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
Lincoln Park Zoo
The Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago is one of the nation's oldest zoo and one of the last free zoos in the country. More than 1,000 animals make their home here. Rare and exotic species, as well as more familiar animals, are exhibited in environments that reflect their habitats in the wild.
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.
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...
Driver's Education & the Home-Schooled Student
An examination of the driver's education laws and their effect on homeschoolers in Illinois.
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.
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.
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...
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.
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 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...
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...
Licensing & State Laws in Illinois
Illinois’ multi-stage licensing process allows teens to gradually gain exposure to complex driving situations, easing them into driving over an extended period of time. The instruction permit and initial driver’s license are key steps.
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.
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.
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.
Resources
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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):
Field Trips: Bug Hunting, Animal Tracking, Bird-watching, Shore Walking

With Jim Arnosky as your guide, an ordinary hike becomes an eye-opening experience. He'll help you spot a hawk soaring far overhead and note the details of a dragonfly up close. Study the black-and-white drawings -- based on his own field research -- and you'll discover if those tracks in the brush were made by a deer or a fox.

In his celebrated style, this author, artist, and naturalist enthusiastically shares a wealth of tips. Jim Arnosky wants you to enjoy watching wildlife. He carefully explains how field marks, shapes, and location give clues for identifying certain plants and animals wherever you are. He gives hints for sharpening observational skills. And he encourages you to draw and record birds, insects, shells, animal tracks, and other finds from a busy day's watch.

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.
Easy Grammar Systems
Easy Grammar Systems publishes the Easy Grammar and Daily Grams teaching texts for use through high school. Students use a “hands on” approach (deleting/marking) and learn correct usage and why that usage is appropriate. Review and using information previously learned to teach new concepts help to insure mastery learning. This method is both easy to teach and easy to learn.
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Featured Resources

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Homeschool Open House
Personal insights from 55 families worldwide about a real day of homeschooling. Includes homeschool illusions, family culture, learning and family style, parenting strategies, chores and organization, family management, personal empowerment, decisio...
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 obje...
Help for the Harried Homeschooler : A Practical Guide to Balancing Your Child's Education with the Rest of Your Life
Homeschooling moms and dads can be overwhelmed by the demands on their time. Between their children’s educational needs; their roles as spouse, parent, and more; and their own individual desires and goals, these mothers and fathers struggle to ...
America's National Parks for Dummies, Second Edition
What makes a trip to a national park so wonderful? For starters, America's national park system is more diverse than any park system in the world. You can stroll the seashore at Olympic National Park in Washington or Cape Cod National Seashore in Mas...
Home Organizing Workbook: Clearing Your Clutter, Step-By-Step
Failing the Mary Poppins' snap-the-fingers approach to cleaning, here's the next best thing: an utterly practical handbook that offers lasting results for anyone looking to banish clutter from every room in the house. Home organizer par excellence Me...