How To Homeschool
Homeschooling offers parents the flexibility to choose the best educational method for their children. The spectrum of homeschooling models runs from unschooling, also called self-learning or child-led learning, to a structured "school at home" type of environment. In addition, there are many schools of thought, fostered by educators such as Raymond and Dorothy Moore, John Holt, Maria Montessori, Charlotte Mason, and many other. Explore the different methods and styles of homeschooling. You'll be inspired, intrigued, and equipped with the tools to make the best educational choices for your own family.
Methods
Homeschoolers cover an entire spectrum of different educational methods. On the one end, you have unschoolers, families that believe in self- or child-led learning. Relying on real world experiences, they learn by living. On the other end of the spectrum, you find parents who have "school at home." They may set up a classroom environment, use structured curriculums, and rely on schedules to keep things moving smoothly. And of course, there is everything in between. There are as many different ways to homeschool as there are homeschoolers. Explore the different methods, ideas, and approaches that make the homeschooling experience so rich.
Homeschool Curriculum
There is a smorgasbord of choices when deciding on curricula for your family. It is often trial and error until you find what works best for you and your child. We offer you a complete look at the curriculum choices available.
Teaching Aids
Past the basics, teaching aids, manipulaties, games, and toys can make learning more fun. There are many innovative learning tools and educational games to choose from. We've compiled many of the best here.
Testing
Testing is a requirement in many states. We make it easy to comply with testing requirements by gathering information and resources for testing services all in one place.
Online Resources
Are you looking for free worksheets? Want to find online educational games? Do you need a unit study? Here is the place to find them all. From online lesson plans to reading lists to academic and content standards, you'll find tools that will help you successfully homeschool.
What's Popular
CM-LowerEasternShoreMD
This group is for the members of the Charlotte Mason Study Group of the Lower Eastern Shore of Maryland.
Central Maryland Unschoolers
This is list for unschooling families interested in connecting with other unschoolers in DC and central Maryland (Prince George’s, Anne Arundel and surrounding counties). They have casual monthly get-togethers that offer support, conversation, socializing, and playtime for adults, teens and children.
Curriculum Wars
Online message boards and support groups are great ways for homeschooling families to share information about curriculum and teaching methods. We all like to go beyond reading the paid advertisements or professional reviews to learn from the experience of "real families." But in doing this, it's important to realize that there are as many different opinions of the best curriculum and methods as there are homeschooling families. Think of all the variations: personalities, income, number and ages ...
Unschooling Family Connection
The Unschooling Family Connection is a support group in Montgomery and Frederick Counties in Maryland. It was founded in order to to provide support for unschooling parents, along with activities, socialization, and fun for the children. They offer field trips, park days, celebrations, and online support.
Delmarva Unschoolers
Unschoolers on Marylands Eastern Shore. This is a secular discussion list and a list for posting activities and get togethers. This group focuses on communicating and getting together with other unschoolers on Delmarva for socialization, support, and information.
Catholic Home Study Service
Catholic Home Study Service (CHSS), sponsored by the Vincentian community and the Missouri Knights of Columbus, offers free courses on the Catholic Faith. Six free courses, faithful to the teachings of the Church, are available. When you request a course, you will receive a textbook and a workbook with study questions. After reading a section of the book, you can send your workbook answers to us either over the internet or by postal mail. We will make whatever corrections are necessary and answe...
Family Learning Organization Testing Services
Family Learning Organization offers standardized tests for homeschooling families. Through their Educational Assessment & Testing Service, tests may be obtained by parents to administer to their homeschooled children. Their services include standardized achievement tests (California Achievement Test, Fifth Edition), review of parent-administered assessments by a certified teacher, toll-free telephone answers to your questions about administering tests and interpreting results, and computerized s...
Homeschooling FAQ for Unschoolers in Maryland
This summary of the homeschool laws and climate in Maryland is geared towards unschoolers.
Appalachian Regional Cooperative
Appalachian Regional Cooperative is an inclusive group of homeschoolers in Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
Delaware Classical Home Educators Network Discussion Group
This is discussion loop is intended as an on-line extension of the classical network group forming in the DE-MD-NJ-PA area. This group is for those following the classical homeschooling education model, such as described in "The Well Trained Mind" (Jessie Wise and Susan Bauer) or similar method.
Charlotte Mason Group for Fruity Catholics
Fruity Catholics are Catholics who are doing their best to practice the Fruits of the Holy Spirit, especially Charity. This group discusses the Charlotte Mason philosophy of homeschooling from a Catholic perspective.
Baltimore County Virtual Instruction Program (BCVIP)
The Baltimore County Virtual Instruction Program (BCVIP) provides a new form of public school program that students can attend from home. This program is a unique in that it combines strong parental involvement, the expertise and accountability of publicly funded education, and the flexibility of online classes. BCVIP is a special full-time virtual pilot program developed by the Baltimore County Public Schools (BCPS) in partnership with Connections Academy. BCVIP serves students in grades K–12 w...
Seton Home Study School
Seton Home Study School offers K-12 curriculum, textbooks, special needs counseling, testing services, and more.
Howard County Home Educators (e-HCHE)
Howard County Home Educators is a network of homeschoolers in Howard County, Maryland. The majority of the members live in the Columbia, Clarksville, Ellicott City areas. Provides support, information, cooperative learning experiences, homeschooling advocacy, newsletter, and friendship.
Lisa Nolan Montessori
Montessori for the Earth offers affordable on-line Montessori and homeschool programs and ebooks for parents, homeschool, teachers, and aides by a certified Montessori teacher. Their Montessori on-line Distance Learning programs are designed for parents and homeschoolers, teachers and assistants, educators, administrators, and college students who want to learn about (or review) Montessori education and curriculum so they can incorporate it into their home, classroom, or college studies.
Resources
Teach Me to Do It Myself: Montessori Activities for You and Your Child
Based on the key Montessori principle that children learn best through active experience, Teach Me to Do It Myself presents simple activities through which children explore and develop their skills. These skill areas include sensory perceptions, body coordination, language, understanding of numbers, and movement. This practical, color-illustrated parenting book is filled with activities and instructions for overseeing children as they carry out a variety of learning activities. Most activities will seem simple to parents, because once mastered, adults perform them automatically. However, toddlers experience a sense of accomplishment and self-worth when they learn to perform them independently. The many activities start with dressing and personal hygiene, then go on to include . . .
  • Pouring activities
  • Threading and sewing activities
  • Peg activities
  • Cutting with scissors
  • Sorting activities by touch
  • A color matching game
  • Making musical scales with bottles and water
  • Using alphabet tiles to make words
  • Growing things in a window box
  • Making finger puppetsActivities are described in detail and include checklists of needed items, as well as variations and related activities for children to try.
  • Greenleaf Press
    Greenleaf Press is a small family-owned and operated publisher and supplier of quality books for children. They are committed to "twaddle-free", living books, and approach teaching history to children using biography and chronology. You will find sections in the catalog covering each major historical period in order, with a variety of biographies, reference books, and historical fiction. For Israel, Egypt, Greece, Rome, the Middle Ages, and the Renaissance and Reformation there are Greenleaf Study Guides and Greenleaf Study Packages.
    Idea Book For Cuisenaire Rods At The Intermediate Level
    Grades 2-5. Idea Book designed for use with Cuisenaire Rods.
    Smart Mouth
    Ages: 8 years and up; For 2 or more players

    Smart Mouth is a quick-thinking shout-it-out hilarious word game that helps build vocabulary skills. It includes variations of the rules for category play and for younger players. Players slide the Letter Getter forward and back to get two letters. The first player to shout out a word of five or more letters using those letters wins the round. The game includes tips for teachers. This is a fun game to play with children and adults together.

    A Reason For® Spelling
    A Reason For® Spelling combines the latest research on how children learn to spell with all the strengths of traditional programs. It teaches highfrequency base words, plus hundreds of other word forms. Values-based stories set the theme each week and help make spelling fun. You'll find product information about A Reason For® Spelling here.
    Montessori Play And Learn : A Parent's Guide to Purposeful Play from Two to Six
    We all want the best possible starts in life for our children, and one of the best possible starts in life, educationally, is the "method" pioneered by Maria Montessori and taught successfully today throughout the world.

    Now, Lesley Britton, the leading Montessori practitioner in England for more than twenty years, will show parents how to bring Montessori home. If you would like to facilitate the development of your child's unique personality, make it possible for him to develop to his full intellectual capacity, and help him become socially and emotionally well adjusted, then this is the book for you.

    Montessori Play and Learn is packed with ideas, activities, and games that can fit into your normal routine and help supplement preschool learning for your child. For planning your home, introducing your child to the supermarket or the neighborhood, and helping him discover other people and cultures, this book provides valuable tips and insights that help parents and children grow and learn together.
    -- Create hundreds of learning opportunities from everyday life
    -- Learn dozens of games and activities to help prepare children for mathematics, reading, science, and writing
    -- Make your home environment as stimulating for your child as the best Montessori preschool.
    Rhythms of Learning : What Waldorf Education Offers Children, Parents & Teachers (Vista Series, V. 4) (Vista Series, V. 4)
    In numerous lectures and through teaching teachers for the first Waldorf school, Rudolf Steiner described and suggested methods of education based on the rhythmic unfolding of spirit, soul, and physiology in children as they grow. In each section of "Rhythms of Learning," Waldorf teacher Roberto Trostli introduces the reader to lectures on specific aspects of children's rhythms of development and how Waldorf education responds. We are shown how Waldorf teachers must, through their own inner capacities and awareness, learn to recognize and meet each new stage of development in children as they unfold new capacities on every level of their being.

    This collection is the clearest introduction to the ideas of Waldorf education currently available. "Rhythms of Learning" contains Steiner's most important lectures on teaching and child development. It is an excellent resource for everyone interested in taking education successfully into the 21st century.

    Drawn Into the Heart of Reading
    Drawn Into the Heart of Reading was developed for use with students of multiple ages at the same time, perfect for the homeschooling family. It is designed for use as an entire reading program or as a supplement to an existing program for students in grades 2-8.
    KONOS
    KONOS offers unit studies for homeschoolers, with a focus on character building and the study of history.
    Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling
    This radical treatise on public education has been a New Society Publishers' bestseller for 10 years! Thirty years of award-winning teaching in New York City's public schools led John Gatto to the sad conclusion that compulsory governmental schooling does little but teach young people to follow orders as cogs in the industrial machine. In celebration of the ten-year anniversary of Dumbing Us Down and to keep this classic current, we are renewing the cover art, adding new material about John and the impact of the book, and a new Foreword.
    Beautiful Feet Books
    Beautiful Feet Books publishes Rea Berg's "History Through Literature" study guides. They offer fine children's literature, including the D'Aulaire biographies and Genevieve Foster's "World" titles. This is a great resource for anyone wishing to utilize an approach that studies history through literature.
    Secret of Childhood
    Maria Montessori describes the child with warmth and the exactness of a scientist. She also discusses the array of materials and techniques needed to release his learning potential.
    Easy Grammar Systems
    Easy Grammar Systems publishes the Easy Grammar and Daily Grams teaching texts for use through high school. Students use a “hands on” approach (deleting/marking) and learn correct usage and why that usage is appropriate. Review and using information previously learned to teach new concepts help to insure mastery learning. This method is both easy to teach and easy to learn.
    Alpha-Phonics
    Alpha Phonics is a primer for beginning readers. It features 128 self-explanatory lessons, printed in large, clear calligraphy suitable for beginning readers. You'll find product information about Alpha-Phonics here.
    Montessori Life

    Designed to provoke thought, professional growth and provide a forum for discussion of major issues & ideas in education.
    Progeny Press Study Guides for Literature
    Progeny Press study guides include vocabulary exercises, comprehension, analysis, and application questions, introduction of literary terms, background information, discussion of related Biblical themes, suggestions for activities related to the reading, a complete answer key, and more. These are some of the titles available (grade range is in parentheses):
    Montessori International
    Montessori International is the magazine for all parents and teachers. Montessori International magazine is a high quality colour education magazine with a Montessori focus and a truly child-centred approach. The magazine is for Montessori parents, nursery owners, teachers, and students with an interest in Montessori education.
    Learning Adventures
    Each book in the Learning Adventures series covers skills and concepts for grades 4-8, with a history-based approach. Each contains a year's worth of lesson plans in a daily format. All subjects except math are covered.
    English from the Roots Up
    English from the Roots Up explores the Latin and Greek roots of words. Many people haven't realized how valuable the Latin and Greek vocabulary is in the formulation of the finely structured English vocabulary of today. Even learning a few Latin and Greek root words gets you hooked and you want to learn more. Why? Because you can move from "what words mean" to "why words mean"&mdashin short, a thinking vocabulary. You'll find product information here.
    The Complete Home Learning Source Book : The Essential Resource Guide for Homeschoolers, Parents, and Educators Covering Every Subject from Arithmetic to Zoology
    This ambitious reference guide lives up to its name. Practically three inches thick--and we're not talking large print here--it's packed with titles, ordering information, and Web site addresses. From where to send away for a kit to make your own Chilean rain stick to how to order a set of Elizabethan costume paper dolls, the book connects families to a world of learning possibilities. Book titles, short synopses, authors' names, publishers, and years of print make up the bulk of the guide. Classics such as The Cat in the Hat and Curious George share billing with lesser-known titles like Stone Fox, the story of a legendary Indian dog-sled racer. Every entry appears with recommended ages and an icon that shows whether the item is a book, computer disc, or video; an outstretched palm denotes hands-on materials. Most of the resources seem to have been test-driven by the author and her three homeschooled sons. Rebecca Rupp, a former scientist who has been teaching her kids at home for more than 10 years, peppers the guide with anecdotes about her children's experiences in various subject areas, much of it drawn from the family's extensive journals. Along with books, magazines, and kits for reading, math, writing, science, and history, a considerable amount of space is given to computer and television resources, as well as "life skills," a broad category that includes everything from etiquette and carpentry to sewing and sex education. Like a Yellow Pages guide to knowledge, The Complete Home Learning Sourcebook belongs on the shelf of anyone looking for new ways to spark a child's imagination. --Jodi Mailander Farrell
    Children at Play : Using Waldorf Principles to Foster Childhood Development
    Children at Play is an insightful exploration into the world of children's play and its tremendous significance in the shaping of each child's humanity. A mother and proponent of Rudolf Steiner's Waldorf system of education, author Heidi Britz-Crecelius offers practical suggestions and an up-to-date list of resources for today's families.
    Total Language Plus
    Total Language Plus is an innovative curriculum focused on teaching thinking and communication skills using literature as a base. The authors believe an integrated system is more efficient than a fragmented approach, discovery style learning is the most effective and learning should be enjoyable. The "discover, do, drill" method is employed throughout the TLP program with activities focusing on thinking skills. These comprehensive novel studies cover spelling, grammar, punctuation, vocabulary, analytical and critical thinking, comprehension, writing, listening, and field trips and projects.
    Maria Montessori: Her Life and Work
    Maria Montessori is important background reading for parents considering Montessori education for their children, as well as for those training to become Montessori teachers. The first woman to win a degree as a Doctor of Medicine in Italy in 1896, Maria Montessori's mission to improve children's education began in the slums of Rome in 1907, and continued throughout her lifetime. Her insights into the minds of children led her to develop prepared environments and other tools and devices that have come to characterize Montessori education today. Her influence in other countries has been profound and many of her teaching methods have been adopted by educators generally. Part biography and part exposition of her ideas, this engaging book reveals through her letters and personal diaries Maria Montessori's humility and delight in the success of her educational experiments and is an ideal introduction to the principals and practices of the greatest educational pioneer of the 20th century.
    The new introduction to Maria Montessori: Her Life and Work by Lee Havis, executive director of the International Montessori Society, discusses the changes that have taken place in Montessori education within recent years.
    An updated appendix of Montessori periodicals, courses, societies, films, and teaching materials.
    A revised bibliography of books by and about Maria Montessori.
    Discovery of the Child
    Maria Montessori went beyond the conventions of the day to seek a new way of knowing and loving a child. In THE DISCOVERY OF THE CHILD, she describes the nature of the child and her method of working more fully with the child's urge to learn. With 16 pages of photographs.
    Create! Press
    Create! Press carries creative approaches to teaching creative writing and composition. Their products include the Create-A-Story game, Writing Adventures, Stepping Stones, and more.
    Freedom and Beyond (Innovators in Education)
    John Holt looks at the role that schooling in society plays in education.
    LeapPad Game - Mind Wars Jr. Interactive Game
    Bring a friend and try this brand new way to play with your LeapPad! Race around the board in this fast-paced, wonderfully wacky game. Be the first to close all five windows and you will become the Mind Wars master and learn important 1st and 2nd grade skills in math, language arts, life science, physical science, and social studies!
    Noah Webster's Reading Handbook
    This is the historic text (originally called the Blue-Backed Speller) that has been updated to teach phonics/beginning reading. The blends and words in this reader are arranged to correlate with the sequence in which the special phonics sounds are taught. This reader is an invaluable teaching tool for children who need extra practice in the application of phonics rules. Find out more here.
    Learning Language Arts Through Literature
    Learning Language Arts Through Literature is a fully integrated language arts program that teaches grammar, reading, spelling, vocabulary, writing mechanics, creative writing, thinking skills and more.
    Kinder Dolls: A Waldorf Doll-Making Handbook
    This comprehensive guide for beginners and experienced doll makers shows how to create many different kinds of handcrafted dolls from natural materials. Handmade dolls with their simplicity of expression and design leave children’s imaginations free, rather than being confined by perfectly finished dolls made of artificial materials. Instead, these dolls encourage the magic of creative play and bring children the gift of imagination in which they see themselves as “makers.”

    Included are:
    · Ten designs, including soft, baggy, angel, pouch, sack, and limbed dolls
    · Twelve basic clothes patterns and ethnic variations
    · Tools, techniques, and materials
    · Safety guidelines and sewing methods
    · Recycling tips and where to get materials

    Featured Resources

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    Life in America
    Life in America was designed by home schooling parents to meet the needs of families. Features unit studies in a box, with all resource material supplied.
    Miserly Moms: Living on One Income in a Two-Income Economy
    Save Thousands of Dollars a Year Jonni McCoy and her family are proof that you live on one income. The McCoys made a successful transition from two incomes to one while living in one of the most expensive parts of America: the San Francisco Bay Area...
    100+ New Jersey Drivers Licensing Exam Facts That You Need To Know: Quick Review for the Written Test
    Prepare for the New Jersey's Driver's Written Exam. Know the 100+ important facts for the test. Be prepared to ace the exam!
    Greenleaf Press
    Greenleaf Press is a small family-owned and operated publisher and supplier of quality books for children. They are committed to "twaddle-free", living books, and approach teaching history to children using biography and chronology. You will find sec...
    Considering God's Creation
    Life science truly comes alive with this 270-page lap-book style notebook for 2nd-7th graders. A Charlotte Mason type discovery approach is easily implemented with creative activities, music and topical Bible studies, making this program a perfect ch...