Free vs Paid Online Resources

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

Free vs Paid Online Resources

239: Free vs paid online resources

Free vs Paid Online Resources? This episode covers reasons you might choose one over the other and I give a few ideas on where to find free resources. For all the details listen to the episode.

Things to consider

1. Budget
2. Priorities
3. Kids abilities and interests
4. Core or Supplementary
5. Sometimes free is better than cheap
6. Free to see if you like the style
7. Free if not sure how long your kids interest will last
8. Paid – you are more likely to follow through

Free Resources Mentioned

Take a look at show sponsor, FundaFunda Academy to see what they offer for online classes and web-based unit studies.

Join our Facebook Group, especially for the listeners of this podcast! You can ask questions and get advice as you try integrating technology into your homeschool.

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Free vs Paid Online Resources

How to Choose Curriculum for Homeschool High School

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

This week on Homeschool Highschool Podcast: How to Choose Curriculum for Homeschool High School.

How to Choose Curriculum for Homeschool High School

How to Choose Curriculum for Homeschool High School

Vicki, Sabrina and Kym together again for an episode on a very important topic. We’ve missed seeing each other during this long pandemic. But here we are together to talk about choosing curriculum.

In the old days, there were few options for homeschool curriculum for homeschooling high school. That’s not true any more. Now we have SO many options, that it can be hard to choose curriculum for our teens. NOT to worry: your 7Sisters are here to help!

Now, here are some steps for choosing curriculum for homeschool high school

First off, remember: There’s not ONE right way to homeschool high school! SO there’s not ONE right kind of curriculum.

Now, look at your big, giant four-year goals.

You don’t want to drive on a long trip and not have an idea about where you where driving. You’ll end up nowhere. Goals are like that for homeschooling! Look at the big picture: What do you want to see in your teens when they walk across the stage (or backyard) at graduation:

  • What kinds of sciences, histories, maths, literatures do I want for them to have experienced?
  • Are they college or career bound?
  • What are their personalities like?
  • What are their interests and abilities?

What works for parents?

  • Some curriculum just won’t work for the parents who have to help their teens learn. For instance, Vicki could not use non-illustrated texts with her teens. She needed photos in texts…except when it was really interesting curriculum such as Philosophy in Four Questions, which was so interesting that no illustrations were needed in order for her to pay attention.

What are your constraints?

  • What are the time demands?
  • What is our financial picture? (No matter what your budget is, you CAN homeschool high school! It’s okay to be where you are.)
    • How can we co-operate with other families? (We co-oped together for fun and money saving!)
    • Are there barters that we can do for teaching or curriculum?
    • Can I reuse curriculum with my other kids as they hit high school?

Beware of the folks who say: You MUST use this curriculum because it’s the right way! (Sometimes, these folks are selling expensive curriculum…ahem.)

What do teens need to cover over homeschool high school years?

Each state has different requirements, check your state Department of Education’s website.

College bound teens: Visit websites for a few colleges of interest to see what they are requiring for applicants.

Many teens (college or career bound) will need will usually need these credits:

  • 4 Language Arts (your choice of Literature themes or general topics)
  • 2-4 Maths (Algebra, Algebra 2, Geometry and possible Statistics and/or Pre-Calculus)
  • 3-4 Sciences with some lab courses (Biology, Chemistry, Health, and other Sciences according to state regulations or future major)
  • 3-4 Social Studies (American History, World History, .5 Civics, .5 Economics, .5 Social Science and/or Geography and Electives)
  • 1-4 World Languages
  • 1-2 Physical Education
  • 1 Fine Arts
  • 1-6 Electives (including Career Exploration, Drivers Education, Technology, etc).
    • Give yourself and your teen the opportunity to “rabbit trail”, that is, explore new interests.
    • Log hours for Carnegie credits if you are not using a curriculum. Check out Homeschooling with Technology podcast for tech elective ideas.

There are three basic ways to earn a credit:

For help with planning, check out our Authoritative Guide to Homeschool High School and our Authoritative Guide to High School Planning.

There's not ONE right kind of curriculum!

Then break your four year goals into yearly goals

What do you want or need to cover each year? For instance (by the way, these are simply “for instances” not suggestions…you choose what is best for your teen):

  • Math:
    • 9th Grade- Algebra
    • 10th Grade- Geometry
    • 11th Grade- Algebra 2
    • 12th Grade- Statistics
  • Literature:
    • 9th Grade- American Literature
    • 10th Grade- British Literature
    • 11th Grade- World Literature
    • 12th Grade- Great Christian Writers

Once you’ve narrowed down the courses you need, to choose curriculum

  • Check out reviews online, such as:
  • If you are looking at classes (co-op, community college, group classes) do some research about the course:
    • Sometimes a wonderful sounding class might now be a good fit because:
    • Teacher has completely different goals than you and your teens
    • For instance: the teacher may aim the science course for science majors but your teen’s goals are more towards sports or public speaking (so they need time to play sports or joining a public speaking club rather than spending endless hours on science homework)
    • Format is not a good fit for your teen

Is it a stressful year? In danger of burnout or exhausted from pandemic? Need to make some change ups?

Choose your curriculum with these in mind:

  • Need a quieter year with more reading and less challenging curriculum?
  • Need a lighter-hearted reading list rather than books full of sadness and loss?
  • Need more restorative time outdoors?

Keep in mind that offers curriculum that is:

  • No-busywork
  • Affordable
  • Downloadable
  • Levelable (gives options for average high school level, college prep or honors levels)
  • Money-back guaranteed
  • Offers co-op discounts (send an email to for information)
  • At, many of the course have freebie suggested syllabi for you to use with your teens.

Join Sabrina, Vicki and Kym for an encouraging discussion on choosing curriculum for homeschool high school.


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How to Choose Curriculum for Homeschool High School

Choosing Curriculum That Works For You

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

Choosing Curriculum imgChoosing Curriculum That Works For You

Episode 4

Curriculum!! ahhhhhhhh …. Choosing a curriculum is probably one of, if not the biggest fear of new homeschoolers. In this podcast, we walk you through choosing curriculum that works for your family. Tips and advice on selecting the right homeschool curriculum. Move past the fear of selecting curriculum with help from FPEA.


We have compiled a list of good curriculum resources below for you to explore. Not every curriculum works for every family or every student. What might work for some students, won’t be a good fit for other students.

Concerning homeschool curriculum, the good news is there are many choices and sources. The challenge is there are hundreds and hundreds of materials from which to choose. Florida does not require any specific curricula or even specific credits for high school; you are free to select the materials and the courses best suited for your children. It is important to know why you have chosen to homeschool and to be somewhat familiar with the different educational philosophies — traditional, unit studies, classical, Charlotte Mason, unschooling, etc. The approach you take usually drives curriculum choices. Attending an FPEA-sponsored homeschool orientation will help you understand the factors to consider in making informed choices. It is also advisable to consider the learning style and the successful/unsuccessful education experiences of each individual child. Some curricula are better suited to a specific learning style or a particular subject.

The Guide to Homeschooling in Florida includes a full directory of “tried and true” home education teaching materials. Please contact those companies to access their catalogs so you can begin to search for the materials that interest you. Long-time favorite catalog companies are R.O.C.K. Solid (, Timberdoodle (, CBD ( and Sonlight ( The best catalog companies are owned by homeschool parents, have great descriptions of their products, and offer a wide selection of some of the best materials. In the Orlando area, A.C.C.E.S. ( offers a variety of homeschool curricula and has a public warehouse where you can preview them.

Most libraries and bookstores have homeschool magazines that contain reviews of different teaching materials and encouraging articles. Your library may also carry 100 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum by Cathy Duffy, a highly recommended resource. If you choose to homeschool with a particular philosophy (classical, unit studies, traditional, etc.), specific books recommend curricula based on it. In addition, many local libraries host FPEA-sponsored homeschool orientations.

Some good curriculum resources


Answers in Genesis

Beautiful Feet Books

BJU Press/HomeWorks by Precept


Classical Academic Press

Common Sense Press

Cornerstone Curriculum

Creating a Masterpiece

Demme Learning/Math U See


Fun-Schooling with The Thinking Tree

Good Steward Books, LLC

Great Leaps Reading and Math

Institute for Excellence in Writing

Jim Hodges Audio Books

La Clase Divertida( The FUN Class!)
Lamplighter Publishing

Landi English

Logic of English

Memoria Press

Mr D Math

Nature’s Workshop Plus

Pandia Press

Rainbow Resources

RightStart Mathematics by Activities for Learning,
Rod & Staff by Bible Way Books
Rosetta Stone Homeschool

ShillerLearning: Montessori at Home
Simply Charlotte Mason

Sonlight Curriculum
Souns for Literacy

Teaching Textbooks

Usborne Books & More


Join us this September in Sanibel Island for both fun and learning. Make a staycation of of this FPEA STEM Conference. Sanibel is a beautiful area with lots to explore.

Sanibel STEM