Homeschool Resources


Recommendations from our very own Dr. Alice Mar, a seasoned homeschooler


A lot of families are figuring out what is the best option for school this fall for their kids. One option is homeschooling. Below is a list of online and local resources. There are also tons of non-online resources and curricula. My own kids (rising 6th, 9th and 12th) graders have primarily used non-online resources throughout their school years. I’m not listing those here as
they are more individualized and there are just way too many of them.

One of the best sources of information I have found on various curricula is The Well Trained Mind message boards. Another great source is Cathy Duffy reviews. Probably the best source of information is an experienced homeschooler. There are several active Northern Virginia homeschooling groups on Facebook where members can answer questions or point you in the right direction.


It’s fairly easy to homeschool legally in Virginia. You can find the information at the Department of Education website.
You can also find information about homeschooling and resources at Home Educators of Virginia (has a more conservative and religious outlook) or The Organization of Virginia Homeschoolers (newer, smaller organization; more secular).

Before homeschooling high school you should be aware that public schools will NOT automatically accept homeschooling credits if you choose to return to public school. You may be able to show by a test that you earned a credit or you may have to retake a class or simply have it not count on the transcript (and ultimately not count towards credits for graduation). All courses taken as a homeschooler will be listed on the transcript as homeschooled classes.

If your student is a potential college athlete be aware that homeschool classes taken must be NCAA approved. Many homeschoolers have done this, but it is something to be aware of before beginning.


Online Classes:
Virtual Virginia
Offers online classes for middle schoolers and high schoolers. These are free when taken through the public school (you register through your school counselor), however may be limited due to other virtual options this year. You can also sign up for classes as a homeschooler with the parents acting as counselor. Classes include Honors and AP (college-board approved) classes for high schoolers. Homeschoolers pay a fee of $375 per class.

Offers three options: A tuition-free online public school through Virginia Virtual Academy (different from Virtual Virginia listed above), online private school (three different options) and online homeschooling. All three are offered for every grade.

Pennsylvania Homeschoolers AP Online Classes
Offers online classes, many of which are AP approved by the college board. Also offers a handful of Honors level classes. These are classes that have been around for 23 years and are high-level and widely regarded as excellent.

Open Tent Academy
Offers a wide variety of courses for all ages.

Well-Trained Mind Academy
Offers classes for 5-12th grade. These include some College Board approved AP classes and courses in foreign languages.

Blue Tent Online
Classes for high schoolers, including College Board approved AP classes.

Oak Meadow
Offers classes for K-12 grade. Can be taken individually or students can enroll in the Distance Learning School that is accredited and most of the courses are NCAA approved. Students who earn a minimum number of credits through Oak Meadow can receive a diploma from Oak Meadow (and must be a full-time student for their entire senior year). Seniors transferring into Oak Meadow can receive an Oak Meadow Diploma if they enroll in a minimum of three credits.

Lukeion Project
Very high level Classical subjects including Latin, Greek, Writing and Literature, Philosophy and History. Several College Board Approved AP classes.

Derek Owens
Math and Physics classes. Classes are self-paced and video based.

Art of Problem Solving
High-level math and computer science classes for 5th grade and up. Also offers textbooks that can done independently. There is an in-person class offered in Tyson’s Corner.

Beast Academy
A fantastic Math curriculum for elementary school students by the same people as Art of Problem Solving. Can be done on your own through books. There is also an online program.

Huge variety of classes from art to video game design to Mandarin to Harry Potter. Classes are offered by hundreds of teachers. The teachers determine the cost and you pay through the website. You can see reviews of teachers and classes before signing up. Most classes are short (5-8 weeks) so you can try different things with minimal risk.

High school juniors and seniors can take classes at NOVA as a dual enrolled student. You can do this as a public school student- talk to your high school counselor. You can also do this as a homeschooled student. You must complete the admissions process two weeks prior to the beginning of class and you may need to take a placement test (or submit scores from a standardized test such as the SAT or a SOL test). Freshman and sophomores may be allowed to enroll, however you will need to be approved by a counselor and the Dean of Students first. NOVA offers many online courses as well as in-person classes.

Offers writing courses for all ages. These are also usually short (6-8 weeks) so can be sampled or used as a supplement. Also offers free writing prompts, ideas for poetry teatimes and a free 7-Day Writing Blitz curriculum for elementary school kids.

Masterpiece Society
Subscription based art classes. These include mixed media workshops, video art lessons and art appreciation classes. The classes include projects for young kids and technical classes in drawing, watercolors and oil painting for teens and adults.

Mystery Science
Science classes for K-5th grade. These are usually centered around a mystery for kids to investigate. There is always a hands on component that uses materials you likely have on hand.

This site is a little confusing because their primary purpose is to help schools teach computer science that do not currently have a trained teacher. However, homeschoolers can purchase a student license and teach on their own. Includes several computer science classes (including two college board approved AP classes) and AP Statistics.


Other Useful Online Resources:
poets.org is run by the Academy of American Poets and has hundreds of free lesson plans for all age groups, look under “Teach This Poem.”

Grammar Girl podcast and website offers quick reviews of grammar topics.

Ted-ED lessons on many topics. Especially great are the “Why You Should Read ____” series
about classic literature.

Prodigy Math is a free website that uses a video game approach to work on math facts and reviews.

XtraMath is a free website for math fact practice.

Deep Space Sparkle is a fantastic website for art projects for kids. Has a paid membership but offers many free projects as well. Helpfully organized by grade, technique and subject.

icivics.org is a website started by Sandra Day O’Connor that offers free resources for teachers and interactive games for kids.

CNN 10 is a free YouTube channel with a 10 minute current event segment geared towards middle school students and above.

Steve Spangler Science has a large number of free experiments available.

Amoeba Sisters is a website and YouTube channel with funny videos, comics and free resources (handouts). The focus is high school biology but the format is watchable and understandable for younger kids.

Crash Course is a YouTube channel created by Hank and John Green with videos on just about any topic you can think of (economics, biology, history, theater).

Khan Academy is the granddaddy of free online learning. Hundreds of videos on every topic under the sun.

Teach with the Movies offers free lesson plans based on movies organized by topic and grade.

Curiosity Stream is a paid subscription ($3.00 a month) with thousands of documentaries.

Home Science Tools sells science curriculum but also kits and equipment for high school labs (including dissection specimens and chemistry reagents).

Rainbow Resource is a site that offers curriculum and other learning tools (art supplies, games, science kits). Many things can be found on Amazon, but not always and sometimes RR is cheaper than Amazon.


Local Resources:

Large, faith-based, “enrichment” program meeting in Manassas. Offers classes that can be taken a la carte for 5th grade and up. Offers some social and extracurricular activities as part of the community.

Compass Homeschool
Secular classes in Oakton. Classes can be taken a la carte (meeting 1-3 times a week, dependent on type of class). Offers a wide variation of classes from Yoga to Comparative Anatomy to AP classes for high schoolers. Classes can be taken by the quarter so you do not have to commit for a full year.

Free, twice monthly email newsletter of local activities and information. Email sharenet@att.net to be added to the newsletter.

There are many other local co-ops, many are faith based and meet at churches and require some parental involvement.