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Showing posts with label free home-ed. Show all posts
Showing posts with label free home-ed. Show all posts

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Khan Academy update - use it for math

I did math this evening.... for fun.

I am brushing up my math skills to eventually get the nerve to go take college Algebra and maybe do some college-ing myself.  I figure working the old noggin will put of senility.  I was much sharper when we were homeschooling.  Why not homeschool myself?

In the meantime, I started at arithmetic.  The photo shows how much I have done in two sittings.  An hour a month ago and two hours today.

If I remember to keep at it, I should be through all the high school maths, or at least through Algebra in a month.

I think this is a Free math program that parents should consider for their homeschooled kids. I've always loved this site, even back when it was just very quietly  spoken videos.  I loved it when it had a weird way of tracking progress, but now they've really got it together.

While my kids hated videos, they would stop and use them if they got stuck, so this math program now offers the best of two worlds... even if a student is not going to use it as the main curriculum, I highly recommend it for tutoring and review (which is pretty much what public and private school students use it for.)

Sunday, January 17, 2016

What is appschooling?

I was watching a commercial this morning on ABC Mouse reading program and I heard the mention that the parent had tons of learning apps.  The word APPSCHOOLING  popped into my brain. Eureka! I thought, I just came up with a new homeschooling term.


I googled it and it already exists.

Here are some links for you to enjoy.

The Wired Homeschool

Ben and Me

appschooling (on pinterest)

If I had another kid to homeschool, I would definitely take advantage of this way of homeschooling!  I would probably mount an iPad to the wall and load it up with educational apps and let the kid "play all day".  I think this would work great up until about 4th grade when kids start needing more structured instruction (in my opinion).

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Top 10 homeschool resources for 2014-15

Unfortunately, one of the sites I have relied on heavily (Hippocampus) to provide my kids with free, high quality education is has lost it's contract with NROC but I have found a couple new sites for you to try.  Keep in mind that most of my picks are for high school students, as that is hardest to find, and that you need to check these out thoroughly. My kids no longer try out these sites as they are in college, so I rely on reviews, poking around, and a couple hours of trial access.

10.  MIT Open Courseware is a great way to challenge advanced students who aren't quite ready for the college classroom environment.  Most specifically, I recommend the Audio Video Lecture based courses as they are easier to follow.

9.  Spanish Hour has helped a couple of young people I know with this very important foreign language. You can start with the basic free membership, and then move to Premium membership for the extra tools later. It helps to prepare for the CLEP exam which means your kid won't have to tangle with Spanish in college.

Friday, June 06, 2014

Need extra math help this summer

This program is usually $39.95 a school year, but this summer it is free.

"At TenMarks, we believe in student achievement. When students work on TenMarks, they have access to hints and video lessons on EVERY problem, so if they can't recall something, or didn't quite get the topic when it was covered in class, they can quickly review the content, and move forward. Immediate support improves motivation and builds confidence, and our data shows that it does wonders for student outcomes."

I suggest you try it.  It seems like a perfect balance between two of my favorites, Khan Academy and

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Bye-Bye favorite homeschooling website

One of my favorite all-time free homeschooling websites is changing. has been my go-to site for homeschooling high school students for more than 5 years, and as of June 24, 2014 NROC, who supplies the best courses to the site will discontinue their service.  So click on a video today, and this is what you will see for about 30 seconds until the video appears.

As of June 24, 2014 this content from the University of Californiawill no longer be available through this link.
Click here for more information.
Please visit to find additional resourcesthat are freely available for your use.

 In addition University of California will be charging consumers to use this service.  Instead they will be charging for each course, for example Algebra II is $19.00 and is is moderated by a teacher, (read-no longer able to be moderated by individual homeschool parents).

Don't worry too much.  There are still a lot of free online sites you can use for homeschooling.  Stay tuned, I will be creating my list of favorite homeschool resources for fall 2014 soon.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Ever get stuck on a math equation?

This website will help you.

Type the equation into the site's search engine and it will work out the problem for you!

very useful.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Top 10 homeschool resources for 2013-14

I am not actively homeschooling my own children this year because both of them will be in ♫♪COLLEGE♫♪  

 However, I still spend a lot of time researching, talking about, and planning out curriculum with other parents.  My top 10 list still includes many of my old favorites from previous years, but my opinions have also changed about others.  With that said, here is my top 10 list for homeschool resources for 2013-14.  As it is very easy to find online resources for elementary students, most of my picks  are for high school students.  (All but number 1 is free)

10.  Let's face it.  Grammar is boring, boring, boring, so my pick for this subject spices it up a bit. Grammar Bytes! presents grammar in bite-size pieces with an urban flair that will attract teens to pay attention long enough to learn the concept.  You will find handouts, videos, and exercises to test knowledge.

9. Learning languages outside of a classroom or immersion experience is difficult, but if you must learn it at home, I recommend starting with BBC languages website.  They offer beginning foreign language courses in many languages.

8.  Sparknotes is especially valuable for avid readers, which all homeschool students should be.  You are presented with character analysis, plot summary, and provocative questions that make you think.  You can even find quizzes for many novels a homeschool student might read.  Sparknotes will also explain other subjects in a textbook online type of format.  It would be higher on my list, but It is kind of dry reading, no real interactive component.

7.  I love or Annenberg Learner website, but teens can be a bit snobbish about it.  The videos are a bit retro, most being filmed at least 10 years ago, but the knowledge imparted is very relevant and information.  The biggest problem I have with it is that more of the videos are for teachers than students.

6 Khan Academy has been much higher on my list in the past, but it has moved down because while there are a lot of great tutorials, it is much more of a review resource, for tests and such, than a curriculum.  It's close, but not quite there.  But for a free resource, you can certainly make it work.  I feel like a workbook is needed for more drills.  This is where I believe it falls short. 5-10 practice problems for a concept is often not enough.

5. MIT Open Courseware is great for kids who are ready for college level work.  There are many courses available for students to use.  If you follow the syllabus and readings, you will have the same material offered to college students, including lectures, but you will not have interaction with the teacher. There are other colleges and resources that also offer open courseware, and some are even offering certificates, but MIT offers the most at this juncture.

4. I am a big fan of Yay Math! videos.  This is especially good for kids who find math videos boring.  This online educator kicks it up a notch making it a bit more entertaining without condescending to the students.  I wish his videos followed a specific textbook so we could follow along, but there are some online worksheets and quizzes for Algebra 1 & 2 and Geometry.

3.  Time4learning has always been, and will probably always be my favorite curriculum delivery system for elementary students...  I am not quite sure yet, but with the addition of the high school program, it may even move up my list.  The only thing I am unhappy about is that it was not available sooner.

2.  Hippocampus remains at the top of my list, but his has fallen from the top spot because there is some confusion inherent in the site. Instead of delivering curriculum via the NROC format, it now also includes Khan Academy, and PhET curriculum.  The NROC information is stellar.  The rest can be more difficult to follow.

1. I wish I had found ALEKS earlier, but I feel like it is a stellar resource for students who want to accelerate through curriculum. For $20 a month or less (for a longer commitment) a student can take complicated subjects as fast or slow as they please.  Subjects include all levels of math, as well as some sciences.  You will find textbook integration, and some colleges will accept some of the earned courses as college credit.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Free Biology Resources

Free Video Lectures

This site eliminates the need to search the entire internet for videos.

It sit has compiled video lessons from all over the internet.

You will find: every subject imaginable

LearnersTV offers free learning resources for students on various subject categories. Following is the current list of subjects available as on Monday, August 22, 2011. We will be adding more subjects in future.
Subject Categories

Biology | Physics | Chemistry | Maths-Statistics | Computer-Science | Medical-Science | Dentistry |Engineering | Accounting | Management 

McGraw Hill Biology

Mc Graw Hill Biology has an website that can be used in conjunction with the textbook (7 edition).  You will find an outline of each chapter, tests, labs, and other activities.  This can be used as an outline for teaching biology, or it can be used with the textbook that you can purchase new or used. 

A Guide to Online Homeschool Biology Programs

Thanks to generous public and private school teachers and free online curriculum providers, there are a handful of homeschool biology programs online that can be used with or without a textbook.

Human Body Unit Study and Lapbook project

This lesson page will help you teach all about the human body in great detail.  It is probably most appropriate for elementary and middle school age and is a great precursor to high school biology.

From the site:

We all have one! We use it every moment of every day-- your incredible human body! What a personal and relevant topic of study for any child!

For the younger students, your study may focus primarily on anatomy, so you will explore the body's organs and body's systems. For older students you may extend the study into physiology and add in thefunctioning of the human body, including its systems, tissues, and cells.

Browse the ideas and links here to plan your human body lapbook, notebook, or unit study.

Anatomy of the Human Body

Anatomy is a sub set of Biology, but a perfectly acceptable course for ahomeschooler.

More specifically, Anatomy is "branch of biology concerned with the study of body structure of various organisms, including humans"

This is an online book provided by You could create tests yourself to go along with this text, or have the student write essays to explain what they have learned or to discuss theories.  This online book has excellent illustrations.

^ Here's an anatomy coloring book you can use alongside the free online book.

BioInteractive Virtual Science Labs

"The Virtual Labs Series produced by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) has won top honors in the Pirelli INTERNETional Award competition. More than 1,200 multimedia entries competed for the Top Pirelli Prize, which recognizes the best multimedia products designed to use the Internet to educate about science and technology"

The Transgenic Fly Virtual Lab
The Bacterial Identification Lab
The Cardiology Lab
The Neurophysiology Lab
The Immunology Lab 

List of Virtual Biology Dissections:

I listed a virtual dissection of a cow's eye the other day... Thought you might enjoy this full list:  

 Net Frog :

Sheep Brain Dissection: The Anatomy of Memory:

 Virtual eye Dissection: The Anatomy of an Eye:

 Virtual Pig Dissection:

Salmon Dissection Game:

Virtual Earthworm Dissection

If you remember dissecting earthworms in science class, then you'll remember that it did nothing to help you learn the anatomy of the earthworm.  It was more of an exercise in YUCK!

You can still do the hand's on dissection to learn how to cut and look inside a once living worm, but this virtual earthworm dissection  will also give you a more clear view of the parts of the worm and what is inside.

Dissect a cow eye virtually

Courtesy of learning studios, you student can watch the dissection of a cow's eye... if they can stomach it. If they want to give it a try themselves (you supply the eye and tools) they can follow along with downloaded step by step instructions.

Enjoy these links to dissection tools and simulated frog dissection kit.

Biology Lab Activities

Here are some more biology lab activities for Biology students.

There should probably be a couple of hands-on labs done, but having virtual options will save you alot of time, money, and heartache.

The following labs are available.

Lab 1: Diffusion & Osmosis

Lab 2: Enzyme Catalysis

Lab 3: Mitosis & Meiosis

Lab 4: Plant Pigments & Photosynthesis

Lab 5: Cell Respiration

Lab 6: Molecular Biology

Lab 7: Genetics of Organisms

Lab 8: Population Genetics

Lab 9: Transpiration

Lab 10: Circulatory Physiology

Lab 11: Animal Behavior

Lab 12: Dissolved Oxygen

Human Anatomy

The Visible Body is produced by Argosy Publishing. Its diverse groups make Argosy Publishing an award-winning provider of content and technology to the medical, pharmaceutical, scientific, consumer products, television, and educational communities. Visit and for more information.

Digital Frogs for Humane Biology

Each year, thousands of students sit in biology class with a chemical-soaked frog pinned before them, wondering if there is a better way to learn about anatomy. With today’s advanced technology, there are now many humane alternatives that have been proven to teach just as well or better than dissection. PCRM is pleased to offer a free copy of one of these alternatives, Digital Frog 2, to students, parents, and teachers.

Top-Notch Science Projects. Detailed Instructions For 47 Top-Notch Elementary School Science Projects.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Free American History resources

American History for Middle School and High School

The Simple Homeschool Presents Raising Refounders "shovel ready history for the masses".

 This online program teachers all about the founding fathers of our country and has a full years American History Curriculum. 

Government Curriculum, free with shipping

 This is Choosing Our President and history curriculum is sponsored by Mike Huckabee.  It claims to teach history without bias.

Learn Our History’s latest DVD, Election Day: Choosing Our President, is a great way to get your kids excited about the upcoming presidential election.  Your kids will join a group of time traveling history students who go back in time to meet past presidents and understand how the United States election process came to be. 

History and more for Kids

Kidipede, is a site that middle school homeschoolers will enjoy. It allows you to research to your hearts content form many subjects from science, to geography, to history and even math. They currently have free subscriptions for and links for teachers.

Kidipede - History and Science for Kids is a children's encyclopedia covering mainly history and science topics. Kidipede is entirely online; there is no print version (yet).

Free elementary American History

This free history curriculum was originally written for the target age of eight to nine (3rd grade) but
can easily be used and adapted for other grades and ages. The easiest grades to adapt for and use our curriculum in are 2nd-6th grades.
 It is also an excellent supplement to any other history curriculum(for a variety of ages) with plenty of "gravy" like worksheets, printables, links, extra reading, crafts, activities and more.  

Teach all about westward expansion with this free History Ebook

Americans Move West: The Santa Fe Trail, is an ebook you can download, courtesy of Denver public schools.  It is recommended for middle school students with a 3 week dedication reccomendation.

Other units are available through the ALMA PROJECT

The Project has reaped numerous benefits from partnerships with various colleges and universities. We hope to continue to secure agreements with curriculum experts from various institutions and teachers to work directly with the Project. As the Project continues, these partnerships will allow us to broaden the range of topics to be developed.

Black History Month Lessons Plans

Teach your kids more about black history month with these great lesson plans, activities, coloring pages, and more.

Remember that black history does not just include the Civil Rights Movement, but includes many different time periods, including the present. African Americans have contributed a great deal to the history of America. Included below are lesson plans, activities, stories, pictures, coloring pages, and more. These materials can be used in a classroom, for homeschool, for supplemental lessons given by a parent, or just for fun.

Digital History: Online History Textbook

This is an online textbook focusing specifically on American History

This Web site was designed and developed to support the teaching of American History in K-12 schools and colleges and is supported by the Department of History and the College of Education at the University of Houston.
The materials on this Web site include a U.S. history textbook; over 400 annotated documents from the Gilder Lehrman Collection, courtesy of The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, supplemented by primary sources on slaveryMexican AmericanAsian American, and Native American history, and U.S. political, social, and legal history; succinct essays on thehistory of filmethnicityprivate life, and technology;multimedia exhibitions; and reference resources that include a database of annotated linksclassroom handoutschronologiesglossaries, an audio archive including speeches and book talks by historians, and a visual archive with hundreds of historical maps and images. The site's Ask the HyperHistorian feature allows users to pose questions to professional historians.

Thursday, July 04, 2013

Free Algebra resources

Master Math
Master Math teaches middle school math from grade six through Algebra 1.  It is a full, stand alone curriculum great for homeschooling, but I have found that it is also a great supplement for whatever curriculum you may already be using.
It it's core it is a free program but the creator of these math videos and accompanying program also does online tutoring should you need it and you can purchase more practice problems as well.

CK12 free open source algebraWhether you are homeschooling, or if your kids just need help with Algebra, check out this open source algebra book.   
If that is not Awesome enough Khan Academy has recorded instructional videos to coordinate with this book.  Yay!  Here is the first page of the Khan Academy playlist.   This set of videos is currently at the very bottom of the Khan Academy playlist page.

Virtual Math Lab from West Texas A&MCollege Algebra by West Texas A&M has full online math classes for:
Beginning Algebra, Intermediate Algebra, College Algebra    (can be used for passing the College CLEP)Math for the SciencesGRE Math, and Thea and Accuplacer Math.

Algebra 2 at Take advantage of the study tools meant to supplement the Glencoe Algebra  2 book.  Purchase the book new or used for just a few dollars and use the online extra examples, self-check quizzes, vocabulary review and chapter tests.  When you get a problem wrong, the website not only gives you the right answer, but refers back to the page in the textbook that will explain the problem.

Glencoe Algebra 1 Online Study Tools With or without the addition of the textbook, that you can purchase at Amazon, for just a few dollars, The Glencoe Algebra 1 online study tools will walk your student through each and every step of Algebra 1.  They can use self check quizzes, learn vocabulary and take advantage of extra examples, and do chapter tests online.  The tests and quizzes are graded.

Algebra 2 onlineIt took me a year to find an Algebra 2 online course.... just in time for my daughter to start it.  My son had to use a textbook.  Anyway, here it is.  It is provided by Henrico County Public Schools, Virginia  

FREE Math Workbooks and (subscription) Math has a few FREE online workbooks to help students practice math problems. They include Middle School mathPre AlgebraAlgebra 1Algebra 2,Precaluclus, and Calculus. In addition to the free workbooks, is also a subscription website where you can view solution to the question is any number of math textbooks that you may already own such as Algebra 1 (Applications, Equations, & Graphs) or McDougal Littell Algebra 2: Pupil's Edition. They support over 300 textbooks. They also have subscription based video lessons.

College Algebra Book OnlineIf you are studying for an Algebra Clep or math AP exam, you may purchase an expensive college math textbook or you can download this free online college algebra book. 
The Online Textbook Was Written By:
We are two college mathematics professors who grew weary of forcing our students to purchase expensive college algebra textbooks whose mathematical content has slowly degraded over the years. Our solution? Write our own. The twist? We made our college algebra book free and we distribute it as a .pdf file under the Creative Commons License.
I am surprised that I never listed before. I had been using it as long as I have been homeschooling to help the kids figure out concepts in their math books or online program that was not clear. This site does a great job of explaining difficult concepts clearly.

Quick Math
How do you get to the answer?
I you want to know how to work out a problem step by step, visit

QuickMath is an automated service for answering common math problems over
the internet.
Think of it as an online calculator that solves equations and
does all sorts of algebra and calculus problems - instantly and automatically!
When you submit a question to QuickMath, it is processed by Mathematica, the
largest and most powerful computer algebra package available today. The answer
is then sent back to you and displayed right there on your browser, usually
within a couple of seconds.
Best of all, QuickMath is 100% free !

Free College prep courses
The University of California has college prep courses available online. 
University of California College Prep publishes free high-quality online courses and content to benefit California students, with a special emphasis on helping underserved students gain college eligibility. We make our UC-approved Advanced Placement® and college prep courses freely available to California students, teachers and schools. Our courses are aligned to California content standards and are College Board certified. Start with our Courses, explore Tools to support them, and see how University of California online courses can provide Solutions to California educational challenges.

Khan Academy UPDATE

Khan Academy delivers math and finance tutorials through Youtube videos. It is well detailed and my kids say it is very easy to follow. In addition to that, they have a free, adaptive math program available here. I can't believe this is free. I spent 2 hours on the site today, just testing myself and could not stop. The site finds your level and fills your learning gaps. Plus it progresses you through math seamlessly.

Advanced Math Resources

Free Video Lectures for Middle School, Highschool, AP and College Level has compiled college lectures from numerous colleges on different subjects

There is almost too much to list, but I'll give it a shot:

Math: Arithmetic,  Singapore Math, Pre-Algebra, Algebra, Geometry, Trignonometry, Calculus, college math, linear algebra, university calculus, and more

Science: high school and college biology, Anatomy, physics, public health, and more

Literature lectures such as Holocaust in Film and Literature, Nobel Prize Winners, The American Novel since 1945

Social Studies subjects such as Political Science, African American studies, Economic Geography

Free Video Lectures at

This site eliminates the need to search the entire internet for videos.

It sit has compiled video lessons from all over the internet.

You will find: every subject imaginable

LearnersTV offers free learning resources for students on various subject categories. Following is the current list of subjects available as on Monday, August 22, 2011. We will be adding more subjects in future.
Subject Categories

Biology | Physics | Chemistry | Maths-Statistics | Computer-Science | Medical-Science | Dentistry |Engineering | Accounting | Management 

Virtual Math Lab from West Texas A&M

College Algebra by West Texas A&M has full online math classes for:  

Beginning Algebra  Intermediate Algebra College Algebra    (can be used for passing the College CLEP)Math for the Sciences GRE Math, and Thea and Accuplacer Math It looks like a great program!

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Free ACT practice resources

ACT Website has review materials

If you are preparing to take the ACT, the ACT website has practice questions and writing prompts:
Review these practice questions to help familiarize yourself with the ACT® test.

For each question, click on your answer to see if you are correct.

Five sets of questions are available for English and Mathematics; four sets are available for Reading; and seven are available for Science.

To prepare for the Writing Test portion of the ACT Plus Writing, see a sample writing prompt and responses.

The website also allows you to schedule exams, view your ACT scores, and to change your registration if necessary.

Why take the ACT?

ACT scores are accepted at all 4 year universities in the United States.
The questions are curriculum based, not aptitude or IQ based, meaning students should not be at a disadvantage. 

ACT Test Prep-Science on YouTube

Super Magnet Man on YouTube has a set of 8 videos that will help you to prepare for the Science ACT. I have heard good things about him. His accent is a little distracting to me, but he definitely knows what he is talking about. Here is the intro video:

Synopsis from video:
This is the first clip of an 8 video course aimed to help high school students understand the science portion of the ACT test. The Science section is usually the most misunderstood part of the ACT test and hopefully this video series will help students tremendously.

Most Recently Added resources found at this link

Suggested Reading Barron's ACT Math and Science Workbook (Barron's Act Math & Science Workbook) is a website that provides practice tests for numerous standardized exams including the ACT

Ideas for Summer themed unit studies

It's summer! If you want to keep homeschooling, but are getting some resistance, create a summer themed unit study. Ideas might include summer activities like hiking, swimming, and amusement parks. Making summer goodies like fruit salad (and learning all about the benefits of summer produce). Making ice-cream (That's chemistry centric) And lots of reading.. my favorite summer activity.

 To go along with your summer unit study, include the words introduced in this info graphic:

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Free Educational Games and activities has lots of free games for children aged 3-12. You will find hungry cateplillar, 2 player math games, checkers, mazes and more. 

Message from "Making games is fun and challenging but making games where kids learn is rewarding. We at are working on bringing the best educational games around. That's why we use the latest software and hardware. We provide educational games where kids can interact and learn. We work hard on providing a challenging game environment, because learning should be fun and when kids learn they succeed."

About Play Kids

"Play Kids is a site designed by parents of young kids.

It is our intention is to provide a web site that parents and kids can use to learn basic skills while having fun.

It is our goal to provide a safe place to learn computer skils, math skills, reading skills and problem solving skills in a context that is fun to use. "

The site features math, alphabet, vocabulary, memory games, geography puzzles and more.

funbrain by Leap Frog is a great website for math drills, vocabulary games, and tons of other educational and fun stuff. They even have a fun blog geared to kids of different ages that encourages kids to write.

This site has been around for quite some time, but since It was purchased by Leap Frog it has become more animated, fun, and interactive.

I am retiring my old free-home-ed blog or rather, consolodating the information into this blog.  These posts are from there. 

12 Words new words to teach your preschooler, and yourself too.

Whenever my aunties told me to get something done lickety-split, they meant to get it done fast.  Still, it's a funny sounding word that will get today's preschooler to wrinkle up their faces trying to figure out what you want them to lick.

This info graphic includes this word and more that will be fun to teach your preschooler.