7 Homeschooling Resources Every Parent Should Know About

homeschoolHomeschooling was once a fairly rare occurrence in this country, but not anymore: Between the years of 1999 and 2013, the number of children being homeschooled in America increased by 75 percent; in 2011, a study found that an estimated 2.346 million children were being educated at home. Homeschooling's rise in popularity means there are more easily accessible educational resources for parents than ever! 


The less-than-good news about this boom in homeschooling information is that it can be tough to figure out which services and websites are the most helpful and trustworthy. Here are some of the most highly rated online resources out there, along with info to help you decide which is right for your family. Many of these sites can be super useful even if you're not homeschooling, and you want to give your kid some extra enrichment!

1. CK-12.org 

With a free comprehensive, colorful, and easy-to-use collection of open textbooks for STEM, this site offers "unlimited math and science practice with help" and can be used by a "teacher" or a "student."

2. Learner.org

Offering free streaming video courses in K-12 curriculum that were originally broadcast on PBS, this site aims to use "media and telecommunications to advance excellent teaching in American schools," but many parent teachers are reaping the benefits at home, too.

3. Khan Academy

With free practice exercises and instructional videos for K-12 in everything from math, science, and computer programming to history, art history, and economics, Khan Academy's content was developed in conjunction with experts from NASA, the Museum of Modern Art, the California Academy of Sciences, and MIT. 

4. John Holt GWS

This website about teacher and author John Holt, considered one of the founders of the homeschooling movement (which he called "unschooling"), offers free educational downloads as well as an impressive amount of helpful advice on getting started in homeschooling and support for homeschoolers.

More from The Stir: 10 Super-Famous Homeschool Success Stories (PHOTOS)

5. The Well-Trained Mind

Billed as "the number one resource for parents and students who home school -- or simply want to supplement a classroom education," this site boasts a grade-by-grade, subject-by-subject guide to education from a classical perspective. Some of the site's resources are free, and others require tuition.

6. Math.com

Parents will appreciate the short, easy-to-understand explanations of math concepts and problems on this website, which also has tons of free math exercises perfect for practicing essential skills (K-12).

7. Academic Earth

It's the first online collection of free college courses (from top universities), and much of Academic Earth's incredibly varied curriculum is appropriate for high school students, too. 

Do you homeschool? What resources do you use?

Image via PearlsofJannah/Flickr

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