Homeschool resources can span a wide range of items: curricula, educational objects and tools, places, and even people! Here are just a few resources that our area homeschool community has found most helpful:
- Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons. Use this step-by-step program to teach your child reading in 20 minutes each day.
- IEW Phonetic Zoo Spelling. The Institute for Excellence in Writing has many high-quality resources, including this phonics-based program that allows students to work independently for much of the lesson.
- Easy Grammar. After all, who said grammar had to be hard? This course uses the prepositional approach to teaching grammar and adds cumulative review to ensure subject mastery.
- Saxon Math. For more than 30 years, homeschool families have used this course that emphasizes continual practice and review, as well as incremental development.
- Math U See. This K-12 skill-based, multi-sensory program is a favorite among Kansas City homeschoolers and a regular vendor at our annual conference.
- Mystery of History. Established in 2002, this company publishes a comprehensive study of world history from a Christian worldview.
- My Father’s World: Exploring Countries and Cultures. Designed for grades 3-8, this unit study teaches Bible, geography, science, art and music while traveling around the world.
- Five in a Row (FIAR). The Lambert family in the Kansas City area created this program “to teach children the joy of learning while exposing them to the vast world of information that’s so important in building a solid educational foundation.”
- Tapestry of Grace. This curriculum uses a guided unit study approach to help parents provide a Christian, classical education.
- Ambleside Online. Another free curriculum, this uses Charlotte Mason principles for its inspiration, along with a digitized collection of Charlotte’s materials, and support forum.
- Khan Academy. “From kindergarten to calculus, Khan Academy is here to help.” This nonprofit offers free practice exercises, instructional videos, and a personalized learning dashboard for teachers and parents to enhance learning.
Objects and tools
- The Internet (including Amazon.com). Enough said!
- Math manipulatives. These visual tools are great for making abstract concepts simpler and easier to grasp. Whether an abacus, hundreds board, blocks, or other item, many homeschoolers have found these effective in teaching mathematics.
- Timers. Trouble keeping students focused and on a schedule? Timers made the “top 10 list” among many families for effective homeschool resources to move school along in a way that benefits everyone.
- Refillable dry erase markers. If you’re using boards often to explain concepts, make sure you can use writing tools again, again, and … again.
- Music. Never underestimate the power of a school playlist, especially if your kids are kinetic learners!
- White board. Because blackboards are so 1900s…
- Atlases, timelines and maps. These time-honored reference materials help build general knowledge in some of the least painless ways possible.
- High-quality pencils. Not all pencils are created equal, and it shows … especially if your child is in high school and writing lots of essays. One mom recommended the Ticonderoga brand as one of her go-to homeschool resources.
Places and people
- Your area library. Not only do libraries provide books, but also audiobooks, CDs, movies and Internet access. If a particular book isn’t available in your area, requesting an interlibrary loan is usually the next step.
- Homeschool conferences. Many families find that conferences (such as our annual spring conference) and conventions offer some of the most invigorating homeschool experiences imaginable! You’ll find rest and refreshment in a place with hundreds, if not thousands, of your fellow homeschoolers milling all around you – checking out curricula, discussing speaker topics and workshops, and also meeting in smaller groups for one-on-one networking and encouragement.
- Facebook homeschool groups. We have a thriving community of homeschool groups on Facebook, especially in the Kansas City area. Check out Kansas City Homeschool, Kansas City Homeschooler’s Bulletin Board and Wild + Free KC (the last one is open to everyone, but a number of homeschoolers are in there).
- Our mentor moms. Mentoring moms allow you to ask any questions in the comfort and privacy of a one-to-one, mom-to-mom heart-to-heart! Simply fill out a form so we can match you to one of our volunteer moms, who have a heart for helping fellow homeschoolers. Everything is kept confidential between you and your mentor, and you can change mentors at any time.
This post was originally published in June 2015. It has been updated for timeliness and detail.
Can’t find your own favorite homeschool resource on this list? Check out our webpage dedicated to homeschool resources or add it in the comments below.