Blue Collar Homeschool Curriculum Criteria
In order to be listed in our curriculum lists, materials have to meet certain criteria:
- It must be uncomplicated to teach with.
- It must be as neutral as possible in terms of world view/religious perspectives. If it is not neutral, it must be an exceptionally good resource and be easy to "neutralize" and be able to be used by people of all faiths. This does not mean there is no mention of religion, but that religious training is not a key component of the curriculum.
- It must provide a good education which would fully prepare a student for the real world. Not all of the curriculum suggestions would be appropriate for the college bound student, but then not every student is headed for college and their needs should not be ignored as they so often are.
Items noted as "Tried and True" resources have been used by our own family, and we welcome questions!
We are not affiliated with any of the curriculum providers we recommend here, and receive no compensation in any form for our recommendation.
Many companies offer content and curricula in many subjects, and you can use all or some of what they have to offer. Some are specifically mentioned above, and some are not. Below you will find links to companies that allow you to pick and choose courses. All meet our criteria for being easy to work with and offering a good, general education:
Do you want to homeschool but don't have the time or energy to figure out a curriculum for every subject? Do you work and have a responsible teen who is sick of the school environment and wants the freedom to work at their own pace? This might be the perfect program for you! It is ALL online, video based material presentation, has practice problems and digital books, and automatic record keeping. At $300 a year, it is actually quite affordable when one considers what they would spend crafting a school year and buying books, etc. themselves. Why do we like it at Blue Collar Homeschool? Because it also offers remedial courses, and "average" courses in addition to the traditional more challenging core classes!! Additionally...get this...they have an entire category of career and technical education courses!! Imagine taking HVAC, Electrical Technology, and Information Management courses online in high school! Peruse their course offerings for high school (they also offer middle and elementary courses) and see if this might be a good fit for your family.
Are you looking for an all inclusive general high school education curriculum/program? One that is solid but not heavy on advanced math or science? One that will well prepare your learner for life ahead, but doesn't discourage them with subjects that are, frankly, out of reach or beyond interest level? Here it is! Since 1897 the American School has offered distance learning programs and many pro athletes and stars use it to complete their high school education. You might really like what you see here for a good basic high school program that is complete. Though not the least expensive route to go, the assurance of being well devised and oft used may be worth the additional cost.
Brigham Young University High School Distance Learning
Did you realize that BYU is a leader in distance learning for high school students? Believe it or not, they even offer some middle school courses as well. They have a fairly large catalog of classes, most of which are available in both online or paper format. Not hugely expensive (A check revealed about $136 per semester for some courses), they offer everything from Core Classes to Electives. You don't have to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormon) to enroll. This is a really neat resource that many families have never discovered!
Free...doesn't that have a nice ring to it? Free and SOLID curriculum options for ALL grade levels for ALL core subjects is even better! Fully online, trackable, and "tailor-able" makes this a wonderful resource for homeschoolers. Does your learner need more support and practice in a particular subject only? Create an account and dive in. This is not all "game based" as some free programs are, meaning there is some learning but nothing fully fleshed out. This is a real curriculum to cover a year of topics for any of the core subjects. Simply sign up, select what you want for your learner, and off they go! A wonderful web site which can also serve to help out during times when mom may not be able to teach due to family crisis, illness, etc.
Easy Peasy All in One - All grades
Free, links to online resources, all laid out for all grades. This declares itself as a Christian homeschool curriculum but is included here because A) It is free and some families are in need of that and B) It has been said that it can be secularized if necessary.
With a ever growing variety of online courses in fields as diverse as hospitality, accounting, information technology and more, Ed2Go.com offers short course with instructors and engagement with other students. These are continuing education courses, much like one might find for the community at a local community center or community college that are designed for non credit learners. From their web site, "You can take all of our courses from the comfort of your home or office at the times that are most convenient to you. A new session of each course starts monthly. Most courses run for six weeks and are composed of 12 lessons, representing 24 hours of instruction. You can ask questions and give or receive advice at any time during the course. Upon successful completion of the course, you will be able to download a certificate of completion." Well worth checking out for an addition or full course for your homeschooler!
Next Level Homeschool
Online courses in many subjects but with a particular focus on science that is 100% secular.
Does your child do better in some subjects without mom as teacher? Are you looking for interesting elective offerings taught by experts? Are there topics you feel insecure about teaching? With Outschool you have access to hundreds of classes taught by certified teachers and non-certified specialists in their fields like artists, authors, etc. In addition to core courses taught in original and creative ways, there are interesting and unusual electives. Courses are reasonably priced, and the platform allows for social interaction with teacher and fellow students. A great way to perhaps take one subject off Mom's plate!
Paradigm Accelerated Curriculum - PAC
Originally designed for high school credit recovery, homeschoolers have embraced these worktexts because they are self teaching, very conversational for the student to read, and thoroughly cover all necessary high school subjects. If you need a curriculum to work with that will involve a minimum amount of supervision for the average learner, be sure to check this out.
Perfection Learning's High School/Adult Learner/ELL textbooks are not "dumbed down" content, but are far easier to understand for some students as they are written at a little lower reading level (though not as low as AGS textbooks, in my opinion). Their literature books will help elevate struggling readers, and their textbooks overall are thorough in content. If you have a struggling learner who needs high school content with the recognition of their learning challenges, or if you want a textbook that is "average" high school level rather than striving to reach for college prep, this company is a "must" for you to check out.A quick look at their web site also reveals some non-traditional learning materials at the high school level, and they offer online sneak peeks of their texts.
Special needs and remedial curriculum.
This program is for ALL grade levels and ALL subjects, but requires a student to be very self directed as it was designed to be done with little supervision. more classics oriented which might prove to be less engaging to some students.
Saddleback Educational Publishing
Do you need remedial materials to work with your high schooler? Have you ever heard of Hi-Low Readers...high interest low level readers? Saddleback specializes in creating texts for every subject area that are well suited for bright kids with learning challenges and reading deficits. Shorter texts with larger print make reading less arduous, more graphics and artistic presentation enhances the material, holding interest. These texts are written with the average high schooler in mind, they don't "dumb it down", they just make content more accessible. Their respectful tone helps keep kids enthused about reading and learning. They carry everything from life skills texts, to history, math, language arts and much more. Kids need to keep learning higher level material even when their reading level moves along at a slower pace, and Saddleback helps that happen beautifully.
Science for Potters
It is as unique as it sounds.
Free worksheets and printables for all grades and all subjects, and can supplement a traditional curriculum.
Starline Press - Grades 3-12, all subjects offered
Worktexts for virtually every grade and every subject. Less "busy" pages, written at an average high school reading level (not reaching for college level), practical and easy to use for any family. Also offers elective courses for high school while being affordable and leaving the grading and control up to you. No oversight from outside sources, but a complete program should you choose to use this. A Tried and True resource!
While this might, at first glance, seem an odd addition to our curriculum resources, once you check this out you might become addicted! Do you have a child who loves to ask questions about complex topics, and you can't explain them in easy-to-understand language? Through clear explanations called "Simplexes", your child can explore hundreds (maybe thousands) of topics in history, science, and technology. This is the kind of web site you can dive into and hide in for hours without realizing it!
Study.com - All high school subjects offered
Online video oriented, online tests, and you can elect to pay more per month and have access to instructors or pay less per month and work solely on your own. One monthly fee for access to ALL courses. This is not inexpensive, but they also offer access to college level materials and credit based upon the fee paid, and it is a VERY good resource for visual learners who gain more from video content (not lecturers talking at a screen, but animated material at a high level).
Special needs and remedial curriculum. Great for "Hi-Lo Readers."
This is a retailer who will put together an academic year's worth of curriculum in every subject for you, using materials from a variety of publishers.
Time4Learning - All high school subjects offered
All online, and you can enroll in one course or the entire program. Common Core aligned at a monthly fee. No one on one teacher, but all graded online.