luck and remember to take your time to find out what works for you and your family!

 

Advertisements

Please comment below:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s