Not all of the things listed here are free, but I included as many free homeschool resources as I could. Many thanks to everyone who has contributed to this list. Feel free to add your own favorite resources in the comments, and to link to this post from your website or blog so your readers can benefit. This list has been a long time in the making, and you and your friends deserve good things!
Your local public library
I can’t say enough about libraries. I know, I’m biased toward this kind of resource because I’ve worked in libraries (I even built one from the ground up), and I have a few librarian friends (shout out to Beverly McKimm, Dawn Mackey, Elizabeth Gatling, and Lorie Mitchell).
Not only can you check out just about any book that’s in print thanks to the interlibrary loan system, but your library also has programs your children can participate in. If they don’t, you might ask them to create some. Some libraries offer small concerts, crafts and other activities, and speakers on various topics…
A book that lists free homeschooling resources is Homeschool Your Child for Free: More Than 1,400 Smart, Effective, and Practical Resources for Educating Your Family at Home
Toy lending library
If you’re blessed enough to live near one of these, AND if your kids can play with toys and games without losing parts, then a toy lending library can be a godsend. If you don’t have a toy lending library near you, you might consider starting one with some of the people you know. Some people have been able to get their public libraries to allocate space for one, and others have been able to get their municipality or a local business owner to donate space for one. A community center is an ideal location for a toy lending library. Even if it’s only open one day a month because there’s no one to run it full time, that’s one day a month when dozens of families can benefit from “new” toys and games. It may be homeschool sacrilege, but I’m going to say it anyway: not everything has to be “educational.” And for young children, playing is how they learn. I think a few adults could benefit from that, too.
Not all museums offer free entry, but some do. Some may charge an entry fee on a regular basis, but have occasional events where admission is free.
University extension offices
Your state’s university extension office. My children have attended nutrition sessions, learned about tree seeds and received tree seedlings to plant, and learned about soil types through our state’s university extension office, all at no cost to us. The office also does soil testing for a nominal fee, which is great for when you do gardening units.
Practical Homeschooling magazine
As an editor, reading this magazine causes me pain because of the typos and other errors (and I have offered my services), but it has some good material. I’ve subscribed to it, and it’s one of the longest-running homeschool resources out there.
Links to free homeschool resources
Please excuse any duplicates or links that have changed. Also note that some links may be to different pages on the same site.
Twitter Hashtag: #homeschool – Search this hashtag to find all the tweets that have mentioned homeschooling on Twitter at any given moment.
Twitter Hashtag: #hsblogger – Use this hashtag to discover new homeschool bloggers.
www.fivejs.com Large selection of study sheets
www.dadsworksheets.com Find over 6,000 free math worksheets here.
http://donnayoung.org/index.htm This is one of the first free online homeschool resource sites. Find lesson plans, report cards, calendars, handwriting sheets and more.
www.hippocampus.org Multimedia content for high school and college classes
www.currclick.com Offers one free download a week and occasional seasonal freebies.
www.enchantedlearning.com Has both a free and paid version.
www.oldfashionededucation.com Public domain books that are available online
www.homeschoolshare.com/lapbooks_at_HSS.php This site has unit studies, lap books, and other resources.
www.lapbooklessons.com This site has templates, printables, projects, and displays best in Internet Explorer.
Seven bloggers share some of their favorite resources: http://www.thehomeschoolvillage.com/category/lesson-plans/
Youtube Channel mrbisse1
Free nutrition worksheets for elementary and middle school students:
www.sfreading.com/resources/ghb.html Grammar and writing handbooks from Scott Foresman for grades 1 through 6
www.thecurriculumcorner.com NOTE: Common Core
www.kid-friendly-homeschool-curriculum.com/MatchcardScience.htmlFree hands-on homeschool science unit studies for Grades 3 through 8
www.MemoryTyper.com Accelerate the memorization process. You can also import your own documents to memorize.
www.freeworldu.org This is an online, non-profit, accredited preK-12 school. Homeschoolers have access to the entire curriculum free of charge.
www.familiesalive.org Thousands of pages of web-based free devotional curriculum
www.Prepdog.org NOTE: Common Core. Free practice tests, interactive quizzes
www.openculture.com Find free online college courses here.
www.Maps4Kids.com K-8 projects on states and countries, maps, quizzes, map games, puzzles
www.TidBitsofNature.com is an online learning center for all ages. It has beautiful pictures and information about all types of nature, from the tiniest insects to the tallest mountains; animals, plants, conservation, and more.
www.uncollege.org/ Gap year education and self-directed learning
www.eollearning.com Free SAT math test prep
www.upbeatconservative.com A list of resources for homeschoolers
www.oakmeadow.com Preschool level with emphasis on art: drawing, painting, music, etc.
www.movingbeyondthepage.com Enhances critical thinking and comprehension for ages 5 through 12. It takes into account the student’s strengths and learning style, and delivers project-based instruction that meets or exceeds state and national standards.
www.k12.com For those who want to know that their kids are meeting state standards while still enjoying an individualized approach, this site offers a complete, integrated curriculum as well as online support and assessment tools.
www.homeschoolreviews.com Before spending money on a curriculum, it’s helpful to hear from those who have used it. Sites like this one and cathyduffyreviews.com have extensive, unbiased information on hundreds of curriculum options.
www.sonlight.com Christian publishers have created literature-based academic programs, building grade-level packages around a variety of historical themes. They offer Instructor Guides for parent-teachers to accompany the books. Not a free resource.
www.classicalconversations.com Started by a Christian community,the Classical Conversations program is based on the Classical method of education. Families using the materials meet together each week for study, enrichment, and socialization.
www.khanacademy.org Free online learning is available in a variety of subjects, including math, biology, chemistry, physics, finance, and history. There are short video clips on each subject as well as interactive exercises that allow students to practice their new skills.
www.starfall.com On this site, started as a free interactive way to teach young children to read using phonics, kids can play games, watch short videos on letters and sounds, and flip through “books” of stories.
www.clickschooling.com Free, Web-based curriculum ideas can be emailed directly to you six days a week. Children can also take free virtual field trips to tour places such as the Museum of London and a Kentucky farm where monks make fruitcakes.
www.time4learning.com Computer games, for a fee ($19.99/month for the first child), to improve reading, math, science, and social studies skills.
www.readingeggs.com Offers a free trial. Kids can learn to read.
www.academicearth.org This site was chosen by Time magazine as one of the 50 top websites of 2009.
www.simplehomeschool.net For kids from preK to 12; this blog provides direction and encouragement for those beginning to consider homeschooling and offers practical advice and curriculum reviews.
www.specialneedshomeschooling.com Heather Laurie, a mother of five children with special needs, writes about her experiences and suggests other special needs resources where parents might find support.
www.thehappyhousewife.com Toni Anderson, a mother of seven children, is the author of this blog. She writes on diverse topics, including recipes, budgeting, curricula, and school projects.
www.confessionsofahomeschooler.com Erica chronicles her educational and religious journey in teaching four young children. This site offers many free printables as well as crafts.
www.hsclassroom.net This collaborative blog features more than 15 separate contributors and publishes posts that highlight parenting ideas, child development, organization, planning, and other homeschooling areas of interest.
www.themagiconions.blogspot.com This blog features posts that fit with the Waldorf philosophy of education.
www.twitter.com/simpleschool The Simple Homeschool mom blogger tweets about the simple ways to homeschool. A Facebook page can also be found at facebook.com/simplehomeschool.
www.twitter.com/TOSMag The Old Schoolhouse magazine, one of the most popular homeschooling magazines, shares inspiring stories.
www.twitter.com/hsbapost A group of more than 20 authors writing for the homeschooling community. It also hosts an annual Homeschool Blog Awards competition. Visit facebook.com/homeschoolpost to read more.
www.arcademicskillbuilders.com Here are some online educational video games. Combine video games with academic skills (math, language arts, etc.).
www.calcluationnation.nctm.org Upper elementary and middle school math strategy games
www.freerice.com Basic math and multiplication are the focus of this site. For every correct answer, they donate 10 grains of rice to the World Food Program.
www.illuminations.nctm.org This grant-funded site offers hundreds of math resources.
www.khanacademy.com This is one of my children’s favorite resources. It features math, science, and other subjects, with an interactive platform. Keep track of what you’ve learned and what you need to do next. Step-by-step help and videos.
http://www.math-drills.com/ More than 10,000 printable math worksheets with the answer keys.
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/math-drills-lite/id302881372?mt=8 Math Drills Lite is a free app that allows a single student to learn basic math.
www.mathfactcafe.com/default.aspx Print free math worksheets for elementary levels. Make flashcards, do math drills and more.
www.kidslearningstation.com/math/ There are over 100 printables for preschoolers.
www.sumdog.com Free multiplayer math games
www.xtramath.org/ Math fluency
www.patrickjmt.com JMT stands for “just math tutorials.” This site has math tutorial videos.
www.alphabet-soup.net/dir6/alphacolor.html Printable coloring pages for every letter of the alphabet help young ones with letter recognition.
www.homeschooling.about.com/od/langearlyread/ss/letteracolor.htm On the page are links to all the other letters, to create an entire “my letters” book.
www.first-school.ws/theme/alphabet.htm Preschool, kindergarten. Lesson plans, crafts, printables, suggested books
www.printactivities.com/Theme-Printables/Alphabet-Letter-Printables.html Worksheets for preschool and kindergarten, including letter-tracing worksheets
www.donnayoung.org/penmanship/index.htm Handwriting lessons and resources
www.bookadventure.com/Home.aspx K-8 reading program with quizzes and prizes
http://www.handwritingworksheets.com/ Print, D’Nealian, and cursive styles. Create and customize your own worksheets.
http://www.bluebonkers.com/nursery-rhymes/nursery_rhymes_fun/#.Tlzfec4Mkpo.facebook Mother Goose nursery rhyme character coloring pages
www.spellingcity.com More than 30,000 spelling words. Save your spelling lists with free registration. Games, videos and more. This is great for auditory learners.
http://worksheets.theteacherscorner.net/ Customize to make puzzles, word searches, Sudoku, worksheets.
www.easybib.com Free citation maker for citing sources
http://www.allaboutbirds.org/Page.aspx?pid=1189 If you like birds, this is for you: hundreds of species of birds, identification keys, photos, bird calls, and videos.
www.123homeschool4me.com/2012/04/free-weather-unit-for-ages-3-9.html?m=1 Free 40-page weather unit includes disaster preparedness.
http://scratch.mit.edu/projects/18619461/ Make your own planet and other interactive animations. Share your creations.
www.codeyear.com Learn the basics of computer programming in one year in an enjoyable format (not dry lectures).
http://ocw.mit.edu/index.htm Open course software at MIT includes 2,000 college courses online for free.
https://p2pu.org/en/ Peer-to-peer learning. An open education project gives learners recognition and creates a model for lifelong learning.
www.msnucleus.org/membership/k-6.html This has a complete science curriculum for K-6. The site sells materials, but you can purchase them elsewhere, too.
www.glencoe.com/sec/literature/litlibrary/ The Glencoe Literature Library has a list of study guides that go with novels and have a variety of activities.
www.free.ed.gov This contains free teaching resources and lesson plans from the federal government, for all grades and all subjects.
PBS teachers has tons of lesson plans/videos for all grades and subjects.
www.education.nationalgeographic.com Geography resources for all grades, but especially middle school.
www.justiceharvard.org A class from Harvard for High schoolers about justice and equality
www.nlvm.usu.edu Teaching math with manipulatives
www.bbc.co.uk/schools/primaryhistory/ Ancient history with games and challenges
www.ReadWriteThink.org This has lesson plans and teaching resources in English Language Arts for grades K-12. Online interactive tools as well as mobile apps. A section of the site is devoted to out-of-school literacy.
www.inquiryinaction.org The American Chemical Society—a great page for middle school science, with a free activity book you can download.
www.scienceofeverydaylife.com Experiments and videos
www.zooniverse.org Citizen science projects
www.ConstitutionOnline.com/ This is for middle school and up. The teacher’s guide goes through the Constitution line by line, explaining what it means.
www.fedstats.gov/kids/mapstats/ Combines maps and statistics in fun games for kids.
www.billofrightsinstitute.org/ This is aimed at middle school students. It’s a site about the Bill of Rights, with lesson plans and games.
http://bigbrainz.com/ Want multiplication tables without flash cards? Try here. They have also added a beta version of a game for addition & subtraction.
Many free items for all grade levels on: Teachers pay Teachers.com
A free foreign language site: http://www.bbc.co.uklanguages/
www.jessicalynette.com/school/place-value-game-idea-1st-10th-place/ For learning ordinal numbers, first through tenth place
www.janbrett.com For pre-K–6, it has many things for students and teachers. If you email her, she will send you a welcome pack.
www.artofproblemsolving.com is for kids who are bright or gifted at math.
www.k12reader.com/ It has many reading/language arts activities for each grade level.
www.mathtv.com Middle school and high school math, similar to Khan Academy, but you choose the teachers, who have a variety of styles.
http://bridgecontest.usma.edu/ It’s intended for designing a bridge to enter a contest, but it can be used just to design bridges.
www.scootpad.com K-5 language arts and math skills
www.earobics.com/gamegoo/gooey.html Language arts for elementary age
www.notyouraverageal.com Pottery Road Trip
www.vocabulary.co.il These Flash animation games for K–12 may be useful for ESL students.
www.pbslearningmedia.com Thousands of resources including audio clips, videos, printables, and interactive games.
www.k-5mathteachingresources.com/ NOTE: Common-Core aligned math activities for K–5 students.
http://3dinosaurs.com Free printable themed packs for kids ages 2–7
http://www.guesthollow.com/homeschool/curriculum.html Free history programs, many printables for science, math, handwriting, culture and geography
http://www.knowledgequestmaps.com/Globalmania.html Global geography with free games
http://www.inquiryinaction.org/classroomactivities/ Chemistry for 3rd–6th grade
http://www.artofproblemsolving.com/Alcumus/Introduction.php Free math competition word problems and algebra videos
http://www.mathicando.com/ Online equation editor or formula editor
www.storyonline.net This website has videos of actors who read picture books.
www.duolingo.com Free online language learning: French, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Italian; also English instruction for speakers of these languages
http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/typing/ Free online typing instruction
http://www.CoolFlashCards.com/Apps/Multiplication. Multiplication flash cards
Math Worksheets Land – http://www.mathworksheetsland.
Thank you to Dakota and her mother Stephanie, who contributed this fun resource: