How Do I Teach...
Can I teach algebra if my own math skills are weak? How can I make reading more fun? Is there a good way to introduce more fine arts learning into our day? How can I fit it all in? Many homeschoolers find the task of teaching their children specific subjects challenging. We've compiled the best resources on the Internet to make teaching just about anything fun, more educational, and rewarding for the whole family.
Drivers Education
Here you'll find the laws regulating drivers education in Illinois, along with online courses, local driving schools, and more to help you teach your teen to drive.
Early Learning & Preschool
Children learn from birth, so the concept of homeschooling a preschooler is easy to contemplate. Get information on how to make early learning fun and enjoyable for you and your child.
Reading/Literature
We cover all aspects of learning to love reading, including phonics instruction, vocabulary, literature, reading lists of great books, and more. You'll also find teaching tips and helpful resources to assist you.
Writing
Need resources for teaching writing at home? We have it all here! Spelling, handwriting, grammar, and more are covered here. We've collected great teaching tips, information about different approaches to teaching handwriting, spelling ideas, and more. Learn about good writing mechanics and the best was to help your child learn composition.
Science
Find out where to get science materials and lab equipment, how to teach physics, chemistry, and biology, how to find great science field trips in Illinois, and more.
Math
Teaching math in your homeschool may seem like a daunting task. For many homeschoolers, it is the one subject they dread facing. But there are many creative and fun ways to introduce math to your child. From real world, hands-on learning to structured approaches to mathematics education, we've gathered the resources you need to successfully teach math at home. We explore how unschoolers learn math, how to use manipulatives in your learning, and where to find the best math textbooks and resources. You'll also find free math worksheets and lesson plans. And if you decide you need further help, we have contact information for tutors and teachers, along with information on mathematics classes and programs, in Illinois.
History
Take your child around the world with the study of history and geography. We've gathered great resources for teaching everything from ancient history to current event, along with a collection of resources to learn about the history of Illinois.
Geography
Geography can be introduced to children at a very young age. Even the smallest child can understand the concept of their street, their neighborhood, their town, and so on. From there, learning geography is a great way to inject fun and interest into your homeschooling approach. It is so relevant to our daily lives that children cannot help but be interested in it. As they get older, they learn about other countries, peoples, and cultures, allowing them to see themselves as part of a bigger world.
Art
Find art museums, classes, and more in Illinois. Learn how to teach art at home and explore wonderful resources to introduce every aspect of the fine arts to your child.
Music
Give your child the gift of music! Learn about music history, composers, instruments, the orchestra, and more. Find music teachers and instructors in Illinois.
Performing Arts
Illinois has many opportunities for you and your children to enjoy music, dance, drama, and other performing arts. Add fun, creativity, interest, and opportunities for learning to your homeschool curriculum by enjoying performance all across Illinois.
Health & Fitness
Opportunities for learning about health and fitness, along with ways to get in regular fitness activities, are in abundance for the homeschooling family. From simple family hikes to well-organized homeschool sports leagues, there are numerous ways for children who are educated at home to enjoy physical activity, learn to play group sports, and increase their general fitness level.
Civics/Government
Help your child to become an active citizen by incorporating civics education into your homeschooling plan. Learn about the federal and Illinois government, how to contact your legislators, how government works, and more.
Economics/Finance
The knowledge of economics and finance is an important tool as your child grows older. Learn about our money system, the management of personal finances, the stock market, and more.
Foreign Languages
Looking for resources to learn a foreign language in Illinois? Here you'll find materials, resources, teachers and tutors, and other information to successfully teach Spanish, Latin, Greek, German, French, Japanese, Chinese, Italian, Hebrew, Sign Language, and more.
Faith/Religion
Explore the religions of the world, including Catholicism, Christianity, Judaism, and other world religions.
Logic, Rhetoric, and Thinking Skills
Critical thinking skills are essential to successful learning and understanding. It can be easy and fun to teach logic and thinking skills. These resources, ideas, and materials will help get you started.
Entrepreneurship
Give your child the gift of success by learning about entrepreneurship. Learn how to teach children to start their own business, the secrets to successfully running a business, and more. You'll find success stories, ideas for businesses for kids, field trips in Illinois that demonstrate successful entrepreneurs, and other resources and ideas.
Computer Skills
Computer literacy is essential in today's world. Kids pick up computer information and knowledge very quickly. Find the best resources for teaching kids about computer hardware, software, programming, and more.
Study Skills
Learn how to learn with these resources, tips, ideas, and materials designed to improve study skills
Lesson Plans
Find free lesson plans online to help teach every subject under the sun. You'll find lots of worksheets, teaching tips, and more.
What's Popular
Glen Oak Zoo
The Glen Oak Zoo is an AZA accredited facility located in Peoria, Illinois, and is home to more than 175 animals from around the world.
Field Museum of Natural History
The Field Museum was founded to house the biological and anthropological collections assembled for the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893. Includes a world-class natural history library of more than 250,000 volumes. The Field Museum is the permanent home of Sue, the world's largest, most complete Tyrannosaurus rex.
Scovill Zoo
From cheetahs to spider monkeys, giant toads to pygmy goats, you can journey around the world at Scovill Zoo. See animals on the verge of extinction as you take a spin on the Endangered Species Carousel, journey through the zoo on the Z.O. & O. Express train, feed the goats in the petting area, and search for the glass lizard in the herpaquarium. Located in Decatur.
Illinois & Michigan Canal National Heritage Corridor
The Illinois & Michigan Canal, completed in 1848, connected the Great Lakes to the Mississippi River watershed along a longstanding Indian portage route. The 97-mile canal extended from the Chicago River near Lake Michigan to the Illinois River at Peru, Illinois. It rapidly transformed Chicago from a small settlement to a critical transportation hub between the East and the developing Midwest. The towpath trail along the canal is a State park that runs through a rural and wooded landscape linkin...
Brookfield Zoo
Brookfield Zoo is home to animals representing more than 400 species. This magnificent collection inhabits nearly 20 naturalistic exhibits within the zoo's 216 acres.
Lionheart Fitness Kids
These unique sports classes are designed to bring out the best in students in a fun non-competitive environment. The structured program teaches the necessary fundamentals of sports in a stress free environment. They develop strength, fine and gross motor skills, coordination, balance and social skills, always instilling the importance of teamwork and sportsmanship.
Chicago Children's Museum
Chicago Children’s Museum is a place where families and caregivers with infants and children are encouraged to create, explore, and discover together through play. The museum features three vibrant floors of exhibits and activities that provide sensory experiences and engaging educational content focusing on literacy, science, math, visual and performing arts, and health. Some of CCM's most popular exhibits include: Dinosaur Expedition, where kids can dig for dinosaur bones in an authentic excav...
Cosley Zoo
Located in Wheaton, the Cosley Zoo is situated on five acres and exhibits domestic farm animals and native Illinois wildlife. You can enjoy sitting by the picturesque duck pond, get close to a 2,000 pound horse, and if you're lucky, hear the coyotes howl. The 1887 railroad station, antique caboose, and a 125-year-old barn provide visitors with a piece of local history.
Long Grove Confectionery Company
Located in Buffalo Grove, Illinois, the Long Grove Confectionery Company Chocolate Factory Tour takes you under the Antique Stained Glass Dome in the 85,000 square foot Long Grove Confectionery to begin your tour of the specialty chocolate kitchen. The tour includes a short video on how cacao is grown and processed into chocolate, a history of the family-owned business, giant sculpted chocolate, and a viewing of the production and packaging of thier chocolates. Includes a visit to the factory st...
Lincoln Home National Historic Site
The Lincoln home in Springfield, the centerpiece of the Lincoln Home National Historic Site, has been restored to its 1860s appearance, revealing Lincoln as husband, father, politician, and President-elect. It stands in the midst of a four block historic neighborhood which the National Park Service is restoring so that the neighborhood, like the house, will appear much as Lincoln would have remembered it.
Adler Planetarium & Astronomy Museum
The Adler Planetarium & Astronomy Museum in Chicago features the first planetarium built in the Western Hemisphere. The Adler is home to more than 35,000 square feet of exhibits, rrom scale models of the Solar System, to ancient astronomical instruments, to interactive adventures. The Adler is the only museum in the world with two full-size planetarium theaters which feature a variety of shows.
Chicago Area Homeschool Field Trips
A group of homeschooling parents dedicated to providing local field trips and group classes in the Chicago Metropolitan Area by taking advantage of discounts and special privileges given to groups versus individuals. Parents volunteer to organize events geared towards the age, interest and benefit of their students. Each event or part of it is usually aimed at a specific age or grade range. Any member may organize trips, and post events sponsored by other groups.
Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail
In 1804, Meriwether Lewis & William Clark began a voyage of discovery with 45 men, a keelboat, two pirogues,and a dog. They departed from Camp Wood located in what was to become Illinois. They traveled over a three-year period through lands that later became 11 states. Most of the trail follows the Missouri & Columbia Rivers. Much has changed in 200 years but trail portions remain intact. At 3700 miles, Lewis & Clark NHT is the second longest of the 23 National Scenic & National Historic Trails....
Driver's Education & the Home-Schooled Student
An examination of the driver's education laws and their effect on homeschoolers in Illinois.
Mormon Pioneer National Historic Trail
Led by Brigham Young, roughly 70,000 Mormons traveled along the Mormon Pioneer Trail from 1846 to 1869 in order to escape religious persecution. The general route is from Nauvoo, Illinois, to Salt Lake City, Utah, covering about 1,300 miles. The Mormon Pioneer Trail travels through five states over both public and private land.
Resources
Montessori Reading
Montessori Reading is a beginning reading and writing program for elementary aged children. This series of books introduce phonetic letter sounds, phonogram combinations, reading simple sentences, and reading and writing words that name everyday objects, animals, etc. A teaching guide and a child's journal are included.
Phonics Pathways
Phonics Pathways begins with short-vowel sounds, slowly progressing to whole words, phrases, and sentences of gradually increasing complexity. Special teaching tips, extensive examples, and 100% decodable practice readings reinforce each lesson. Contains all spelling rules with a spelling index, spelling charts, spelling short-cuts, diacritical markings, and a wealth of inspirational proverbs. The new 9th edition of Phonics Pathways features many new enhancements including a wealth of reproducible games, a step-by-step spelling guide, teacher/student record sheets, a Dewey-the-Bookworm Bookmark and a new carefully-researched appendix detailing how Phonics Pathways aligns with most State Standards. Supplements to this program include The Train Game (to teach letter sounds), WordWorks (a set of cards used to reinforce phonics reading skills), and Blendit! (a set of eleven board games that reinforces knowledge of specific begining spelling patterns). For product information on Phonics Pathways, click here or visit their website.
Alpha-Phonics
Alpha Phonics is a primer for beginning readers. It features 128 self-explanatory lessons, printed in large, clear calligraphy suitable for beginning readers. You'll find product information about Alpha-Phonics here.
Cuisenaire Rods Multi-Pack
Grades Pre K & up. An economical way to bring rods into the classroom. Pack contains six sets of 74 rods, six trays with, and Teacher's Guide. For use with 12-18 students.
Bead Sequencing Set
Stack the durable, brightly colored wooden beads on 5 hardwood dowels in sequence to match the design on one of the pattern cards. Builds complex reasoning skills as well as sorting and coordination. Includes over 45 brilliantly colored beads, 5 dowels, and 10 patterns that increase in difficulty.
Total Language Plus
Total Language Plus is an innovative curriculum focused on teaching thinking and communication skills using literature as a base. The authors believe an integrated system is more efficient than a fragmented approach, discovery style learning is the most effective and learning should be enjoyable. The "discover, do, drill" method is employed throughout the TLP program with activities focusing on thinking skills. These comprehensive novel studies cover spelling, grammar, punctuation, vocabulary, analytical and critical thinking, comprehension, writing, listening, and field trips and projects.
Sing, Spell, Read & Write
Sing, Spell, Read & Write is a phonics-based program that uses a 36-step program of carefully sequenced steps to teach reading, writing, and spelling. More product information can be found here.
Create! Press
Create! Press carries creative approaches to teaching creative writing and composition. Their products include the Create-A-Story game, Writing Adventures, Stepping Stones, and more.
Reading Made Easy
Reading Made Easy is a phonics-based program, featuring 108 easy lessons, designed to be taught in less than 30 minutes per day. It is fully scripted and has original Christian content and stories. Includes hands-on writing and drawing activities. Reading Made Easy can be purchased here.
Pattern Blocks and Boards
This set of 10 simply designed colorful wooden blocks and pattern boards includes 100 blocks in six different shapes and colors. They help develop shape recognition and spatial relationship skills. The contents store neatly in a durable wooden case. This games was awarded the Scholastic Parent & Child's 2004 "Top 22 Toys that Make Kids Think" award.
A Reason For® Reading
A Reason For® Reading offers a series of over 100 Leveled Readers that provide small increases in difficulty from level to level. These colorful books feature Scripture stories and Christian value themes. Story Guides include high-frequency words, teaching ideas, discussion questions, and much more.
MCP PLAID Phonics
MCP PLAID Phonics from Modern Curriculum Press incorporates best practices for teaching essential phonemic awareness and phonics skills with lots of flexibility. Find information on these products here.
Explode The Code
Explode The Code provides a sequential, systematic approach to phonics in which students blend sounds to build vocabulary and read words, phrases, sentences, and stories. Frequent review of previously learned concepts helps increase retention. Each workbook in this series contains exercises that incorporate reading, writing, matching and copying. The consistent format of the books helps facilitate independent work. This series includes primers—Get Ready for The Code, Get Set for The Code, and Go for The Code—which introduce initial consonant sounds. In addition, Beyond The Code provides a comprehension component introducing basic comprehension skills with phonetically controlled stories. You'll find product information here.
Shurley English
Shurley English maintains that effective instruction in English must be founded upon an understanding of how the parts of speech work together in a sentence. A good grammar foundation gives students the skills to improve writing. Grammar is the structure of sentence composition. Through grammar, students learn how to write, improve, and expand sentences. After they have an understanding of sentence structure, students are then able to combine sentences successfully into paragraphs, essays, and reports. For product information on Phonics Pathways, click here or visit their website.
Pecci Reading Method: At Last! A Reading Method for Every Child
At Last! A Reading Method for Every Child offers a balanced approach with intensive phonics and literature-based reading instruction. This is a simple method of teaching reading, with lots of supplemental materials. Get product information here.
Idea Book For Cuisenaire Rods At The Intermediate Level
Grades 2-5. Idea Book designed for use with Cuisenaire Rods.
Flip Over Math Manipulatives
Grades 1-5. Tub of over 500 manipulatives includes Pattern Blocks, Connecting People, Cuisenaire Rods, Coins, and Bean Counters and can be used with the Flip Over Math Books. This 49 page book (others sold separately) is written to NCTM Standards and provide hands on activities from basic math skills to advanced problem solving.
English from the Roots Up
English from the Roots Up explores the Latin and Greek roots of words. Many people haven't realized how valuable the Latin and Greek vocabulary is in the formulation of the finely structured English vocabulary of today. Even learning a few Latin and Greek root words gets you hooked and you want to learn more. Why? Because you can move from "what words mean" to "why words mean"&mdashin short, a thinking vocabulary. You'll find product information here.
Spell to Write & Read
This teacher's manual, written by a homeschool educator with experience as a professional school teacher and private tutor, shows how to teach reading the "write" way. By phonetically teaching spelling from the start as the backbone for reading, all children can be taught, regardless of learning styles, to read and spell. If your student knows how to read already, this program can improve his or her spelling. Find out more about this product here.
A Reason For® Spelling
A Reason For® Spelling combines the latest research on how children learn to spell with all the strengths of traditional programs. It teaches highfrequency base words, plus hundreds of other word forms. Values-based stories set the theme each week and help make spelling fun. You'll find product information about A Reason For® Spelling here.
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Only Child: Writers on the Singular Joys and Solitary Sorrows of Growing Up Solo
Only children don’t have to share bedrooms, toys, or the backseat of a car. They don’t have to share allowances, inheritances, or their parents’ attention. But when they get into trouble, they can’t just blame their imaginary friends. In Only Child, ...
Alpha-Phonics
Alpha Phonics is a primer for beginning readers. It features 128 self-explanatory lessons, printed in large, clear calligraphy suitable for beginning readers. You'll find product information about Alpha-Phonics here.
Life in America
Life in America was designed by home schooling parents to meet the needs of families. Features unit studies in a box, with all resource material supplied.
Visual Brainstorms
Children who love word games, logic puzzles, secret codes, mazes, and math mysteries will stretch their mental muscles with Visual Brain Storms. This set of 100 cards, each of which includes a humorous, full-color drawing, promises "the world's best ...
Homeschooling and Libraries: New Solutions and Opportunities
Homeschools are alwsy looking for alternative ways of schooling that do not necessarily reflect what a typical classroom looks like. Since homeschooling is so diverse across families, information institutions, including public, academic, school, and ...