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June 29, 2009 - by Terri Johnson, author of Homeschooling ABCs ( ) - dedicated to helping new homeschoolers gain the confidence and the necessary skills to successfully teach their children at home.

5 Must-Have, No-Cost Resources for Homeschooling

This past year has not been an easy one for many Americans, that’s for sure. With businesses downsizing and laying off staff, many loyal employees find themselves out of work. With the bursting of the real estate bubble, many hard-working homeowners find themselves in a house they can no longer afford to keep and yet can neither afford to sell. We live in hard times, but often it is these very hard times that generate the most creative thinking. As they say… Necessity is the mother of invention. I believe that was first spoken by Plato. Or you could say... “Invention is the mother of necessity.” Thorstein Veblen, the author of that quote, was a U.S. economist and social philosopher who lived during the latter portion of the 19th century until the Great Depression. He lived in times not unlike our own. Swift change can cause turmoil.

So, if invention and creativity is spurred on by necessity or difficulty (and vice versa), then now is a great time to look for and use no-cost resources that will serve us well during this economic downturn.

There are many of you who cannot afford homeschooling curriculum this year. Does that mean that you should put your children into public school? No, what it means is that it is time to get creative, even inventive, when it comes to our children’s education.

And this is your place to start. I am going to share with you my top 5 “must-have” homeschooling resources that won’t cost you a dime. Bookmark each of these sites and refer to them often as you prepare and teach your children during this upcoming school year.

Top 5 Must-Have No-Cost Homeschooling Resources

(These are not listed in any particular order because they are all good! Bookmark or sign up for them all!)

Jim Erskine’s Freebie of the Day - If you are not aware of this site, then I am excited to share it with you. Jim works with homeschool publishers to provide you with 1 freebie each day. The link to the freebie is only active for 24 hours, so you have to act fast, but these are quality offerings and not just filler junk. Trust me, I have participated in this program and we have given away a full U.S. geography curriculum on one occasion and another full ebook on another occasion. Other publishers are doing the same thing. So sign up using the “Join List” tab at the top of the page.

The Old Schoolhouse’s Teacher Toolbox - Most of you are probably aware of their Freebie Friday newsletter (if you are not, then sign up for that one as well). But the Teacher Toolbox newsletter is a lesser known treasure. The Teacher's Toolbox is a great way to inject something extra into your teaching plans especially when you are homeschooling on a shoestring.

The Homeschool Mom Unit Studies - Actually, the entire Homeschool Mom site is a gem and you should spend some time there getting familiarized with it and find out what it has to offer. But I specifically highlighted the unit study page because unit studies are a great way to homeschool your children especially if you are working with limited funds. You can teach them all the same topic but at varying levels. You can often utilize library books and online information resources - all for free.  Make sure that you sign up for her newsletter!  When you do, you will receive a free state unit study. 

Donna Young Printables and Resources - Yes, this site is a treasure trove of lessons, planners and forms. There is a form for everything you could ever need. I especially like her diplomas! If you are looking for a specific form, a planner or a lesson for a certain subject, make sure that you check here! Donna Young has so many useful forms and resources that you will think you have hit the jackpot.

Homeschooling ABCs Free 5 Day MiniClass - Sometimes when you are throwing it all together yourself and not using pre-made curriculum, you can start to wonder if you are on the right track. Worry no longer… sign up for the free 5 day mini-class at the site above and receive information on:

     * What to Teach and When
     * 4 Steps to Homeschooling Success
     * Homeschooling on a Dime
     * Getting the Help You Need
     * Planning and Scheduling

There you go - 5 “Must-Have” No-Cost Resources for Homeschooling. Take advantage of them. Let them be the fuel that starts your creative engine and keeps it going strong. My hope and prayer for you is that you have NOT been hit hard by this financial mess our country has found itself in. But if you have been, then look for the silver lining amongst the gray clouds. As Patti Handy says, “Don’t let a good financial crisis go to waste.” (


Terri Johnson
Bramley Books®, a division of
Knowledge Quest, Inc.

One of our readers writes...

"Terri, Thank you so much for the 5 Must-Have No-Cost Resources for Homeschooling article  Ive been homeschooling for going on 7 years and am thrilled to be introduced to these resources  What a gift!"  Kim

Terri Johnson, along with her husband Todd, has been teaching their children at home for 13 years. They also run a publishing company - Knowledge Quest, Inc. - producing history and geography materials for the homeschool marketplace. This past year, they have started two online classes - Homeschooling ABCs ( - dedicated to helping new homeschoolers gain the confidence and the necessary skills to successfully teach their children at home; and Upper Level Homeschool ( - encouraging and equipping homeschooling parents to stay the course even when their teen enter high school and to finish the race strong.

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