Homeschooling does not have to cost an arm and a leg. Truly. Lots of people want to take advantage of your desperation right now and make you believe that their curriculum is the answer to all your problems and you NEED it. You don’t. A library card, a math text, and paper and pencils are enough for K-8th. A computer is definitely helpful because many free things are online, but not everything free online is worth your time!
If you want free options that give you more direction, though, there are tradeoffs. You will often have to spend more time preparing – maybe buying books or creating schedules or printing things or reading up on the philosophy behind the curriculum (which you should do anyway,… ahem…). All of this can be beneficial in itself, but just be aware that most things that are free aren’t open and go at the beginning, though they can be once everything is set up. Also, just because something is free doesn’t mean it is not a good resource. We use mostly free curricula and I feel like my kids have gotten an excellent education! We prefer to save our money for real books to fill our home library! On the flip side, much free curriculum is a waste of your time and subpar academically. Everything I have listed below is what we have used or would consider using in our homeschool….
Wildwood Curriculum – Charlotte Mason method. Secular but not anti-God. K-6th. Lays out what books to use for each term, but you schedule everything out for yourself. Requires purchasing some books. There is an associated Facebook page.
Ambleside Online – Charlotte Mason method. Christian but you can take the Bible portions out. K-12th. Challenging/advanced. Weekly schedule. Requires purchasing some books. There is an associated Facebook page. This is the curriculum we use, with some adjustments.
Under the Home – Charlotte Mason method. Not affiliated with a religion but includes religious lessons where applicable. Completely online (so no books to buy). K-5th. Very easy to navigate! Some printing required for writing pages. Weekly schedule. Read up on the Charlotte Mason method of narration if you use this curriculum.
Easy-Peasy All-in-One Homeschool – Traditional method. Christian. Completely online. K-12th. Easy to navigate. This one and Under the Home would be good “get your feet wet” curricula. Avoid the math section of this website, though.
Mater Amabilis – Charlotte Mason method. Catholic. PreK-8th. Weekly schedule. Requires purchasing some books.
MEP Math (K-6) – Great conceptual program. There is an associated Facebook page. Requires parent planning and printing. UK curriculum, so only has metric measurements. I’ve only ever heard excellent reviews of this curriculum!
Education Unboxed Math (K-3rd) – Videos to show the parent how to do activities/games. Uses Cuisenaire Rods (math blocks). Very little written work. Builds intuitive conceptual understanding.
Starfall (Phonics) – Videos for child to watch.
Duolingo (foreign language) – Interactive. Earn badges/awards. Competition. Some speaking but not a lot.
Seterra (Geography, 3-12) – Online quizzes. Printable maps.
Hoffman Academy – Free Piano Lessons.
Sing Solfa – Singing lessons and folksongs for kids.
Enjoying Music at Home (1-5) – Music Appreciation.
Art for Kids Hub (K-5)
Free Pre-Algebra and Algebra videos from Art of Problem Solving
Alcumus – Free online PreAlgebra, Algebra, and Geometry practice that automatically adjusts to student’s level. This goes with the above videos.
Khan Academy (Math 3-12, Science, Art Appreciation, Test Prep 9-12)
The Happy Scientist (K-6?) – Videos. Experiments.
The Good and The Beautiful (Language Arts pdfs, 1-5)
Wheeler’s Elementary Speller (Spelling, 2-6)
Wheeler’s Graded Studies in Great Authors (Copywork/Dictation for Spelling, 4-12)
Primary Language Lessons (2-6)
Intermediate Language Lessons (4-6) – You can buy updated versions of PLL and ILL from Hillside Education or My Father’s World. They are excellent. These are Charlotte Mason-ish curricula.
Writing in English (7-12)
Science and Religion Course (9-12, EXCELLENT)
Hillsdale College Online Courses (9-12, Politics, History, Literature, Philosophy/Religion, Economics)
Study Skills Class through Long Beach City College (7-12)
Eddie Woo Math Videos (6-12 – phenomenal teacher!)
CNN 10 news (6-12) – 10 minute world news for students.
A Thinking Person’s Quest for Meaning video (Christian, 7-12)
The Scientism Delusion (Christian, 7-12)
Leonard Bernstein’s Young People’s Concerts (4-12) – These were recorded in the 50s and 60s, so the quality isn’t great, BUT they are phenomenal! Bernstein did such a great job teaching children (and adults!) about music.
Numberphile Math Videos (6-12) – Just for fun on topics outside the normal curriculum!
Elson Readers (K-2)
And don’t forget about your library! At our local library you can get Great Courses videos (high school), Liberty’s Kids (Revolutionary War cartoon) episodes, Our Island Story by Marshall audio book, Sister Wendy Art Appreciation DVDs, and all sorts of other goodies!