Curriculum Resources, Vendors, and Classes
Links are provided for each resource.
Our homeschool families recommend the following resources based on their personal experiences.
Story of the World is by far the most popular and well-regarded history program chosen by our homeschool families. Story of the World is part of Susan Wise Bauer's "Well Trained Mind," curriculum and offers a history program that your family can fall in love with. Story of the World is for elementary ages, while History of the World expands the program into High School ages. Even if your family is choosing another curriculum, these books bring to life history and are highly recommended as a supplement to any homeschool program.
The Well-Trained Mind website provides extensive resources, articles, books, and materials to ensure that your children receive the absolute best education possible. I strongly encourage all families to peruse the guidance available at this site.
For local classes, co-ops, and other homeschool-related activities like field trips, park days, learning centers, and more be sure to search Facebook for "Homeschool Groups in My Area."
Outschool has become a great resource for homeschoolers. Live online classes are offered on virtually every topic imaginable. Be sure to check each teacher's introduction video and reviews to make sure you find the best fit. Many courses are offered on a per-class basis so that you may shop around to find the right courses and teachers for each of your students.
ORANGE COUNTY LIVE AND LOCAL RESOURCES:
Under Pressure Homework Help local South Orange County tutoring and teaching center opened and operated by veteran teacher extraordinaire Ginny Villa and her amazing staff of hand-selected tutors. The center offers personalized teaching for homeschoolers of any age with tutoring support in all subjects. Ms. Villa has created a fabulous environment to foster students' love of learning and achievement of personal goals.
Urban Workshop: Real Tools, Real Projects! These 12-week courses give students probably their only opportunity to work in an "Industrial Arts" type, old school shop and offer multiple courses, levels, and media with which to work from woodworking, metal fabrication, electronics, silkscreening, sewing, and much, much more. Classes in Costa Mesa, Orange County. I'm so excited about this place!
C3C Classes are offered in South Orange County and provide homeschoolers opportunities to participate in collaborative, hands-on activities, with an emphasis on developing critical thinking skills. Highly organized schedules are published in advance.
Orange Coast Musical Arts homeschool music program has grown to include beginning through advanced levels of band, a marching band, drumline, orchestra, choral music, and lessons in many instruments.
Mission: Renaissance Fine Arts Classes for children and youth in studios throughout California and Texas.
Click here to find a studio near you.
Sandy's Art Studio is a local treasure in San Clemente, CA. Sandy has worked with students privately and in school settings.
ArtventureOC studio fine art classes for children, youth, and adults in Aliso Viejo, CA.
The Good and the Beautiful offers a complete and engaging faith-based curriculum that connects children to the good and the beautiful in life. Students and parents love this well-organized and interesting curriculum. The Good and the Beautiful makes homeschooling less overwhelming and less time-consuming for both the student and the instructor while maintaining high academic standards. Affordable resources of the highest quality, make homeschooling economical and accessible. Pick and choose resources or order a complete curriculum. Outstanding.
Sonlight has a long-standing reputation for excellence in Christian homeschool education offering a literature-based, complete curriculum-in-a-box for all grades.
PowerHomeschool delivers courses through video-based instruction with top-drawer teachers providing lively lessons. The program includes practice work, extra help videos and resources, mastery-based learning where students must demonstrate competency before moving on, review and exams, automatic grading, and reporting. $25/month for up to 7 classes. No long-term contract is required. This is an outstanding option for families seeking to plug into a high-quality online program with easy navigation.
Time 4 Learning offers a comprehensive homeschool secular curriculum for grades pre-k through 12. Very affordable and easy to start! Time4Learning's website is full of helpful hints, guidance for California homeschoolers, and even groups to meet up with. Gets better each year.
IXL is another online full curriculum offering all grade levels, diagnostics, and analytics. However, instruction is limited so this provider is best for reviewing and keeping skills sharp. Reasonable prices; skills linked to 40+ textbooks.
Alpha Omega, a leading Christian academic publisher, now offers an excellent fully online curriculum through its Monarch program. Affordable excellence with a 30-day free trial, outstanding academics, automatic grading and feedback, and dynamic, media-rich lessons.
The Kahn Academy offers free online video lessons and tutorials in a wide range of high school subjects, especially in math and sciences. Donations are appreciated so that these great courses may continue.
Study.com is a fee-based, multi-media program offering comprehensive courses broken into brief 7-12 minute video lessons. Videos are fast-paced but come with a written transcript. Quizzes are available.
Easy Peasy All-in-One is a free Christian curriculum provided online for pre-k through grade 12.
ABCmouse provides a complete online curriculum for students in grades in pre-k through grade 8 with monthly fees as low as $9.95 and 30-day free trials.
COURSES FOR GIFTED AND HIGH ACHIEVING STUDENTS:
Stanford Online High School and Middle School courses are available as single courses in a wide variety of subjects and academic levels.
Athena's Academy gives gifted and talented students the opportunity to connect with like-minded peers, who share their passions and curiosities, through weekly webinars and online activities. Course offerings include English, History, Science, and Foreign Language.
Online G3 provides classes for gifted middle and high school students that include a weekly live and interactive component. Courses may be chosen individually, by semester.
Open Tent Academy (OTI) is a consortium of instructors who offer homeschooling students an array of amazing classes. OTI courses offer a "live" component to instruction so that students may interact with each other and the teachers. Parents may choose one stand-alone class or an entire curriculum.
Mr. D Math Live provides online and live math courses and tutoring for middle and high school students.
High School Math Live! offers live math courses (as the name implies) as well as self-paced independent study courses. All courses have math teachers who assign and grade work and provide testing and tutoring.
Math U See is an extremely popular and successful math program offering a unique approach to math education that is mastery-based and student-paced.
Singapore Math Singapore Math is a highly effective teaching approach based on research of math mastery in Singapore, which consistently ranks at the top in international math testing.
Key-To Math Series provides a step-by-step, visual approach to teaching math concepts. Topics are covered in self-paced workbooks, each encouraging children to tackle these subject areas in as much depth as they can, rather than working strictly within the confines of an age-graded math program.
Miquon Math is a hands-on curriculum for early grades that helps students actively explore math and learn by doing.
SCIENCE AND TECH:
My Fun Science! Yay! Finally, a live, online science, math, and tech vendor with exciting and interesting classes at all grade levels. A truly STEAM approach, including art, engineering, and graphic design, among traditional high school course offerings.
KiwiCo Science, Geography, Maker, Art, and more...Activities and projects delivered to your door based on your child's age and interest. These are terrific!
Code.org is committed to the premise that every child should have the opportunity to master computer science. Learn to code at home with this engaging and 100% FREE program. Many courses and levels. Learn to Code!
ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS:
The Institute of Reading Development was founded in 1970 and has been a premier provider of reading instruction ever since. IRD offers reading programs for every grade level that combine reading fluency, comprehension, vocabulary and writing development with live online instruction and independent practice using outstanding novels for each session. Four school-year sessions, as well as summer sessions, are offered at each grade level. A top pick of mine...personally!
Write at Home offers a variety of online writing and literature courses for students in grades five through twelve. Teachers provide instruction, grade and give feedback on written work, and work with students through multiple submissions.
Mrs. Gaspar's personal favorite Amazon booklist for students and parents.
Teaching Methods & Guidance
Charlotte Mason offers a three-pronged approach to education. In Charlotte's own words, “Education is an Atmosphere, a Discipline, a Life.” The method utilizes real, living books rather than textbooks and approaches the education of the child holistically. A very popular homeschooling method; Christian-based but used in secular homes as well.
Classical Education based on, "The Well-Trained Mind," by Susan Wise Bauer, provides a comprehensive guide to a rigorous classical education for grades primary through high school. Start with the Story of the World series and activities, maintain timelines, include classic literature and copy work, and your children will be off to a great start.
Thomas Jefferson Education or TJED is a form of Classical Education that considers the developmental stages of learning and applies the 7 Keys of Great Teaching to provide maximum inspiration, engagement, and a lifelong love of learning. The steps are simple, but the outcomes are profound.
Waldorf Learning is based on the curriculum developed by Rudolf Steiner who felt that the best liberal arts education would "weave the lively arts through all subjects," stimulating imaginations colorfully and creatively, inspiring and making learning memorable.
The Montessori Method, developed by Dr. Maria Montessori, is a child-centered educational approach wherein the child is seen as one who is naturally eager for knowledge and capable of initiating learning in a supportive, thoughtfully prepared learning environment. Because a hallmark of the method is students of different ages being grouped together, homeschooling true to the method is not without its challenges.
Unschooling is also known as natural, interest-led, and child-led learning. Unschoolers learn from everyday life experiences and do not use school schedules or formal lessons. Instead, unschooled children follow their interests and learn in much the same way as adults do--by pursuing an interest or curiosity.
Be sure to connect with other homeschooling families near you. Park days, field trips, group activities, co-op groups, and so many other wonderful resources may be found by searching for Facebook "homeschool groups near me" where ever you are located.
Encouraging Moms at Home offers lots of helpful advice and ideas for families, including but not limited to great homeschooling support, lessons and activities, Charlotte Mason methods, and homeschool notebooking .
Hip Homeschool Moms (and Dads too!) A blog full of ideas for homeschooling all ages.
Homeschool Creations' goal is to provide families with resources in the education journey, lots of free printables, and encouragement for families– whether homeschooling or not. Fantastic resources for planning with colorful, well-organized printable planners and a wide variety of tips and techniques to make your homeschooling adventure a success.
The California Homeschool Network (CHN) is a non-profit organization created by and for homeschooling families in California. The organization provides a wealth of online resources at its website, sets up an annual Homeschool Expo in June with vendor booths, informational sessions, and an inclusive high school graduation ceremony. A directory of local area contacts helps new families connect with other homeschoolers in their area.
The Homeschool Association of California (HSC) is a non-profit volunteer-operated organization for homeschooling families throughout the state. HSC issues a monthly newsletter, maintains legislative and legal teams, has an extensive website, and also has area contacts in each county. An annual conference is organized each summer.
The Homeschool Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) is a national organization providing legal and legislative advocacy for homeschooling. We encourage all families to join HSLDA and use the resources available through their website.