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The Best Homeschool Supply Companies

Where Can You Find the Best Homeschool Supplies?

In recent years, homeschooling has seen a remarkable rise in popularity. It's no wonder, given the wealth of websites offering homeschool supplies and curriculum options for families. This idea has captivated the attention of parents seeking alternative educational approaches for their children.

Traditional educational systems often struggle to cater to the diverse needs and learning styles of individual students. Homeschooling provides a flexible and customizable framework, allowing parents to tailor the curriculum to match their child's unique strengths, interests, and pace of learning. This personalized approach can foster a more engaging and effective learning experience.

Sunday, April 21st

2024 Homeschool Supply Company Reviews

Top Consumer Reviews Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award Homeschool Buyers Club Review 5 Star Rating

Homeschool Buyers Club

5 Star Rating
  • Largest database for homeschool materials, ID cards, and field trip ideas
  • Wide range including Electives, Language Arts, and Special Needs
  • Quiz-based tool to match your child's learning style
  • Discounts on educational products like Rosetta Stone and science programs
  • Access all benefits without membership costs; no data selling
  • Earn points upon joining, applicable towards purchases
  • "A+" rating from BBB, serving a diverse homeschool community
  • High satisfaction for variety and prices in homeschool supplies
Top Consumer Reviews Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award

Homeschooling might be your answer to the woes of an underfunded public school system, but it often comes with its unique set of challenges. Unlike traditional public schools that benefit from collective buying power, homeschooling families often struggle to access affordable and high-quality educational resources.

Leverages combined strength

That's where the Homeschool Buyers Club steps in. Founded by fellow homeschoolers who understand the ups and downs of this educational path, this club leverages the combined strength of thousands of homeschooling families across the country to secure fantastic discounts on a wide range of homeschooling materials. Say goodbye to the hassle of scouring the internet for resources, and say hello to savings.

Discover incredible free resources

When you first visit the website, it may not immediately strike you as anything special (thanks to a somewhat busy layout), but give it a chance. You'll be pleasantly surprised by the incredible free resources it offers. Need to create a homeschool ID card? Looking for exciting field trip ideas? How about accessing the largest database of free homeschool materials in the world? You'll find all of these valuable resources right here.

A wide array of curriculum choices

Perhaps what you're really searching for is a way to kickstart learning in a specific subject. Head over to the All Curriculum tab to explore your options. While the available products may change due to group buys and promotions, you'll always have plenty to choose from. Categories include Electives, Cathy Duffy Top Picks, Early Learning, Special Needs, Language Arts, All-in-One packages, and more. These offerings may consist of physical items like worksheets and textbooks or subscriptions to online learning resources like Mathseeds. The best-known producers and publishers of homeschooling materials, whether secular or religious, can all be found through Homeschool Buyers Co-op.

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Results tailored to your child's learning style

Shopping with the Homeschool Buyers Club is a great experience, especially when you're faced with a vast catalog of options. They've designed a curriculum selection engine that streamlines the process by asking you to describe your homeschooler in a short quiz. You can choose from traits like studious, resourceful, quick learner, and more. Then you're asked whether they lean towards physical, verbal, or logical thinking, and so on. At the end of this process, you'll be shown a few hand-picked resources.

Big savings

You can save a lot when you buy your homeschool materials here. Here are some examples we found during our last visit:

  • Rosetta Stone Lifetime Student Access for $179 (down from $299 retail)
  • Reading Horizons Elevate-At-Home for $159 (down from $199 retail)
  • Supercharged e-Science for K-8 for $366.60 (down from $564 retail)

No free shipping

The only area where we believe Homeschool Buyer's Co-Op could improve their savings is by offering free shipping for orders over a certain amount. If they already offer this, they should advertise it more prominently on their website. As things are, when we added a $20 workbook to our cart, we were looking at $6.99 for shipping.

No membership fees

You're probably wondering by now how much it costs to take advantage of these savings, and the answer is straightforward: it's entirely free. The club's main goal is to make high-quality curriculum and resources accessible to all homeschooling families without any hidden fees. They also prioritize safeguarding your personal information, assuring that it won't be sold or shared with third parties. There's no hidden agenda here; the club's mission centers on providing valuable discounts on educational resources by pooling the purchasing power of thousands of homeschooling families.

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Gain rewards points when you join

When you become a member, you unlock significant discounts on various products and curriculum. The club is diligent in selecting top-notch offerings and offers free resources such as curriculum reviews, field trip ideas, contests, and scholarships. Upon joining, you receive 100 SmartPoints, which can be used towards your purchases of curriculum and supplements from their catalog. Additionally, your membership contributes to the collective influence of over 300,000 homeschooling families, allowing the club to secure even more substantial deals for everyone involved.

Impressive reputation

You'll be glad to hear that this company has a solid reputation - they've got a stellar "A+" rating and are accredited by the BBB. Plus, they're popular among all sorts of homeschool families, from those who follow a more structured school-at-home approach to the free-spirited "unschoolers". Who doesn't love to save big on their homeschool supplies?

Top marks

When you set out into the Homeschool Buyers Co-op catalog, it's like embarking on a treasure hunt. You may not know exactly what you'll stumble upon, but you can bet it'll be a pleasant surprise. It's one of those rare homeschool supply stores that truly meets every type of homeschooler's needs, and the best part is that the prices are amazing. We give Homeschool Buyers Co-op our highest rating.

Time 4 Learning Review 4.5 Star Rating

Time 4 Learning

4.5 Star Rating
  • Interactive online curriculum for PreK-12
  • Covers core subjects, including evolution and historical views of religion
  • Access to materials across different grades; course adjustments in high school
  • Over 3,500 activities, mini-games for engagement
  • Streamlined progress tracking and report generation
  • Different rates for PreK-8 ($24.95) and high school ($34.95), with additional discounts
  • Recognized by the IBCCES, suitable for students with autism
  • Activity Planner, community engagement, customer support
  • "C-" due to potential customer service issues

Time4Learning is an online educational platform founded in 2004 by John Edelson. He combined his expertise in computer games and educational software to create an engaging, interactive curriculum for students from pre-kindergarten through high school.

Popular tool for homeschooling

Initially developed to cater to the individual learning pace of his children, Time4Learning has since become a popular tool for homeschooling, after-school enrichment, and skill building, offering lessons across core subjects and electives. The self-paced program emphasizes a personalized approach to education, allowing students to master subjects with flexibility, and provides parents with detailed progress reports, aligning with state standards to support a variety of educational needs.

Secular curriculum

Time4Learning is not a religious program. It's a secular (non-religious) homeschool curriculum, so its lessons on math, language arts, science, and social studies don't have any religious content. They do teach about evolution because it's part of the standard scientific understanding that you would learn about in public schools. Time4Learning is made for all kinds of families, so if there's anything that doesn't fit with your beliefs, you can skip those parts. They do talk about religion when it comes to how it has affected history and cultures, but they don't promote any one religion over another; they just give the facts.

PreK-12th grade

Time4Learning offers a complete online curriculum for PreK-12th grade, covering subjects like math, language arts, social studies, and science. They also have elective subjects like psychology and personal finance. Time4Learning's key advantage is flexibility, with students accessing lessons at their convenience, and parents customizing grade levels to match their child's abilities and interests.

Access to review materials

A significant strength of Time4Learning is that your Prek-8 child can also access lessons one grade level above or below the one you've assigned them so they can review previous material and challenge themselves whenever they wish. Students in high school can switch courses as needed. For example, if your child excels in 7th grade English Language Arts but needs to revisit 6th grade grammar, they can easily access materials from grades 6-8. Similarly, for high school students, there's freedom to shift between courses based on their proficiency. If a student finds Algebra I too basic and is ready for Geometry, they can make that switch without much fuss. This adaptability is what sets Time4Learning apart as an exceptionally flexible online educational resource.

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Mini-games promote engagement

Time4Learning offers an engaging approach. With over 3,500 interactive lessons, students enjoy learning by applying knowledge to real-life situations - for example, a math mini-game that involves adding up the worth of pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters. Assessment tools track progress, and fun games provide a break from lessons.

Age-appropriate materials

Time4Learning has something special for students of all ages. If you're starting with them in PreK, get ready for interactive activities that make learning fun. As you venture into the early elementary grades, they'll help your student with reading, basic math, and introduce them to cool science stuff. Upper elementary takes it up a notch with reading strategies, decimals, and understanding economics. In middle school, your child will expand their vocabulary, tackle linear equations, and more essential skills. Finally, in high school, Time4Learning dives deep into precalculus, scientific investigations, the classics, and understanding the ins and outs of government and foreign policy.

Practice math foundations

Time4Learning also includes free extra resources like Time4MathFacts to help students strengthen their math skills. Time4MathFacts is a dynamic, engaging component of the Time4Learning package that bolsters students' math basics. It's designed for second to fourth graders but is also advantageous for older students who might need to improve their fundamental math skills. The program personalizes learning, scaling difficulty based on individual performance in addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division through interactive, game-based activities. It incentivizes learning by rewarding quick and accurate answers with tokens, which can be used to customize avatars. Parents can view comprehensive reports to monitor their children's progress.

Streamlined parental support

Parents benefit from automated grading, reporting, and the Activity Planner for customized learning paths. Using the Activity Planner, you can incorporate breaks or time off for your student at any point throughout the academic year, and the schedule you've created will adapt automatically. Time4Learning also promotes community engagement and offers friendly customer support for homeschooling challenges.

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Generate detailed reports any time

Time4Learning offers a valuable feature for homeschooling parents: automated grading and detailed reporting. These tools simplify the task of monitoring your child's progress, maintaining records, and creating transcripts or portfolios. It's especially helpful for busy parents juggling multiple responsibilities. You have the flexibility to generate customized reports tailored to your specific needs, whether it's for a quick overview or a more in-depth assessment. For instance, if you want to evaluate your child's math performance halfway through the year, Time4Learning's reporting features allow you to easily compile the precise data you need.

$24.95 per month for PreK to 8th

Time4Learning's membership cost varies by grade level. For PreK to 8th grade, it's $24.95 for the first student and $19.95 for each additional student. High school is $34.95 per student, which includes four courses. Extra high school courses are $5 each per month. There's a discount of $19.95 for one high school student if you have a student in lower grades. Billing starts on the registration day, with no hidden fees, a 14-day money-back guarantee for new members, and flexibility to start, stop, or pause anytime through the Parent Dashboard. Canceled accounts maintain access until the billing cycle ends.

Certified by the IBCCES

How does Time4Learning accommodate children with special needs? They recognize that each student has their own pace and style of learning, which is why they offer customizable lessons in reading, writing, and math. A student can work on different grade levels for different subjects, depending on what they need. For example, if a 10th grader excels in math, they can tackle 11th-grade material, but if they need extra help in English, they can review 9th-grade lessons. Plus, the program is interactive and uses animations to keep learning engaging, which can be especially helpful for students who get bored easily or need more stimulation. The International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES) has certified Time4Learning as a resource for Autism.

Eases parent workload

Although Time4Learning doesn't provide physical homeschooling materials, it's highly rated in our review for a key reason. A common concern among homeschooling parents, especially newcomers, is determining what to teach their children. Time4Learning offers a ready-made, age-appropriate curriculum for comprehensive education. This is extremely helpful in reducing the stress of planning lessons, even if you don't use it for every subject or follow it strictly. It's a valuable tool for guiding your homeschooling journey.

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Poor rating from the BBB despite thousands of 5-star reviews

Unfortunately, Time4Learning has a "C-" grade from the BBB - down from their "A+" at the time of our last review. The bulk of the 1-star reviews seem to revolve around unresponsive customer service to inquiries about billing issues. 3- and 4-star reviews mention that sometimes lessons aren't marked as complete despite the student having finished them, extra learning resources being difficult to track down, and the mini-games becoming repetitive. That said, Time4Learning still enjoys a 4.5-star rating across nearly 3,000 customer reviews.

Customer support and Facebook community available

You can get help with Time4Learning in a few easy ways. If you want to talk to someone, you can call them from Monday to Friday, between 8:30 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. Eastern Time. They also answer emails every day of the week. Or, if you like talking to other parents who use Time4Learning, you can join their Facebook group for families.

Recommended, but keep BBB review in mind

Time4Learning makes homeschooling easier with its affordable and simple-to-use platform. While many parents and some organizations recommend it for starting homeschool, it's worth noting that it has a "C-" rating from the BBB, possibly due to customer support issues, though we're not sure of the exact reasons. Even without physical teaching materials, Time4Learning is still a good online tool for many homeschool families, and it edges out its closest competitor because it includes high school curricula. For all these reasons, Time4Learning earns a very high rating in our review.

Discount School Supply Review 4 Star Rating

Discount School Supply

4 Star Rating
  • Offers a variety of homeschooling materials, including furniture, STEM, and arts and crafts supplies
  • Potential for significant savings through product bundling
  • No specific homeschool category; products are now in general categories like Outdoor Learning and STEM/Curriculum
  • Includes educational kits for various ages, focusing on literacy and math skills
  • Free shipping on orders over $99 and a 110% low price guarantee
  • Returns within 30 days are free, but later returns or drop-shipped items incur fees
  • Best suited for craft and science supplies for students up to 7th grade

When you explore Discount School Supply, you're stepping into a vast catalog of diverse homeschool resources suitable for a wide range of ages. This retailer offers everything you need to make homeschooling a breeze, from comfortable kid-sized furniture to keep your little ones focused to a variety of STEM and craft supplies. Plus, bundling products can lead to significant savings.

Homeschool category is gone

Discount School Supply used to have a designated category for all of their homeschool products, like craft project kits, STEM activities, and Steven Spangler science kits, but it looks like this category is no more. Instead, you'll have to start out with a basic idea of what you're looking for and select the corresponding category. These include Outdoor Learning, Classroom Tools, Teacher Supplies, STEM/Curriculum, and more. Keep in mind, though, that most of the homeschool materials cater to younger students, typically up to 7th grade. We appreciate the straightforward, user-friendly design of this website. Unlike some online stores where finding homeschool materials can be overwhelming, Discount School Supply keeps things simple and organized.

Engage with Family Kits

The Family Engagement Kits really shine here. They're a great mix of learning and fun, perfect for bringing families together. For example, there's the Read, Write & Play Pack for Upper Grades. It's a well-thought-out kit put together by teachers to boost important literacy skills in older kids. It's got all sorts of interactive stuff like journals, dry erase mats, question chips, task cards, and even a literacy game. Then there's the math kit for kids 5 and older. It's aimed at helping kids get really good at addition and subtraction up to 20. This kit is packed with colorful, game-like tools like a dry erase activity book, decoders, a gumball game, and more, all designed for lots of repeat use and to make learning a family affair. These kits are usually between $25 and $40.

Affordable prices

Shopping at Discount School Supply comes with several perks. You'll enjoy free shipping on orders over $99. (This used to be a minimum of $33, but we aren't surprised prices have gone up here, too.) Otherwise, shipping will cost 15% of your order total. Discount School Supply has a 110% low price guarantee, which means that if you find a lower price on the same item from another supplier, they will match that price and give you a refund of 10% of the difference. Plus, keep an eye out for frequent promotions displayed on their homepage, like 50% off select items.

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Restocking fees apply

The return process here is straightforward, but fees vary based on the product. Items purchased directly from Discount School Supply (as opposed to one of their manufacturers) can be returned within 30 days in original packaging for a full refund. Items returned after 30 days might incur a 30% restocking fee. For drop-shipped items, like furniture, restocking fees start at 15% and may vary depending on the manufacturer's policy.

Categories might be too broad

We do wish that Discount School Supply hadn't done away with their Homeschool category - their curriculum items are no longer in one place, so you have to shop by brand or subject instead, and some results might be intended for a classroom setting, not a homeschool. This change means you might have a harder time narrowing down the learning materials you want to use in your child's educational journey if you don't have something specific in mind.

Highly recommended

For most of your homeschooling needs, especially craft and science project supplies, Discount School Supply is an affordable option. We're especially impressed with their 110% price guarantee. While you may need to find other sources for materials for middle and high school students, this retailer is a top choice for a wide range of homeschool supplies.

BrainPOP Review 4 Star Rating

BrainPOP

4 Star Rating
  • Short, fun videos with characters Moby and Tim
  • Tests comprehension post-video
  • Includes concept mapping and vocabulary exercises
  • Higher scores on state tests for BrainPOP users
  • Up to 4 student profiles and teacher resources
  • Content labeled for parental discretion
  • Focus on science and standard school subjects
  • "A+" Better Business Bureau rating
  • iOS app logs activity; Android users should use mobile web
  • Best used with other resources for advanced study
  • Two-week trial available for new users

BrainPOP stands out in the realm of educational resources with its origins tracing back to 1999. Dr. Avraham Kadar conceptualized a way to break down complex subjects into engaging, digestible content for children.

Animated educational videos

From the outset, BrainPOP has been dedicated to creating animated educational videos that aren't just informative, but also genuinely entertaining, often infused with a type of humor that resonates with kids. The platform uses a combination of wit, playful animation, and relatable scenarios to keep students captivated and eager to learn. This approach to education through amusement has become BrainPOP's signature, making it a popular tool in classrooms, homeschools, and anywhere learning happens.

Engaging video content

A BrainPOP lesson typically starts with an animated video that's both informative and entertaining. These videos usually last five minutes and feature Moby, an orange robot, and Tim, his human friend, who explore and explain a specific topic or concept. For example, in a science lesson about volcanoes, Tim might talk about the science behind volcanic eruptions while Moby provides humorous moments that also reinforce the lesson's content.

Follow-up quizzes

After watching the video, students can take an interactive quiz that tests their comprehension of the material just covered. This quiz usually consists of multiple-choice questions directly related to key points from the video. It serves both as an immediate assessment tool and a reinforcement of what the student has learned.

Further learning activities

Beyond the video and quiz, BrainPOP lessons include various activities designed to deepen understanding and apply knowledge. Learning activities offered by BrainPOP include concept mapping, graphic organizers, related readings, and vocabulary exercises. BrainPOP Jr. learning activities include writing about a topic, discussing it, engaging in word play, and drawing about it.

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Students who use BrainPOP perform better

A study comparing students who use BrainPOP with those who don't found that the BrainPOP users did better on state tests at the end of the school year in 2015-2016. This study was done across five states - California, Colorado, Florida, New York, and Texas - and looked at kids in grades 3-8 in three main subjects: reading and writing (ELA), math, and science. The team, led by Dr. Kevin Miklasz, found that the improvement in scores for BrainPOP users was not just a fluke - it was a real difference that could be clearly seen in the numbers. On average, students with BrainPOP did better than students without it, with score increases of about 38 points for ELA, 45 points for math, and 46 points for science. These positive results are strong enough to meet the "Moderate Evidence" level by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) standards, which means there's good evidence that BrainPOP really helps students learn better.

Homeschool plan recommended

BrainPOP offers two types of plans for families: the Homeschool plan and the Family plan. For homeschool parents, we highly recommend the Homeschool plan. With this plan, you can create up to 4 student profiles (as opposed to only 2 with the Family plan), access learning activities and student creativity tools, use a teacher dashboard to assign work, and access professional development resources. Professional development resources include lesson plans, pacing guides, and instructional resources from the Educator's Hub. Additionally, standards alignment guides (aligned to Common Core, US State, and Next Generation Science) can be found on every topic page.

Plans for different grades

As a homeschooling parent, BrainPOP has you covered from kindergarten to 8th grade. For the little ones in K-3, you can opt for BrainPOP Jr., which comes at a friendly cost of $29.95 monthly or an annual rate of $295. Moving up the educational ladder, for children in grades 3-8, the standard BrainPOP plan is set at $39.95 per month or a yearly subscription of $350.

Combo plan for multiple age groups

Do you have kids in multiple grades? The BrainPOP Combo plan is your go-to option, granting access to the full range of K-8 materials for $49.95 a month or $430 annually. This is ideal if you're juggling different grade levels under one roof. You also might consider this plan if you have a precocious second grader who would benefit from access to materials beyond their grade level in a given subject.

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You may need to monitor your child's use

Some parents who used BrainPOP have requested the ability to hide certain topics from their children until they feel their child is ready for it. For example, there are movies on the menstrual cycle, human reproduction, and drug use. BrainPOP marks these kinds of videos with a Sensitive Content label, meant to indicate that the video includes a topic that may be uncomfortable or sensitive for some viewers. The Sensitive Content designation is usually mentioned in the movie itself or in its description. It appears that there is a setting for school-level administrators to restrict access to certain topics by student grade level; however, it's unclear if parents on a Homeschool plan can also access these content control settings in their dashboard. If not, and if you don't want your child to watch these videos, that means you will have to monitor them while using BrainPOP, which can take away some of your freedom to get other things done in the meanwhile.

Science-based, not religious

BrainPOP is a non-religious educational platform that sticks to standard school subjects and teaches science from an evolutionary perspective. This means it's not specifically designed for homeschools that teach creationism. While it's a good fit for many types of schools and homeschools, families that focus on creationist teachings might find that some of BrainPOP's science content doesn't match their beliefs. Such families may need to look for additional resources that agree with their views or use BrainPOP selectively.

A hit with users

BrainPOP boasts a top-notch "A+" rating from the Better Business Bureau, highlighting its quality and trustworthiness. On top of that, you can find many positive reviews online from parents and teachers. They often talk about how much they like BrainPOP for its fun way of teaching, the variety of subjects it covers, and how easy it is to use in teaching at home or at school.

Learning activity not tracked with Android

BrainPOP's Support team is ready to assist users from Monday to Friday between 9 AM and 5 PM Eastern Time, with the exception of major US holidays. For those wondering about mobile access, BrainPOP does include access to their mobile apps with any subscription plan. However, it's important to note that only the latest iOS apps will log a student's activity and track their progress. If users are on Android or other non-iOS devices and wish to monitor their child's learning journey, they should use their mobile web browsers to ensure that their child's progress is recorded accurately.

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Content is broad but not deep

BrainPOP is great for teaching basic topics to younger students, but as kids get older and start learning more complex subjects, especially in math and science, they might need more detailed study materials than what BrainPOP provides. The platform is super interactive with its videos and quizzes, but it doesn't let you change the curriculum much or give detailed reports on how well a student is doing, which some homeschool parents really need. For subjects like writing and foreign languages, BrainPOP can help, but it won't have everything needed for a full learning experience. So, parents will likely use BrainPOP alongside other learning tools. Also, since BrainPOP is all online, if you want your kids to do hands-on activities like science experiments, you'll need to organize those yourself to go with the BrainPOP lessons.

Free trial

You can try out BrainPOP for free for two weeks, even the Homeschool plan. When you sign up, they'll ask for your credit card number. If you enjoy BrainPOP and want to keep using it, you don't have to do anything and you'll start getting billed after the trial ends. But if it's not for you, make sure to cancel before the two weeks are up, so you don't get charged. It might be helpful to set a reminder for yourself to make that decision before the trial period is over.

We recommend it

BrainPOP is a well-liked online learning tool that has been around since 1999 and is a favorite for homeschoolers who need something engaging and fun for kids from kindergarten to 8th grade. It's great for teaching many different subjects with short, funny animated videos and quizzes that help kids remember what they learn. While it may not cover everything students need for more advanced study, it's praised for its engaging approach and solid foundation in subjects like science and math. With an excellent reputation, including an "A+" from the Better Business Bureau, and available mobile apps for tracking progress, BrainPOP is handy for parents and fun for kids. Plus, families can test it out with a free two-week trial before deciding to subscribe. Although it doesn't cover high school-level material, BrainPOP still hears a very good rating in our review.

HomeSchool+ Review 3.5 Star Rating

HomeSchool+

3.5 Star Rating
  • PreK-2nd Grade
  • My Math Academy and My Reading Academy
  • 19 courses in arts, sciences, Spanish, and general knowledge
  • Blends technology and hands-on activities
  • Tools for tracking progress and lesson planning
  • Personalized learning paths for students
  • Available for on-the-go learning
  • Monthly and annual subscription options
  • 10-day trial period
  • Up to three students per account

Just getting started with homeschooling your little ones? Homeschool+ might be the place to begin. Catering to the PreK-2nd grade bracket, it's part of the Age of Learning's family of educational programs, which includes ABCmouse and Adventure Academy. Homeschool+ is designed to provide a blended learning experience that incorporates both technology and hands-on activities, aiming to offer a well-rounded and engaging educational foundation.

Developmentally-appropriate math games

The main offerings of Homeschool+ are My Math Academy and My Reading Academy. My Math Academy starts by figuring out each child's math level with fun activities that help create a personalized path of learning. This path covers everything from simple counting to harder addition and subtraction, aiming to sharpen thinking and problem-solving skills. A key part of this learning are the Shapeys, a set of developmentally appropriate characters that double as math manipulatives, making math interesting and easier to understand.

Raise a bookworm

My Reading Academy is all about building strong literacy skills in a fun and comprehensive way. It covers everything from phonics to fluency, comprehension, and vocabulary. By using games, digital books, and videos, it keeps kids engaged and excited about reading. This approach not only helps them develop a love for books but also nurtures critical thinking skills that will benefit them throughout their lives.

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19 more expert-developed courses

Beyond math and reading, Homeschool+ enriches young minds with 19 additional courses in arts, sciences, Spanish, and general knowledge. In science, children join Brandin and Samara from the live-action "Science Fair" series in exciting experiments about gravity and electricity, with demonstrations to replicate at home. Animals & Habitats I teaches about diverse wildlife across habitats, using interactive books and activities like Paint-By-Number. Social studies explore community roles and responsibilities, fostering global awareness. The Art: Colors & Shapes course introduces art basics through songs and projects.

Parent dashboard helps you meet state requirements

Ever wish you had your own personal assistant? Homeschool+ does their best to make this a reality with their Home Educator Tools. With this user-friendly dashboard, parents can easily track their child's progress, assign lessons, and keep an eye on their performance. These handy tools are designed to simplify the teaching process, providing flexible lesson plans, customizable planners, and detailed progress trackers. Should you miss a day of work, no worries - the lesson plan will automatically be adjusted around the gap. If you need to provide detailed information about your homeschool to your state or if you want to evaluate your children's progress, the Homeschool+ Progress Tracker has your back.

Offline lesson plans

If you don't always have access to a computer and an internet connection - maybe one day a week is spent mostly out of the house, running your kids to sports practices or co-ops - you can print out Homeschool+'s offline lessons to take on the go.

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Competitive pricing

At the time of this review, a Homeschool+ subscription was $39.99 per month or $299.99 per year - you'll save $179.89 (or 35%) by opting for the annual plan. These prices are right on par with the direct competitors of Homeschool+ also included in our review. With Homeschool+, you won't be charged until after the first 10 days, so you can try it out before you commit. Just remember to cancel before the deadline if it isn't for you. The subscription includes all core and supplemental resources for up to three students.

Great for young students

Homeschool+ really stands out for families with younger children, thanks to its comprehensive curriculum that spans foundational and elective subjects. It's not just about the range of subjects offered, but also how Homeschool+ tailors the learning experience to each student's needs and supports parents with effective tools like the lesson planner. Although it's limited to Kindergarten through 2nd Grade, if you have a child in this limited age range, we recommend checking out Homeschool+.

Alpha Omega Publications Review 3.5 Star Rating

Alpha Omega Publications

3.5 Star Rating
  • "A+" BBB rating
  • Offers Monarch (online, $399.95/year), Horizons (workbook, up to $315/set) and Lifepac (workbook, up to $315/set) curricula
  • Horizons emphasizes spiral learning; Lifepac focuses on mastery
  • Free placement tests help identify the right educational level
  • Ignite Academy offers teacher support and peer interaction but at a higher cost than some competitors
  • Teaches creationism, which might not suit all families
  • Some course materials, like Economics, may not be up-to-date
  • Ignite has a compressed 18-week schedule and charges for extensions
  • No extra educational materials; free shipping on orders

Alpha Omega Publications is known for its Christian educational resources, from kindergarten up to 12th grade. It's been highlighted in homeschooling guides and has won awards (including Cathy Duffy's 102 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum) that acknowledge its quality and appeal to homeschool families. Its materials cover a broad spectrum of learning levels and integrate faith-based principles.

Four options

AOP offers four primary options for a homeschool education:

  • Monarch: Monarch is a comprehensive online homeschooling program for grades 3-12, offering courses with electives and six key subjects - history, language arts, geography, science with a Christian worldview, math, and Bible. It's convenient for families with features like automatic grading and a customizable learning experience. The subscription is $399.95 per year or $39.95 per month, with a free 30-day trial available without needing a credit card.
  • Lifepac: Lifepac provides workbook-based education from K-12 with a focus on mastery learning and a Christian perspective. It's flexible, allowing purchases of full grade sets or individual subjects. Prices range from $18 for single books to complete sets at $315.
  • Horizons: Horizons offers a visually engaging, workbook-style curriculum with a spiral learning approach for Pre-K to 12th grade. It's parent-directed and includes subjects like math and reading, with prices from $16 to $120.
  • Ignite Christian Academy: Ignite Christian Academy (formerly Alpha Omega Academy) allows for a customizable learning experience with both full-time and single-course enrollments. It provides continuous teacher support and options for college-level courses for high school students. The academy also offers the possibility to use state education funds for tuition.

Mastery vs. spiral method

At first glance, the Horizons and Lifepac homeschool programs can seem pretty similar (both are workbook-based), but there are a few distinctions. Horizons starts kids on a higher level early on, making it more demanding from the get-go, and it keeps parents involved throughout the learning process. It uses a spiral method, circling through different topics quickly, which suits kids who catch on fast and get bored without constant stimulation. Lifepac, however, lets kids concentrate on one subject at a time, encouraging them to master each area before moving on and becoming more self-guided as students advance.

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Placement tests available

Alpha Omega Publications offers placement tests to help homeschooling parents teach more effectively. For example, if you're teaching a fifth grader, these tests could reveal that they're on track with science and history, but they might need a third-grade English program or a sixth-grade math level. This prevents any learning gaps and ensures your child isn't bored or overwhelmed. It's a handy tool for customizing education to your child's strengths and areas for improvement.

Ignite program includes student-to-student interaction

Ignite Christian Academy, in comparison to another accredited Christian academy featured in our review, offers a more interactive and teacher-supported approach to accredited homeschooling. According to a seasoned homeschooling parent, Ignite provides direct access to licensed teachers and peer interaction for students, which contrasts with the other program where support often came from front-desk staff. Like that other program, Ignite also relieves parents from the burden of grading, but it also offers a variety of extracurricular activities like art, music, and drama. Although Ignite is more expensive (almost twice the cost for a full year of curriculum), this parent's testimonial and others indicate that the extra investment may provide a more complete and supportive educational experience, along with better overall customer service.

Ignite is creationist - but maybe not creationist enough for some

Ignite Christian Academy teaches science from a creationist point of view, maintaining that God created the world in six days as described in the Bible. They suggest that scientific evidence across fields like biology and geology fits better with creationism than with evolution. Ignite will therefore suit families seeking a Christianity-centric education, but its religious emphasis, including required Bible courses, will be off-putting for non-religious families. They may also not be religious enough for you, depending on your beliefs. For example, one reviewer complained that the "beginnings of life" were taught about through examining fossils instead of reading Genesis, and that there weren't enough mentions of God and scripture in their courses.

Courses may not be up-to-date

Another concern to consider is that Ignite's curricular updates aren't always frequent. While some subjects like Spanish remain fairly unchanged over time, others, particularly Economics, could suffer from outdated materials, making the content less relevant. This issue tends to affect higher grade levels more, so it may not be a significant worry for those teaching very young children.

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Ignite is fast-paced with few breaks

Ignite expects students to keep to a tight schedule - squeezing a typical 20-week semester into 18 weeks. This leaves little room for the unexpected, and there's been frustration over additional fees for extensions: $85 for a week's extension per class (even if only a day is needed) or $300 for a month.

No other homeschool materials and supplies

At Alpha Omega Publications, you won't find a stock of homeschool supplies like craft materials or science lab kits; they focus solely on curriculum offerings, and you'll need to look elsewhere for those extras. However, they do provide free shipping on all orders, which can ease the cost of getting your educational resources.

Ranks well

Alpha Omega Publications has a great reputation, demonstrated by an "A+" rating from the Better Business Bureau. It offers a wide range of curriculum formats, from online to traditional pen-and-paper options, suiting different learning styles. But they only teach from a Christian perspective and don't have supplementary materials like art supplies, so they might not have everything you need for homeschooling. For these reasons, they don't snag our top spot, but we'd recommend them if their philosophical views align with your own.

Evan-Moor Review 3 Star Rating

Evan-Moor

3 Star Rating
  • Evan-Moor is a veteran in PreK-8 educational materials
  • Engages kids with themed units and games in their workbooks
  • Cost-effective bundles for grades PreK-6
  • Subscription service for customizable resource access
  • Printable worksheets and lessons available online
  • On orders over $40, with certain conditions
  • For print products, with some exclusions
  • Mainly offers workbooks, not suitable for all ages or high school

If workbooks are your go-to choice for homeschooling, then Evan-Moor is a great option for you. They are one of the biggest publishers of educational materials, and you might have already come across their workbooks at your favorite school supplies store. Evan-Moor has been in the business since 1979, and their mission is to create engaging and practical materials for students in PreK-8th grades.

Entertaining for kids

Evan-Moor curriculum is designed to include activities that foster a deeper understanding of concepts by organizing units around themes that are engaging for children. Their spelling activities are interactive, encouraging students to apply words in various contexts, integrating games like crossword puzzles and creative "spellamadoodle" activities, making learning dynamic and not just repetitive.

Fantastic curriculum bundles

If you're looking to cover an entire year of homeschooling, Evan-Moor offers Curriculum Bundles for grades PreK-6. For example, the Kindergarten Curriculum covers important skills in subjects like math, reading, writing, language, science, geography, and critical thinking for $96.67. As the grades go up, so do the prices, with the Grade 6 Curriculum costing $364.31. Buying a Bundle often saves you more than $100 compared to buying each workbook individually. Materials for grades 7 and 8 do not come in bundles.

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Print what you need

But what if you don't need a whole workbook (or an entire set, for that matter)? Evan-Moor has a solution for that too with their Teacher File Box. You can try it out for free for 30 days and then subscribe for $17.99 per month or $129.99 per year. This gives you access to just the pages you need of Evan-Moore's resources for PreK-6 learners, covering various skills, arts and crafts, hands-on projects, and more. Just remember to include the cost of paper and printer ink in your calculations. If you're still not sure about Teacher File Box, you can take advantage of their 14-day free trial (no credit card required) that allows you to print 50 pages.

Explore free materials

Before making a purchase, we recommend taking advantage of Evan-Moor's free resources on their website. You can find printable worksheets, trial interactive lessons, and if you sign up for their e-newsletter, you'll get free lessons delivered weekly to your inbox.

Free shipping on orders over $40

Evan-Moor offers free shipping for online orders over $40. Keep in mind that if your order drops below $40 with a coupon, you won't qualify for free shipping. Otherwise, shipping is between $6.99 and $8.99, or 15% of your order for purchases over $100.

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100% satisfaction guarantee

If you're not happy with a print product you bought, Evan-Moor has a 90-day return policy. You can return the book within 90 days for a refund of the purchase price as long as it's in unused condition. Just remember, you'll have to pay for the return postage, and they won't refund any original shipping and handling costs. E-books and items in the online SALE section, especially those with big discounts (75% or more), can't be returned or exchanged.

They only sell workbooks

Given that Evan-Moor's products come highly recommended by both parents and certified teachers, you might think they'd rank a little higher in our review. However, our ranking of them is influenced by the fact that they primarily offer workbooks. While this will be exactly what some homeschoolers are looking for, we have to consider the outliers. For example, workbooks may have limited appeal for younger children, who might view them as pricey coloring books, or for older students who may feel they've outgrown them and would benefit from a textbook or online program. Also, Evan-Moor doesn't have anything for high schoolers.

Good for worksheets, not much else

If all you need is a way to print out worksheets for occasional use or something portable for on-the-go learning, Evan-Moor has got your back. But if you want science kits for hands-on experiments, art materials for creative projects, or curriculum for high school subjects, you should consider checking out the other homeschool supply stores in our review that specialize in those things.

7 Sisters Homeschool Review 3 Star Rating

7 Sisters Homeschool

3 Star Rating
  • Founded by six mothers with extensive homeschooling experience
  • Offers resources with a friendly tone and a Christian perspective
  • Curriculum available digitally, with printable options for diverse learning styles
  • High school level curriculum including financial literacy, health, social sciences, and electives
  • Interactive coaching sessions for tailored homeschooling support at $50 for 45 minutes
  • Offers 33% discount on educational resources for co-ops
  • Non-religious materials meeting specific state requirements for reimbursement
  • Active Facebook presence and private group for resource sharing and support
  • Direct email contact for inquiries and support

7 Sisters Homeschool is an educational initiative established by six mothers with extensive experience in homeschooling, focused on providing curriculum and support for families teaching children at home, especially through high school. Their approach is to offer adaptable, no-busywork resources that prioritize meaningful learning, with a friendly tone and a Christian worldview. The name reflects the sense of community they aim to create, with the "seventh sister" representing the broader homeschooling community they serve.

Environmentally conscious and flexible

7 Sisters Homeschool offers all its curriculum in a digital, eco-friendly format. Despite being primarily digital, their resources are also printable, accommodating different learning preferences. The curriculum works well for independent study, as well as for homeschool co-ops, with discounts available for groups and additional resources like lesson plans for certain courses.

Resources for every subject

7 Sisters Homeschool provides a variety of educational resources tailored for high school level homeschoolers, though there are some Elementary and Middle School resources available, too. Their curriculum spans essential subjects such as financial literacy, health, and social sciences, along with elective courses like speech. The English resources aim to simplify the learning process, offering literature and writing guides that focus on developing comprehension and analytical skills in a stress-free way. These materials are great for a whole school year or just to help with specific areas like essays or poetry writing.

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Focus on building life skills

The curriculum provided by 7 Sisters incorporates real-life applications. For instance, their Financial Literacy course prepares teens to handle their finances effectively throughout their lives, and the Philosophy in Four Questions encourages critical thinking about the ideas that shape our world. The aim is to offer lessons that go beyond academics, equipping students with practical skills and principles that are applicable in daily life.

Faith-based curriculum

7 Sisters' literature study guides cover a broad spectrum, including American and British classics, influential Christian writers, and diverse world literature, promoting not only understanding of the texts but also critical thinking and personal growth. 7 Sisters even uses movies to teach about storytelling and offers specific author studies on influential Christian writers like C.S. Lewis. They also offer material on Christian Apologetics.

Online courses for students and parents

7 Sisters Homeschool also offers self-paced online courses for both high school students and parents. These courses are flexible and can be completed at a pace that suits the user. They include video and text in each lesson to enhance learning. The courses offered for high school students include an APA Research Paper course, an Introduction to Psychology from a Christian Perspective, and a fun course on Shakespeare. For parents, there is a free mini-course for those who feel intimidated by homeschooling during high school, and a comprehensive 16-lesson course on how to homeschool high school students efficiently and effectively.

Personalized homeschool support

7 Sisters Homeschool provides coaching services that act as a guiding companion for your homeschooling journey. These services are designed to offer support, whether it's boosting your confidence, solving educational challenges, or finding a local homeschool community. By connecting with a coach, you gain access to a seasoned homeschool parent's experience and insights, aimed at empowering you and enhancing your homeschooling experience. The coaching process is personalized and interactive, involving discussions about your family, your teaching methods, and any specific issues you wish to address, from selecting the right curriculum to managing a child's unique learning needs.

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$50 for 45 minute session

When you engage in a coaching session with 7 Sisters, you'll first fill out a detailed questionnaire to clarify your goals and challenges. During the coaching session, conducted via video chat or phone, you'll explore strategies and resources tailored to your needs, whether that's improving daily homeschooling routines, enhancing co-op classes, or preparing high schoolers for college. The coaches, including experts like Vicki Tillman and Marilyn Groop, bring diverse backgrounds and professional qualifications to the table, ensuring you receive well-rounded support. At $50 for a 45-minute session, payable online, the coaching is an investment in achieving a fulfilling and effective homeschooling environment.

Save money on homeschool group resources

7 Sisters Homeschool makes it easier and more affordable for homeschool groups, like co-ops and classes, to get great teaching materials. They offer a generous 33% discount on their educational resources when you use them in your group. To get started, all you need to do is send them a quick email about your group. They also provide free stuff like syllabi to plan your courses and guides to help if you're putting together transcripts. Plus, there are fun, free videos for learning poetry and important documents that many homeschool groups really enjoy.

State-reimbursable curriculum

If you're homeschooling in states like Alaska and California, where you can get money back for the curriculum you use, 7 Sisters has got you covered. They've altered some of their materials to meet the specific requirements of these states - meaning they're non-religious and adhere to the educational guidelines. This makes it easier for families to benefit from the 7 Sisters approach to learning while also being cost-effective. They're continually expanding their offerings, so keep checking in for new texts, literature, and writing guides. And if you're searching for something specific, don't hesitate to reach out to them. They offer a variety of materials that are eligible for reimbursement, including comprehensive literature courses, study guides for individual novels, and a guide to writing a personal statement.

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Not listed with the BBB

While you won't find 7 Sisters Homeschool on official rating sites like the Better Business Bureau or Trustpilot, it's got a decent fan base on the web. Several Christian homeschooling bloggers have given it the thumbs up on their blogs, sharing their personal stories and successes with the curriculum. Over on Facebook, the 7 Sisters Homeschool page has attracted a cozy crowd of around 5,000 likes, showing that a good number of parents enjoy what they're doing. They've also got a private Facebook group where everyone from newbies to veteran homeschoolers can hang out, swap tips, and chat about their homeschooling journey with 7 Sisters materials.

Contactable via email

If you're looking through the 7 Sisters Homeschool site and can't find details on their return policy, you're not alone. It seems like they haven't got a clear return policy posted, which might be expected for a smaller operation like this. But don't worry, they're not leaving you hanging. They've listed an email address, so if you've got questions about a purchase or you're thinking about a return, you can shoot them a message. They seem like the kind of folks who are ready to help out and provide the info you need.

A good choice for community-oriented Christian homeschool parents

If you're homeschooling high schoolers with a Christian faith-based approach and value a strong sense of community, 7 Sisters Homeschool could be a more fitting choice compared to other options in our review. We found the variety of curriculum options on their website impressive, and believe their coaching sessions could be particularly beneficial for parents new to homeschooling. However, 7 Sisters is not a top competitor in our review because most of their materials cater to a Christian worldview and may not align with a secular educational approach. Additionally, the creators of the curriculum might not hold the same level of formal credentials as authors of some other curricula we've reviewed.

Knowledge Box Central Review 2.5 Star Rating

Knowledge Box Central

2.5 Star Rating
  • Offers interactive lapbooks for creative, hands-on learning
  • Utilizes color psychology and shape recognition to aid memory
  • Lapbook journals for older students, combining hands-on activities with journaling
  • Browse by subject or age with resources for all age groups, including teachers
  • Overstock sales, $1 deals, and a $5 discount on first digital orders
  • eBooks for home printing, with no refunds post-download
  • Most products under $10
  • Primarily lapbooks, lacking a broad range of educational tools
  • Best suited for visual and kinesthetic learning styles

To explain what Knowledge Box Central offers for homeschooling, we'll first need to explain what lapbooks are. Picture a learning scrapbook with folders and booklets that you put together yourself - essentially, a personalized educational pop-up book. It's meant to be a fun and interactive way to learn, covering everything from graphic organizers and maps to creative writing and vocabulary. For this, you'll need basic supplies like glue and scissors.

Lapbooks for young learners

Other companies sell lapbooks, but Knowledge Box Central tries to stand out by emphasizing their use of the science of color psychology and shape recognition to make learning more engaging and help students remember information longer. For example, a component of a lapbook that has three answers will often be displayed in a triangle shape or a piece of paper meant to be folded three times. We were expecting to find some how-to videos on the Videos tab; however, there was nothing there. You can still check out the introductory video on the landing page for insights into color psychology and to see a finished lapbook.

Lapbook journals for teens

Worried that lapbooks might be too juvenile for older students? Knowledge Box Central has thought of that too. For middle and high school students, they offer "lapbook journals." These still have the hands-on elements of a lapbook but include more journaling pages. These pages come with questions and space for notes, allowing students to document their thought processes.

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Benefits for visual and kinesthetic learners

The lapbook method is especially beneficial for visual and hands-on learners. Assembling information into a physical product can help these students grasp concepts more easily than traditional learning methods. Your child is much less likely to forget that it was Michelangelo, not da Vinci, who sculpted "David" if he or she remembers inserting a printed photo of it into a paper pocket labeled "Michelangelo's Famous Works of Art".

Easy shopping by subject or age

Shopping on Knowledge Box Central is straightforward. You can browse by subject or age group. They cover all core subjects like Art, Language Arts, Math, and Science, and specialized topics like Bible studies and Financial Responsibility. We even noticed lapbooks for topics like the History of Flight, Black History, and First Aid. There are resources for all age groups, from toddlers to teens, and even materials for parents and teachers. Keep an eye out for their Overstock Sale and $1 deals for bargains. Plus, they offer a $5 discount on your first digital order when you sign up for their email list.

Print-at-home

Knowledge Box Central's lapbooks are primarily sold as eBooks, printable at home in PDF format. If you're not up for printing them yourself, look for their products on third-party sites for pre-printed versions or CDs. Remember, there are no refunds for eBooks once downloaded.

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Affordable learning tools

One major perk of shopping here is the affordability. Most of their lapbooks, journals, and copybooks are under $10, mainly because they are digital. This means there's no real risk to trying them out. If lapbooks don't suit your child's learning style, worst case scenario, you're out a few dollars. Just don't forget to calculate the cost of paper and ink if this is a learning tool you expect to be regularly integrating into your child's education.

Grammatical errors

A small nitpick we had with Knowledge Box Central is that they tend to use the male pronoun as the default when referring to a hypothetical student. Additionally, there were a couple of minor punctuation issues, such as a missing comma in the sentence "It's more than a craft it is an experience."

Narrow focus

Knowledge Box Central is one of our lower-ranked homeschool supply retailers because of their narrow focus. You won't find a wide range of homeschool materials like math tools, well-known curricula, online learning games, or science projects on their site. If your child isn't a fan of crafting or doesn't specifically need a kinesthetic approach, or if you're looking for a broader range of educational materials, this site won't be the best fit for your needs. We suggest also exploring some of the other websites in our review that offer more comprehensive catalogs.

Abeka Review 2.5 Star Rating

Abeka

2.5 Star Rating
  • Established homeschooling provider with a Christian-based curriculum since 1954
  • Offers structured K-12 distance learning with recognized accreditation
  • Credits generally accepted by other institutions, aiding transitions
  • Abeka Academy has strict guidelines, including deadlines and late fees
  • Some users report technical glitches in online video lessons
  • Offers flexibility for homeschooling on your terms
  • Full-Grade and Single-Subject Kits simplify many preferences
  • Easy-to-navigate website for homeschooling materials
  • Provides tests and administration guidelines important for state requirements and transitions
  • Reasonably priced packages with materials for a full year of curriculum
  • Presents a creationist worldview in curriculum materials

Abeka is an established name in homeschooling, with a long history dating back to 1954. Originally, Dr. Arlin and Beka Horton established a Christian school in northern Florida where they began by creating their own instructional materials.

Over 1,000 educational materials

Over the years, Abeka has broadened its resources to incorporate video lessons in 1985 and digital textbooks, evaluations, and instructional tools in 2014. Today, they offer a vast inventory of over a thousand educational products for students from nursery to high school. All their resources are created by qualified teachers with practical teaching experience, guaranteeing a top-notch education.

Accredited private school at home

Abeka Academy is a comprehensive, accredited distance learning program offered by Abeka for kindergarten through 12th grade that provides a structured, Christian-based education through video lessons taught by experienced teachers. This accreditation program offers a structured pathway for homeschool parents seeking a program that's recognized for its educational quality. With the backing of the Florida Association of Christian Colleges and Schools and the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools Commissions on Elementary and Secondary Schools, Abeka Academy stands as a credible option for families who want to be sure their homeschooling aligns with established academic standards. Students enrolled in this program aren't just learning at home; they're considered part of a private school, which comes with the benefit of official records like report cards and transcripts that are important for college applications and transferring to other schools.

Credits recognized by other educational institutions

For those considering the Abeka Academy, be mindful of the program's expectations. Deadlines for enrolling, completing assignments, and taking tests are part of the deal, as is sticking to the provided curriculum and submission schedules. This means the program is stricter than what you might encounter with a more flexible homeschooling approach. Credits from this program are generally recognized by other educational institutions, which can make the transition to college or another school smoother. However, that means keeping up with the academic pace set by the program.

Consequences for late submissions

Signing up for Abeka Academy's Video Homeschool Program means agreeing to a set of guidelines and understanding the consequences if these aren't met. If a student doesn't follow the program's rules or if payments aren't up to date, Abeka can terminate enrollment or not release the student's records. The program is strict; for example, you have to watch every video lesson and can't skip subjects - Bible study is a must-do. Late assignments can lead to a pause in your academic status, and there's a $20 fee to reactivate it. If DVDs are not returned on time, it can delay future enrollments and you'll lose the option to pay in installments. If you decide to drop a course after two months, you might also face academic penalties.

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Transfer not guaranteed

It's also essential to know that Abeka Academy's accreditation doesn't guarantee credit transfer to other schools or institutions. Each institution has its own rules about accepting credits from different programs. Some schools may even ask for extra proof of your academic achievements, so make sure you're ready to commit to what's required when you choose Abeka Academy's accredited homeschool program.

Video streaming is glitchy

Abeka Academy's Accredited Program sets high expectations for its courses, which can be tough to keep up with, especially if you choose the online video option over purchasing their DVDs. Some families have shared stories where this strict program becomes even harder to manage when technical glitches happen. In one case, a family with young children struggled as the kids found it hard to sit through long video lessons that often didn't play properly. This led to repeated lessons and issues keeping everything in sync. Life's unexpected moments, like getting sick, made it even tougher to stay on track with the coursework.

Challenges with customer service

When they reached out for help, they were passed around by customer service, faced unresolved technical problems, and were even warned about late fees, although they had finished their assignments. These challenges suggest that if your family's schedule is often changing, or if you'd rather not deal with these kinds of stresses, you might want to think about a different education option. Abeka might still work for you, but perhaps a different program within their system could better match your family's needs and lifestyle.

Independent Study program for more freedom

Abeka's Independent Study program offers a more flexible choice for families who want to manage their homeschooling their way. With this option, you're not required to send in your child's work for grading; you get to decide when and how your child learns. This program still provides you with all the teaching materials you need, such as books and video lessons, but you have the freedom to set your own daily schedule. This can be especially helpful if your child needs more time on certain subjects or if your family travels often. You will need to keep good records of your child's work, though, especially if you're looking to meet college admissions requirements or stay in line with your state's homeschooling laws. Support organizations like the Home School Legal Defense Association can help you make sure you're following those rules.

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Full-Grade Kits cover entire academic year

Abeka offers Full-Grade Child Kits and Parent Kits, which include everything a child needs for core classes from kindergarten to 12th grade. The Child Kits are for parents who are ready to teach on their own, and they come with all the important books and materials for subjects like math and reading. Parents can choose the way these materials look, like if the writing is in cursive or print. The Parent Kits come in two types: Essential and Complete. The Essential Kit has the basics for teaching, such as lesson plans and tests, and the Complete Kit has even more tools like cards and pictures to help with teaching. For older kids in 7th to 12th grade, there are special kits with detailed lesson guides and textbooks.

Single-Subject Kits are cheaper

For those who want to focus on just one subject at a time, Abeka has Single-Subject Kits for grades 1-6 that are a bit cheaper. These kits have everything needed for one area, like math or science, which is great for parents who want to mix different types of learning or only need help with certain subjects. Parents can also pick and mix from Abeka's many products to create a learning plan that's just right for their family.

User-friendly website for seamless shopping

Abeka's website is user-friendly, making it easy to find the homeschool supplies you need. You can filter by product, grade, or subject, which are conveniently grouped into categories like Bible, Electives, History/Geography, Language Arts, Math, and Science/Health. This could be your optimal shopping method if you're only interested in a single course rather than a complete curriculum.

Standardized tests provided by Abeka

Abeka stands out among homeschool material providers by offering a selection of standardized tests. You might wonder why these are necessary when the whole point of homeschooling is often to step away from traditional schooling methods. However, these tests can be important. Depending on where you live, your state may require test scores to show that your child is learning throughout the year, which can be necessary to maintain your status as a homeschooling family.

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Helpful in school transitioning

Moreover, if there's ever a need to transition your child back into a public school setting, these tests can be essential to demonstrate your child's learning level or to help them get into advanced programs. Abeka has a range of tests on offer, such as the Iowa Form E and Stanford 10, among others. The site provides detailed information about what each test involves, any specific states where the test may not apply, and guidelines you must follow to ensure the test is conducted properly.

A full year of curriculum for $1,625

Take a peek at the free sample videos to see what the online classes are like. Abeka Academy also offers a free trial where you can check out all their videos for 25 hours. It's surprisingly not too expensive, even for high school, which usually costs more. You only pay $1,625 for the full, accredited service with teacher grading, or $1,541 for the independent study program where you grade the work yourself, and this includes all your books and videos for a whole year. Remember you still have the option to purchase materials in kits for individual subjects, too.

Creationist worldview

Despite the numerous benefits that Abeka provides, it hasn't clinched a top spot in our rankings for a reason. It's received some flak for its staunchly fundamentalist Christian approach in its educational materials. If that's not your cup of tea, you might find yourself at odds with some of their teachings. For instance, their science books present creationism as the explanation for the origin of species, which may not sit well with those educating from a secular viewpoint. It's a good idea to check out Abeka's beliefs on their "What We Believe" page; they're quite open about their perspective and aren't trying to pull the wool over anyone's eyes.

Only a good match for its niche

Furthermore, if you're on the hunt for a wider array of homeschooling supplies like math tools, art supplies, or musical instruments, you won't find them here. Abeka takes one more hit to its ranking thanks to its "D-" grade from the Better Business Bureau and user complaints about poor customer service. And, there's the downside of the rigidity of the accredited program and the extra fees charged for late work, which could be caused by glitches in video streaming on Abeka's end. Abeka's specialized faith-oriented curriculum makes it an ideal choice for those who align with its views but could be a stark mismatch for a broad range of other homeschooling families.

Compare the Best Reviews

Continued from above...

Homeschool platforms on the internet can be grouped based on how they approach education and how they structure their payment systems. In one corner, you've got the curriculum providers that package everything up neatly, resembling what you'd typically find in a traditional school setting. These all-inclusive bundles usually come with textbooks, workbooks, teacher guides, and assessments. The deal here is a one-time payment that covers the entire curriculum - a straightforward and wallet-friendly choice.

On the flip side, there are websites that thrive on flexibility. They empower parents to cherry-pick individual resources from different publishers to craft a tailor-made curriculum. This is like a buffet where you choose what suits your educational goals or your child's unique learning needs.

Maybe you're teaching history from a textbook you bought from one homeschool provider, and it occurs to you that your child would benefit from a fascinating historical documentary. Supplementary homeschool resource websites offer exactly that. They provide videos, worksheets, and interactive activities to complement your existing curriculum. These resources, such as videos, worksheets, and interactive activities, can give your homeschooling experience an extra kick. Enhancing your educational toolkit this way usually comes at the price of a monthly subscription fee.

In another arena, you'll find platforms that champion the power of the collective. They're all about group buying, letting homeschooling families unite to score the discounts on curriculum materials that public school districts enjoy. This privilege usually requires a membership fee.

Online learning homeschool platforms allow kids to learn while still getting the screen time they might crave. For a monthly or yearly fee, you gain access to a virtual world of learning. It's an enticing option for those who prefer a high-tech homeschooling experience with the convenience of online access, or for those parents who would prefer their iPad Kid be exposed to something more educational (or wholesome) than YouTube's algorithm.

When it comes to homeschooling materials and curriculum websites, you've got plenty of options to consider. To make a smart choice, take these factors into account:

  • Cost. Is the curriculum or resource within your budget? Think about the overall price and whether it's a good deal for what you're getting.
  • Teaching style. Does it match your child's learning approach and your teaching philosophy? Does it offer the flexibility and customization you need?
  • Ease of use. How much time and effort will it take to set up and use the materials? Is it user-friendly or complicated?
  • Support and assurance. What kind of support or warranty is provided? Does it cover not just the curriculum but also potential issues with other resources or services?
  • Returns and adaptability. Are there any return conditions or restrictions if the curriculum doesn't work for your family? Can you adjust it as your child's needs change?

Before making your final decision, it's wise to read reviews, explore product descriptions, and, if available, watch demo videos or sample lessons. Keep in mind that choosing homeschool materials is an investment in your child's education and growth. The right choice should align with your educational goals, your child's learning style, and your family's lifestyle. Top Consumer Reviews has ranked and reviewed the best homeschool supply and curriculum websites, and we hope our evaluation helps you make a confident decision about the next step in your child's educational journey.

The Best Homeschool Supply Companies Compare Homeschool Supply Companies Compare Homeschool Supply Company Reviews What are the best Homeschool Supply Companies Best Homeschool Supply Company Reviews

Homeschool Supply Company FAQ

Homeschooling is a generic term used to refer to educating children outside of a traditional school setting. This is different from "homebound" students, who need to receive instruction at home due to health conditions or other challenges and receive it from a tutor provided by the student's school district.
There are as many as five million homeschool students in grades K-12 in the United States. That number has grown significantly year to year, with many more families taking advantage of the freedom and flexibility inherent in a home education program.
Homeschool philosophies run the spectrum from "school at home" , which tries to replicate the structure and content of a public or private school, to "unschooling" principles of allowing learners to follow their own interests to discover what they want to know. Other ways of structuring a homeschooling program include Montessori, Charlotte Mason, Classical Conversations, world schooling, religious-based curricula, and many more. It's common for homeschool families to experiment with several different approaches over time, so don't worry if you need to try a few on for size to find what fits.
The answers to that question are as diverse as homeschoolers themselves. The first consideration is what laws govern homeschooling in your state: you might be obligated to follow a certain curriculum or to ensure mastery of specific content areas. Beyond that, the materials you use are largely up to you. Are your kids hands-on learners? Do they need video demonstrations? Do you love science experiments? You'll find so much to choose from, it can be challenging to narrow down the possibilities!
Maybe, but not always. Your school district may be happy to give you the textbooks and workbooks that correspond to your child's grade - or they may have policies that actually prohibit them from doing so. And, while your library might have the books, DVDs and digital resources you need to homeschool, you'll probably have to return them before you're done with the unit or lesson you're teaching.
Lucky for you, there are many online retailers that offer an amazing panorama of homeschool materials. You can get all-in-one curricula that cover an entire school year of subject matter, or individual books for the topics you're covering. That doesn't even begin to scratch the surface: from puppets to papier mache kits, or beakers to leveled readers, these stores have you covered. Whether your kids are preschool or pre-college, you can get everything you need to provide a top-notch education.
Absolutely! There's a lot of buying power that comes from a community of millions, and some homeschool supply stores use that to your advantage. You can get group discounts on popular online programs and print materials, find field trip suggestions, or even get a homeschooler photo ID to qualify for student discounts at places near you. Some homeschool supply retailers offer rewards programs that give you points with each purchase. And, you might find discussion groups hosted by the homeschool supply site that can answer your questions, connect you with other homeschoolers in your area, or give you new ideas for your teaching.
Policies vary by retailer, and most require your materials to be in unused condition to be eligible for return or refund. You may also have to pay restocking fees of up to 30%. If you're purchasing a digital subscription to a homeschool program or service, you may be able to cancel within a certain timeframe or suspend your membership. Be sure to read the details before you make a purchase from a homeschool supply store.

Compare Homeschool Supply Companies

Select any 2 Homeschool Supply Companies to compare them head to head

best-homeschool-supplies
  • Homeschool Buyers Club
  • Time 4 Learning
  • Discount School Supply
  • BrainPOP
  • HomeSchool+
  • Alpha Omega Publications
  • Evan-Moor
  • 7 Sisters Homeschool
  • Knowledge Box Central
  • Abeka
Homeschool Buyers Club vs Time 4 Learning Homeschool Buyers Club vs Discount School Supply Homeschool Buyers Club vs BrainPOP Homeschool Buyers Club vs HomeSchool+ Homeschool Buyers Club vs Alpha Omega Publications Homeschool Buyers Club vs Evan-Moor Homeschool Buyers Club vs 7 Sisters Homeschool Homeschool Buyers Club vs Knowledge Box Central Homeschool Buyers Club vs Abeka Time 4 Learning vs Discount School Supply Time 4 Learning vs BrainPOP Time 4 Learning vs HomeSchool+ Time 4 Learning vs Alpha Omega Publications Time 4 Learning vs Evan-Moor Time 4 Learning vs 7 Sisters Homeschool Time 4 Learning vs Knowledge Box Central Time 4 Learning vs Abeka Discount School Supply vs BrainPOP Discount School Supply vs HomeSchool+ Discount School Supply vs Alpha Omega Publications Discount School Supply vs Evan-Moor Discount School Supply vs 7 Sisters Homeschool Discount School Supply vs Knowledge Box Central Discount School Supply vs Abeka BrainPOP vs HomeSchool+ BrainPOP vs Alpha Omega Publications BrainPOP vs Evan-Moor BrainPOP vs 7 Sisters Homeschool BrainPOP vs Knowledge Box Central BrainPOP vs Abeka HomeSchool+ vs Alpha Omega Publications HomeSchool+ vs Evan-Moor HomeSchool+ vs 7 Sisters Homeschool HomeSchool+ vs Knowledge Box Central HomeSchool+ vs Abeka Alpha Omega Publications vs Evan-Moor Alpha Omega Publications vs 7 Sisters Homeschool Alpha Omega Publications vs Knowledge Box Central Alpha Omega Publications vs Abeka Evan-Moor vs 7 Sisters Homeschool Evan-Moor vs Knowledge Box Central Evan-Moor vs Abeka 7 Sisters Homeschool vs Knowledge Box Central 7 Sisters Homeschool vs Abeka Knowledge Box Central vs Abeka
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