No matter if you're brand new to the homeschool world or a veteran, most of us all have the same goals in common: teach our kids useful stuff and cheaply. When they're young, so many skills are crucial, because it begins their foundation on which they can do further skills. I've modge podged some curricula together, but I was lucky enough to figure out how to do it for nearly free! Access to everything mentioned is FREE! The only purchases I made were to print, a binder and some tabs, and the paper. Here's a list of our free elementary homeschool curriculum for math and ELA!
ELA/Reading/Phonics: Core Knowledge
Grades: Preschool - 5th grade
This curriculum is beautifully done! We utilize it for our K, 1st, and 3rd graders. It's broken into two different branches: listening & learning and skills. Listening & Learning is their approach to different topics like fables, fairy tales, etc. They even use an interdisciplinary approach and mix science or social studies with it sometimes. We're currently using their 3rd Grade Human Body Unit for ELA/Reading and science! It saves you so much time!
In Kindergarten, there is heavy focus on pre-writing skills and early phonics. The twins are learning how to control their pencil movement while drawing lines, curves, tracing animals, and the such. There's no pressure on getting things right or wrong, and there's no introduction to letter writing until the 3rd Skills Unit. In their Listening & Learning units, there's no written work - just listening and talking! They have vocabulary acquisition activities, questions about the stories, big books for you to print and use, pictures for the kids, and more! We just adore it! And their phonics is simply beautiful - and not rushed at all! The twins are focusing on hearing different sounds in their daily lives before even thinking about letter sounds. We're counting out the sounds of a pencil tapping, greeting friends with good pronunciation, and the likes.
In 1st grade, we're working on building that phonics even further. Sister is working on "tricky" words, double consonants, vowel sounds, etc. There is written work in this grade, but it's very light and enjoyable! She doesn't complain a bit. We're using their Skills units more heavily, and their reading selections are easy, short, and comprehensive. She reads a short "chapter" in the student reader, answers multiple choice questions, and writes a sentence or two. There are games and activities that I modify for her and the twins to play! Their Fables unit in their Listening & Learning units was so much fun! We acted out the fables, talked about the morals of the stories, and applied them to our own lives.
In 3rd grade, I couldn't talk enough about how much I LOVE CK! Brother's work is more interdisciplinary, so we're on the "How Does the Human Body Work" unit. He's learning about his favorite subject (science) and exploring reading techniques, nonfiction skills like glossaries and text features, etc. The grammar portion is my favorite, because it doesn't assume they know more than they should. He is reviewing how to edit sentences, write paragraphs, and support his answers. The spelling words have purpose! He recently did a week on plural and singular words, both regular and irregular. It was a blast to not have to explain why he has to do them!
Supplies: I print the worksheets out weekly. There are some that don't really apply or aren't needed, so I go through the lesson plans and see which one are beneficial. I print them out, hole punch them, and stick them in their binder for the week! You could also send them to Office Depot for printing - one unit workbook is $17 double-sided. I don't print the student readers, but instead, I pull them up on the iPad or computer to use!
Math: EngageNY & Zearn
Grades: K - 5th
EngageNY is the same as the Eureka curriculum that is used in a lot of public schools today. Yes, it is common core, but with homeschooling, you're allowed to skip whichever lessons you want! Zearn is the website companion, and my kids LOVE it! It's games and interactive videos that teach the lessons. I am pleased to say.... I haven't taught math yet this year... They do the Zearn lesson, then they complete either the Problem Set pages or Homework pages. If it's a tricky lesson, we'll do both. I'll do the Problem Set along with them, and the homework pages are for independent work. And it's all FREE! I don't think I could homeschool them so easily without it. It allows us to take turns on the iPad, and I can focus one-on-one with whoever is working on the worksheets.
There's a site called EMBARC that has every resource you could think of! All of the homework & problem set sheets, tests, and more ALL ready to print! And again, because this is a free elementary curriculum, you can feel guiltless about skipping over methods you're not fond of! There are easy to use lesson plans, Youtube videos, and so many more resources out there for this curriculum!
Supplies: We print out the sheets every week (same reason as above), and I put them in their binder. We utilize an iPad for the Zearn lessons. That's it!
Finding free elementary homeschool curriculum can be a TASK! It's exhausting and heart wrenching sometimes. But I really do feel like these two curricula have made it so possible for us to do things well! You can do so much with them, and there are easy to use lesson plans ready for you! You don't have to think about much else.