Favorite Online Homeschool Resources

A few well-placed online homeschool resources can be of such value.

Each year when my children were young I always tried to incorporate some form of online learning. Children need to be familiar with this type of learning. It is the future.

While it has never been our PRIMARY mode of learning, as my children got older it played a more important role.

Because we are in the season of choosing and purchasing curriculum, I want to share a few of our best picks with you. Some are current. Some are past. Some are for multiple ages. Some are for youngers. Some are for olders. Some are live online courses; others are recorded. Some contain resources we access with frequency online.

All, however, win the Homegrown Learners seal of approval!

There is something for EVERYONE in this list.

Favorite Online #Homeschool Resources

Full Online Courses

The following sites offer entire online courses. Some of them are accredited, others are not.

Some offer FULL grading and are 100% hands-off for the parents, others only offer the teaching while the grading is kept track of by the parent.

Still others are more of simply presenting information for information’s sake without a grade.

I enjoyed giving my children a little bit of everything - that is the beauty of homeschooling!

Veritas Press History

The self-paced history courses from Veritas were always a HUGE hit.

From the elementary into the middle school years, my children enjoyed the engaging lessons. I enjoyed the fact that I could set them down in front of the computer for at least 45 minutes and they were getting an excellent history education.

Couple this with the suggest literature list that comes with a Veritas self paced history course and you’re set for the year.

  • Note: Until August 19 at midnight receive $100 off any self paced course!

Experience Astronomy & Experience Biology

Experience Astronomy is a full year course. There are elementary, middle, and high school levels.

My son took this course as a 6th grader and learned inordinate amounts from Luke Gilkerson, the teacher and author of the course. I loved that it was taught from a Biblical point of view and my son could also be fairly independent while taking the course.

With recorded lectures from Mr. Gilkerson, as well as supplemental activities and quizzes, this will satisfy a science requirement - and more importantly satisfy a curiosity in Astronomy.

Homeschool Spanish Academy

What a wonderful surprise Homeschool Spanish Academy has been this year!

Basically, my son is taking a 1 credit Spanish class this year online. He receives 60 sessions over the course of a year. These lesson are PRIVATE, and you wouldn’t believe how much learning can be accomplished in this way!

Using Google Hangouts, Grant logs on with his Spanish teacher twice a week (we can schedule the classes at our convenience, which is very nice) and is working through the Spanish I curriculum.

If you are looking for a wonderful Spanish provider, I suggest you look into Homeschool Spanish Academy!

Compass Classroom

Compass Classroom has long been a trusted resource for our family.

We have used Word Up! vocabulary program and Visual Latin.

This year we are using Dave Raymond’s American History video curriculum.

Raymond’s lessons are based on STORY are the entire curriculum is authored with a Biblical worldview.

Mr. D Math

Mr. D Math was my daughter’s math curriculum for high school.

She had a lot of success with Mr. D - not only is his curriculum sound and engaging, Mr. D is a wonderful person who is the biggest champion of homeschoolers you will ever meet.

Many people ask me about Saxon, Mr. D Math and Shormann.

Every child is different. In my house Saxon worked well until high school. Then, for my non-math child Mr. D Math worked well. For my highly math child, we are going with Shormann. I encourage you to investigate each one thoroughly for yourself.

Shormann Math

My son is on his second year of Shormann Math. (Eight out of the eleven students in his Challenge 1 group are using Shormann, so we’re all sold!)

We chose this for Grant because of the strong SAT/ACT test prep built in as well as the Biblical worldview. It has considerably LESS spiraling than Saxon Math, which is what seems to bog down most children.

This curriculum is recorded video - self paced. Everything is graded for you, so it could (in theory) be 100% hands off for the homeschool parent.

Students learn how to take notes, see math through a Biblical lens, and work independently. While not technically a “classroom” environment, I like that it is math from an expert and I am hands off.

Memoria Press Academy

Memoria Press has been a great choice for three full online courses for my daughter. She took AP European History and Henle Latin I and II.

A fully accredited school, Memoria’s Press’ academy is rigorous, organized, and of the highest quality.

If you are looking to 100% outsource a subject (s) - I highly recommend Memoria Press Online Academy!

HSLDA Online Academy

Many people don’t realize HSLDA has an academy.

They do (for grades 7-12), and it’s wonderful! My daughter had an exceptional experience taking AP Exposition and Composition - she will tell you it was the BEST class she took in high school. It prepared her for essay writing for college and just honed her writing skills in general.

Her teacher was encouraging, easy to contact, and provided a college letter of recommendation. I got the impression that her teacher truly CARED about each individual student and helping them succeed.

HSLDA is accredited and offers a full range of courses.

Again - this is an excellent place to outsource your high school classes!

Homeschool Printables/Resources/Recorded Lessons

Productive Homeschool (formerly Notebooking Pages)

Notebooking Pages were an INTEGRAL part of our homeschool in the elementary and middle grade years. The site is still basically the same - simply with a new name. Check out Productive Homeschooling.

Free Homeschool Resources (Notebooking Pages & More!)

SQUILT LIVE! Music Appreciation

SQUILT Music Appreciation (my baby) brings live music appreciation lessons to children ages preschool - middle school.

A membership to SQUILT LIVE! includes two live lessons each month, a curated monthly listening calendar, and access to the ENTIRE ARCHIVES of recorded lessons and lesson packets - this is FIFTY additional lessons at your disposal.

Children need beautiful music - and the byproduct of a solid music appreciation education is a child who has developed the habit of attention and the ability to listen for intricacies in any piece of music.

You Are An Artist! Clubhouse and Video Lessons

I’m sure you know about Chalk Pastels, right?

One of my children’s most fond memories was when we had an Angry Birds day in our homeschool. The highlight of that day was our Angry Birds chalk pastel tutorial.

Chalk Pastels are just such a wonderful art medium for children. And, at You ARE An Artist there is so much to choose from. My personal favorite is the American Landmarks lessons.

American Landmarks from Sea to Shining Sea

Your Morning Basket/Homeschool Solutions

Another “good thing” in our homeschool has been (and continues to be) Morning Time.

At Homeschool Solutions, Pam Barnhill has ready made morning time plans, along with a lot of other tools to help you plan your school year effectively.

I love the subscription Pam has that includes 37 different sets of Morning Time plans!

That rounds out my online homeschool resource recommendation list! Do you have a favorite online resource for homeschooling?

Tell me about it in the comments below.

Using a Chromebook in the Homeschool

We are, admittedly, a tech family -- Apple snobs to be specific.  


My husband is an IT consultant. I am a blogger.  

Needless to say, we are picky about our devices. We are picky about compatibility, security, and parental controls. 

A Chromebook was never on our radar until a certain teenager spilled an entire glass of water on her inherited MacBook Air, which promptly fried the entire machine.

Knowing that she really needed her own device for homeschooling high school, but not wanting to pay the Apple price tag, we began to search for options for her... options  SHE could afford, since she would be footing the bill for the new machine. 

After much research, we helped her decided on a Toshiba Chromebook, and what a GREAT decision that has been! 

The Chromebook fits the needs of our homeschool high school student perfectly. 

*These are my personal opinions based on usage of the Chromebook. I have not been compensated for this post. This post may contain affiliate links. 

Using the Chromebook in Our Homeschool

What IS a Chromebook?

With all of the new devices out there, it is important to educate yourself. 

To be honest, we had heard a lot about the Chromebooks, and also liked the price point. (Anna's machine was under $300.)

Rather than go through all of the specifics right here, I'm going to send you to a Chromebook buying guide so you can see exactly what they can (and can't) do. 

A Chromebook is a laptop of a different breed. Instead of Windows or Mac OS, Chromebooks run Google’s Chrome OS. These machines are designed to be used primarily while connected to the Internet, with most applications and documents living in the cloud. As a result, these clamshells don’t have a ton of onboard memory, but they don’t have very large price tags, either.

Why We Like the Chromebook

Let me preface this by telling you we have a family computer - an iMac - that resides in our school area. It can be used for online classes, big print jobs, and other special things. 

The Chromebook does NOT take the place of this main computer -- it is a "supplement computer", if you will - perfect for our teen - a device for her alone. 

Basically, if it is in the Google suite of products, you can do it on your Chromebook. 

For my daughter, word processing, research, and an online math curriculum are on our priority list. The Chromebook allows her to do all three. 

  • Google Docs

Anna writes a lot of papers and annotates many documents. She does all of this in Google docs, which simply requires a Gmail account.  She can work on a paper and then SHARE that with me through Google docs. I receive an email to read and make comments on a paper when she shares it with me.  I can write comments on the paper (via my computer) and they are automatically added to the document. 

In this way we communicate in a very professional, efficient manner about her schoolwork. It is working WONDERFULLY for us!  

Look where she sent me an invitation to read over her latest essay... 

Using a Chromebook in the Homeschool
  • Security/Parental Controls

I have heard criticisms of this feature, but we think the parental controls are sufficient -- coupled with good old discipline and common sense. 

Basically, the Chromebook has a main user, who controls what sites can be accessed and has the ability to see every site that has been visited.  My daughter is just a SUPERVISED USER.  My husband is the main user.  He can see each and every thing she has done on her Chromebook.

You can read more about supervised users and see how it all works. 

There are no time restrictions on the Chromebook, but my daughter has access to her computer during school hours, and all other times it lives in my bedroom and she has to ask us for permission to use the computer.  

  • Research

Any research that can be done online can be done on the Chromebook.  After all, it is just a Chrome internet browser. 

  • Online recorded classes

We are using Mr. D math this year, and his online platform is fully accessible through the Chromebook.  Anna can watch the recorded math lessons, complete her lessons, and enter grades. 


There is a conflict when it comes to LIVE classes, however, and this is why we always have the family machine.  I was told by the tech support person through another online academy we use (Memoria Press) that Google Chrome has a conflict with Adobe and that the microphone feature will not work in some instances.  This is something they are working on, but for now Anna has to use our iMac for her online Latin class. 

Potential Concerns about the Chromebook

I want to honestly share some of the concerns we had about the Chromebook, so you can make an informed decision for your homeschooler.

  • Printing

Chromebooks use something called Google Cloud Print, which to be honest, took a little bit of research and setup.

Now, however, it works like a charm and my daughter prints with no problem from her Chromebook.

Here's a helpful video if you have no idea what Google Cloud Print is.  

  • The "Cloud"

Since a Chromebook doesn't have any memory (everything is stored in the Google cloud), some people may be uncomfortable with that.  

This is a very personal decision.  If you don't feel comfortable with all of your homeschooler's work being stored only in the "cloud" -- and not locally -- then a Chromebook might not be for you, or you might want to get an external hard drive. 

  • Doesn't support all online classes

If your child has online classes, you should check with that particular institution to see if their class format is supported by the Google Chromebook.  Many aren't, because they are plugins that will only run on a Windows or Mac machine. 

Again, I believe a Chromebook is a great STUDENT computer, but not a main computer that they would rely on for 100% of their classwork -- make sense? 


Final Thoughts about the Google Chromebook

I need to reiterate my thoughts from above:

The Chromebook is a great homeschool middle/high school machine. It can do many things and is a great entry level laptop if you want to spend less than $500 (many times less than $300). I would advise, however, that you also have a family computer (Windows or Mac based) for your student so online classes and any other applications that are not supported by Google Chrome are possible.

Our Toshiba Chromebook has been the PERFECT fit for what my 9th grader needs this year in her Challenge I studies.  

Using a Chromebook in the Homeschool

So -- does your homeschooler have their own laptop?  Are you in the market for one?  What is the technology like in your homeschool?

*Note:  I will not be able to field technical questions in the comments of this post, but if you have a general question about the Chromebook I will do my best to answer.  Please remember, I reserve the right to delete any inappropriate comments since this is my "home" on the web.  Thank you!


*Post update:  7/17:  We have purchased another Chromebook for my son to use in his Challenge years.  This time we picked the following model:

Chromebooks for Homeschool High School