Monday, June 18, 2018

Homeschool Curriculum and Resources: My Top Picks

We use very little pre made curriculum, as I build most of our curriculum myself to tailor suit my kid's individual interests and needs, but there is a really awesome history curriculum and a science kit series that we have really come to love. In this post I will share my top curriculum and science kit picks plus my favorite free online homeschooling resources.


Evan Moor History Pockets:

We absolutely love the Evan Moor History Pockets because they come with tons of hands on lesson plans. They can be used to supplement another history curriculum that's maybe lacking in the hands on department or as a stand alone curriculum. Each one covers a particular history topic. 

For grades 1-3 they offer:
Life in Plymouth Colony
Ancient Civilizations 
Native Americans

For grades 4-6 they offer:

The American Revolution 
The American Civil War
Colonial America 
Explores of North America 
Moving West
Ancient Rome
Ancient Egypt
Ancient Greece

Each one is divided into several subtopics. Students make a construction paper pocket folder for each subtopic where the information packet and finished activities are stored. At the end it's all put together to make a booklet.

Here's a look at a few of our favorite activities from the Native Americans and Life In Plymouth Colony booklets:

Tlinget Mask

Keeping Room Diorama 

Pilgrim Puppets

Vocabulary word flip book

Here's a look at a finished pocket:

The Magic School Bus Science Kits:

The Magic School Bus Science Kits from The Young Scientists Club are really fun. They're designed for elementary school aged kids and come in a variety of topics. They generally come with almost everything you need to do the activities other than basic school supplies like scissors, glue, tape, etc...

Our favorites so far have been :

The World Of Germs which came with almost everything needed for 10 really awesome experiments and activities about bacteria and fungi, including several experiments where we got to grow bacteria on agar in petri dishes!

And Back In Time With Dinosaurs. With this kit we learned about herbivores, omnivores, and carnivores, and explored the differences in their types of teeth. We made a dinosaur diorama and a timeline of when different types of dinosaurs lived. We also learned about paleontologists and made our own fossils.

I ordered their Human Body kit for next year and it looks great. We're excited to try it out!

These kits aren't really designed to be a stand alone curriculum but are a great addition to any science curriculum or with some good library books and a little online research they can be used as the base for building your own simple curriculum. 

Free Online Resources:

Learn French With Alexa:

Learn French With Alexa is a great YouTube series that teaches begining French. It's totally free on YouTube and her lessons are great! Once you've mastered the free beginners series, you can go on and purchase her intermediate lessons for a pretty affordable price if you want to.

SciShow Kids:

SciShow kids is another awesome YouTube series and it's all about science. They cover topics from fungi and other lifeforms to things like weather and what makes boats float. We often incorporate their videos into our science lessons. 


Ducksters is a really great educational site for kids that covers lots of science, history, and geography topics. It's become one of our favorite sites for gathering information. 

We love Ducksters because the information is presented in an easy to understand, kid friendly way. Also many of the topics have interactive quizes at the end for students who like to be quizzed.


This one isn't completely free but sort of. Starfall is an awesome site that provides tons of interactive learning games and activities for kids preschool through mid elementary school age. My daughter loves the math games.

They have a free edition but it only gives you access to part of the site. For $35 a year you can purchase a membership to get full access, this is definitely worth doing in my opinion. 

If you enjoyed this post, check out:

-Homeschooling on a Budget

-What Homeschooling Looks Like For Us: The Preschool and Kindergarten Years

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  1. These sound great! My middle son has been wanting to learn French and while I retained some of what I learned I think he'll enjoy watching a YouTube channel more. I co-host a weekly learning linky on Tuesdays and we'd LOVE to see you link up posts like this with us. Here's a link to today's in case you are interested:

    1. Thanks so much for linking up with us!! I hope you come back next week too. Pinned.

    2. Thanks for sharing your link up! I love link ups, such a great way to share and find other ideas :-)

    3. Congrats! This post was picked as our featured favorite for July. Hope to see you linking up again with us again tomorrow.

  2. Thanks for the review on the Magic Schoolbus kits, been tempted a few times, but not sure there was much there. The germ one sounds like it would be a fit. Thanks.


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