Be sure to check out the other posts in the How To Homeschool For Free series too!
Using the internet for finding free curriculum can be overwhelming. I hope you will find something you can use here today. A few websites have all (or almost all) of what you need on their website. Many of them also use books that are free to download or read online. Some require you to get a book from the library, while others might be free instruction for a college or high school textbook that you would need to buy. While the latter is not completely free, the instruction is. You don’t have to pay for a teacher or tutor, so I think that qualifies as a freebie!
Ambleside Online is a free home school curriculum designed to be as close as possible to the curriculum that Charlotte Mason used in her own private and correspondence schools. Ambleside Online recommends, on their schedule, the highest quality books and costs no more than the cost of texts. Many of the texts could be found through a library loan system. The curriculum also uses as many free online books as possible, and there is no cost to use this website or join the support group.
Old Fashioned Education offers a directory of free home school curricula, literature and text books organized for the use of home schooling families. It has its roots in Charlotte Mason, but has a more structured routine and schedule. There is a book list, daily schedule, and many other resources for each grade level from K- 12. One of my favorite things about this website is that there is a section where you can find numerous websites to find free online books. Even if you don’t agree with all of the ideals presented, this is a useful website for planning your school year.
Mater Amabilis is a curriculum designed for Catholic home schoolers but can be very useful even for those who are not Catholic. I found their scope and sequence very helpful and it is a Charlotte Mason structured curriculum. You can use the same scope and sequence for your own school, and use many of the same resources, even if you are not Catholic. The religious sections can be left out or replaced with your own Bible courses. There is a lesson schedule for each level for Pre-K through grade 8.
Complete textbooks in downloadable form (PDF files) for all core subjects are available from the Parallel Alternative Strategies for Students (PASS). These textbooks are written to help students with various learning needs and are presented in an easy-to-understand format. Teacher guides are also available if you email the contact listed on the site you a copy. Even though this is for Florida schools, I was able to get a CD mailed to me in Texas. It didn’t seem to matter that I didn’t live in Florida. The website is no longer maintained since the PASS program is over and could disappear from the site at any point in time so I recommend that you get it while you can.
Head of the Class provides free access to curriculum-based content for preschool through eighth grade learners. There are many resources for parents and teachers to help utilize the available content. It is organized by grade-level. You will have access to instruction, activities, and multimedia on reading, math, spelling, writing, art, history, music, geography, science, Spanish, and more. This software works on PCs, Macs, as well as Smartboards with no downloads or special software required.
Each Pathway unit is prescreened and intended to provide a week’s worth of educational resources. While there is a recommended “path” for each grade level, you can add or delete paths as you see fit and can manage all of your students in the online planner. While all the lessons are in an easy-to-follow pathway, some of the links involved are actually from outside sources that you could find on your own. The benefit of using this website is that it is all in one place and the resources have already been found for you. You can also choose the easy log in through your facebook page so there’s no registration required if you do it that way.
For grades 6-12, SAS Curriculum Pathways is available at no cost and used by thousands of educators in all 50 states. SAS Curriculum Pathways provides academic instruction of English, mathematics, social studies, science and Spanish. Social studies materials include an interactive atlas. In math, an interactive tool helps students develop basic algebra skills. Enhancements to the award-winning Writing Reviser in the English module help students master sentence fundamentals. Spanish materials help students develop reading and listening skills in real-world situations. You might want to take note that this software is picky about which computer is using it. I couldn’t get it to run on my Macbook with OS 10.5. It is supposed to work on some e-tablets though.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, also known as MIT, is a private university. They have numerous courses available for free online (not for MIT credit, though). What they do have for you is called Highlights for High School. It is your guide to MIT courses selected specifically to help high school students prepare for AP exams so students can also get a glimpse of what they will study in college.
HippoCampus.org offers Algebra, American Government, Biology, Calculus, Environmental Science, Physics, Psychology, World Religions, and US History. You can follow a course of the curriculum in each class, or select a problem area to get a clear explanation and practice problems. Many of the subject home pages include a corresponding moderated blog created by teachers, for teachers. Each blog contains ideas and activities that teachers can use to use HippoCampus in creative ways. Posted lesson plans include learning objectives, assessment ideas, assignment details, instructor notes, and a rubric for grading lessons. The lessons utilize some videos from Khan Academy.
The Khan Academy is a not-for-profit organization with a mission to provide a free world-class education to anyone anywhere. With over 2600 videos, they cover K-12 math, science topics such as biology, chemistry, and physics, and even reach into the humanities with playlists on finance and history. Each video is approximately 10 minutes long, and especially purposed for viewing on the computer. Learning is self-paced and students can earn badges to measure progress. Parents, as teachers, can see any student in detail have a real-time class report for all students, and see resources for providing targeted interventions in learning if necessary.
I hope you have found something you can use for your home school. I know I did!