For a long time, people thought that the only good way to homeschool their kids was to replicate a traditional school classroom at home. Replete with a strict class schedule, as well as workbooks and textbooks for every subject. However, with changes in technology and the continuing availability of online resources, well; times they are a-changin’.

When I first started homeschooling, I quickly realized that workbooks, textbooks, teacher’s manuals and endless lesson planning just didn’t work for us. Thankfully, I was able to find out that many families successfully homeschool their children, without ever really using a traditional workbook or textbook. There are many online curriculum programs and educational websites out there. If you truly want to keep your children engaged and excited about learning, especially younger children, try and find programs and websites that are interactive and fun.

Here are just a few such websites that we discovered:

Time4Learning – This is a secular, online curriculum for Pre-K through 8th grade. It covers language arts, math, science and social studies. There is also some online algebra, and even an art program. The lessons and activities are interactive, colorful and fun (this is more so in the lower grade levels, but still holds true for the older levels too). There is a playground area where kids can play educational games once their lessons and activities are completed. Membership is very affordable, especially compared to many other similar programs.

VocabularySpellingCity – This is a truly wonderful online resource. You can use this program with your current curriculum or formal spelling program, or you use it on its own. There are features like Spelling TestMe (this is so great because you don’t have to worry about doing your child’s spelling test!), Spelling TeachMe, Flash Cards and loads of spelling/vocabulary games. You can even create printables, like handwriting worksheets. To use these features, you can use word lists that other members have shared, or you can create and use your own lists. These lists can come from spelling words from your current curriculum, or they can come from events/occasions that you want to use. For instance, we made lists about specific sharks during shark week a few weeks ago. You can sign up and take advantage of most of this website for free, but there is an inexpensive premium membership you can purchase to have access to all of the features.

Learning Games for Kids – This is one of the best websites for educational games! It’s totally free to use and there is really something for everyone. Brain games, art games, geography games, even keyboarding games and health games; all of that and more can be found there!

Outside of these online resources, you can find more just by interacting with other homeschoolers, in real life and in online support groups and forums. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and do a little “Googling.” You might surprise yourself, and your children, with what you can find!

Katie Shuler, a not-so-country girl living in a very-country Georgia small town, has been homeschooling her two boys since 2005. Fortunately, she found an online homeschool curriculum that works well for her workbook challenged, computer addicted family.