Planning the High School Years – Part 4

If you’ve been following along with the Planning the High School Years series, you know that we’ve already covered creating a list of planned courses, keeping a transcript, and creating a high school portfolio. In this section of the series, I’ll be providing you with a variety of resources to use for each course subject. This post got long really fast, so I’ll be breaking it up into a few more posts. In today’s post you’ll find free resources for high school English and math courses (specifically Algebra).

Free Resources for English

There are many different parts to English, including vocabulary, grammar, writing, and literature studies. My child who is currently in high school plans to go on to college directly after high school, so our curriculum is going to be fairly rigorous.

Free Vocabulary Resources

The first thing I am planning on in the English department is vocabulary. Obviously, vocabulary is a very important aspect of communication skills. One option for learning vocabulary is to use Wordly Wise 3000. Another is to use the lists prepared at Their format allows your child to learn words he or she doesn’t already know, by answering questions and only viewing the definition for those answered incorrectly. It’s a great tool!

Free Grammar Tools

Grammar Bytes has a complete list of grammar terms, as well as lessons, exercises and handouts for your child to become more familiar with each term. Some even have YouTube videos for ease of understanding.

Another alternative is to use the free grammar lessons at Daily Grammar. They have an archive there that you can use for free, or you can purchase their lessons in an e-book and their physical workbook. Daily Grammar’s lessons do offer more in-depth lessons that will benefit any high school student.

Free Writing Courses

Paradigm offers a great free English Composition course. It is a little difficult to figure out where the lessons are exactly, but just start at the first menu Item, “Invent”, and go from there.

You can also use the Principles of Composition course offered by Capital Community College. There are 3 different sections of the course, and students can follow along using the drop down menus.

Here’s another one that is worth checking out: Glencoe Writer’s Choice. It’s advertised as a course for 9th grade, so it may not be suitable for the higher grades, but they also offer courses for grade 10, grade 11 and grade 12! Check out their full English curriculum for 9th grade here.

Free Literature Courses

MIT offers some great courses on literature. And yes, they are free! You’ll find courses on Shakespeare, American Literature, Modern Poetry and more.

Make sure you check out the free English courses offered by the Education Portal. The only problem I see with these courses is that not all of them are “complete”. But you’ll see what I mean when you check out their offerings.

Free Resources for Math

There are so many different levels for math, but as KiKi is planning on college, we are starting with Algebra her freshman year and working up from there. I may have to experiment a little to see which of the following options will work best for her learning style, but any of them are great for a high school Algebra course.

Free Algebra Courses

The design of this free Algebra course website leaves something to be desired, but if you can ignore the super bright colors and clunky layout, their content is good. There are videos to help explain each lesson, as well as online access to a free Algebra textbook complete with chapter review problems and chapter tests.

I’m sure you’ve noticed throughout this blog that I tend to use a lot of texts from ck-12. This is one of those times! They have a variety of Algebra textbooks available, as well as topic specific lessons and review questions. I highly recommend ck-12 for textbooks in all of your other subjects as well. But, we are only talking about Algebra right now, so I won’t list those here…LOL

Education Portal has a free online Algebra class. This one may be a great choice, as they claim (I haven’t tested their claim as of yet) that their courses prepare a student to pass a CLEP test, therefore receiving college credit for the course. If you have any experience with the Education Portal’s courses, I’d love to hear your experiences, so please share in the comments below.

I think I am going to use the Algebra course offered by Hippocampus. I like their course layout, and the text is included with the class.

In the next article I’ll provide free resources for high school science and history.

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