“Free” homeschooling curriculum

My newsreader settings include blog entries, and a blog post about free homeschooling curriculum was included in one of the alerts.  I was intrigued, because many of us like to refer new homeschooling parents to free information to ease their transition into homeschooling.

Free curriculum that spell out the process and make themselves readily accessible are the kinds I like.  There are no gags, gimmicks or enrollment. The instruction information is right there.

The curriculum offered as “free,” though, is not readily available.  As the website itself says, there is a “catch.”  That catch is your personal information.

  • response to questions, surveys and offers
  • evaluation of courses
  • consider a donation
  • acceptance of email and/or postal offers, which may be in developmental phases and must be held in confidence
  • agree to consider participating in online discussions of products

Participation is limited each year.  People who apply to participate in the program may be denied.  Changes may be made without notice.  Higher demand that availability is expected.

Criteria for acceptance, if spaces are still available:

  • U.S. citizens; parents and children must live in same household
  • Completion of enrollment form, and payment of any “incidental” or “elective” fees using a debit or credit card.  Payment card is used to “help with identification.”
  • Family may not have previously used any other private online education provider.  Only people with a “fresh” perspective, and apparently no experience with which to compare against, are eligible.
  • Applicants may not have any immediate family members employed by any competitor in the K-12 curriculum business.
  • Applicants must supply a telephone number, an email address that is regularly checked, a valid street address, credit or debit card number that is billed to the same street address.
  • No negative comments about the program may be made in public.
  • Applicants who do not qualify, and who try to enroll anyhow will be expelled and be “subject to legal remedies as allowed by law.”

Of course, this kind of structure will appeal to some people because they enjoy making a contribution to research, and the provision of the curriculum is compensation for their participation.  But for families looking for freely available materials without strings, other resources may be more to their liking.


posted by Valerie


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