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29 Great Websites

July 27, 2009

The last couple weeks I have been up to my ears in homeschool websites.  As more of my friends come over to the crazy side (you know who you are…) I’ve been looking for great resources to share with them.

Just in my little circle of friends, I have known or heard about at least ten new families taking the plunge into homeschool next year.  I see myself a year ago in their cautiously excited faces.   In their overwhelmed wonder at all choices.  So many choices!   I even see myself in the we’ll see shrugs they give when I tell them how great it is.

And in the wild-eyed terror.  Yes, especially the terror.

So, I’d really like to add to that overwhelming feeling and share this list of very helpful sites for those homeschooling or just considering it. Note:  Most of these sites will be fun for moms, homeschooling or not.

First stop for homeschoolers:

HSLDA.  HomeSchool Legal Defense Association.  These guys rock!  In addition to representing member families in legal issues, they offer more legal info than you’ll ever be able to digest, e-newsletters on homeschooling different ages, a used sale forum, curriculum discounts, and seminars and radio programs.  Become a member!

Subject helps:

Your Teacher.  Fantastic Math tutoring site for Pre-Algebra and above.  We are using it for my 8th grader’s math program this year.

Pro teacherTons of links on every subject imaginable.

Scholastic   Lesson plans, booklists, and more.   Find readers at grade level, or enter a book and find the reading level.  Too many student activities to list!  During thanksgiving, they had cool videos up on the pilgrims journey. 

Eyewitness to history:  Awesome site that has eyewitness accounts of several monumental events in history.  Also has film clips from the past, audio clips, and photos.

Answers In Genesis:  Creation science for kids.  Videos, activities, and more.

 

Homeschool blogs:  (These are the blogs in my blog reader.)

Homeschool classroom.  Everything homeschool here.  Ideas, encouragement, links, subject-specific helps.  Plus, they posted one of my posts here!  So you know it’s cool, right?

Heart of the matter.  Group blog featuring homeschool moms and a couple dads, too.  Love their online conferencesForums, free online magazine, and lots of ways to connect here.

Simple momHome-management blog written by a homeschool mom.  Besides the great posts, she has lots of printables…calendars, schedules, and more.  Also has a book club and forums.  I love her style, very simple and inspiring.

 

Planners, lists, and more:

Donna Young.  Grab a cup of tea and plan to stay awhile.  List freaks will no longer feel alone in the world.  In addition to her endless homeschooling and household helps, she has some subject-specific printables, schedules, and worksheets.  I got our Apologia reading schedule for next year here in a click.  I love Donna Young.

DIY plannerFree printable planners.  I actually shut my laptop the first time I saw this site, it scared me that much.  My heart began to beat so fast I feared for my life.  Free planners.  So many to choose from.  Must lie down.

 

To Connect with others:

Meetup.com  If you don’t know of any homeschoolers in your area, you may just find them on Meetup.  Park day groups and moms groups often list here.  Search your area (cautiously, please) for new friends.

Plus, many of the sites on this list have forums, including: Heart of the matter, Well Trained Mind, and Simple mom.  Check them out!

If this doesn’t work for you, try Googling your state’s name + Homeschooling Groups, or call your local churches and Christian schools and ask for info.  Many of them will know of groups nearby.

 

Used curriculum/resources:  Why buy new what you can get for cheap?

VegSource.  Forums galore, but what I love are the sale boards.  Just turn on your pop-up blocker!

I’ve also found curriculum on: Craigslist, EBay, and Amazon.

Also, check the forums of the sites you frequent, many have sale boards.

 

For new curriculum/resources:  Once I find everything I can used, I hit these two suppliers before buying anything directly from any company.  They usually have the best prices.

Christian Book Distributors

Rainbow Resource.  Great prices and reasonable shipping are just one draw to this monster site.  The reviews alone would make it worth a visit.  Very detailed descriptions of just about everything.  Their giant print catalog requires two hands to hold in bed and read.  Which I do often, with a highlighter and post-it flags nearby. 

 

Curriculum Reviews: 

Homeschool Reviews.  Find out what others have to say about that curriculum you’re interested in.

Cathy Duffy The queen of homeschool reviews.  Last year, I did not use anything without consulting her review book.  Great, great site for new homeschoolers.

 

Different approaches: Here are ones I visit…of course there are many more!

Simply Charlotte Mason.  Help for homeschooling the Charlotte Mason way.  Also has lots of free sample chapters of great e-books.

Well Trained Mind.  Classical education info.  Check out their awesome and very active forum.  

Tapestry of Grace.  I am a huge fan of TOG, and though this will be our first year using it, I spent the better part of last year on their site.  Free sample of the first 3 weeks, forums, sale boards and more.

 

Fun ideas:

Family Fun.  Loads of ideas for snacks, crafts, parties, and more.

Netflix  If you’re not a member, check it out.  Netflix has lots of “educational” videos, some on instant streaming.  It also has all those family classics you can’t find at your neighborhood video shop.  We’ve been renting Little House on the Prairie lately and our whole family is hooked!

 

Sneaky way to make your own booklists:  The following sites have literature-based or unit-study curriculums that are definitely worth checking out. Even if you’re not using them, they are a great resource for finding good booklists for literature, history, Bible, Science, and more.

Veritas Press, Sonlight, My Father’s World, and of course Tapestry of Grace

Also, check out your local library website.  On ours, I can search our state database and order books that my branch doesn’t carry, check what I have out, the due dates, and more.  Many libraries also have booklists for time periods, grade levels, etc.

 

Okay.  Now I have sent you to so many great sites I fear you may never find your way back here.  Why not subscribe so you never miss a post?  Or you can find the RSS feed at the top of my page.

I have the nagging feeling I am missing something huge here.  I may give this list its own page soon, and update it often.  So if you know of any other great sites, or I’ve left something obvious out, be sure to share it with us!

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Becky Doughty permalink
    July 28, 2009 7:04 am

    Uh… you calling me crazy???? (gasp!) Ok…. I am… I am…. (sob)… I AM… AAAAAAHHHHHH!

    And what a splendid list you’ve put together for us! This is the kind of list that the PSPs should put out! One suggestion – maybe add a good website that addresses budgets, how to go from 2 to 1 income, etc. That’s a big step for a lot of us and I know you know that stuff first hand!

    You’re truly a blessing – I love you!
    B

  2. July 28, 2009 10:08 am

    Here’s another great site for your list….
    MEET ME AT THE CORNER, Virtual Field Trips for Kids (www.meetmeatthecorner.org)

    Directed at America’s homeschool children, each show explores the world and its wonders from a child’s point of view. During each video pod cast a child host serves as tour guide, leading the viewer to historic and cultural sites. Each show includes a suggested reading list and a Learning Corner of follow-up activities for school children ages eight to twelve.

    The new episode is about the homing pigeons.

  3. mamala permalink
    July 28, 2009 2:00 pm

    I just love the Eyewitness to History site–blew my mind.
    You really need to get paid for this.

  4. angelamills permalink*
    August 1, 2009 9:11 pm

    Well, mom I didn’t put the sites together…just listed them here! 🙂

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