11 Best Homeschool Programs & Virtual Homeschool Curriculum (Providers, Resources & Approaches)
With so many homeschooling curriculums and methods to choose from, it can feel overwhelming and confusing.
Whether you’re considering homeschooling or already homeschooling your children, the best homeschool programs and curriculum ideas could be different for each family depending on your child’s needs.
So, Brigette, from our iFamilyKC Mom Squad team, shares her top homeschool curriculum options and the highlights of each program. Be sure to also check out our Guide to Homeschooling in KC and our Activities for Homeschoolers in KC too!
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11 Best Homeschool Programs and Curriculum Ideas
When my family started homeschooling, there were already many K-12 homeschool programs out there, but since we began our homeschool journey, that number has likely tripled.
Starting a journey like this can be overwhelming in many different ways. You will begin to question your every move (and so will onlookers who are watching you).
Knowing that you have a solid, well-rounded, and liked curriculum will take so much of the pressure and self-doubt off of your shoulders. So, here are 11 of the best homeschool programs and curriculum options to start with.
More Homeschooling Resources:
- Homeschool PE & Activities for Homeschoolers
- Tutoring services around Kansas City
- Library Programs – perfect for homeschool families!
- Check out different homeschool approaches
- The Complete Homeschooling Guide
- Have your own library week where you read & attend library-like activities 🙂
- Preschool Programs & Pre-K
- Best Private Schools in KC
If you are looking for supplemental homeschool programs, Schoolhouse Teachers is a membership-based site, where you can get many different subjects & grade levels all in one place!
What is the Best Homeschool Program?
If you are beginning your homeschooling journey, there are so many options to consider. Don’t wonder, “How to homeschool my children…?”
This is an online educational program that is great for homeschooling or supplementing traditional school options.
You can purchase different membership packages to get access to all their resources too!
One of our team members uses this homeschool program for her own children. She loves it so much we just had to tell you! This was our third curriculum choice and it had been perfect for us. It is definitely a beneficial, but easy homeschooling program.
Most of the work is online but there are options to print a lot of it out. This is a free homeschool curriculum and fits grades Pre-K through high school.
I am able to keep track easily with their daily tracker and layout.
This is another favorite in our house! This program is designed for toddlers- 3rd-grade readiness.
While this one is not free, it is very reasonable and has a lot of “life learning”. Kids can take care of pets, clean rooms, and even dress their avatars in the online homeschool program. ABCMouse has a learning path for each level to ensure they are learning age-appropriate lessons.
Students can even head to their classrooms to pick their own interests!
This program is for Pre-K HS. Time 4 Learning is also a mostly free online homeschool, but does offer printable lessons as well.
With this program, you can change grade levels on individual subjects to fit your child’s needs. They even keep track of your child’s work for your HS portfolio.
This is a Christian homeschool curriculum that can be done in 3 ways.
Abeka offers “School in a Box”, online homeschool programs, and video lessons. With Abeka, you really can’t customize each subject for your kids. If they are ahead or behind on a specific subject, you may need to use a different resource for supplemental materials.
This is also a Christian-based curriculum set. Sonlight is for those wanting to only use books and can be used for Prek- 12th grade. They even include college prep lessons as well. Sonlight is a little more customizable than Abeka as you can purchase individual subjects. If you are not sure which lesson to purchase, they even have a shop by level so you can ensure you are selecting age-appropriate material.
Starfall was a program we used when Thai was in kindergarten. We used the free version to help with her reading and it was wonderful! Starfall also has a membership program that opens up more learning activities. Starfall is designed for Prek-2nd grade and is 100% online with the option to create printables to supplement.
This is a one-stop shop for a Christian homeschool curriculum.
They offer options for book learning, online learning, and student or teacher-led learning. You can select which style works best for you and your family.
This is a public school at-home option, which is one of the best online homeschool programs in our opinion.
Even though you will be at home, K12 offers teacher-led classroom lessons, projects, and check-ins with you! K12 is designed for students in Kindergarten – 12th grade. K12 offers private school education or public education and they provide you with most of the materials needed for learning.
This online curriculum can be used in whole or by subject. They offer lessons for pre-k through 12th grade. They even have a Spanish curriculum so your child can learn a second language.
This online school is available for grades K- 12. They offer curriculums for children with special needs, advanced learners, student-athletes, and more.
Once your child ages out of ABCmouse, sign them up for Adventure Academy. This online supplement has over 4,000 activities, allowing you to track their progress in different subjects and more. This is great for ages 8-13.
This online supplement has This homeschool curriculum is centered around family, faith, literature, and nature. This curriculum is designed for grades K- 8th.
Create Your Own Curriculum
This homeschool program may or may not work with your family. All of the planning, teaching, reading, and record-keeping is your responsibility.
While it may take more time to organize lessons and projects, you will be able to fully customize your child’s homeschool curriculum. This will ensure your child is interested and you know what and where their strengths and weaknesses are.
If you have a child with specific learning styles, this is a homeschool option you should consider.
This was our first curriculum and since we started using it, it has undergone some major improvements! MobyMax is great for elementary and middle school students.
MobyMAx was designed to fill gaps in subjects and to help students learn at a faster pace, so you can even use it if you are not a homeschooled family. With this program, you are in charge of picking subjects, time frames, and how often it should be completed.
While they do track progress in subjects, you will need to keep a daily log of subjects to make sure your child is working on all the appropriate lessons.
Free Homeschool Resouces
If you’re looking for free homeschool help & resources, there are tons of sites out there to help. These are the favorites of our homeschool families…
Cells Alive brings science to life in your homeschool studies with videos, quizzes, photos, and more. This site is great for students of all ages. Study genetics, explore cell models, antibodies, and more.
CryptoClub is a great site to encourage critical thinking, problem-solving, and breaking code while deciphering hidden messages. Your child will take math to a new level with fun and challenges.
Google is a force to reckon with when it comes to educational resources. Google Arts and Culture allows you to immerse yourself in art and cultures from around the world. Plus visit museums virtually.
One of the largest online resources for homeschooling, Khan Academy is full of subjects, visual aids, and videos. Your child can explore every level of learning they need including life skills and SAT and LSAT prep.
This app allows your child to study and view art interactively. Plus, it includes a sketch pad so your child can explore their own artistic abilities.
The Smithsonian Learning Lab offers free resources for social studies, art, science, language arts, and more. Explore learning labs through videos, images, reading, and more.
CK-12 has homeschooling resources for students grades K-12. Your child can learn subjects ranging from kindergarten science to physics, philosophy to economics, and much more. This is a great resource for families that have multi-level learners.
Talk about current events and news topics in a way that is “kid-friendly” and fully informative. This site is a great resource that allows your child to learn about the world around them plus fun and interesting topics.
This site is a great resource for learning all about NASA, the space program, astronauts, and more.
Another great resource for homeschooling is Grid Club! Your child can learn from subjects including art, science, languages, health, and more through fun games and challenges. Pick a subject and start learning.
How to Homeschool: Different Approaches
It took me almost 2 years to settle into an eclectic learning method before I felt confident!
Remember, no two families are the same, no child learns the same and every family knows what works best for them. I hope this list is easy to follow and helps you find the best approach for your family.
Each of these methods is unique in its own way and you never really know what is best for you and your soon-to-be homeschoolers until you try it! So, Check out these different homeschool programs & options for learning to find the best fit for you:
#1 Project-Based Learning
Project-based learning is almost the polar opposite to the learning styles of public schools.
There are a lot of projects, and hands-on learning materials and your child really can “direct” themselves in learning about topics they choose.
When doing PBL, it is important to remember that your homeschooler is in control. Try resisting the urge to correct their projects or help when they are creating. Let them navigate the project themselves. Learn more about Project Based Learning to discover if it’s the right fit for your K-12 homeschool needs.
#2 Unit Studies
The Unit Studies approach is similar to PBL when it comes to homeschooling.
Unit Studies focus on a theme and all of the subjects are based on the chosen theme. For example, when picking a theme you would do research on the history of your particular theme, study the scientific process of it, and make a replica of it out of clay.
Unit studies really focus on your child’s interests and they are incorporated throughout the learning process.
For example, if your child loves Ninja Turtles:
- You can create a science project based on the animal characteristics of turtles
- Create math problems & equations using Ninja Turtle characters & concepts from the show
- Study the history of turtles & how they have helped society
- Read Ninja Turtle books to practice phonics & reading
Unschooling is one of the unique homeschooling programs, where your child takes the lead & learns in their daily life.
They learn things they want and create lessons from their day-to-day life. From a simple trip to the grocery store to daily chores, unschooling allows your child to explore the world around them.
It is important to note, that there must be some structure by the parent to keep your child on track with educational requirements.
#4 School at Home (School In a Box)
This is one of the more traditional approaches to homeschooling. School in a box is very similar to the public school learning style.
You can purchase a full homeschool curriculum and ready-to-complete assignments through textbooks based on grade levels. There are also many online homeschool programs that meet this criterion as well.
If you are looking for easy homeschooling options, this will provide you with everything you need to get started & ensure your child is on the right track.
The Montessori learning method is more rigorous in terms of language, numbers, and life skills.
In Montessori programs, children learn with all 5 senses. It is based on the idea of prepared environments, where children can choose from many different activities in order to learn. The program promotes discovery, self-discipline, motivation & self-starting.
Simple tasks like cleaning up after themselves or washing their own dishes teach them more independence in their daily lives. If you’re considering the Montessori approach, dive into researching this homeschooling option before you make the choice.
#6 Classical Approach
This approach teaches children to think as opposed to what to think. By focusing on critical thinking, children can practice independent thinking, grammar, and speech.
With different stages of learning, the classical approach is very rigorous and requires more formal study habits from your homeschoolers. They must also be disciplined.
#7 Eclectic Homeschooling
This approach combines the best of all styles. Eclectic homeschooling is a lot more relaxed than most methods but still maintains more structure than some.
It is almost a catch-all approach where you combine the parts you like best from each homeschooling option.
The most important tip I would offer is not to sweat the first year of homeschooling.
Your homeschool doesn’t need to replicate the classroom. Spend time teaching academics, but focus on developing character and relationships. Set the course that you want to take over the next few years with your family.
Homeschooling your kids isn’t a sprint, it’s a long-distance run and you will be so glad you chose it.
Other Fun Online Resources & Activities:
- The Best Subscription Boxes for Kids – cooking, art, science, sports & more.
- Free Disney Imagineering Course for Kids – Build your own theme park!
- Library programs for families – all free!
- Free Educational Websites for Kids to practice STEM concepts. You can find educational companies here too.
- Our favorite museums in KC
All of these top homeschool curriculum ideas have been used for years by many families.
Each program fits different families, so consider trying multiple approaches before settling on one.
When picking a curriculum, keep in mind that it’s not about the most expensive, the most elaborate, or the one with the most books. The best curriculum is one your child loves to work on, keeps them interested, and pushes them to do more! We hope this post has helped you get ready to start your homeschooling journey!
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From our family to yours, iFamilyKC