How To Homeschool
Homeschooling offers parents the flexibility to choose the best educational method for their children. The spectrum of homeschooling models runs from unschooling, also called self-learning or child-led learning, to a structured "school at home" type of environment. In addition, there are many schools of thought, fostered by educators such as Raymond and Dorothy Moore, John Holt, Maria Montessori, Charlotte Mason, and many other. Explore the different methods and styles of homeschooling. You'll be inspired, intrigued, and equipped with the tools to make the best educational choices for your own family.
Methods
Homeschoolers cover an entire spectrum of different educational methods. On the one end, you have unschoolers, families that believe in self- or child-led learning. Relying on real world experiences, they learn by living. On the other end of the spectrum, you find parents who have "school at home." They may set up a classroom environment, use structured curriculums, and rely on schedules to keep things moving smoothly. And of course, there is everything in between. There are as many different ways to homeschool as there are homeschoolers. Explore the different methods, ideas, and approaches that make the homeschooling experience so rich.
Homeschool Curriculum
There is a smorgasbord of choices when deciding on curricula for your family. It is often trial and error until you find what works best for you and your child. We offer you a complete look at the curriculum choices available.
Teaching Aids
Past the basics, teaching aids, manipulaties, games, and toys can make learning more fun. There are many innovative learning tools and educational games to choose from. We've compiled many of the best here.
Testing
Testing is a requirement in many states. We make it easy to comply with testing requirements by gathering information and resources for testing services all in one place.
Online Resources
Are you looking for free worksheets? Want to find online educational games? Do you need a unit study? Here is the place to find them all. From online lesson plans to reading lists to academic and content standards, you'll find tools that will help you successfully homeschool.
What's Popular
Wright Independent Learning Cooperative (WILC)
WILC, Wright Independent Learning Cooperative, is a homeschool support group located in the greater Dayton, Ohio area. Participating families are primarily located in Montgomery and Greene counties with most activities centered in this area. WILC is a loosely-structured inclusive group of homeschool families who gather for support and enrichment in their homeschool experience. Members of WILC homeschool for many different reasons, but the shared goal is to provide a nurturing and loving environm...
Ohio Connections Academy
Ohio Connections Academy provides a new form of public school that students can attend from home. This is a unique program that combines strong parental involvement, the expertise and accountability of publicly funded education, and the flexibility of online classes. Connections Academy operates one school in Ohio under contract to the Ohio Connections Academy (OCA). OCA is a community school sponsored by the Ohio Council of Community Schools. The school serves students in grades K–12 from any...
Christian Liberty
To help you in the critical task of selecting appropriate materials for your child, Christian Liberty Press has developed several specialized services for homeschoolers. They can test your child and also provide a customized curriculum recommendation that is suited for your child’s skill level.
Living Math Forum
This is an on-topic list dedicated to the discussion of "living math" - mathematics education using living books and materials, as opposed to traditional curricula as the primary learning tool. Discussion applies to mathematics learning from birth to adult self education, with the understanding that arithmetic is only one feature of mathematics as a whole. Math history topics will apply as well. Educators using Charlotte Mason, Thomas Jefferson Ed (relaxed classical), Montessori, Waldorf and uns...
Ohio Virtual School Families & Friends
This group is for families, or friends of families with children enrolled in virtual charter (community) schools in Ohio. This is a private group not affiliated with the Coalition or with any one virtual charter school or academy. Its members may be associated with any of the virtual schools or digital academies currently open in Ohio including, but not limited to: BOSS, Connections, ECOT, OHDELA, OHVA, TRECA, VCS Ohio.
Family Learning Organization Testing Services
Family Learning Organization offers standardized tests for homeschooling families. Through their Educational Assessment & Testing Service, tests may be obtained by parents to administer to their homeschooled children. Their services include standardized achievement tests (California Achievement Test, Fifth Edition), review of parent-administered assessments by a certified teacher, toll-free telephone answers to your questions about administering tests and interpreting results, and computerized s...
Northern Ohio Unschoolers
The purpose of this group is to have a place where Unschooling families in Northern Ohio can find a local unschooling community and plan activities, field trips, park days, learning opportunities, etc.
Part-Time Participation: Problems and Pitfalls
Discusses testing with school districts, Ohio Proficiency Tests, assessment options and filing procedures, and participation in school-offered testing.
Can a Christian Be an Unschooler?
Unschooling is an educational approach, an attitude towards learning. It refers to the ways in which we use books, materials, and experiences to learn and grow. The type of underlying structure you have inside yourself, your goals, value system, discipline, whether you watch TV or call parents by their first names, whether you use a patriarchal, democratic, or any other type of family structure, are not unschooling issues; they are parenting issues. Whether unschoolers or not, every parent must ...
Unschoolers Network Ohio (UNO)
This is an email list for unschoolers in Ohio. The mission of this group is to promote and support unschooling, AKA natural learning, interest led learning, child led learning. Join in discussion about the unschooling lifestyle, how to succeed within Ohio regulations, and basically anything that relates to learning by living life.
Columbus Metro Unschoolers' Group
News, announcements and discussion for the Columbus Metro Unschoolers' Group.
Funschooling Unit Study Archives
Lots of free unit studies written by Karen Caroe. You'll find literature- and science-based unit studies, studies on holidays and more.
Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow (ECOT)
The Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow (ECOT) is an online public community school sponsored by the Lucas County (Ohio) Educational Service Center (LCESC). It is based in Columbus and has provided students in Ohio with an online public education since the 200-2001 school year.
Montessori Homeschooling Groups
This webpage was created at the request of parents, for the purpose of communication between, and with, families who are using Montessori philosophy, practice, materials, to homeschool their children.
Christian Home Educators Co-Op (CHEC)
Christian Home Educators Co-Op (CHEC) is a large group consisting of approximately 85-100 families each year. We provide support, resources, activities, and Christian fellowship to its members. They are located in Summit County, Ohio and meet primarily at The Chapel, 135 Fir Hill, Akron, OH, near the University of Akron.
Resources
Dr. Montessori's Own Handbook
A short, illustrated guide to the use of Montessori classroom materials. Describes how to set up a "children's house" - an environment for learning where children can be their own masters.
Maria Montessori: Her Life and Work
Maria Montessori is important background reading for parents considering Montessori education for their children, as well as for those training to become Montessori teachers. The first woman to win a degree as a Doctor of Medicine in Italy in 1896, Maria Montessori's mission to improve children's education began in the slums of Rome in 1907, and continued throughout her lifetime. Her insights into the minds of children led her to develop prepared environments and other tools and devices that have come to characterize Montessori education today. Her influence in other countries has been profound and many of her teaching methods have been adopted by educators generally. Part biography and part exposition of her ideas, this engaging book reveals through her letters and personal diaries Maria Montessori's humility and delight in the success of her educational experiments and is an ideal introduction to the principals and practices of the greatest educational pioneer of the 20th century.
The new introduction to Maria Montessori: Her Life and Work by Lee Havis, executive director of the International Montessori Society, discusses the changes that have taken place in Montessori education within recent years.
An updated appendix of Montessori periodicals, courses, societies, films, and teaching materials.
A revised bibliography of books by and about Maria Montessori.
Teach Me to Do It Myself: Montessori Activities for You and Your Child
Based on the key Montessori principle that children learn best through active experience, Teach Me to Do It Myself presents simple activities through which children explore and develop their skills. These skill areas include sensory perceptions, body coordination, language, understanding of numbers, and movement. This practical, color-illustrated parenting book is filled with activities and instructions for overseeing children as they carry out a variety of learning activities. Most activities will seem simple to parents, because once mastered, adults perform them automatically. However, toddlers experience a sense of accomplishment and self-worth when they learn to perform them independently. The many activities start with dressing and personal hygiene, then go on to include . . .
  • Pouring activities
  • Threading and sewing activities
  • Peg activities
  • Cutting with scissors
  • Sorting activities by touch
  • A color matching game
  • Making musical scales with bottles and water
  • Using alphabet tiles to make words
  • Growing things in a window box
  • Making finger puppetsActivities are described in detail and include checklists of needed items, as well as variations and related activities for children to try.
  • Catholic Home Schooling: A Handbook for Parents
    Mary Kay Clark, the director of the accredited and successful Seton Home Study School shows parents why and how to teach their children at home, giving scores of practical examples and setting forth the spiritual, moral and academic advantages. The book includes chapters by several experts and covers Catholic curriculum, textbooks, Catholic family life, legal aspects, discipline, socialization, home management, using computers, children with learning disabilities, single-parent home schooling, the father's role, Catholic home schooling support groups, and much more. Perfect for mothers who are considering home schooling, or who want to convince their husbands or relatives that home schooling is a good idea. Parents already know the problems in the schools (both public and Catholic). This book gives the solution! A tremendously encouraging, uplifting and practical handbook. 
    Homeschooling: The Teen Years : Your Complete Guide to Successfully Homeschooling the 13- to 18- Year-Old (Prima Home Learning Library)
    The teen years are when many homeschooling parents start to question or abandon their efforts. It's a precarious time, with challenging academics, pressing social issues, and the prospect of college looming. Parents can now breathe easy: this guide calms the teen-time jitters and even offers hope to those just turning to homeschooling now that their child is about to enter high school. With brief "how we did it" testimonies from other parents sprinkled throughout the book, author Cafi Cohen offers sage advice with the turn of every page. A columnist for Home Education Magazine and Homeschooling Today, two of the most respected periodicals on the subject, Cohen has also homeschooled her two children into college. To comfort doubters, she begins with 10 reasons for homeschooling your teenager (work experience, limited peer pressure, and family togetherness, among them). She goes on to devote long chapters to traditional subjects such as math and history, and even gets to those you might not have considered, like driver education. Her suggestions for parents new to homeschooling: decompress slowly, study only one subject a month at first, and read at least one book on learning styles. This approach will save much time and reduce those trial-and-error episodes.

    The guide is neatly packaged and easy to read in the same style of its sister publications, Homeschooling: The Early Years and Homeschooling: The Middle Years. A large collection of lists and quick tips offer everything from the top 10 books for teens and the most popular math programs to money-saver suggestions such as joining a local college's foreign-language club and asking for discarded equipment from local schools. The last chapter contains two college application essays written by teenage homeschoolers. It also provides reassuring information about diplomas. Many universities follow Harvard's policy of not requiring a diploma, but if you or your homeschooling support group do issue one, your teenager can answer "yes" to the diploma question on most job applications--a fact sure to illicit a collective sigh of relief from thousands of parents who homeschool their teens. --Jodi Mailander Farrell

    Idea Book For Cuisenaire Rods At The Intermediate Level
    Grades 2-5. Idea Book designed for use with Cuisenaire Rods.
    Alpha-Phonics
    Alpha Phonics is a primer for beginning readers. It features 128 self-explanatory lessons, printed in large, clear calligraphy suitable for beginning readers. You'll find product information about Alpha-Phonics here.
    Learning Adventures
    Each book in the Learning Adventures series covers skills and concepts for grades 4-8, with a history-based approach. Each contains a year's worth of lesson plans in a daily format. All subjects except math are covered.
    Montessori Method
    This book is Montessori's own exposition of the theory behind her innovative educational techniques. She shows parents, teachers and administrators how to "free a child to learn through his own efforts".
    Kinder Dolls: A Waldorf Doll-Making Handbook
    This comprehensive guide for beginners and experienced doll makers shows how to create many different kinds of handcrafted dolls from natural materials. Handmade dolls with their simplicity of expression and design leave children’s imaginations free, rather than being confined by perfectly finished dolls made of artificial materials. Instead, these dolls encourage the magic of creative play and bring children the gift of imagination in which they see themselves as “makers.”

    Included are:
    · Ten designs, including soft, baggy, angel, pouch, sack, and limbed dolls
    · Twelve basic clothes patterns and ethnic variations
    · Tools, techniques, and materials
    · Safety guidelines and sewing methods
    · Recycling tips and where to get materials

    Rhythms of Learning : What Waldorf Education Offers Children, Parents & Teachers (Vista Series, V. 4) (Vista Series, V. 4)
    In numerous lectures and through teaching teachers for the first Waldorf school, Rudolf Steiner described and suggested methods of education based on the rhythmic unfolding of spirit, soul, and physiology in children as they grow. In each section of "Rhythms of Learning," Waldorf teacher Roberto Trostli introduces the reader to lectures on specific aspects of children's rhythms of development and how Waldorf education responds. We are shown how Waldorf teachers must, through their own inner capacities and awareness, learn to recognize and meet each new stage of development in children as they unfold new capacities on every level of their being.

    This collection is the clearest introduction to the ideas of Waldorf education currently available. "Rhythms of Learning" contains Steiner's most important lectures on teaching and child development. It is an excellent resource for everyone interested in taking education successfully into the 21st century.

    Idea Book For Cuisenaire Rods At The Primary Level
    Grades K-4. Each 120 page book contains worksheets and has selected activities that cover the major math standards. Each page outlines the grade level, materials needed, settings, learning experiences, and are based on NCTM Standards.
    Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling
    This radical treatise on public education has been a New Society Publishers' bestseller for 10 years! Thirty years of award-winning teaching in New York City's public schools led John Gatto to the sad conclusion that compulsory governmental schooling does little but teach young people to follow orders as cogs in the industrial machine. In celebration of the ten-year anniversary of Dumbing Us Down and to keep this classic current, we are renewing the cover art, adding new material about John and the impact of the book, and a new Foreword.
    Noah Webster's Reading Handbook
    This is the historic text (originally called the Blue-Backed Speller) that has been updated to teach phonics/beginning reading. The blends and words in this reader are arranged to correlate with the sequence in which the special phonics sounds are taught. This reader is an invaluable teaching tool for children who need extra practice in the application of phonics rules. Find out more here.
    Veritas Press
    Veritas Press offers a history based classical curriculum for kindergarten through twelfth grades.
    H. A. Guerber's Histories
    Helene A. Guerber wrote histories for grammar school children in the 19th century. Published in 1896 by the American Book Company, ‘Guerber’s Historical Readers in the Eclectic Readings Series’ were used to introduce children to the histories of the ancient and classical world. These engaging narratives are richly detailed accounts of the lives and times of the most important people of the period, arranged chronologically. The people are placed within the context of their times, and their history is presented with interesting background information so that the entire narrative flows as a single, unbroken story. Dates are given in the narrative where they are known; the pronunciation of place and personal names is carefully marked at its first encounter in the text; and illustrations abound. The text includes maps, a comprehensive timeline of all the persons and events encountered in the history, a comprehensive Recommended Reading list of wonderful historical fiction and non-fiction keyed to the chapters; and a complete bibliography and index round out the book. These books are intended as a child’s first introduction to history in grades 2-6 (the grammer stage). They make wonderful read alouds, and the Recommended Reading suggestions keyed to the chapters provide additional detail and fascinating excursions into topics introduced in the narrative, often with books children can look at or read on their own.
    Visual Brainstorms
    Children who love word games, logic puzzles, secret codes, mazes, and math mysteries will stretch their mental muscles with Visual Brain Storms. This set of 100 cards, each of which includes a humorous, full-color drawing, promises "the world's best brainteaser questions." The characters in the questions often have funny names (Professor Pith Bugby pops up often) or faces or dilemmas to solve. The answers and explanations are on the back of each card, along with a related bonus question. Many of the puzzles involve math concepts, spatial reasoning, logic, or sequential thinking, but some can be solved with plain common sense. Here's a sample: "Frank and Helen's annual singles elimination tennis tournament has drawn 18 players this year. How many matches must be played before there is a winner for the year?" Answer: "Every match will produce one loser, and every person other than the winner will lose once and only once. Eighteen players makes 17 losers; therefore it will take 17 matches to have a tournament winner." Visual Brain Storms is a humorous, painless way to improve those higher-order thinking skills. Visual Brain Storms: The Smart Thinking Game is for one or more players. --Marcie Bovetz
    KONOS
    KONOS offers unit studies for homeschoolers, with a focus on character building and the study of history.
    Montessori Play And Learn : A Parent's Guide to Purposeful Play from Two to Six
    We all want the best possible starts in life for our children, and one of the best possible starts in life, educationally, is the "method" pioneered by Maria Montessori and taught successfully today throughout the world.

    Now, Lesley Britton, the leading Montessori practitioner in England for more than twenty years, will show parents how to bring Montessori home. If you would like to facilitate the development of your child's unique personality, make it possible for him to develop to his full intellectual capacity, and help him become socially and emotionally well adjusted, then this is the book for you.

    Montessori Play and Learn is packed with ideas, activities, and games that can fit into your normal routine and help supplement preschool learning for your child. For planning your home, introducing your child to the supermarket or the neighborhood, and helping him discover other people and cultures, this book provides valuable tips and insights that help parents and children grow and learn together.
    -- Create hundreds of learning opportunities from everyday life
    -- Learn dozens of games and activities to help prepare children for mathematics, reading, science, and writing
    -- Make your home environment as stimulating for your child as the best Montessori preschool.
    Understanding Waldorf Education : Teaching from the Inside Out

    Written by a teacher with more than 25 years of experience, this book offers a jargon-free view of Waldorf schools with their philosophy of the importance of a three-dimensional education. Through learning experiences that involve all of the senses, children use a variety of intelligences to develop thought, feeling, and intentional, purposeful activity. Whether you_re a Waldorf parent or teacher, or you just want to learn more about these innovative educational concepts, this book contains important ideas on learning that you can apply today.

    Drawn Into the Heart of Reading
    Drawn Into the Heart of Reading was developed for use with students of multiple ages at the same time, perfect for the homeschooling family. It is designed for use as an entire reading program or as a supplement to an existing program for students in grades 2-8.
    Cuisenaire Rods Multi-Pack
    Grades Pre K & up. An economical way to bring rods into the classroom. Pack contains six sets of 74 rods, six trays with, and Teacher's Guide. For use with 12-18 students.
    A History of Science
    A History of Science is not a textbook, but is a guide to help parents and children study science through literature. It is intended for children in elementary grades.
    Bead Sequencing Set
    Stack the durable, brightly colored wooden beads on 5 hardwood dowels in sequence to match the design on one of the pattern cards. Builds complex reasoning skills as well as sorting and coordination. Includes over 45 brilliantly colored beads, 5 dowels, and 10 patterns that increase in difficulty.
    Total Language Plus
    Total Language Plus is an innovative curriculum focused on teaching thinking and communication skills using literature as a base. The authors believe an integrated system is more efficient than a fragmented approach, discovery style learning is the most effective and learning should be enjoyable. The "discover, do, drill" method is employed throughout the TLP program with activities focusing on thinking skills. These comprehensive novel studies cover spelling, grammar, punctuation, vocabulary, analytical and critical thinking, comprehension, writing, listening, and field trips and projects.
    Greenleaf Press
    Greenleaf Press is a small family-owned and operated publisher and supplier of quality books for children. They are committed to "twaddle-free", living books, and approach teaching history to children using biography and chronology. You will find sections in the catalog covering each major historical period in order, with a variety of biographies, reference books, and historical fiction. For Israel, Egypt, Greece, Rome, the Middle Ages, and the Renaissance and Reformation there are Greenleaf Study Guides and Greenleaf Study Packages.
    Smart Mouth
    Ages: 8 years and up; For 2 or more players

    Smart Mouth is a quick-thinking shout-it-out hilarious word game that helps build vocabulary skills. It includes variations of the rules for category play and for younger players. Players slide the Letter Getter forward and back to get two letters. The first player to shout out a word of five or more letters using those letters wins the round. The game includes tips for teachers. This is a fun game to play with children and adults together.

    Free to Learn: Introducing Steiner Waldorf Earkt Childhood Education
    Free to Learn is a unique guide to the principles and methods of Steiner Waldorf Early Childhood education. The author draws on kindergarten experience from around the world, with stories, helpful insights, lively observations and pictures. This inspiring book will interest parents, educators, and early years education students. It is up to date, comprehensive, and contains many illustrations, including a 16-page color section. Lynne Oldfield invites you to explore Steiner Waldorf kindergartens. Here, teachers and parents believe that children's early learning is profound, that childhood matters and that the early years should be enjoyed, not rushed through.

    Topics include:
    · How kindergarten enables healthy child development
    · What is movement based learning
    · Why creative play is so crucial
    · How children learn through imitation and rhythm
    · When children are ready for school
    · How to get support for parenting and daycare

    Free to Learn is a unique guide to the principles and methods of Waldorf early education, drawing on kindergarten experience from around the world, with stories, helpful insights, lively observations, and pictures.

    Explode The Code
    Explode The Code provides a sequential, systematic approach to phonics in which students blend sounds to build vocabulary and read words, phrases, sentences, and stories. Frequent review of previously learned concepts helps increase retention. Each workbook in this series contains exercises that incorporate reading, writing, matching and copying. The consistent format of the books helps facilitate independent work. This series includes primers—Get Ready for The Code, Get Set for The Code, and Go for The Code—which introduce initial consonant sounds. In addition, Beyond The Code provides a comprehension component introducing basic comprehension skills with phonetically controlled stories. You'll find product information here.
    Sing, Spell, Read & Write
    Sing, Spell, Read & Write is a phonics-based program that uses a 36-step program of carefully sequenced steps to teach reading, writing, and spelling. More product information can be found here.
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    Shurley English
    Shurley English maintains that effective instruction in English must be founded upon an understanding of how the parts of speech work together in a sentence. A good grammar foundation gives students the skills to improve writing. Grammar is the struc...
    Organizing Plain and Simple: A Ready Reference Guide With Hundreds Of Solutions to Your Everyday Clutter Challenges
    Desk drowning in papers? No room for the car in the garage? Santa still sitting on the roof in May? A less-is-more philosophy is great, but we all still have way too much stuff. The home office swallows up whole rooms, as does the family computer sta...
    Only Child: Writers on the Singular Joys and Solitary Sorrows of Growing Up Solo
    Only children don’t have to share bedrooms, toys, or the backseat of a car. They don’t have to share allowances, inheritances, or their parents’ attention. But when they get into trouble, they can’t just blame their imaginary friends. In Only Child, ...
    A Little Way of Homeschooling
    This book is a compilation of the experiences of 13 different homeschoolers and how they incorporated an unschooling style of teaching in their homes. This book addresses the question of whether a Catholic can happily and successfully unschool. This ...
    The Outdoor Life of Children: The Importance of Nature Study and Outside Activities (Charlotte Mason Topics - Volume 2
    The methods of Charlotte Mason are popular among homeschoolers. She includes nature study as a crucial element. This work explores the idea of the outdoors as a classroom for children, and gives tips on ways of teaching the sciences, history, literat...