I enjoy shiny, new curriculum as much as the next homeschool mom, but I've discovered that if necessary, I could homeschool without spending a dime. It's true. As long as you've got a library card and/or internet access, it's possible to teach your kids without touching your wallet.
First, make a list of the classes you'd like to teach. Contact your state's Department of Education website for a roadmap of courses if you need help.
Next, head to your library- in person or online. Most libraries now allow you to search their collection from the comfort of your home. After making a list of books that look promising, jot down the call numbers and plan some time when you can drop in and review them, or, if your library offers the service, request a hold or transfer to a branch close to you.
That's how we obtained my 11th grader's geometry book. I'm not strong in math and needed a self-teaching text with an answer key for the teacher. Harold Jacob's 'Geometry' is highly praised on a few homeschool blogs I follow. After going to Amazon.com to read user reviews (overwhelmingly positive) and checking out the table of contents and a few pages there, I felt like I had a winner.
I discovered my library had the older second edition so I checked it out and kept renewing it. It was the perfect fit for us.
If/when the renews run out, I'd have no problem purchasing the book, extremely happy that I didn't spend cash on a text that didn't work for us. Been there, done that.
If I hadn't gone this route, there are a number of websites that offer with math. Khan Academy is one of most popular. You are taken step-by-step through even the most complex math operations. Khan also teaches other subjects.
I use 'Cool Math' and 'Math is Fun' for my middle schooler. My local homeschool store (www.MooreExpressions.com) had a sale on BJU math book, teacher's text and test booklet for - wait for it-- one whole dollar. That's right: $1. That's not free, but it's the next best thing. It's an older book, but math doesn't change.
I introduced new math facts at either 'Math is Fun' or 'Cool Math' then supplement with extra practice in the BJU text.
The mom behind Easy Peasy Homeschool has a legion of thankful fans. After developing her own curriculum, she shared it online free. All subjects from first through 12th grades are included.
If you're a fan of the Charlotte Mason teaching method, you're in luck as a homeschooler. Ambleside Online offers grade by grade guidance resources. Even you've never heard of the CM process, check it out. It's impressive
I plan to discuss foreign language in a separate post, but know that most libraries offer free language training. Ours in Portsmouth is called Rocket Languages and is accessed on the library's website.
My rising 7th grader decided to study Spanish over the summer and we chose a BBC website. A friend recommended it after firming up her Italian for a trip to Italy. This website, coupled with a Spanish dictionary we checked out of the library, was Grace's summer language training. Click on the language you want from the box in the middle of the screen. The class is actually a 12 week novella. Extra grammar and vocabulary training is included, as well as ground history on the language and culture. My daughter enjoyed it.
A google search of ' homeschool for free' or 'free education online' yields a wealth of resources. Take some time to research, saving appropriate sites under your 'favorites' tab with a separate file for science, math, language arts, etc.
Here are a couple more:
In another post, I'll show you how to develop an effective curriculum for these sites and library books.
If you put in a little research time, you can homeschool without spending a dime.