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
Family Unschooling Network (FUN)
This group is for Texas families who are educating their children through life via unschooling. Unschooling is such a broad term; everyone will have different experiences. But one thing we are all committed to is helping our children to learn how to learn, and helping them enjoy learning for life.
Plano Family Unschoolers Network
This is a group for unschoolers, unschool-learning, and unschool-curious in the Plano/DFW, Texas area.
DFW School Free Education Zone
The DFW School Free Education Zone is a support group for parents/guardians of home-learners. These are unschoolers, believing that child-led learning is preferable to curriculum use.
Texas Unschoolers Facebook Page
This Facebook page is a Texas-wide unschooling support page. Find links and information about unschooling in general and specifics for Texas.
Texas Unschooling
Texas Unschooling is the source for information on all things unschooling in Texas. At Texas Unschoolers, their mission is to educate and support those families who are exploring an alternative approach to life and learning. Many kids do very well outside the traditional public school model when they are allowed the time and resources to discover where their passions lie.
Flower Mound Family Unschoolers Network
An email group for families in the Flower Mound/DFW area who have chosen to unschool.
Used Homeschooling Stuff
Email list to help facilitate the buying, selling, and swapping of used homeschooling curriculum for the Austin, Texas area.
North Texas Natural Learners (NTNL)
North Texas Natural Learners (NTNL) is an inclusive, secular support and activity group for unschoolers and other homeschoolers. Their base is Denton, though their membership extends to all of north Texas.
Texas Unschoolers on Facebook
A Texas-wide unschooling support group. Find links, support and conversation about unschooling in general and specifics for Texas.
Southeast Area Home Education Network
SAHEN is a home school support group/co-op formed to serve the southeast area of San Antonio along with surrounding areas. Offers monthly park days, field trips, co-op classes, and more.
Austin Well Trained Mind
All Austin, Texas Area homeschool families who have been inspired by "The Well-Trained Mind" by Jessie Wise and Susan Wise Bauer are welcome to discuss issues involving homeschooling our children in the classical method. Discussions involving the use of Charlotte Mason methods and other classical interpreters are also encouraged. All ages from infants to veteran homeschoolers in the midst of the grammar, logic or rhetoric stages are encouraged to join us, as are all faiths.
Fun Homeschool for Sale
This list provides an opportunity for homeschoolers to give away or sell homeschooling materials. They are based in Brazos County, Texas.
EastTexasCMason
This is an email list for members of a Charlotte Mason Support group that meets monthly in Lufkin, Texas.
HUG Underground
This is the list for members of the Houston Unschoolers Group Underground, a radical unschooling group.
Texas Rural Unschoolers
Texas Rural Unschoolers is a support group for unschoolers (and those wanting to unschool) who live in rural areas or small communities (urban dwellers are welcome, too).
Resources
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.
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.
A Reason For® Reading
A Reason For® Reading offers a series of over 100 Leveled Readers that provide small increases in difficulty from level to level. These colorful books feature Scripture stories and Christian value themes. Story Guides include high-frequency words, teaching ideas, discussion questions, and much more.
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
Pecci Reading Method: At Last! A Reading Method for Every Child
At Last! A Reading Method for Every Child offers a balanced approach with intensive phonics and literature-based reading instruction. This is a simple method of teaching reading, with lots of supplemental materials. Get product information here.
Spell to Write & Read
This teacher's manual, written by a homeschool educator with experience as a professional school teacher and private tutor, shows how to teach reading the "write" way. By phonetically teaching spelling from the start as the backbone for reading, all children can be taught, regardless of learning styles, to read and spell. If your student knows how to read already, this program can improve his or her spelling. Find out more about this product here.
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.
The Story of the World
This book series by Susan Wise Bauer is another that is best enjoyed as a read aloud rather than seen as a history textbook. It is full of engaging stories, mixing facts and historical legends. The companion study guides offer questions, narration exercises, activities, crafts, and reproducible pages. There are also lists for each chapter of supplemental books that are easily found at your local library.

Story of the World: History for the Classical Child, Volume 1: Ancient Times (From the Earliest Nomads to the Last Roman Emperor)
Story of the World: History for the Classical Child, Volume 2: The Middle Ages (From the From the Fall of Rome to the Rise of the Renaissance)
Story of the World: History for the Classical Child, Volume 3: Early Modern Times (From Elizabeth the First to the Forty-Niners)
Story of the World: History for the Classical Child, Volume 4: The Modern Age (From Victoria's Empire to the End of the USSR)
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.
Create! Press
Create! Press carries creative approaches to teaching creative writing and composition. Their products include the Create-A-Story game, Writing Adventures, Stepping Stones, and more.
LeapPad Game - Mind Wars Interactive Game
Bring a friend and try this brand new way to play with your LeapPad! Travel around the board in this fast-paced, head-to-head game as you hit your buzzer before your friend can steal your question! Be the first to close all five windows and you will become the Mind Wars master and learn important 3rd-5th grade skills in math, language and fine arts, science, history, and geography!
Bob Books
Bob Books are organized into sets that progress in level as your child learns. They have cute stories and darling illustrations. These books are perfect for children ages 4 to 8.
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.
  • Montessori Reading
    Montessori Reading is a beginning reading and writing program for elementary aged children. This series of books introduce phonetic letter sounds, phonogram combinations, reading simple sentences, and reading and writing words that name everyday objects, animals, etc. A teaching guide and a child's journal are included.
    Learning Language Arts Through Literature
    Learning Language Arts Through Literature is a fully integrated language arts program that teaches grammar, reading, spelling, vocabulary, writing mechanics, creative writing, thinking skills and more.
    Diana Waring--History Alive!
    Diana Waring--History Alive! produces books, tapes, videos, and history curriculum for the homeschool market.
    Montessori: A Modern Approach
    Montessori: A Modern Approach has been called the single best book for anyone -- educator, childcare professional, and especially parent -- seeking answers to the questions: What is the Montessori method? Are its revolutionary ideas about early childhood education relevant to today's world? And most important, especially for today's dual-career couples. Is a Montessori education right for my child?

    Paula Polk Lillard writes both as a trained educators and as a concerned parent -- she has many years as a public school teacher, but it was her enthusiasm for the education her own child experienced in a Montessori school that led her to become a leading voice in the Montessori movement in this country.

    Her book offers the clearest and most concise statement of the Montessori method of child development and education available today.
    Reading Made Easy
    Reading Made Easy is a phonics-based program, featuring 108 easy lessons, designed to be taught in less than 30 minutes per day. It is fully scripted and has original Christian content and stories. Includes hands-on writing and drawing activities. Reading Made Easy can be purchased here.
    Tomorrows Child
    Tomorrow's Child magazine offers insights and information that helps parents to feel confident that Montessori will prepare their children for the real world. It will help you understand and appreciate Montessori and apply it in your home.
    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.
    Children at Play : Using Waldorf Principles to Foster Childhood Development
    Children at Play is an insightful exploration into the world of children's play and its tremendous significance in the shaping of each child's humanity. A mother and proponent of Rudolf Steiner's Waldorf system of education, author Heidi Britz-Crecelius offers practical suggestions and an up-to-date list of resources for today's families.
    Beautiful Feet Books
    Beautiful Feet Books publishes Rea Berg's "History Through Literature" study guides. They offer fine children's literature, including the D'Aulaire biographies and Genevieve Foster's "World" titles. This is a great resource for anyone wishing to utilize an approach that studies history through literature.
    MCP PLAID Phonics
    MCP PLAID Phonics from Modern Curriculum Press incorporates best practices for teaching essential phonemic awareness and phonics skills with lots of flexibility. Find information on these products here.
    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.
    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.
    Secret of Childhood
    Maria Montessori describes the child with warmth and the exactness of a scientist. She also discusses the array of materials and techniques needed to release his learning potential.
    English from the Roots Up
    English from the Roots Up explores the Latin and Greek roots of words. Many people haven't realized how valuable the Latin and Greek vocabulary is in the formulation of the finely structured English vocabulary of today. Even learning a few Latin and Greek root words gets you hooked and you want to learn more. Why? Because you can move from "what words mean" to "why words mean"&mdashin short, a thinking vocabulary. You'll find product information here.
    The Complete Home Learning Source Book : The Essential Resource Guide for Homeschoolers, Parents, and Educators Covering Every Subject from Arithmetic to Zoology
    This ambitious reference guide lives up to its name. Practically three inches thick--and we're not talking large print here--it's packed with titles, ordering information, and Web site addresses. From where to send away for a kit to make your own Chilean rain stick to how to order a set of Elizabethan costume paper dolls, the book connects families to a world of learning possibilities. Book titles, short synopses, authors' names, publishers, and years of print make up the bulk of the guide. Classics such as The Cat in the Hat and Curious George share billing with lesser-known titles like Stone Fox, the story of a legendary Indian dog-sled racer. Every entry appears with recommended ages and an icon that shows whether the item is a book, computer disc, or video; an outstretched palm denotes hands-on materials. Most of the resources seem to have been test-driven by the author and her three homeschooled sons. Rebecca Rupp, a former scientist who has been teaching her kids at home for more than 10 years, peppers the guide with anecdotes about her children's experiences in various subject areas, much of it drawn from the family's extensive journals. Along with books, magazines, and kits for reading, math, writing, science, and history, a considerable amount of space is given to computer and television resources, as well as "life skills," a broad category that includes everything from etiquette and carpentry to sewing and sex education. Like a Yellow Pages guide to knowledge, The Complete Home Learning Sourcebook belongs on the shelf of anyone looking for new ways to spark a child's imagination. --Jodi Mailander Farrell
    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.

    KONOS
    KONOS offers unit studies for homeschoolers, with a focus on character building and the study of history.
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    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 c...
    Choosing & Using Curriculum: For Your Special Child
    Homeschooling a child with special needs can be challenging. This book lays out a discussion of different reading and math programs, how to adapt materials for special situations, resources for blind, deaf and speech/language, and curriculum types an...
    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 ...
    The Absorbent Mind
    In response to the crisis in American education, more than five thousand public and private schools across the nation have adopted the timeless Montessori Method of teaching, of which this book is the cornerstone. Written by the women whose name is s...
    A Child's Story of America
    This text reads like a story book more than a history textbook. This book has a decidedly Christian bent. Students are given a comprehensive overview of U.S. history from Columbus to the present. Review questions are included throughout, as well as h...