If you’re looking to homeschool or are already in the homeschool universe, chances are you are seeing a lot of social media posts on the new curriculum everyone will be using. If you’re like me, you quickly add up what those curriculums cost and it tends to freak you out. I’m here to tell you, don’t freak out. Yes, you can homeschool without spending thousands of dollars. Let’s keep it a hundred percent real. You can homeschool without spending hundreds of dollars if that’s what your budget needs.
We have been blessed. Since we began full-time homeschooling, we have worked with some AMAZING partners. You can read about our experiences with BookShark Science and History, which are some of my favorites of all of the curricula we have reviewed. BookShark is a paid curriculum that I regularly recommend to my coaching clients. Another favorite paid curriculum that makes our homeschool journey simple is Miacademy. I share these in a post about free curriculum because I’m honest. Some curriculum is worth paying for.
The thing is though, you have to figure out which is worth paying for in your family. Today, I wanted to share options that are no-cost to help you figure out the type of homeschool you will be running in your home. I was recently having a conversation with another homeschool mom and we shared the types of homeschool parents we planned/wanted to be versus who we and our children actually are. Remember this journey is a personal one and will look differently depending on the child. I’m frugal. And I really can’t afford to spend hundreds of dollars on a curriculum that will sit in a closet and not be used. When using a free curriculum I look at it two-fold. First, can this be a primary learning source for the subject? Second, what paid curriculum offers a similar experience and do I get much more from it?
Free ninety-nine has always been my favorite price. I’ve been pleasantly surprised at what is available to use for free. Here are a few free options that we have checked out. Some have worked and some haven’t but it helps us get closer to figuring out what we need to succeed as a homeschool family. In no way is this an extensive list. Consider this simply a starting point.
There are so many free resources available beyond free trial periods. I’m not here to bring you those because if you’re like me then you will forget to cancel your subscription. The first two I’m sharing are the most used in our home. I honestly am not sure how I would homeschool without either.
Zearn – Last year, I shared that this is our primary math curriculum and I am here to report that it still is. JustaBXgirl likes to have options when it comes to her subjects but Zearn continues to be her go-to for math. It is online but parents do have the options to download corresponding material. If you’re looking for an offline version check out EngageNY. You can access free printable math and ELA curriculum there.
Quill – This has become our go-to for ELA. You set up a teacher account and add your children as students. Have them take a pre-diagnostic and it will set up what they need to work on. We used it for fourth grade and will use it again for fifth grade. I really saw JustaBXgirl grow a lot in her spelling and grammar this year which had been a concern area for me going into fourth grade.
Fish Tank Learning – I wish I could remember which homeschool account I found this curriculum through. I owe her a coffee or something. We haven’t used this ELA curriculum for long but I really like it. Full transparency, justaBXgirl still doesn’t love writing. This curriculum gave her ways to practice. We tweaked the lessons a bit to make them work for us but will be using it again for fifth grade. Fish Tank also offers a math curriculum. I haven’t checked it out yet but if you do, please let me know your thoughts.
#HiHomeschool Tip: Don’t get caught up in grade levels when looking at curriculum. When checking out Fish Tank I looked at the books they were using and selected the grade level we would start at based on which had a book that I thought would interest JustaBXgirl. Since she’s resistant to writing I knew if she didn’t buy into the reading then there would be no way to get her into the writing side of things. It worked out and she enjoyed the lessons that we did.
Easy Peasy All-In-One-Homeschool – This is a wonderful resource. It really is a one-stop shop. Your students take a placement test to know the level to begin. JustaBXgirl uses it sometimes. It is not a primary curriculum for us but it is comprehensive. It covers all subjects and is easy to navigate.
Happy Numbers had a special last year where we were able to get about nine months free. I’m including it in this post because JustaBXgirl enjoyed it so much that I am looking into purchasing another year when our free subscription expires at the end of June. I do not know if they offer the free membership to new users every year or if we just happened upon it at the right time. I suggest following them on social media so you don’t miss it if they offer it again.
A few other fun free options are Prodigy Math and Boddle Learning for math games. They both offer premium but the littles can enjoy the free versions while getting more equipped at math.