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
John G. Shedd Aquarium
The John G. Shedd Aquarium in Chicago is the world's largest indoor aquarium. The facility houses nearly 8,000 aquatic animals representing some 650 species of fish, reptiles, amphibians, invertebrates, birds and mammals from waters around the world. Beautifully situated on the shores of Lake Michigan, Shedd Aquarium attracts nearly 2 million visitors a year.
Miller Park Zoo
Bloomington's Miller Park Zoo features a walk through Wallaby exhibit, the new ZooLab exploration center, which includes an indoor butterfly and birds exhibit (butterflies from April-October), sun bears, snow leopards, red wolves, Sumatran tiger, a Children's Zoo, and a rain forest exhibit.
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...
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Henson Robinson Zoo
The Henson Robinson Zoo is located in Springfield. More than 300 animals from Africa, Asia, Australia, North and South America find refuge at the zoo. Come and view the naturalistic exhibits that house more than 90 species of native and exotic animals. Enjoy the relaxing atmosphere of the lagoons and watch mischievous spider monkeys at play on monkey island. Delight at the river otters. Marvel at the grace of the cheetahs and the deceivingly cuddly appearance of the Asiatic black bear. Then take...
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.
Trail of Tears National Historic Trail
The Trail of Tears National Historic Trail commemorates the removal of the Cherokee and the paths that 17 Cherokee detachments followed westward. Today the trail encompasses about 2,200 miles of land and water routes, and traverses portions of nine states.
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.
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.
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...
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.
Resources
Idea Book For Cuisenaire Rods At The Primary Level
Grades K-4. Each 120 page book contains worksheets and has selected activities that cover the major math standards. Each page outlines the grade level, materials needed, settings, learning experiences, and are based on NCTM Standards.
Drawn Into the Heart of Reading
Drawn Into the Heart of Reading was developed for use with students of multiple ages at the same time, perfect for the homeschooling family. It is designed for use as an entire reading program or as a supplement to an existing program for students in grades 2-8.
Noah Webster's Reading Handbook
This is the historic text (originally called the Blue-Backed Speller) that has been updated to teach phonics/beginning reading. The blends and words in this reader are arranged to correlate with the sequence in which the special phonics sounds are taught. This reader is an invaluable teaching tool for children who need extra practice in the application of phonics rules. Find out more here.
A Reason For® Handwriting
A Reason For® Handwriting provides a fun, meaningful approach to developing effective handwriting skills. Each lesson is built around a Scripture verse chosen not only for proper letter combinations, but also inspirational content. “Border Sheets” encourage students to share God's Word with others. You'll find product information about A Reason For® Handwriting here.
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.
Kids' Poems (Grades 1)
Regie Routman shares her delightful selection of free verse poems written by first graders that will inspire your second graders to think, I can write poems like this too! Regie provides strategies for using kids' poems as models to guide children to write poems about things they know and care about: learning to skate, disliking asparagus, playing with a best friend, and more. She describes the way she invites children to study the model poem, beginning by asking kids, What do you notice? She shows how she demonstrates the poetry-writing process to children: thinking aloud and drafting poems about her own life, and then collaborating on a poem together before children write on their own. Includes 20 reproducible poems written and illustrated by first graders to share with kids. Perfect for classroom teachers and parents! For use with Grade 1.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
For the Good of the Earth and Sun: Teaching Poetry
For the Good of the Earth and Sun is for teachers at all levels, especially for those teachers who feel anxious about introducing poetry to students. Georgia Heard offers a method of teaching poetry that respects the intelligence of students and teachers and that can build upon their basic originality. She explores poetry from the inside as it is: a powerful and necessary way of looking at the world, and one of mankind's most durable inventions. Her book provides detailed, organized information so that teachers themselves can begin to enjoy and feel knowledgeable about poetry, and, from there, pass those feelings on to their students. The author's text is supplemented by examples of students' work in original and draft form.
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.
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.
Beautiful Feet Books
Beautiful Feet Books publishes Rea Berg's "History Through Literature" study guides. They offer fine children's literature, including the D'Aulaire biographies and Genevieve Foster's "World" titles. This is a great resource for anyone wishing to utilize an approach that studies history through literature.
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.
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.
Bob Books
Bob Books are organized into sets that progress in level as your child learns. They have cute stories and darling illustrations. These books are perfect for children ages 4 to 8.
Progeny Press Study Guides for Literature
Progeny Press study guides include vocabulary exercises, comprehension, analysis, and application questions, introduction of literary terms, background information, discussion of related Biblical themes, suggestions for activities related to the reading, a complete answer key, and more. These are some of the titles available (grade range is in parentheses):
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.
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Featured Resources

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Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling
This radical treatise on public education has been a New Society Publishers' bestseller for 10 years! Thirty years of award-winning teaching in New York City's public schools led John Gatto to the sad conclusion that compulsory governmental schooling...
Catholic Home Schooling: A Handbook for Parents
Mary Kay Clark, the director of the accredited and successful Seton Home Study School shows parents why and how to teach their children at home, giving scores of practical examples and setting forth the spiritual, moral and academic advantages. The b...
Teach Your Own: The John Holt Book Of Homeschooling
The classic work on teaching children at home, updated for today's new laws, new lifestyles, and a new generation of homeschooling parents. Today more than one and a half million children are being taught at home by their own parents. In this expand...
Morning by Morning : How We Home-Schooled Our African-American Sons to the Ivy League
Home schooling has long been regarded as a last resort, particularly by African-American families. But in this inspirational and practical memoir, Paula Penn-Nabrit shares her intimate experiences of home-schooling her three sons, Charles, Damon, and...
The Unprocessed Child: Living Without School
This book shows how school is not necessary for a child to gain learning, socialization, or motivation. It offers a look at radical unschooling, a way of educating children without coercion, curriculum, or control. This look at a child who grows from...