Sunday, August 26, 2018

9 Most Helpful Free Online Resources for Homeschoolers

We are still doing independent homeschooling and Theo is now in Grade 8. Almost all of the materials we use are from free online resources.

The first time we went semi-independent was when Theo was in Grade 4. Although he was still enrolled at CFA that time, we availed the Track B that they offered for homeschoolers, where the parent-teacher would be the one to choose the books that the student would use and make his/her own lesson plans, exams and activities.

Free Online Resources for Homeschoolers
What I did was we bought the books from the same publishers that CFA was using. After the school year was over, I realized that we barely used most of those books. The only book that we were able to fully utilize was the Math textbook (21st Century Mathematics 4). This only meant that textbooks were not effective for our style of homeschooling.

Over the years, I have been experimenting on what works best for both Theo and me.  Since I am also a work-at-home-mom, I have to make sure that Theo makes progress with his lessons while I am able to continue working. Let me share here what we have come up so far.

Free Online Resources for Homeschoolers that were Most Helpful for Theo

  1. Master Math

    Free Online Resources for Homeschool Math - Grades 6, 7, 8 - Master Math
    Photo credit:

    The curriculum on this site is basically what we have been using and depending on for Theo's Math subject since Grade 6. The site covers Middle School Math which includes Grades 6, 7 and 8. What I like about it is that the lessons are divided into four quarters, just like in a regular school curriculum. After finishing one quarter, it gives us (Theo and me) a feeling that we have made progress and then, we can move forward to the next quarter. Each quarter contains about 8 to 10 lessons and each lesson includes:
    • video - Stan Lisle, a former Middle School Math teacher who is also the creator of Master Math, is the one teaching on the videos. He explains the concepts very well and on the video itself, gives the students a chance to practice each concept by asking them to pause the video while they try a problem. Then, they can play it again and Stan tells them if their answer is correct and shows them how he solved it. Although Theo loves Stan and how he teaches, Theo thinks that Stan sounds sleepy because of his low voice. But that's alright with Theo because generally, the videos do not really make him sleepy.
    • printable worksheet - This had been very helpful to us because it was how I could gauge if Theo understood the concepts. There were still instances when I needed to explain to him further and give some more examples to practice.
    • answer key for the worksheet - There are some items in the answer keys that have errors. Theo would easily complain when he was sure he answered correctly and the answer key had a different answer. I would check and do my own solution and sometimes Theo was right.
    • an online quiz complete with solutions - Theo and I had an agreement that if his score on the worksheet was less than 85%, he needed to do the online quiz. This motivated him to do well because doing the quiz meant it would take him longer to do the lesson. Thankfully, it was only very seldom that he got scores less than 85%.
    • 'cool' link to another site that supplements the lesson for more practice and further discussion of the concept - We usually did not need to use this because Stan's explanation on the video was always enough to understand the concepts.
    • printable Note-Taking Format (NTF) Adobe pdf file - Students can print this before watching the video, and as they watch, they can use it to take down notes to help them remember the concepts. Although some may find this helpful, the videos were enough for Theo.

  2. Khan Academy

    Free Online Resources for Homeschool Math
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    Before we found out about Master Math, this was what we used as a supplement to the 21st Century Mathematics textbook. Compared to Stan, Sal Khan (founder of Khan Academy) is a little bit more lively on his videos and Theo sometimes finds him funny. Occasionally, we still use this site as reference for Math, Science and Computer Programming. I believe Khan Academy is very helpful to homeschoolers, but Master Math's structure had proven to be more beneficial to us. Also, Master Math's printed worksheet seemed to work best for Theo compared to Khan Academy's online exercises.

  3. Math Antics

    Free Online Resources for Homeschool Math - Math Antics
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    Theo enjoyed Math Antics' videos the most because they are very entertaining. Theo used to watch both a Master Math video and a Math Antics video discussing the same lesson not because he did not understand the former, but because he simply enjoyed the latter.

  4. Daily Grammar

    Free Online Resources for Homeschool English - Daily Grammar
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    This site was very useful to us because each lesson is simple and short, with just enough exercises and quizzes after each lesson.  It covers the most important grammar lessons such as the 8 parts of speech, the parts of the sentence and the mechanics of grammar that includes capitalization and punctuation. 

  5. Quipper School

    Free Online Resources for Homeschool - DepED Curriculum on QUIPPER
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    Now that we are targeting the Philippine Educational Placement Test (PEPT) next year, I needed to make sure that we cover all the topics that are included in the test for Grade 8 so that Theo will be eligible for Grade 9. Quipper School makes this goal possible for us because its ready-made lessons and assessments for each grade level are aligned with DepEd’s K-12 curriculum.

    Quipper School has both a Teacher Portal and a Student Portal. We mommy teachers can make an account for ourselves on the Teacher Portal and make another account/accounts for our child/children on the Student Portal.

    On the Teacher Portal, there is a Curriculum tab where we can choose a course/category. In our case, I chose Junior High School. It then shows all the major subjects for Grades 7 to 10, which are Math, Science, English, Filipino and Araling Panlipunan. These subjects are the exact same ones included in the PEPT!

    It is actually very convenient for me and Theo. We moms can make a "class" and list our child/children in that class. A class code is generated by Quipper and we can give that code to our children and make them join that class once they log in to their Student Portal account. We can make assignments for them based on the available lessons, complete with a ready-made quiz at the end of each lesson. We can specify the duration of the assignment and once we submit it, it is automatically sent to the students in the class and they can see it in real-time.

    The lessons are brief and concise, and therefore not so taxing for the students. I asked Theo how many lessons he can do per session. He committed to doing at least 3 lessons per subject per day. We usually do 3 subjects per day, so that's a total of 9 lessons per day, minimum. He usually starts after 11 AM and ends before 5 PM, with lunch in between. There are days, though that we do not have lessons due to extra-curricular activities. I believe we will be able to cover all lessons before Theo takes the PEPT after his 14th birthday next year. For Math, Theo has already finished Master Math's Grade 8 curriculum but we are using Quipper as a review for some topics.

    All of these features that I mentioned can be accessed for free. However, Quipper offers Quipper School Premium for a fee where teachers can avail of additional features that include downloadable PDF lessons with a set of questions for each lesson.


    Free Online Resources for Homeschool Computer Programming at
    Photo credit: code.ort
    This site is particularly useful to students who are interested in computer science. I think Theo used this when he was in Grade 5 but it has courses for Grades 6 to 12 as well as for those who are already in college. I believe it has helped him a lot, especially in developing his logical and algorithmic skills. Now, he is a very good programmer and we are in the process of completing our first mobile app, all the codes of which were written by Theo.

  7. Easy Peasy All-in-One Homeschool

    Free Online Resources for Homeschool - Easy Peasy All-In-One Homeschool
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    This is an all-free complete curriculum from Pre-School to Grade 8. They have a separate site for High School here. Although Theo and I are not using this site so much, some of you might find it useful.

  8. K-12 DepED Curriculum Guides

    Free Online Resources for Homeschool DepED K-12 Curriculum Guides
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    For independent homeschoolers who are planning to take the PEPT, it is important that we know the topics covered by the curriculum for each subject on the grade level that we will be testing for. This link provides downloadable curriculum guides per subject for Kinder up to Grade 12. It is not, however, taken from the official DepED website because as of this writing, the DepED site seems to be undergoing maintenance and most of the links there are broken. The guides are also particularly helpful for independent homeschooling parents who prefer to follow the Philippine/DepED curriculum, whether or not their children are going to take the PEPT or not.

  9. Alternative Learning System (ALS) Modules and Reviewers

    Photo credit: FB / ALS Calauag

    For independent homeschoolers who are planning to take the ALS Accreditation and Equivalency (A&E) Test, there are lots of reviewers that can be found online. The passers of the A&E Test that the DepED will give this year (most likely in October, 2018) will be the last batch that can enroll  straight to college. After this batch, ALS Modules will be revised to align them with the K-12 curriculum. 

    Here are some of the free online resources that were helpful to Theo in passing the ALS A&E Test last November 2017 (he got an overall score of 91.25%):
UPDATE: Someone just recently suggested this site to me — it's called Dad' Do check it out as well because I think it is also another great math resource site that can help in your homeschooling journey.

1 comment:

  1. Million thanks.... Frustrated with my child's current curriculum.


About the Author

Our Family | mamagoals.comJust call me MamaFel. I'm from the Philippines and I'm a work-at-home mom, homeschooling my 15-year-old son. I've been married to a faithful husband for 26 years now. This is my story.