It's no secret that homeschoolers are an especially frugal bunch. Since most homeschoolers live on a single income, mindful frugality is a way of life. Consequently, what homeschooler doesn't want free worksheets? Below is the cream of the crop when it comes to getting your hands on some free worksheets online.
The Best Free Worksheet Sites
These represent the best of the best when it comes to finding worksheets online. They were chosen because they offer great worksheets in a unique format, are easy to use and search, and offer a breadth of subjects.
There is little you cannot find on DonnaYoung.org. What started as an attempt to just keep files online has grown into a small, but booming, business. There is a site CD that you can purchase, as well as a membership. However, the vast majority of the site is free. Donna Young is particularly known for her homeschooling planners, of which there are quite a variety. However, she also offers worksheets for every major subject, from kindergarten to high school. If you are looking for fancy, colored frilly pages, you're not going to find them here. What you will find is a gold mine of easy-to-use printables that meet the needs of a variety of homeschoolers.
As the name implies, Homeschool Share is a site full of moms who have generously shared their resources and ideas. The site is definitely geared towards those who lapbook, notebook or do unit studies. However, if that is your cup of tea, you will find a bounty of foldables, as well as whole-language type resources that help your child write about what he's learned. It definitely has a Charlotte Mason feel, so if you're looking for worksheets that look more like what your child would get at school, you won't find it here. However, the site is especially ideal for little ones who are into making their own books. That's not to say that big ones who lapbook or notebook won't find ample resources here as well.
edHelper is neither geared specifically towards homeschoolers nor teachers, but rather features numerous worksheets in just about every topic imaginable. EdHelper is popular with homeschoolers because it offers high school level worksheets, and the site features an easy-to-use format. There is a subscription level to the site which allows you access to more worksheets as well as the ability to create your own. With that said, there are literally thousands of worksheets available at the free level.
SchoolExpress is another site that is ideal for those who use a traditional approach to education and are looking for some reinforcement in certain topics. Again, like most sites of this nature, there are subscription options. However, they still boast about 16,000 worksheets that are available for free in a variety of subject areas.
The Critical Thinking Company
Admittedly, accessing free printables at The Critical Thinking Company's website is not as easy as sites that are designed just to hand out free worksheets. With that said, the company tends to be extremely popular with homeschoolers and thus is worth mentioning. What you will find is snippets of printable pages from a variety of their books. It is a great way to add some critical thinking goodness to your school day, without running over budget. To find pages, use the search function to search for a topic that you're interested in, click on a title of interest and use the "look inside" link. There you will find printable activities from your selected book.
If you're not necessarily looking for something specific, and are okay with a 'flea-market' style to finding worksheets, CurrClick is well worth your time. CurrClick is like an online shopping mall of downloadable curriculum. However, did you know that if you search on the left for what you want, and then choose to sort by price, you'll find all the freebies they have to offer in your area of interest? While sometimes you might find various samples of curriculums, you can also find the occasional hidden gem that will save you lots of money. Offerings vary greatly, but if you have time to bargain hunt, you can really find some gems at CurrClick.
Ask any educator about Mailbox Magazine and you'll likely get a gushing response. Mailbox Magazine is an educational magazine that is popular with teachers. It is written specifically for elementary classrooms so you will see that a lot of ideas are applicable to groups of kids as opposed to just one. However, if you are a fan of the Workbox System or use learning centers as part of your homeschooling day, the Mailbox is a 'must-have.' To access the freebies, you have to register for MyMailbox. There is a subscription version; however, the free version will still provide you with several hundred worksheets. Plus, registering allows them to send you freebies that are grade-specific to your inbox.
TeacherVision is a great website for teaching current events. You can sign up for the newsletter (which is free), but you don't have to. The best thing about TeacherVision is that you can find worksheets for just about any academic skill that correspond to a current event. So if you want to work on reading comprehension with your third grader, you can find a worksheet that teaches reading comprehension and is tied into what's going on right now. This is an invaluable resource when you need some review.
Using Worksheets in the Homeschool
Whether you are a traditionalist in your homeschooling approach, or you tend to think totally outside the box, worksheets can be a helpful tool in your homeschool. Use them to reinforce ideas, provide remediation or keep one child busy while you're working with another child.