MONEY SAVING TIPS FOR HOMESCHOOLERS
Homeschooling doesn’t have to be expensive. There are so many wonderful free (or almost free) resources to take advantage of. Here are some helpful freebies I’ve found:
- Grades K- 3: Skip buying an art curriculum and check out one or more of the following books from the library. Each book contains approximately 8 lesson plans. They’re wonderful and easy for young children to follow. Drawing and Learning about Bugs, Drawing and Learning about Cars, Drawing and Learning about Cats, …. Dinosaurs, Dogs, Faces, Fashion, Fish, etc.
- Grades K – 6: http://www.miniclip.com/sketch-star/en/create/ This site is a fun way to teach kids about animation. Kids have the opportunity to create images online on several frames. The program then runs the images quickly across the screen and the child can see his creation moving!
- Grades 4 – 6: Skip buying an art curriculum and take a trip to your local library. Check out one or more of the following books from these two series. The first series, Start With Art, has 4 titles: Start With Art: Still Life, Start With Art: Landscapes, Start With Art: Animals, and Start With Art: People. Each book contains approximately 12 lesson plans. Kids view work done by a famous artist, learn a bit about the artist and his style, and then use the same technique in art work of their own. Wonderful! The second series, Come Look With Me, has at least 8 titles: Exploring Landscape Art with Children, Animals in Art, Exploring Modern Art, American Indian Art, etc. Each book contains approximately 12 lesson plans. Kids view work done by a famous artist, learn a bit about the artist and his style, answer questions about the famous piece they are viewing, and then can try a similar technique in their own work.
- Grades 7 – 12: These You-Tube instruction videos by professionals are excellent and a wonderful supplement to your art curriculum. Some of my favorites are the following: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MQOQucZQiqs&feature=relmfu (teaches students how to draw faces), http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xfQzHDcvSBQ (how to paint a tree in acrylics), http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HkZfzz_z6NY (how to paint a mountain scene), and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rriZ2WssTCI (how to paint an evergreen tree). There are so many free online classes to choose from!
- Grades 4 – 6: Check out this book from your local library: Lives of the Musicians, Good Times, Bad Times (and What the Neighbors Thought). The book explores the lives of approximately 19 famous composers, offering some humorous information about their private lives.
- Grades K – 6: http://www.classicsforkids.com/ This website is wonderful. It gives brief biographies of famous composers and gives kids the opportunity to push a button and listen to some of the composers’ most famous pieces.
- Grades K – 6: http://www.makingmusicfun.net/ Another fantastic website. It also gives brief biographies of famous composers. Free word search worksheets can be printed based on each composer’s biography. Parents can also print free sheet music and free manuscript paper.
- Grades K – 8: http://www.bigiqkids.com/SpellingVocabulary/Lessons/wordlistVocabularyEighthGrade.shtml Skip buying a spelling curriculum. Get your child a good notebook and use the spelling/vocabulary words listed for your child’s grade from this list. There are 40 weeks of word lists provided for each grade. Have your kids practice writing their spelling words in their notebooks everyday, and have them practice writing sentences with their spelling/vocabulary words.
- Grades K – 8: http://www.aaaspell.com/grade1.htm Similar to website above. There are 30 weeks of word lists provided for each grade. Have your kids practice writing their spelling words in their notebooks everyday, and have them practice writing sentences with their spelling/vocabulary words.
- Grades K – 3: The Animated Hero Classics by Nest Entertainment are a wonderful film series for young children. They are available for free at your local Philadelphia library! Titles include the following: Benjamin Franklin, Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Edison, etc. To see a 2 minute sample on youtube, click here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T8RGn6dOnYo
- Grades K – 3: http://www.crayola.com/free-coloring-pages.aspx#/%2Fcategory%3APeople%2Fsubcategory%3AUS%20Presidents This site has free coloring pages of many famous historical figures.
- Grades K – 12: Skip buying a blank book of maps and use these for free! http://www.eduplace.com/ss/maps/
- Grades 5 – 8: These free online videos may be a nice supplement to your American History curriculum: http://www.history.com/shows/america-the-story-of-us/videos/the-hoover-dam#the-hoover-dam
- Grades K – 8: This site is a free online history curriculum created especially for homeschoolers! http://www.ureadthru.wordpress.com
- Grades K – 3: Your Big Backyard Magazine is a wonderful resource for teaching science to young children. It’s free at your local Philadelphia library!
- Grades K – 3: An E-copy of this 1 year science curriculum is only $10. http://www.slphomeschool.wordpress.com
- Grades 3 – 5: Ranger Rick is another wonderful magazine for teaching science. Also at many library branches in Philly.
- Grades 7 – 12: Click on the “Tutorials” Tab on this site for 12 free online chemistry videos. http://www.conceptualchemistry.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&layout=item&id=14&Itemid=62
- Grades 7 – 12: Kids have the opportunity to see a cow’s eye dissected. http://www.exploratorium.edu/learning_studio/cow_eye/step01.html
- Grades 5 – 12: http://incompetech.com/graphpaper/square.html Free online graph/grid paper.
- Grades 4 – 12: http://www.nt.net/~torino/novels3.html This site has free literature discussion questions for each chapter of many award-winning novels. Click on the name of the novel you are interested in, and the discussion questions will come up.
- Grades K – 6: http://teacher.scholastic.com/activities/storystarters/storystarter1.htm This site is a fun way for kids to come up with creative writing ideas.
TYPING: http://www.freetypinggame.net/ This site has free typing games and free typing lessons. The games help your child build speed and accuracy.
PRE K – KINDERGARTEN:
- http://www.letteroftheweek.com/preschool_age_3.html This is a FREE online curriculum for young children. Pretty cool ideas!
- http://fiarhq.com/fiveinarow.info/fiarbooklist.html The book list on this site is wonderful. Great place to start to know what fantastic books are out there to read to your children.
- http://www.1plus1plus1equals1.com/index.html Another great site for young children. Fun, free worksheets can be downloaded. Site creator is also a city homeschooler!
Hope these tips/sites are helpful to you!
Posted by Gwen Fredette on June 12, 2012.