I know many people cannot afford to purchase curriculum. We have been so fortunate to have funds and curriculum donated to us by family and friends, but we've also added to that by other methods.
My friend Jodi Lynn asked me if the rumors were true. Is homeschooling more expensive than government schools? The truth is, it can be but it doesn't have to be! There is a lot of free homeschooling material available online. Stores like Half-Priced Books, Dollar Tree, and Goodwill hold so much for homeschoolers as well. (Read my post on MandyMom.com titled "A Fruitful Dollar Tree")
Some curriculum tools, like math manipulatives, are expensive. If you're doing the Montessori method, those items can add up quickly. However, if you approach it with a creative eye, you'll find you can easily substitute other items or make them yourself for much less.
Workbooks can be expensive as well, but Dollar Tree has workbooks up to 1st or 2nd grade for only a buck. We have a few pricey workbooks that need to last us through every child. We either copy the pages, slip them in protective sheets (which you can then write on with wipe off markers), or use another paper to write the answer. In my Dollar Tree post on MandyMom.com, you'll see that we don't write in our Math workbooks. The kids use their math manipulatives (squares, bears, beans, or macaroni) to work out the problems, then write down the answer on another paper.
When you purchase curriculum, you're really investing in something, and you want it to last. You can find creative ways to stretch it out for all of your children.
Here are a few sites I've really enjoyed checking out over the last few weeks.
Free World U is free curriculum site. The only catch is that you need to register (but that's free, of course). They offer digital flash cards on a variety of subjects. Subjects are divided out by school and grade (all the way up to highschool).
For example, Preschool subjects not only include the regulars of Colors, Shapes, Letters, and Numbers, but also Social Issues, Environment, and Weather.
Twelfth grade includes Principles of American Democracy, Principles of Economics, Physics, Probability and Statistics, and Calculus!
This site will make a wonderful addition to your homeschool. Check it out!
1+1+1=1 has a theme on her site called Tot School. You can draw a lot of inspiration from these posts, and even join in.
One of my buddies was telling me about Hippo Campus. Here's an excerpt from the site information page: "HippoCampus is a project of the Monterey Institute for Technology and Education (MITE). The goal of HippoCampus is to provide high-quality, multimedia content on general education subjects to high school and college students free of charge."
Did you know the government has a free resource page? Check it out here: http://free.ed.gov/
I think I've mentioned this site before, and if so, here it is again. The Discovery Channel is very informative, but did you know you can also gather much from their website? They also have a resource page to help teachers enhance the curriculum.
While Teach-nology isn't totally free, they do have a lot of freebies to offer. Check out these free worksheets and free lesson plans (many of these link to other sites).
The Teacher's Cafe has loads of free resources too.
Those links should keep you busy for a while!
You can find entries on a specific topic if you'd like by clicking on the subject under TOPICS in the left column. There's all sorts of stuff- Lapbooking, Lesson Plans, Recipes, Projects, and More! If you're a homeschooling blogger or have a site geared towards homeschoolers and would like to trade links, let me know!