Friday, September 4, 2009

Free Curriculum

A lot of people think curriculum has to be store bought to work. That's just not true. There are many things that you have in your home and at your disposal that work great for lessons.

This week my kids looked for shapes around the house. They sorted, counted and made pictures with coins. They helped me bake and cook. All of these things taught them valuable lessons in math, science, and thinking skills. They learned a lot for FREE. Every week, we do things like this. We can look in the backyard to study wildlife: plants, trees and bugs. We can play with LEGOs to work on math, thinking skills and lessons in just about everything. In fact, LEGOs make excellent manipulatives. No, they are not free, but if you have them laying around the house, you may as well use them. B1 has used them to make board games and to improve architecture skills. He has learned how to balance objects and all about gravity. LEGO even has lesson plans available online for teachers.

The internet is a great place to find FREE materials. Type just about anything into Google and you will find a lesson on it. has an entire section on lesson plans for science. Not just space, but on electricity and plant life. Many websites you might not expect to have lessons, do. And there are many more specifically designed for teaching. and have 100s of FREE printable worksheets.

Then there are places in your community. Libraries have books on almost every subject. There are math books and science books, grammar and history, and of course reading. Many libraries have classes available to the community. Libraries often have educational videos and other recordings as well. Some stores have community teaching events. Home Depot offers Saturday teaching workshops for kids. Krispy Kreme allows you to view the donut making process. Many farms, factories and businesses are available for field trips where you can learn how to do just about anything.

Teaching moments are everywhere in life. There are lessons to be learned everywhere. Cooking and cleaning are excellent for teaching. And of course, PLAYING. Kids learn countless lessons just by playing. So before you decide to go out and buy all your curriculum and before you decide you can't afford to teach your kids at home, look into some of these resources and see just how affordable it can really be. Of course, the stuff that costs can be good too.

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