Homeschool Help

For many years I’ve been in the position of being a contact person for new homeschool families. I’ve found myself counseling many nervous moms as they try to find their way in a brand new world after pulling their kids from school. The first few weeks can be quite daunting!

Here is a “brief” list of our very favorite resources for homeschooling.
Just FYI, the vast majority of homeschooling curriculum (and our own personal favorites) are unabashedly Christian. Yep, we’re ok with that.
Indiana Homeschoolers
Stay informed by following the IAHE on Facebook. Sign up for a free membership on our state’s website and you’ll receive weekly updates with field trip opportunities, special events, information on classes, curriculum and more.
Anyone, any time…
Want to find information on lap booking? Homeschooling through high school? The road to college? I write a column for Homeschool Mosaics, an eclectic blog that serves homeschoolers of all ages and styles. LOTS of great ideas and information!
Local Lending
Many libraries have great homeschooling sections. Stop in and ask your librarian for anything they might have.
Curriculum
In general we have always found that the very best homeschool curriculum is written by homeschool families for homeschool families. You will find an abundance of traditional curriculum companies trying to market their books to homeschoolers… but they are geared to the traditional classroom.
Here are some of our favorites:
Math
  • The very best is Teaching Textbooks. I can’t say it enough! We LOVE Teaching Textbooks. You can read more about how much we love Teaching Textbooks in a blog post I did a while back.
  • Looking for a free online resource? Check out Khan Academy. This is not a traditional curriculum at all, but there are some families that use it as their stand-alone resource.
  • Another online program, ALEK.com provides a families with a student side and a parent log-in. I think the site is too pricey for a subscription based program; however, I really like their assessment program. For families that are struggling to identify their student’s knowledge level, I highly recommend utilizing the free trial. You can also check out my review of the program here.
History

Science

  • Apologia is the leading supplier of homeschool curriculum for science for a very good reason. No one does it better! The company has expanded in recent years and now offers a large number of additional resources.
  • Answer in Genesis produces a multitude of resources on science and creation apologetics. Everything from a monthly magazine, educational DVDs, workshops, and traditional history and science curriculum.
Writing
  • Institute for Excellence in Writing is the golden standard for writing curriculum in most homeschool circles. We’ve used IEW material for years, and while I do think it’s the best… I have to point out that my favorite thing about IEW is not the curriculum itself, but the company’s founder Andrew Pudewa. In retrospect, the one speaker I wish I had listened to earlier on in our homeschool journey is Andrew Pudewa, or as I like to call him “The Great Pudewa”. I would have saved myself a lot of headaches and a lot of money if I had actually listened to a lot of his wisdom. If you need inspiration or guidance, consider purchasing audio files from the IEW website to hear many of his workshops.
  • This fall (2013), we’re jumping into a new writing program Write At Home. I can’t give you a full review until we’ve actually used it longer… but I’m excited about it.
Secondary Language
  • New homeschoolers will of course find the Latin a joking matter with Visual Latin?recommendation to study Latin to be a bit over the top. But when you are ready, you absolutely HAVE to check out Visual Latin. This is without a doubt one of the best pieces of curriculum in the homeschool market. Period.
Umbrella School Programs
  • I would NOT say that this program qualifies as one of our current favorites, but as a new homeschooler back in 2001, we were jumping into seventh grade and we wanted the structure of having a curriculum that showed up all in one box and told us exactly what to do. We used Alpha Omega Switched on Schoolhouse for our first year. They offer a computer based programs, online programs and a traditional workbook program. You can use their material for every subject or just purchase a couple.
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Do you have a question about any of the curriculum listed here? Do you have a different recommendation? Leave a comment and let me know! I would love to hear what has worked for you.

One thought on “Homeschool Help

  1. Pingback: Exciting freebies in the new IEW catalog! | The Blonde Mother Bear

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