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Free Homeschooling Downloads

by Joan Roberts

    With the gas prices soaring and the general cost of living escalating, you may be wondering how you can afford to homeschool! But homeschooling has never been easier or cheaper. Our family has always homeschooled and maybe like you we did it on a tight budget. But that is ok because budgeting tends to make one more creative.

Buying used books at the thrift store quickly increased our library choices and the kids’ interest
in reading. Toy departments at stores were never able to compete with the book sections where our kids were concerned.

A few years ago we added a computer, scanner, printer and in general the “works” to the school room. I didn’t know then how that would change our resource avenue. There is no substitute for books; however, having access to so much information has been quite a lot of fun. We started surfing the web when we wanted extra material for select subjects and of course monitored the use of the computer. I am not an advocate of computer games or one to encourage a lot of computer time for the kids, but there is a huge variety of wholesome material to read and to download. In fact, it was the free downloads that caught my attention, so I started a favorites list and began emailing the sites to friends.

This past week I was looking for additional activities to enhance my instruction on the United States for our 10 year old daughter Laura. Like many children with Down syndrome she needs lots of repeat material. She has been making progress learning the state names by working her new United States floor puzzle. I wanted to introduce the American flag so I typed in “United States flag coloring pages.” I came up with a bigger choice than I had time to use or look at. This search led me to my most favorite freebie site,  From there you will see that you can choose puzzles, coloring pages, activities and practice pages for preschoolers. It is easy to use and you can download and print out worksheets in just seconds. We chose 2 pictures of the U.S. flag to color and then got carried away finding pictures of our famous presidents and reading activities to match! If you can stay up at night you can search out and print what you want to use for the next day.

This first-school site is so great for repetition work. I can choose the letter, number or counting practice page I need and print out enough to get her perfected in the exercise. The pages have continuous dotted figures to trace on the entire line. This is in contrast to the books I have found for sale which only have a few figures and then the kids are expected to make their own. That was very frustrating
for Laura; with these pages she has had a chance to build confidence before she had to print or write the letters etc. on her own.

The counting pages I use have pictures of acorns and they are in neat rows, which really aids in correct counting. There are also plenty of numbers under each picture so the child can count and have plenty of writing practice. There are also pages that can be printed in color with corresponding color names.

Recently I emailed the Dover Publishing company to request a catalog. I got the catalog and an invite to free email downloads every Thursday. They have been great and the choice is as fun as their books. If you need some busy work for some of your older kids you can’t beat the pages here. Check it out!

If you check out chat rooms on homeschooling, you will come up with more ideas from other homeschoolers. I use the site. Go to the “classroom”. Then click on to the moderator, Traci. Click on to her profile; then go to “all her posts”; when you scroll down you will find where she listed her favorites. I downloaded all 40 pages before I realized how many there were!

I use a folder to keep the downloaded pages in; that is if I can get to them before Laura sees them coming out of the printer. She is learning secretarial skill through this. She’s gotten really proficient at arranging the pages into neat stacks.

I have found that thrift stores are still a super source for supplies; recently I came across a box of 5000 sheets of copying paper, the kind with the perforated edges. Of course these are outdated, but for $3.00 they were hard to pass up. They were perfect to use for the download job and added to my savings.

To find more free downloads, add the words, “puzzle”, “games”, or “coloring pages” to the main word of what you are studying and you will be surprised at the instant resources you find and a lot of them are “free.”


Free Downloads for Homeschoolers PART 2!

by Joan Roberts


I hate to admit it, but I am finding the computer annoyingly fascinating for teaching resources. When looking for something in particular I find myself surfing the net a little; well, ok, a lot!
I came across this cool site called Teachnology, go to  and you will see why I am so excited about it. I love worksheets that are not cluttered with tons of background images that confuse Laura and this site offers a big choice of useful and free printouts on an array of topics. They also have phonics worksheets if you need extra work in that area. There is a member option and after I have exhausted all that they offer (and that is a lot) for free, I may sign up! The fee is nominal, by the way.

Another discovery has been the Starfall Store, go to Here you can find some fun stuff to use, especially if your kids like puzzles. You can either download the puzzles or for kinesthetic learners, you can order them on line which would also limit the computer time and be easier on the eyes. The puzzles are brightly colored and each one concentrates on an individual vowel sound. This company also has a variety of free downloads for other word practices, like word searches, which are so helpful for repetition work. The ones I looked at were on a beginner level.
Starfall has great deals on bulk orders; maybe those in your homeschool group would like to know about this and order more than one set of readers and save a bundle. The readers have photographs of “real” people, instead of cartoon characters. In addition, this company offers a phonics course.

The absolute best site that I found while writing this article was But watch out, you could get hooked on this one. I was online until midnight just scanning through the choices! This is not just for beginning learners. The site is broken down into subject territory and also offers a teachers’ resource section. Each subject area has a minimum of 30 links to look into and many of those have real neat games to play; one site has a visual perception game that was pretty challenging. I did get a little carried away playing it myself. For the visual discrimination games go to:  There may be similar games on other sites, you will just have to check them out or turn that project over to the kids.

If you need a resource for getting started in homeschooling and you don’t want to buy a curriculum, then I would suggest you look into Zoom School. Just type in those words on the search bar and you will be equipped to teach your elementary aged student thoroughly with a creative twist. This site can definitely help you to avoid the temptation to create a “public-school-at-home by enabling you to pick and choose what interests your kids the most, which in turn plants the seed of extended learning.

In a situation of needing a more structured curriculum you will also find the Zoom School very helpful. It offers activities in geography, biology, and language arts, and also includes classroom helps, illustrated dictionaries, and printouts, to boot. You will be amazed at the information that you can use. I’d almost sell all of my books and just use the site! I’m just kidding; nothing can replace having a book in your hand to read. But when you want worksheets quick and have a printer, you can definitely enjoy the speed of the computer sources.