Here are my favorite resources for homeschool curriculum that I discovered in my first year of homeschooling on the road. I have been homeschooling now since 2015 and these are my go-to resources for my homeschool. I hope some of these homeschool resources can help you as well.
When I started homeschooling, I really was quite lost as to how much school they should be doing on a daily basis and what subjects I should be focusing on with them. This book is for children who are going to follow some kind of very structured daily curriculum. If you are interested in more of a dynamic roadschooling curriculum, this book is still packed with awesome strategies and book recommendations that have worked well for us.
Before school each year, I take some time to go through this book again and update my homeschool plan for the upcoming year.
This book was a suggestion from The Well Trained Mind book and it was a brilliant one. I started it with my son when he was in first grade and he was crazy about it. He loved doing the activities in the book, especially the ones where he had to color or draw. This way the book is written makes it interesting and relatable for kids. I highly recommend it, you can check out The Story of the World here.
I love Spectrum Workbooks. It took me a while to find them, I went through several different workbooks before these and these are my favorite hands down.
I love these math workbooks, they break everything down into bite sizes problems which works well for my son who loses focus easily. There is a pre and post test for each chapter, so the child is continually reviewing throughout the book. The lessons in between the pretest and post test. All have teaching instructions clearly written and explained with examples. There is an answer sheet for parents as well as a scoring guideline to record the tests.
I tried another workbook, you can see it here before finding Spectrum’s reading workbook. The previous book was far too easy and didn’t challenge the kids at all. The questions themselves focus on reading comprehension and critical thinking skills It also will ask what the reader thinks will happen next in fictional passages and whether statements are fact or opinion. Some questions ask the reader to identify what happened first, next, and last in the story. It takes my kids about 20 minutes to answer each passage. I highly recommend this book, we used it for both 2nd and 3rd grade and will continue to use it this year.
My kids do Language Arts through Acellus, but I like to ensure they know what they are doing and this book enables me to do that. Again it breaks the information down into bite-sized pieces and I have them do a worksheet after they have completed their online course. This tells me if they understand the lesson or not.
I found this book a little advanced for third grade, there is a lot going on and my son needed help with most of it. It is a book you can work on together but I found that it overcomplicated certain things and he was starting to dislike science so I put it aside. We’ll try it again this year for 4th grade but I am still looking for other options. There is no book for the second grade.
My daughter did this spelling book in grade 2, this book is full of exercises that not only showed her how to spell a word, it also helped her to understand exactly what the word meant and how to use it in a sentence. My daughter loved this book and finished it super fast because she wanted to do it every day! That”s a win my book!
This is my favorite book because it tells me exactly what they know and what they need more practice on. It tests them in Writing, Language Arts, Reading and all aspects of Math. I do some tests throughout the year, and then I save the final test until the end of the year. This is a must-have!
I used some Scholastic Workbooks before I came across Spectrum Workbooks. These were perfect for Kindergarten and Grade 1. We used the Scholastic Writing and Reading Workbook and they were a great supplement but they are small. They only have 48 pages but they were fun and a great introduction to workbooks for my 5-year-old daughter at the time. They are pretty simple so we went through them pretty quickly, hence I started looking for something a little more challenging and found Spectrum Workbooks.
I used this workbook for both my son and daughter when they were in first and second grade and they loved it. It helps to make writing fun, which makes teaching so much easier, right? The kids choose from different options to come up with for who or what, did what, where/when? It helps them with adjectives for their writing and we had a lot of fun coming up with different adjectives for each story. I would consider this to be more of a supplement to another writing book or course.
I used this site in my first year of homeschooling when I was still downloading lots of printables and trying to do it all myself. It was not pretty! However I do, still like to use printables and this site has some great ones for different grades. They have both a free and paid version, I used the free, liked it so I signed up for a month and was able to download lots of printables. I only paid for one month (sshhh) and downloaded all the printables I needed. To be honest, a month was enough to download what you need, they didn’t have enough to warrant a monthly subscription IMO.
This is another brilliant site that I found early on and I’m a huge fan, here’s why:
I personally have purchased both a collection of artwork and morning work for the entire year. The morning work was a little repetitive for the cost but the artwork was a huge help for the year. I have downloaded several free samples to incorporate into our various lessons also.
We have been using Art For Kids Hub for over 3 years now and we love it. My daughter has come leaps and bounds since doing this and they both have so much fun. Each week I have them do two lessons, each lesson lasts about 20 minutes and the kids have a blast. The owner of the channel always has one of his kids draw alongside him, which makes it even more fun for the kids. You can submit your artwork to them, which my kids enjoy doing. He teaches lessons from basic drawing all the way up to more advanced techniques. I sometimes have the kids do this on the weekend if I have stuff I need to do, the kids will spend an hour easily without any complaint. They also have some great ideas for special occasions too, it’s amazing how much the kids learn and our friends and family get some awesome birthday and Chrismas cards.
We had been using the free version all along and decided to pay to see some of the lessons, we didn’t really get much more for paying so I would recommend going with the free version.
My daughter struggles with writing, she has a very creative mind but she has a hard time writing her thoughts on paper. We used Time4Learning for a while and I liked it, I also read the reviews and they were all good so I purchased this for her in second grade. Straight away I wasn’t impressed.
After we signed up, they wanted her to take a placement test and they put her in Elementary Sentences. This course was too easy for her and at $99 I wasn’t looking for “easy.” We tried it for a couple of days and then we did another placement and they allowed us to switch to Elementary Paragraphs.
For these reasons, I can’t honestly recommend Time4Writing as a homeschool resource. Too many cons vs pros.
I haven’t personally tried any of these programs but they do come highly recommended.
Easy Peasy Free Online courses.
Discovery K12 This is a free program but you have to search around for programs. A bit more pre-work for mom.
You can find a lot of discounts on courses and programs for homeschooling at Homeschool Buyers Co-Op.
Do you have any homeschool resources you want to share?