Homeschooling help: 50 family Web resources
A study by the National Home Education Research Institute, NHERI, estimated the number of homeschooled students to be over 2 million in 2010. While still a less popular choice than traditional education, parents continue to move toward a more personalized, home-centered educational model.
The National Center for Education Statistics, NCES, cites the following as the top motivating factors for parents homeschooling their kids:
- The desire to provide religious or moral instruction
- Concern over the communal school environment
- Dissatisfaction with the academic instruction available at schools
Other reasons listed included student physical, mental health or special needs issues; preference for a non-traditional approach to education; or time, financial, or travel challenges.
50 top websites for homeschooling families
Tons of Web resources are out there for homeschooled students and their parents; some are free while others demand a fee. Finding one that fits your exact needs can be a tough task, but the following categorized list should give you an excellent place to start:
- Teaching aids. Not specifically for homeschooling, but useful teaching aids nonetheless
- Blogs & blogs plus. Homeschool parent or family blogs and blogs plus additional resources
- Resource guides & parent resource guides. General homeschool guides and guides compiled by parents who homeschool
- Homeschool magazines.
- Legal advocacy. Legislative and legal information
- Other. A little bit of everything else
A number of online resources offer educational games, quizzes, activities, videos, eBooks, interesting facts and printable visual aids for parents and students. Site content varies, but some offer material for specific age groups or certain academic subjects.
Blogs and blogs plus
Without a doubt, the majority of online resources are blogs written by parents who homeschool their children. From personal musings to general homeschool information, bloggers address the challenges that surround homeschooling and how each individual or family has met them.
Many of the blogs also offer product reviews, articles on different aspects of homeschooling, and links to homeschool resources and support groups:
General and parent homeschool resource guides
General resource guides provide a wealth of information about homeschooling such as articles, locating support groups or organizations in your geographical area, information about state and national conferences, and much more. Parent resource guides offer resources compiled by parents to help other families who are planning to homeschool or are homeschooling their children. Resources can include help finding homeschool materials, either to purchase or for free; reviews of homeschool products; fun and interesting educational activities; and everything you might need to know about homeschooling and where to look for guidance.
General resource guides:
Parent resource guides:
Everything Homeschooling (fee)
Online magazines with homeschooling articles, resources and more:
The following sites are primarily legal advocacy sites that keep parents current on legislative and legal issues pertaining to homeschooling; some may also provide legal representation, if necessary. Some also provide links to homeschool resources and member discounts. All charge an annual fee:
The followings sites don't fit neatly into any category, but are valuable nonetheless:
The Natural Child Project (Espouses different parenting style, which includes homeschooling.)
HomeschoolClassifieds.com (Marketplace where you can buy and sell new and used homeschool materials such as curricula and books and locate activities, events, and support groups in your area.)
California Homeschool Network (California nonprofit organization - membership fee)
Family Unschoolers Network (Maryland support group - free)
Eclectic Homeschool Online (Nevada nonprofit organization - free)
Homeschooling-ideas.com (blog from the UK)
Deciding whether or not to homeschool is a big decision. These resource sites have been developed by a variety of organizations and individuals to help parents who are trying to decide if it's the right educational strategy for their family.