FREE Homeschool Materials

Once you’ve explored homeschooling styles a bit, you’ll probably set off looking for curriculum.  Here are some places where you can score curriculum and materials for free!   

Many of these are digital resources and require no extra resources or use books you can check out from the library.  Just remember that you’ll still need to pay for any printing.  Here is one of our favorite places to print!

Complete Curriculum

Language Arts

Science

Math

Social Studies

Arts

Teaching the Special Needs Child

For some parents, having a special needs child is the impetus to homeschool.  For others, it’s a nerve-wracking concern.  Wherever you fall on the spectrum, homeschooling a special needs child is an adventure!

With the advent of No Child Left Behind, special needs children both gained and lost in the classroom.  There is more advocacy and information, and accommodations are understood and generally more accepted, but there is still much temptation to box students in.  Many families are choosing to homeschool because their special needs children’s needs are not being met in the traditional classroom.

It can be very overwhelming to homeschool a special needs child, especially at first.  You not only have to plan the academics, but also the therapy and interventions that are required for your child.  In some states, the school system will still help with these needs, but Oklahoma is not one of those states.  We parents are required to find therapists and cover that cost on our own.  It is one of the prices we pay for a lack of legislation and state-mandated testing for homeschoolers.

Getting a Diagnosis & IEP (Individualized Education Plan)

  • If your child has been in the school system, then he probably has an IEP.  Know that it will expire and you cannot get a new one once he’s been pulled to homeschool.  Don’t fret over it; just know it.  Keep a copy of the IEP paperwork to take to therapists and doctors when seeking assistance.  Your therapist will probably do a therapy-specific evaluation, so be sure to keep that paperwork, too.  Start a file…
  • If you are starting from a homeschool environment, your first stop will be the family doctor, who will refer you to one or more therapists.  They will do initial evaluations, which you will want to keep on file.
  • All of this paperwork is your ‘leg to stand on’ should there be any questions about your child’s performance in the future (not likely, but possible).  They are helpful in building your case once you reach the upper grades — as your child may need testing accommodations.  You are eligible to file for accommodations on tests such as ACT and SAT.

You are the Expert

  • No one understands your child like you do.  You know his likes, dislikes, what bothers him, and what works best.  Working with therapists, you can use his strengths and weaknesses to tailor a program specifically toward his needs.
  • For example, our son loves airplanes and aviation, so we have used many aviation-oriented games for therapy.  Because he’s interested in the topic, he puts forth more effort into mastering those difficult tasks.

Providing Tailored Instruction

  • As parents, you have already spent years teaching your child and learning in which ways he learns best.  Equipped with this knowledge, you are prepared to become an individual classroom teacher as well!  Knowing your child’s strengths and weaknesses will help you to tailor the lesson plan to his needs.
  • For example, if he has dysgraphia, allow him to orally discuss topics, or teach keyboarding at a younger age.  If he has trouble with multiple instructions, provide short, individual directions.

Moving at a New Pace

  • If your child grasps a concept immediately, feel free to move forward.  By the same token, if he’s having trouble understanding something, take as much time as you need.  For subjects like math and language arts, a failure to build a strong foundation leads to crumbling academics later on.  In a traditional school setting, there is only so much time for each concept, but in the homeschool, you have the freedom and flexibility to take as much time as necessary!
  • Don’t look at it as your child being six months behind in math.  Look at the fact that you are putting in the time to cement a solid foundation.  Some children are ‘jumpers,’ meaning they don’t show any academic growth at all for a long time, but then ‘jump’ two or three grade levels over a short period of time.  Given a strong foundation, things will eventually click into place!  Without that foundation, however, you’re merely building an academic house of cards.  Move at your child’s pace…

You are Not Alone

  • Support for special needs homeschool families comes in many places!  Here at Homeschool House, every single one of our leaders has at least one, if not more, special needs children.  Feel free to ask us questions, and we’ll do our best to point you in a helpful direction.
  • There are special needs-specific homeschool conventions, Facebook groups, and even local playgroups (look toward your cities, Tulsa and OKC) for these families.  
  • Most curricula offer ways to tailor toward special needs learners.  You may have to call the curriculum publisher directly, but they’re usually amenable to discussing how it can be adapted.  The Book Shack can also help you with locating curriculum to fit your child’s learning style.

WELCOME TO HOLLAND

c1987 by Emily Perl Kingsley

I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability – to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It’s like this……

When you’re going to have a baby, it’s like planning a fabulous vacation trip – to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It’s all very exciting.

After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, “Welcome to Holland.”

“Holland?!?” you say. “What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I’m supposed to be in Italy. All my life I’ve dreamed of going to Italy.”

But there’s been a change in the flight plan. They’ve landed in Holland and there you must stay.

The important thing is that they haven’t taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It’s just a different place.

So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.

It’s just a different place. It’s slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you’ve been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around…. and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills….and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.

But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy… and they’re all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say “Yes, that’s where I was supposed to go. That’s what I had planned.”

And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away… because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss.

But… if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn’t get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things … about Holland.

DD’s Journal – Through the School Years

As the school year comes to an end, I see so many changes.  Teaching two instead of one been the biggest change, but I have to say…big brother has really stepped up with advice for his sisters!

It’s funny how as the year progresses, the Light Units disappear!  We are planning the closing of the year with much anticipation!  The sunny days make school seem, well, DULL.  The girls are enjoying bike rides, new kittens, and all the flowers!  

This year I had to rethink my teaching.  My number 2 daughter was really struggling with pre-algebra.  So, being a somewhat creative mom, I came up with an IEP plan for homeschooling!  I want her to succeed; so she and I set goals and discussed what she felt would help her with the transition into more difficult math.  And it is working!  Not every child will be an Einstein, but we as home educators have the ability to take what could be a DISABILITY and turn into a work of PROGRESS!

On another note, I found that both of my daughters really enjoy writing.  They write short stories and essays with a flare!  

And of course we had our “planning conference” for the next year.  I really encourage the children’s input for curriculum.  So we are ready to put down the moola for school year ’19-20!

It seems like if was just yesterday I taught my oldest to write his name, and *POOF* he is a full grown man -working and driving, being a productive citizen!  So my pearl of wisdom is:  enjoy these times…all of them.  From getting b’s and d’s written in the right direction, to learning times tables, suffering through endless history lessons, and the tears and arguments…because…they go by way too fast!  

So dear friends….as we close another year, may your pencils forever be sharpened with erasers, that rulers, compasses, and protractors never be lost, and that our wee ones always know, how much we truly love them!

Blessings to All,

                  Dee Dee

Ultimate List of Homeschool Conventions {USA}


Alabama

April 26 – 27   Birmingham   Birmingham Homeschool Fair and Convention

May 9 – 11    Mobile    Mobile Homeschool Convention  (Teach Them Diligently)

June 22   Cullman   North Alabama Lifelong Learning Expo

Alaska

April 5 – 6   Anchorage  APHEA

April 23  Soldotna    IDEA Curriculum Fair

April 24 – 25   Anchorage   IDEA Curriculum Fair

April 26   Fairbanks   IDEA Curriculum Fair

April 29   Juneau   IDEA Curriculum Fair

Arizona

July 19 – 20   Phoenix   AFHE Convention

August 29 – September 1    Phoenix   Free To Be Unschooling Conference

Arkansas

March 21 – 23   Rogers   Rogers Homeschool Convention (Teach Them Diligently)

California

May 2 – 5    Garden Grove   California Homeschool Network Family Expo

June 13 – 15   Ontario    California Homeschool Convention  (Great Homeschool Conventions)

June 22    Costa Mesa   Southern California Catholic Home Educators

July 11 – 13   Pasadena    CHEA

August 8 – 11   San Jose   HSC Conference

Colorado

May 23 – 25   Denver    Denver Colorado Homeschool Convention  (Teach Them Diligently)

June 13 – 15   Denver    Rocky Mountain Homeschool Conference

Connecticut

Middleton   CT Homeschool Network Inc.

Delaware

Florida

May 23 – 25   Orlando   FPEA

August 8 – 10   Jacksonville   Florida Homeschool Convention  (Great Homeschool Conventions)

Georgia

March 8 – 9    Atlanta   Waldorf Homeschool Conference

April 25 – 27    Atlanta   Atlanta Homeschool Convention  (Teach Them Diligently)

July 26 – 27    Atlanta   Southeast Exhibit and Expo

Hawaii

Idaho

February 16   Idaho Falls   Idaho Falls Homeschool Conference Curriculum and Resource Fair

June 7 – 8    Nampa    Homeschool Idaho

Illinois

March 15 – 16   Peori    APACHE

May 30 – June 2    Bourbonnais     ICHE

Indiana

March 22 – 23    Indianapolis   IAHE

May 3 – 4    Fort Wayne   FWAHS

Iowa

June 6 – 8    West Des Moines    Homeschool Iowa Conference

Kansas

April 12 – 13     Wichita   Teaching Parents Convention

Kentucky

Louisiana

Maine

March 21 – 23     Rockport    HOME

Maryland

April 20 – 21    Frederick MD     Maryland Association of Christian Home Educators

July 12     Mt. Airy    Maryland Homeschool Conference

Massachusetts

April 26 – 28  Worchester   MassHope

Michigan

May 17 – 18   Lansing   INCH

Minnesota

April 11 – 13    St. Paul   MACHE Convention

June 31 – July 1   St. Paul    Minnesota Catholic Home Education Conference and Curriculum Fair

Mississippi

May 17 – 18    Starkville    MHEA

Missouri

March 28 – 30   St. Charles   Missouri Homeschool Convention  (Great Homeschool Conventions)

April 5 – 6     Kansas City      Midwest Parent Educators Conference

June 7 – 8    Grandview     KC Catholic Homeschooler

Montana

Nebraska

March 8 – 9        NCHEA

Nevada

New Hampshire

New Jersey

New Mexico

June 21 – 22    Albuquerque   CAPE

New York

August 1 – 3   Rochester   New York Homeschool Convention  (Great Homeschool Conventions)

North Carolina

May 30 – June 1    Winston Salem    THRIVE

North Dakota

February 28 – March 2     Jamestown    NDHSA

Ohio

April 25 – 27   Cincinnati    Ohio Homeschool Convention  (Great Homeschool Conventions)

May 20 – 23   Sandusky    Unschoolers’ Waterpark Gathering

May 30 – June 1   Columbus   Columbus Homeschool Convention (Teach Them Diligently)

July 19   Cincinnati   Brave Learner Conference

Oklahoma

May 3 – 4    Oklahoma City     OCHEC

May 31 – June 1    Tulsa    Tulsa Homeschool Expo

Oregon

February 16     Lebanon   Mid-Valley Homeschool Conference

June 28 – 29    Albany   Oregon Christian Home Education Conference

Pennsylvania

April 15   Carlisle    PHAA

June 14 – 15    Lancaster    CHAP Convention

Rhode Island

South Carolina

March 21 – 23 Greenville  South Carolina Homeschool Convention  (Great Homeschool Conventions)

May 31 – June 1    North Charleston   Lowcountry Homeschool Convention

June 29   Columbia   REACH Homeschool Expo

South Dakota

May 10 – 11   Sioux Falls    SECHE

Tennessee

March 28 – 30   Nashville  Nashville Homeschool Convention  (Teach Them Diligently)

July 19 – 20   East Ridge   Chattanooga Area Homeschooling

Texas

February 15 – 16    Frisco  Be Wild + Free

March 7 – 9  Fort Worth  Texas Homeschool Convention  (Great Homeschool Conventions)

April 11 – 13   Waco   Texas Homeschool Convention  (Teach Them Diligently)

May 9 – 11     Arlington   Arlington TX Homeschool Convention

May 30 – June 1    The Woodlands  THSC Convention

Utah

January 26    Layton    Winter Homeschool Conference

April 20 – 21   Cottonwood Heights   UTCH

Vermont

Virginia

March 22 – 23   Williamsburg   VaHomeschoolers Conference and Resource Fair

June 6 – 8   Richmond   HEAV Homeschool Convention

Washington

April 25 – 27    Redmond    Family Discipleship and Homeschooling Conference

May 30 – June 3     Vancouver    Life is Good Unschooling Conference

June 21 – 22    Tacoma   Washington Homeschool Organization

West Virginia

Wisconsin

February 24 – 28    Lake Geneva    Unschoolers Platform

Wyoming

Tips on Choosing a Homeschool Conference

Some questions to consider include:

  • Are there any speakers that you really want to see?  (Research some of the ones you don’t know and you might locate a gem.)
  • Is there child care or an activity available?  If not, are children allowed in the presentations?
  • Will there be a vendor hall or used curriculum sale?  (You can usually get great deals here!)
  • Does the total price (tickets, transportation, and hotel) fit in your budget?
  • Is it religious or secular?  Does that fit with your beliefs?

We hope you are inspired this homeschool conference season!

Educator Training & Resources

Do you know how many great opportunities there are for homeschooling mamas to get educator training right here in Oklahoma?  We’ve compiled a short list of some of the best (and most overlooked) ones for you to attend!   {Feel free to drop us a line with others that you know, and we’ll get them added to this list….let’s collaborate!}

OERB’s Classroom Training

OERB offers FREE petroleum-based curriculum for teachers and homeschoolers across the state of Oklahoma.  All levels of teaching are covered in their workshops, which are like a mini-retreat!  The classes offer hands-on curriculum for each subject that focus on the petroleum industry.  (ie, Core History teaches high school history from the viewpoint of Oklahoma’s oil & gas past)  In addition to classroom training, you’ll receive a nice lunch, some snacks, a goody bag, and a day off from the kids!


Ag in the Classroom

Similar to OERB, these FREE courses are offered based around the agricultural industry.  Each workshop covers all levels of teaching (whereas in OERB, you select your student’s level), so you’ll get information, curriculum, and goodies to use with all of your children together.  Additionally, there are numerous free lesson plans available on their website for you to use!


Oklahoma Nature Study

Learn about our diverse natural areas and state parks through real-life and virtual field trips.  You can download curriculum materials, and earn trading cards and certificates of completion.


Oklahoma Geological Survey

There are several opportunities available here, including visiting with a geologist, the traveling library, hands-on geology kits, a resource room you can visit, touring the Sarkeys Energy Center, and the traveling fossil kit (which is very nice!). 


Project Wet

Using water as a theme, Project WET provides hands-on activities to enhance the teaching of science, math, social studies, language arts, and many other required subjects. Project WET is primarily designed for teachers of grades K-12.  This training costs $20, but that training comes with supplies and curriculum.


Project Wild

Oklahoma Project WILD provides educators with the tools, training and resources needed to engage students in active, hands-on learning about wildlife and the environment. The activity guides are available only by participating in interactive, hands-on, fun workshops. 

Cool Beans – Soybean Board

While we haven’t personally attended this one, it is a one-day workshop for middle and high school teachers focusing on soybeans and doing science experiments with bio-fuel.


Project Learning Tree

Focusing on forestry, biodiversity, and climate change, these workshops are offered online for educators.  (This training is NOT free.)  However, each month, free curriculum and student activities are posted on their site, and the activities change, so check back regularly!