What an experience to hear from TpT Teacher-Authors who homeschool their children (or have at some point)! Their insights are absolutely incredible, and they paint a clear picture of the types of resources they look for as a homeschooling (or roadschooling) parent. In many cases “differentiation” is the name of the game. Many parents are teaching multi-aged students at the same time, so resources that allow for differentiation are key. There’s also appreciation for when a resource can be used more than once without wearing out its welcome.

In addition to homeschooling parents providing thoughts, tips, ideas, and recommendations, classroom teachers who create resources ideal for homeschooling also weigh in. Education takes many forms, and they are all welcome on TpT.

Explore Homeschooling on TpT

I Can Read Simple Sentences NO PREP (Sampler)

As a busy homeschooling mom, Annie Moffatt loves to use resources that meet the needs of different levels of learning. She says, “Right now, my most effective and favorite resource is Fluency Strips Set 1 – Quick and Easy Practice and Assessment (grades PreK-1). Sophia, my Kindergartener, is just learning how to read. She’s using these flippable sentence strips to build both fluency and confidence. We read them in the car, at the dinner table, and before we go to bed. It is such a joy to see my daughter become a strong and confident reader! I’m also able to use Set 2 of our Fluency Strips with Audrey, my 2nd grader, to work on spelling and dictation. I also created an I Can Read Simple Sentences NO PREP (Sampler) (FREE, grades K-2) that incorporates a lot of hands-on and interactive resources to help beginning and/or struggling readers!

Although I love to create educational resources for my girls, I also rely on other talented educators to enhance our homeschooling journey. Thanks to the many talented educators on TpT, our homeschooling experiences are both rich and rewarding!”

Dot Marker Sight Words Mystery Picture ActivitiesAnd from Mrs Thompson’s Treasures: “Homeschooling parents usually have more than one child they’re working with, meaning they have quite a range of subjects and levels to teach all at the same time! Resources that I’ve found great for my homeschooled children are ones that help them practice skills, but which they can complete without much help from me. This way, I can spend time one-on-one time with the others when needed!” Take a peek at Dot Marker Sight Words Mystery Picture Activities (grades PreK-1).

Nutrition Count & Clip Cards *Common Core Aligned*Teaching Tykes has this to say: “Now in our 21st year of homeschooling four children with totally different learning styles and needs, we’ve seen it all. Teaching four children of all different ages, I’ve had to teach a broad range of subjects and levels at the same time — talk about differentiation! Resources that are multi-age functioning, engaging, and hands-on are a must for homeschoolers.

Also, like many homeschooling families, we enjoyed the freedom of being able to travel, but our teaching materials needed to be compact and portable. Clip cards saved the day. They can be used for counting, flashcards, game cards, and review cards, not to mention their value with motor skills practice! Here’s my Nutrition Count & Clip Cards *Common Core Aligned* (FREE, grades PreK-1) resource.”

Jan Brett Author study LAPBOOKFrom Krista Mahan Teaching Momster: “As a classroom teacher who has also homeschooled her own children during a big move across the country, I completely understand the schooling around the kitchen table! While I sometimes felt it was MORE difficult to manage my two kids than it was my 30-some students, I think it was well worth it.  I learned more about my kiddos AND more about my teaching style during that time! I think my favorite things we did were lapbooks and games. We did author studies for various units and created lapbooks out of them. It was a great way to incorporate several different subjects at once while letting my kiddos pick the books that interested them the most. Here’s an example; my Jan Brett Author study LAPBOOK (grades PreK-2).”

Sequencing with Pumpkin Life Cycle "War" card game center“We’ve been homeschooling for 7 years now,” says Life Over C’s. “I have four daughters in 6th, 5th, 1st, and SPED Preschool. My third daughter despises worksheets, so everything we do for her is a game, center, or activity of some sort. My youngest is really at a toddler level and she doesn’t understand abstract concepts, so for her, everything we do has to be touchable and hands-on.

When I’m choosing things on TpT for my kids, it’s important that I can use them more than one time. Not just for multiple kids, but I like activities and centers that can be used more than once by the same child without being boring. My card games are like that. I also like to change things up a bit from the norm. Instead of a ‘read the room’ where the kids walk around the room, we might do a scavenger hunt outside to find the cards and then answer the questions. Instead of answering questions on a worksheet, my older two girls might have a discussion about science or history using those questions. This Sequencing with Pumpkin Life Cycle “War” card game center (FREE, grades PreK-2) was a hit last year.”

Schedule Cards {At-home Version}From Keeping Life Creative: “I’m a former 1st grade teacher, and now a homeschooling parent of five young kiddos! Since I’m teaching such a wide range of ages/grades each day, I do a lot of unit studies, particularly for history and science. Printables and projects that go well with these unit studies and that can span over more than one grade are typically my go-to searches here at TpT. Since so much goes into managing home and school at the same time, visual schedule cards tend to be very popular among homeschoolers. Take a look: Schedule Cards {At-home Version} (grades PreK-3).”

Play Dough Math Vocabulary Task CardsFrom Teacher Jen: “As a former public school teacher, now homeschooling Mama who has taken her children on the road to view the country first-hand, my thoughts about what makes a ‘good’ teacher and what is a ‘good’ education changes daily. Many homeschooling parents of young children are looking to provide their children with a different atmosphere of learning, rather than creating a ‘school’ environment at home. Just like me, they’re looking for child-centered, child-directed, play-based learning, where their children can experience and learn from the world in developmentally appropriate ways. One resource that helps parents create this type of environment for their child(ren) is Play Dough Math Vocabulary Task Cards (grades PreK-K).”

Farm Friends Addition Math Centers (Sums of 0-10)Kamp Kindergarten likes to address the needs of RVing families. “Their limited storage space means they have to carefully select which resources they may use. On the other hand, their mobility offers them a wealth of experiences that I could only dream of as a classroom teacher. I think visiting the Alamo, the Gateway Arch, Mt. Rushmore, the Grand Canyon, the Crazy Horse memorial, and countless other places makes learning so much more meaningful. I have a Pinterest board for RV homeschooling families.

You may also want to take a look at Farm Friends Addition Math Centers (Sums of 0-10) (grades K-1). My clip card activities are great for homeschool because they’re so portable. They’re ready to go whenever they’re needed, and they address fine motor skills in addition to academic standards.”

Vowel Team PuzzlesThe Candy Class says, “Since I’m a former kindergarten teacher who now homeschools her son, my homeschooling methods are influenced by both my experiences in the classroom and the homeschooling community. When my son and I first ventured into kindergarten, I made the mistake of using a big box curriculum program. By December, getting him to read was like pulling unloose teeth. It just did not work. I discovered TpT soon after that, and I started using hands-on resources from there. For example, I found readers that use authentic children’s literature. I supplement all his other reading materials from resources created by TpT Teacher-Authors, including myself. His reading has skyrocketed, and he now enjoys all of his reading activities. Here’s Vowel Team Puzzles (grades K-2).”

Sequencing Sort Skill CenterFrom Teacher Gems: “My sister-in-laws were both planning to homeschool and I kept sending them emails with links to websites I found helpful in my own teaching career. Then I discovered TpT and started my own store! My sisters have since convinced me to homeschool and I just started this year with my 3-year old daughter. I looked into several curricula but you don’t really need a giant curriculum for one or two kiddos. I LOVE that TpT has awesome activities (for a fraction of the price!) that I can do with my daughter.” Here are two resources that work well for homeschooling families, says Teacher Gems: Sequencing Sort Skill Center (grades K-3) and Short Vowels a, e, i, o, u: FREE Sample Activity Pack! (FREE, grades K-3).

Special Education Visual Sentence Building for Early ReadersFrom Autism Educators: “One thing I found that initially surprised me was the number of parents who choose to homeschool their special needs children. With a huge amount of dedication from Mom and Dad, many of these kids are forging ahead. There are challenges for these students, too, when paper and pencil tasks just don’t accomplish the job. Hands-on, hands-on, hands-on! I admire those parents who devote their time and hearts to help their child be the best he or she can be. Here is a hands-on activity to help our homeschool visual learners enjoy reading: Special Education Visual Sentence Building for Early Readers (grades K-3).”

Math and Literacy CentersFrom Page Protector Printables and More: “I’m homeschooling four of my children this year, and two are in public middle school. I began the journey in large part due to our little girl, who at the time was recovering from open-heart surgery. We have five children with varying special needs.

Being that I teach a wide range of ages, I look for resources that will easily allow (or already include) multi-age functionality. I’m often teaching a math lesson to my 3rd graders while my 4-year old PreK’er looks on, and I need to create a lesson in which they’re all equally and appropriately engaged. Many of my resources are created with these three students in mind. I’ve been making resources for them for 2+ years now, and the same basic template I created is the one I continue to fall back on because it works! Thus the name of my store, Page Protector Printables and More.

I created my Build A Calendar resource first and from that, many other resources have evolved. I love my Math and Literacy Centers bundle (grades K-4) as it incorporates the calendar plus ELA and Math activities that can easily be adapted for different ages and abilities.”

My Travel Journal, Grade 1After teaching elementary school for nearly 10 years, Patricia Potts is now homeschooling her kids. “I have to say one of the BEST things about homeschooling is going on field trips!” she says. “As in ‘take a week or two to see the country.’ So much high-quality learning! I created some travel journals (based on Common Core requirements) for my kiddos when our family took off on a few ‘road trip field trips.’ Here’s the 1st grade journal my kids used on a trip through the West: My Travel Journal, Grade 1. And here’s a car activity to keep little ones occupied while you head to your destination: Tally Ho! Away We Go! (FREE, grades 1-3).”

As a homeschooler, The Lone Wolfe was unable to find a resource to teach the election process to her child. She explains, “In the process of searching high and low, I found TpT and discovered thousands of fabulous resources that I could instantly have in my hot little hands. I was immediately impressed and instantly hooked! I began making purchases based on what I was planning to teach my child. I loved that I could simply search for ‘Ancient Egypt,’ for example, and then sort through multiple options to find what best met our needs.

Holy Week {Easter} Informational Text and Comprehension ChecksOne focus of mine has been creating informational text products on particular holidays or historical events. I expect my son to read a selection of nonfiction pieces each week, and I love to ‘kill two birds with one stone’ by giving him something that applies to the current season or holiday. He enjoys them and learns a lot with a quick 5-minute reading selection. These have also proven to be popular with classroom teachers. Here’s Holy Week {Easter} Informational Text and Comprehension Checks (grades 1-5).”

Thomas Edison: InventorGreen Apple Lessons says, “We’ve homeschooled our three boys on and off from kindergarten through 9th grade. I believe the biggest advantage of homeschooling is the freedom to fully explore and investigate. To make messes and try new things. We embrace mistakes as opportunities to learn! I wanted to share my Thomas Edison: Inventor resource (grades PreK-3) because one of my sons did the voiceover at the end of it. Learning by doing is at the heart of homeschooling. Also, Thomas Edison was homeschooled himself! With all of the amazing resources from TpT, homeschooling parents have a wealth of fantastic resources at their fingertips.”

Polar Creatures Lapbook, Interactive Notebook - Penguins, Polar Bears and more!Sallie Borrink says, “The focus of my blog is ‘Understanding Our Children Together,’ and my mission is to help parents with differently-wired children understand them better. This can include spirited, gifted, right-brained, 2e, high-need babies, and more. I focus on homeschooling often, but I think any parent will find helpful information there. I’m just finishing a ‘31 Days of Learning Differently‘ series that I hope many parents will find both helpful and encouraging.

Lapbooks are really big with homeschoolers, and I’ve started a line of lapbooks that are especially designed for students who are right-brained and/or struggle with writing. The first one is about polar creatures; it includes very little writing with more cut-and-glue activities. Here it is: Polar Creatures Lapbook, Interactive Notebook – Penguins, Polar Bears and more! (grades K-3).

Human Body Systems Flip BookStephanie Trapp says, “I’m a former public school teacher now homeschooling my children who are in 3rd grade and kindergarten. When I’m looking for resources, it’s important to me that they are or can be adapted for different learners. My kindergartner loves to try to do a lot of the things that my 3rd grader does. I started including him in on some of her lessons but need to modify the material to his ability and learning style. We do a lot of active learning at our house, so another thing that’s important to me is the incorporation of hands-on projects, experiments, art, music, and games into what we’re studying. I also love to tie in literature any time I can.

Everything that I sell in my store is something I created to use specifically with my own children, so I hope they’ll be beneficial to other homeschoolers as well. One project my kids really enjoyed was this Human Body Systems Flip Book (grades 1-3).

I can’t say enough good things about the TpT homeschoolers. They are an amazing group and have been so helpful and encouraging in my journey on TpT and as a homeschooling mom.”

Unit Study and Lapbook Planning Bundle“I’m not a homeschool mom, but I’m a homeschool graduate!” explains Edventures at Home. “I taught at a hybrid school that catered to homeschooling families for a while, but now I home tutor, teach at homeschool co-ops, and write educational materials that are aimed at homeschooling families. One of the things I love most about homeschooling is that it allows for an interdisciplinary approach to education that is extremely difficult to achieve in a classroom setting. Some of my best learning experiences as a student came from unit studies that my family did! Now that I’m tutoring, teaching, and writing educational materials myself, I strive to create materials that span across the curriculum to help students make connections.

I created a set of resources to help home-educating parents create their own unit studies and lapbooks. I sell them in a bundle (Unit Study and Lapbook Planning Bundle) as well as individually. These planning pages are perfect for educators who want to start creating their own unit studies and lap books but don’t know where to begin. They include brainstorming pages for scheduling, objectives, subtopics, and more, as well as charts for making lists of resources to borrow, buy, or collect. I even included a blank lapbook template for those who want to incorporate lapbooking into their homeschool routine but are ‘craft-challenged.'”

STEM Fairy Tales: A Charming Bundle of Enchanted Engineering!Get Caught Engineering weighs in: “We’ve been delighted with the feedback we’ve received from homeschoolers about our STEM and engineering lessons. We’re told they like that the activities are suitable for a wide range of ages, encourage collaborative work and discussion, use easy-to-obtain materials, and integrate science and math concepts into other subjects such as literature. One popular bundle is our STEM Fairy Tales: A Charming Bundle of Enchanted Engineering! resource (grades 1-6).”

Editable Teacher Binder Covers {Chevron} -FREEBIE TheTravelingclassroom“As a homeschooling parent and teacher, TpT has been an amazing resource for our family,” says TheTravelingclassroom. “Whether you’re homeschooling in your own country or abroad (like we are), the new trend of downloading educational resources is phenomenal! Sometimes children struggle in a particular area that the chosen curriculum just does not help with. TpT gives the parent-teacher the ability to find what they need immediately.

There is no more ordering through the mail and waiting for the curriculum — I LOVE that aspect. Secondly, the cost to have books and curriculum shipped is extremely expensive. With a resource like TpT, that shipping cost is completely eliminated!

A resource that I’ve personally enjoyed making and sharing is my Editable Teacher Binder Covers {Chevron} -FREEBIE TheTravelingclassroom. These cute organizer covers have inspired me to stay organized!”

Art Task Cards - Complete SetFrom Renee Goularte Share2Learn: “Some of the most important benefits of homeschooling are that you can create your own schedule, individualize with abandon, let your students lead you, and truly provide a well-rounded curriculum that includes art, music, and a lot of hands-on science. You can truly attend to each child individually. I’ve been told by a few homeschoolers that my art task cards are perfect for their learning environment. Because they’re made for independent work and give students some true creative moments, they fit right into their structures. You can find them here: Art Task Cards – Complete Set (grades 2-5).”

Engineering Design Challenge #4 - Design a Cargo Ship (STEM)Meredith Anderson says, “As a homeschooling parent, being able to use a resource for more than one child at a time is important to me as we like to homeschool together as a family. A resource with differentiated passages, for instance, is more useful to me than if there is just one level. Interactive notebooks and lapbooks naturally fall into this category as well, which is why they’ve been popular with homeschoolers for years! Colorful resources most likely won’t deter homeschooling families, since we often only have to print a few copies. I started creating my own teaching resources because I have very asynchronous learners and couldn’t find quite what we needed in a boxed curriculum.

My engineering units are great for homeschooling families because you can have the same task for all of your students but differentiate through design constraints and criteria. My Engineering Design Challenge #4 – Design a Cargo Ship (STEM) resource (grades 2-7) has examples of how to do this.

TpT has been such a HUGE help to me as we navigate through the homeschooling world. I can honestly say I’d be lost (and frustrated) without it!”

The "Tower of Books" Challenge {An Independent Reading Challenge}The Puzzle Den chimes in: I’ve been homeschooling my two kids since they were babes; now they’re 11 and 13! With two middle school-aged kids, it becomes harder to find resources that bring fun and learning together. Here are a couple of recommendations I have for resources from TpT that we’ve had much success with: The “Tower of Books” Challenge {An Independent Reading Challenge} (grades K-6) from Michael Friermood. This is a great way to encourage kids to do some reading in their free time, and there are lists of wonderful books from which to choose! Task cards are another valuable resource I’ve found on TpT. They’re a great way to get in some extra review. And the kids enjoy doing something a little different from the norm! We recently used this set from Nitty Gritty Science to review the periodic table: Task Cards – Atoms and the Periodic Table (grades 5-11).”

MATH WORKSHEET MEGA BUNDLE - 38 TopicsFrom Sheila Cantonwine: “I’ve homeschooled my children for the last three years. There are three important things that I looked for in great resources:

First, the resource had to enable my kids to work independently with minimal help from me. Most homeschooling parents are teaching multiple children at the same time, so having independent work for one child gives you time to work with the others individually.

Second, my kids always worked above and below grade level on many of the subjects that they had. For example, my daughter would be below grade level in grammar but above grade level for math. Having resources that span multiple grade levels helps to customize the curriculum for your child. Plus, one resource could be used for more than one child, which is always a big bonus.

Third, differentiated materials are great for homeschooling. You could start with a basic topic and then move to more challenging topics once your kids have mastered the topic. Using differentiated materials helps kids gain proficiency and confidence on their own.”

Awesome insight, Sheila! Check out her MATH WORKSHEET MEGA BUNDLE – 38 Topics resource (grades 4-7). Sheila adds, “It’s differentiated and spans multiple grade levels.”

Essay Outline Writing Basics (Instruction & Practice) - Common Core AlignedA few words from START Communications: “We’re a mother-daughter duo here on TpT with a ton of homeschool experience. We’re passionate about homeschooling done well and work hard to ensure each resource we create will work just as well around the kitchen table as it does in the classroom. Here are a couple of our most comprehensive resources we recommend for homeschooling families: Essay Outline Writing Basics (Instruction & Practice) – Common Core Aligned (FREE, grades 7-12) and Essay Writing Complete Unit (Expository, Persuasive & Literary) Common Core (grades 8-12).”

Enzyme Mini-Unit: Worksheets, Graphing Activities, and Paper Substrate LabAnd here’s some great insight from Science and Math With Mrs Lau: “For homeschoolers with high school students, resources that include reading material or background information for their activities are important. Especially with higher-level math and science, parents can struggle to find ‘stand-alone’ resources. I was homeschooled until 8th grade, so I know from personal experience the frustration students might have with an activity or worksheet that requires prior knowledge that’s not explained in the resource. For this reason, I like to make resources that include what I call ‘tutorials.’ These tutorials include reading material and thinking questions that allow students to work at their own pace and have an encounter with the background information BEFORE they do the fun activity.

I have two mini-units that work this way: one on enzymes and one on biotechnology. These are essential topics for biology, but very few textbooks do a good job of covering them. Here’s my Enzyme Mini-Unit: Worksheets, Graphing Activities, and Paper Substrate Lab resource (grades 9-12).”

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What a fantastic start to the vast world of homeschool-ready resources available on TpT. We are thrilled to support so many different educational models.

(Feature image: Thanks to 2 Super Teachers for the house and car clip art and Kidsrcute for the Stick with Me font.)

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