Update: The site has been shut down, but so many of the books were helpful that we are leaving this up and linking to the archive.
The Internet has made thousands of wonderful works in the public domain available to anyone with a connection. By utilizing these online resources we can drastically cut the cost of homeschooling. Weeding through the vast materials available, however, can be a daunting task. Miss Maggie from An Old-Fashioned Education has done the work for us.Old-Fashioned Education is a directory of free online resources organized to assist homeschool families.
I needed to develop a plan of organization and determine which elements to teach in which grade. This site serves as my main organizational system.
This wide array of books are categorized by subject and broken down further by reading level where appropriate. Subjects include (and there are many, many areas of interest mentioned):
- American History.
- Art Appreciation.
- Bible & Religion.
- Canadian Interest.
- Canadian Teacher’s Manuals.
- Character & Etiquette.
- Christian Classics.
- Civics & Government.
- Classic Literature.
- Drama & Public Speaking.
- Emergency Preparedness.
- Fables, Fairy Tales & Nursery Rhymes.
- Fiction for Boys.
- Fiction for Girls.
- Folk Songs & Hymns.
- Geography & Social Studies.
- Grammar & Spelling.
- Greece & Rome.
- Helps for Mom & Dad.
- Historical Documents.
- Historical Fiction.
- Home Economics.
…and that just takes you through the H’s!
An Old-Fashioned Education combines living-books and older, more structured texts.
…I’ve discovered that they have a few advantages over modern books. First off, they have high expectations for their readers. These books haven’t been dumbed-down to a lower standard or watered-down to politically correct pabulum. Since most children will perform according to their parent’s expectations, it is vital that we maintain high educational standards. These books help parents achieve that goal.
Also, since most of the books are available in simple text format, I can open them up in my favorite word processing program and tweak them to suit my fancy.
And DIY Homeschoolers are all about “tweaking”! As Miss Maggie goes on to explain, that may mean using or printing a few exercises, a few pages, a chapter, or editing out elements that would not be appropriate for a sensitive child.
She adds that in older books “morality is based firmly upon the Holy Inspired Scriptures.” They provide a balance to today’s fast-paced lifestyle by providing examples so that “children are able to form a firm, biblical foundation, allowing them to become less reactionary to society’s current ills.” And finally, old texts have stood the test of time.
You can read the entire philosophy behind An Old-Fashioned Education on the home page.
As if sifting through the online offerings itself weren’t enough, Miss Maggie also offers a free, full Christian Homeschool Curriculum available for those desiring further help in pulling together a plan. Suggested books and a 40-week schedule are available per age group K-11. (The 40-week schedule is currently not available for grade 12.)
Whether you are looking for a math supplement, classic literature for your older student, great biographies, composition help or a no-cost/low-cost curriculum for all of your children, you will find something useful at An Old-Fashioned Education.