August 7, 2014

Free Ways to Learn 10 Subjects

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Written by: Shari
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Susan Wise Bauer said in her excellent book that every homeschool parent would enjoy, The Well-Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education at Home (Third Edition) (page 30):

In about thirty minute per day, plus informal teaching as you go about your family life, you can easily teach your child beginning reading, writing, and math concepts, all without workbooks or teacher’s manuals. -Susan Wise Bauer


Use a flashcard app on your smart phone or electronic device to let your kids hone their skills with math operations. After they do so many minutes of math, they can play with mad birds!!


American Girls Histojoyry; learned most of our elementary history by reading interesting books that used accurate historical settings. These books prompted a desire to learn more about that time period. You can checkout the free resources of Eyewitness books and Dorling Kindersley books at the library. Some books are fun to purchase for your home library (and to save for grandkids) like the American Girls Boxed sets Samantha’s Boxed Set (The American Girls Collection/Boxed Set) and the  Little House on the Prairie books,  Little House Nine-Book Box Set


Use the Geography Challenge at A Broader View, maker of the Global Puzzle. Here are some fun ways we use the world map puzzle.


Reading good literature is the easiest way to teach vocabulary. Encourage students to keep a vocabulary journal. As they read, jot down words they don’t know. Later, they can look up the words and study the pronunciation, meaning, etymology, and more. Make reading a big part of your school day. It is relaxing, quiet, and educational!!! Create an annual book list from some of these sources:


Sign up for my free Wednesdays Writers series, where I post simple writing lessons and prompts and ideas to keep your child writing and creative writing.


Science is just part of everyday life; don’t wait for the textbook. As you live life, learn science! When use yeast to bake bread or clean with vinegar or baking soda, you are using science. When you find a tadpole or caterpillar, you have found a science experiment. Watching the stars (astronomy), using a magnet or a flashlight (physical science), and welcoming a new baby into the family (biology) are all excellent reasons to study science! Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Use the Bible to teach Science

Here’s an idea for Kindergarten Science.

Extracurricular Clubs

Check out the options at Currclick for classes with other homeschoolers like the free clubs,   (like the LEGO club) and free ebooks. You can start a club for anything! Have a skill, or want to learn one? Find someone willing to teach it, and put out the word! If you are tenacious, you can find people who will share their passions for free. Check out the general aviation pilots at the local airport if your child is interested in flying; I know pilots who mentor young flyers for free, just to encourage the love of flying! Horses, cycling, shooting sports, fishing, and more can be learned by making friends with someone who just loves the sport.


This is one of the most important subjects you will every teach your child. Begin the day with it. Read through the Bible in a year, using a one-year calendar like this one from the Gideons. Your Bible reading will most likely launch further discussion about character, spiritual matters, morality, and even science and history. You can also use a Chronological Bible like  The One Year Chronological Bible NLT (One Year Bible: Nlt) or an Archaeological Bible like  NIV Archaeological Study Bible: An Illustrated Walk Through Biblical History and Culture

Foreign Language

You can find many online free options to teach a foreign language like  Live Mocha and Pronunciator. We have used both of those free programs with great success. Attend a bilingual church service and listen to the translation. Find a family friendly radio station that broadcasts in a foreign language. Make friends with a family that wants to learn English, and teach each other!


You can teach speech for free by just encouraging your students to give oral presentations–about everything. When they are young, ask them questions about the book you just read them, and let them tell you what the main character did. Ask them to tell the steps they followed in a science experiment, how they made cookies, the three best ways to train a dog, and more. Let them give oral book reports instead of writing them, and they will consider this speech assignment a treat! When they are older, check out a book, or study online resources to learn how to prepare various speeches.


Use the Khan Academy to learn almost anything! For free. Every subject!

Tara, at This Sweet Life, has a list of ten free sites she uses in her homeschool. She also has a great post on how you might be able to homeschool for free.

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About the Author

Shari Popejoy, wife of twenty-eight years, mother of three, founder of a local co-op for hundreds of homeschool children, author of seven books, and creator of Won Without Words (a blog of encouragement for wives) lives in the quiet country of the Ozarks where she enjoys writing surrounded by nature (and her children, of course). She is currently completing Volume V of the Livingstone Library, an adventure series for 'smart' kids, which features characters with character, and underlying allegorical spiritual truths. She enjoys high places and the road less traveled, and moments when all is well, and peace permeates like a fragrance. . .oh, and chocolate, fresh fruit and veggies, and early morning sunrises. Read her blog at


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