I can’t homeschool; it’s too expensive. I can’t afford curriculum. I can’t teach. I can’t give my kids quality lessons. If I had a penny for all the I can’ts I told myself before I started homeschooling – then this mama would be able to buy a brand new pair of expensive shoes. Maybe even purchase several pair. Homeschooling doesn’t need to be expensive or what you have imagined it to be in your head. You can learn to teach a topic by throwing your own resources together.
One of the things I love about homeschooling is that it doesn’t have to be complicated. You can make it as simple or as fancy as you would like it. I prefer simple. Simple doesn’t negate the quality of lessons. Complex can take away from the meaningfulness of lessons.
You truly can just pull together resources you already have access to, to teach a topic. Drawing from different resources can provide a unique learning experience that you just can’t get from a textbook. Your kids don’t have to sit at a desk to get a quality education.
All they need is a parent who is motivated to provide an excellent educational experience. Don’t believe me?
Here are resources you can throw together to teach any topic:
1.) Use living books in your homeschool.
There is no need for textbooks when you have books written by people who are passionate about specific subjects. Living books pull your child into a subject and allows them to understand the intensity of the author as he/she writes about their passions. Living books genuinely do make a subject come alive and make the topics relatable.
2.) Use your local library for your homeschool.
Your local library can be a gold mine if you utilize it for your homeschool. Libraries allow you to borrow books (obviously), but also CDs and DVDs for learning purposes. Heading to the library is like taking your kids on a mini field trip. Kids love getting out of the house. If you don’t have easy access to a library, there are online resources, such as the one Carrie uses.
Use apps in your homeschool.
Technology is NOT your enemy. The abuse of technology is. There is no doubt that kids can use technology to learn. If your home has a smartphone, tablet, or other techie devices, add an educational app for your student to apply for a topic. For instance, Duolingo is a language app; ABC Mouse is perfect for interactive learning for your young ones.
Use YouTube in your homeschool – yes, YouTube.
As long as you are monitoring your child and have watched the video before your child has, YouTube can be an excellent educational resource for your homeschool. YouTube has instructional videos on just about any topic you can think of. They have virtual tours, math demonstrations, reading help, music lessons, and so much more.
Use unit studies in your homeschool.
Using unit studies can break up the monotony in your homeschool. What you do is find a topic your child is interested in. You can use these resources to develop a study that will cost you nothing but engage your students like never before.
Use FREE online educational sites in your homeschool.
This list is long, bear with me. You would NOT believe the number of educational sites that are absolutely free online. I have no idea why they are free, but I am thoroughly grateful. All you need is a computer or smart device and an internet connection.
Khan Academy – Khan Academy is a K-12 popular, quality resource in the homeschooling community. Want to know a cool thing about this non-profit educational site for free, quality educational resources for all students? It is organized by topic. You can teach any topic by throwing this resource together with others.
Ambleside Online – Ambleside Online is a free, Charlotte Mason-style curriculum for your children in grades K-12. Ambleside includes picture and composer studies. Your kids will do copywork or dictation on their own. They even offer an emergency-plan curriculum for families to continue homeschooling even amid a crisis or natural disaster. How cool is that?
Starfall – Starfall is a FREE resource I used with my kids, even before we started homeschooling. Starfall has reading help, math, and language arts skills development for young learners.
Audiobooks – Use audiobooks to give your children some quiet time to enjoy different topics. If your kids are not excited about reading, audiobooks provide an excellent periodic alternative. Here are a few audiobook sites for you to explore:
Librivox – This is a FREE public domain for audiobooks.
Hoopla has a limit of three ebooks a month.
These read-alouds have text for your children to follow along with while they are also listening to the text:
Storynory is a collection of books with audio stories where kids can read along. The texts can be translated into different languages for your ESL students.
Just Books Read Aloud this website allows students to read the words and follow along. The site includes some great favorites like The Giving Tree.
HUGE List of Online Learning Websites – Science, Math, Language Arts, Music, and More
Use the outdoors for homeschool adventures.
There truly is no better nature study other than going outside and exploring nature yourselves. Are you studying butterflies? Go outside in the springtime and explore. Studying trees or insects, just step outside and begin the tour. There are amazing health benefits for getting outdoors. Take full advantage of this opportunity as it is not available in traditional school settings.
Use music in your homeschool.
It is great to find songs that go along with subjects or that help kids remember. Learn how and why you should add music in your homeschool.
If you were set on following a curriculum for your kids and have to admit it isn’t working or you just can’t afford curriculum anymore, know that it will be OK. You can teach a topic by throwing your own resources together and provide an even better experience for your students.
I challenge you to be creative in your homeschool. Ditch the textbook or take what you need from it and give your kids an educational journey they will enjoy. Teach any topic you want by throwing your own resources together for a budget-friendly and ingenious homeschool experience.
Jeannette is a wife, mother and homeschooling mom. She has been mightily, saved by grace and is grateful for God’s sovereignty throughout her life’s journey. She has a Bachelor in English Education and her MBA. Jeannette is bi-lingual and currently lives in the Tongan Islands of the South Pacific. She posts daily freebies for homeschoolers!