Free Resources for Homeschooling in Science, Health and More (all US-Government Approved)


Free Resources for Homeschooling in Science, Health and More (all US-Government Approved)

Resources by Subject, STEM | 0 comments

By: Christina Belbas

Did You Know: There are hundreds of free government resources that homeschoolers can take advantage for lesson plans, activities and more? We have broken down resources by grade levels and categories that include health, food safety, ecology, earth science, astronomy, scientific research, and more topics for easy access to the information most applicable to your homeschooling.

Free Homeschool Resources for Teaching Health

National Eye Institute

Elementary, middle school

  • NEI For Kids: The National Eye Institute’s unique “for kids” website provides a variety of fun learning tools about the human eye, ranging from optical illusions to video interviews with scientists.
  • Printables: The site also offers free PDF printables of educational activity books or fact sheets for younger students. Any homeschool parent teaching about eye anatomy and health can find a wealth of resources here.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Museum (CDC)

Middle school, high school

  • Teacher Roadmap: CDC’s Teacher Roadmap provides lesson plans, training materials, and more to teach a 12-week course on public health science for high schoolers.  The resources are available for online viewing or as PDF downloads.  Other detailed documents can be viewed through the CDC’s Science Ambassador page.
  • Curriculum:  The Partnership for Food Safety Education offers PDF downloads of curricula on health and food safety for students grades K-12.  Worksheets, fact sheets, and coloring pages are also available.
  • Games: A variety of free online games and activities let kids practice cleaning, shooting bacteria, and keeping their food safe.
  • Disease cards: Trading cards depicting bacteria and viruses teach kids about disease and how to keep themselves healthy.
  • KidsHealth.org: This website features four main pages targeting parents, kids, teens, and educators.  Each section includes articles, videos, quizzes and advice on staying healthy.
  • MedMyst:  MedMyst is an interactive learning adventure where students solve medical mysteries.  (Requires Adobe Flash to run properly.)
  • Podcasts:  Students fascinated by microbiology can listen to podcasts on the latest microbe research.

National Institutes of Health

Any grade level, parents/teachers

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Free Homeschool Resources for Teaching Food Safety

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Elementary, middle school

  • WaterSense for Kids: This kid-oriented section of the EPA website teaches kids about water conservation and keeping water clean, featuring an educational game as well.  (The game requires Adobe Flash to run properly.)
  • WaterSense quiz:  This PDF quiz features two pages of questions on water conservation and an answer key for the teacher.
  • WaterSense resources for teachers: PDFs, worksheets and fact sheets about water conservation are available to download for free.
  • Watershed Sleuth Challenge: As the website says, “The Watershed Sleuth Challenge is a three-part course where participants will learn more about their watershed—what it is, why it’s important, and what can be done to protect it.”

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)

Elementary, middle school, junior high

  • Food safety fact sheets: The USDA offers downloadable fact sheets on proper cooking and handling of food to prevent cross-contamination and foodborne illness.
  • Ask Karen: A virtual representative who knows everything about food safety, Karen will answer questions about the proper cook time for different foods, keeping the cooking area clean, and a variety of other topics.
  • Educational resources: This page provides access to activity books, games, puzzles, videos and more food safety education materials.
  • Food Safety Discovery Zone: A traveling exhibit covering food safety and nutrition, the Discovery Zone can be enjoyed online as well.


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Free Homeschool Resources for Teaching Biology/Nature

U.S. Botanic Garden

Elementary, middle school, junior high

Middle school, high school, college

This nature-oriented site provides up-to-date information on a variety of topics, including animal migration, endangered species, natural habitats and many more.

  • Trailcams: The Wildlife Service blog and social media pages feature gorgeous snapshots of animals in their natural habitats, captured on high-quality trailcams.
  • Homework Help offers students two sections on endangered species: “Weird & Wonderful Wildlife” and “Species Information”.

Weird & Wonderful Wildlife poster from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

National Park Service (NPS)

Elementary, middle school, high school

  • Kids in Parks: The NPS offers kids the chance to go on field trips, examine fossils, observe wildlife up close, and even become a Junior Ranger.
  • Every Kid in a Park:  Designed for fourth graders and homeschooled ten-year-olds (yes, the page specifically mentions homeschoolers!), this online activity allows your fourth grade student to earn a free pass to any National Park for a full year.
  • Teachers: Homeschool educators can plan field trips, view multimedia, and browse the extensive teacher resources library for lesson plans and more.
  • Webcams: Watch bears fish in rivers around the country from the comfort of your own home!
  • Distance learning: Grand Canyon National Park offers free distance learning programs for students of all ages. Registration is first come, first served, and application dates for each school year can be found on the website.
  • Smokey the Bear:  This iconic bear teaches kids how to prevent forest fires.  Kids can play games or download coloring pages, and instructors can download activity guides, posters, and more designed for grades K-8.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

Any grade level


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Free Homeschool Resources for Teaching Earth Science

U.S. Geological Survey

Any grade level

  • Multimedia library: Explore photos, videos, podcasts and live webcam footage focused on environmental changes and conservation. Written publications such as journal articles and book chapters can also be browsed for free.
  • Interactive maps: Students can study topographical, geological and more data with these interactive maps updated with the latest information.
  • Science Explorer: This online science encyclopedia lists broad categories such as “Biology and Ecosystems”, which in turn divides into specific topics listed alphabetically.  Any student or home educator can find a wealth of information on a variety of scientific topics on this page.

National Weather Service

Any grade level

  • Maps: Track forecasts and watch live radar maps to see weather patterns in action.  You can even pull up your specific region to see what’s happening.
  • Owlie Skywarn:  This cute little cartoon owl guides kids through games, activities and a coloring book to study weather and earn a meteorology certificate upon completion.  Adobe Flash is required to play his games.

Office of Nuclear Energy

Middle school, high school

  • The Harnessed Atom: This high school curriculum on nuclear science comes with free PDF downloads of a student edition book, instructor edition, games and activities, and accompanying presentations.
  • Decorative posters: From Nuclear Week in October, the Office of Nuclear Energy offers colorful decorative posters with facts about nuclear power.


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Free Homeschool Resources for Teaching Astronomy

NASA

Any grade level

NASA’s extensive website offers a treasure trove of resources for home educators, including:

    • Women of STEM: Girls interested in a career in science, technology, engineering or math (STEM) will be fascinated with NASA’s wealth of articles and interviews focused on the roles women play in today’s technological empire.
    • StarChild: A kid-oriented segment of the NASA website, StarChild features a “question of the month,” educational games, articles written at a child’s reading level, and an informal astronomy education plan for children at different learning levels. For children older than 14, StarChild offers the slightly higher-level Imagine the Universe! website.
  • NASA Kids’ Club: This site includes games, interactive maps, information on the space station, and helpful guides for parents and educators.
  • NASA Next (sample issue): “NASA Next” is a completely digital magazine with up-to-date science, news and information on NASA careers. Issues focus on new discoveries and recent data from interplanetary probes.
  • For Educators: This page organizes a good amount of NASA’s online content into different age categories to help educators find appropriate resources about NASA careers, astronomy, physics and many other topics.
  • Back-to-school resources: Breathtaking photographs of our solar system, blown up to poster size, can be downloaded for free to decorate the science-oriented homeschool classroom.


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Free Homeschool Resources for Teaching General Scientific Research

National Science Foundation (NSF)

High school

  • Multimedia gallery: Pictures, videos, and audio lessons dealing with every kind of science imaginable can be viewed for free in the multimedia library.
  • Science 360: Science-related news videos and stories from around the world are available here, right at your fingertips.

Citizen Science

Middle school, high school

  • Resource library: The resource library offers articles, games, community projects and more to promote interest in science and research.

Other Topics of Interest

There are even more free government resources for topics that extend beyond science and health that are beneficiary to homeschoolers. Consider these resources on economics, history, educator resources, scholarships and grants, disaster preparation and fine arts.
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Free Homeschool Resources for Teaching Economics

Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA)

Middle school, high school

  • Interactive data: The BEA’s website offers you the chance to access economic statistics from around the country and the world, organized by account and topic.
  • Multimedia: Videos and other media show economic changes at certain times, and how the economic state of the nation led to those consequences.
  • Economy at a glance: This provides a current chart of the nation’s economic state and any estimated changes in the near future.

U.S. Census Bureau

Middle school, high school

U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing

Any grade level

  • Image gallery: The Bureau’s website features a detailed gallery of images on contemporary American money, as well as historical designs and their significance.
  • Downloadable resources: Information about money laws, collection and anti-counterfeit measures can be downloaded as PDFs. The U.S. Currency Resource Center is your gateway to podcasts, videos and a U.S. Currency Training Course for recognizing counterfeit.

U.S. Mint

Any grade level

While the Bureau of Engraving works with paper money, the U.S. Mint focuses on the history and design of coins.

  • Tours: The website offers virtual tours and downloadable brochures for the mint facilities in Philadelphia and Denver.
  • Kids’ resources: Games, cartoons and more teach kids about the history of minting coins and the meaning behind their artwork.
  • Educators’ resources: Lesson plans encompassing every grade level are provided. The plans are embedded in web pages rather than available as PDF downloads, and may require the educator to first buy certain books or materials to prepare.

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO): Kids’ Website

Any grade level

    • Collectible cards: These printable cards show pictures and information on America’s most famous inventors, what they invented, and the patent they held.
    • Activities:  Download coloring sheets or help your students build their own inventions on this webpage.
    • Kids: This page compiles links to activities, games and other kid-oriented material on the USPTO’s website.
    • Teen education:  This portion of the website focuses on teaching slightly older kids and teenagers about inventions and patent holding.

Download Inventors Coloring Book, a free resource of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

  • Parents:  The USPTO has helpfully organized its web material into easy-to-search categories on this page, designed to help parents get an overview of what the site has to offer.
  • Wallpapers:  Download brightly colored wallpapers for your computer and encourage your kids to invent.

U.S. Department of the Treasury

Middle school, high school

  • Lesson plans: This page provides links to educational material provided by groups such as the U.S. Mint, as well as links to PDF lesson plans on personal finance.
  • History: Download PDF lessons on the Treasury’s buildings history and significance.
  • Education: The Treasury website publishes articles explaining the history of the U.S. Treasury and its purpose in the government.


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Free Homeschool Resources for Teaching American Government/History

National Archives

Middle school, high school

  • DocsTeach:  This interactive program for teachers lets you choose a historically significant document to focus on, customize activities to teach it, and access activities created by other teachers.
  • Special Topics and Tools: The National Archives provides free ebooks, iTunes downloads, and more.  Their Historypin tool even allows you to view recreated historical events in Google Street View!

Constitution Center: Educational Resources

Middle school, high school

Government Publishing Office (GPO)

Any grade level

Congress

Middle school, high school

  • U.S. House of Representatives: Articles and explanations on the House’s history are available for students and educators to access.
  • The Congressional App Challenge: This challenge gives students a chance to participate in a scientific field by creating and exhibiting an app. Winners are recognized by their Congress representative and their work is displayed in the U.S. Capitol.
  • Kids in the House:  Designed for learners of all ages, this website includes articles about the House written at a child’s reading level.  Teachers can find links to more resources and PDF downloads through the resources page.
  • Congressional Art Competition:  Every spring, high school students around the nation submit their visual art projects to a contest hosted by the House of Representatives.  Winners receive national recognition and have their work displayed in the Capitol for a full year.  Details are available on the competition’s webpage and rules list.
  • U.S. Senate: Though not quite as interactive as the House website, the Senate website features livestreams, details of active legislation, and calendars of events in the Senate.
  • U.S. Capitol Visitors’ Center: You don’t have to travel all the way to D.C. to learn about the history of the U.S. Capitol. The visitors’ center website offers downloadable lesson plans and activity guides for students and home educators alike.

Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)

Any grade level

  • Kids’ Zone: What kid doesn’t love secret agents? The CIA Kids’ Zone offers educational articles and games for students from kindergarten to 12th grade, even including stories about the top K9 officers used by agents.
  • Headquarters Tour: The website also displays a photo gallery tour of key locations in the CIA headquarters, along with a challenging puzzle to solve.

U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum

Middle school, high school

(Caution: Due to grave subject matter, parents should think twice about using material from this museum in lessons for younger children.)

  • Resources for educators: Browse interviews with Holocaust survivors, detailed articles by museum staff, teaching guidelines, a 38-minute documentary, and more for use in your homeschool classroom.
  • Encyclopedia: The museum website features an extensive encyclopedia on the Holocaust and its impact on the world, along with museum artifacts, maps, personal testimonies, historical footage, and much more.
  • Current exhibits: Even if you cannot travel to the museum, the website offers a description and photographs of its major permanent exhibits for a summarized history lesson.

Smithsonian Museums

Any grade level

  • History explorer:  Browse museum artifacts, teacher’s guides, lessons and much more in this extensive website.
  • Game center:  Students can play games on topics from biology to disaster preparation.
  • Model browser:  The Smithsonian is working on uploading digital 3D models of their artifacts to the web, and they’re available for free!  Curate your own tour through the Smithsonian’s incredible collection.
  • Fun Stuff for Kids Online:  This page features a variety of links to such kid-friendly resources as webcams at the National Zoo, a geography quiz using satellite photos, and a virtual tour of the American Art Museum.  (The tour requires Adobe Flash to function.)
  • Museum Collections:  Browse an immense library of audio, video, documents and more housed in the Smithsonian historical collections.
  • Learning Lab:  Links provided here allow teachers to find specific museum artifacts, write a lesson plan or use a provided one, and give the day’s lesson based on Smithsonian research.


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Free Homeschool Resources for Teaching Resources for Educators

Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS)

Parents, teachers

  • For parents of special needs students, this website offers information on Individualized Education Plans (IEPs), the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA), and other important resources for special education.

For a full list of the laws that impact special education and persons with disabilities, see The Special Education Support Toolbox (50+ Special Needs Resources).

Library of Congress

Any grade level

The Library of Congress offers resources such as webcasts, featured library items, historical photos and documents online, and much more.

  • Student Discovery Sets: Free to download on iTunes, these books encompass lessons in history, science, and a variety of other topics, using historical documents and photos from all over the country.
  • Ask a Librarian: Here, you can browse pages upon pages of frequently asked questions on topics covered in the library, and even talk directly to a librarian!
  • Letters About Literature: Students in grades 4-12 are encouraged to choose a book and write a letter to the author about how the book impacted them. Entries are submitted into the yearly Letters About Literature contest, where students can win recognition at both state and national levels.

Education Resources Information Center (ERIC)

Parents/teachers

  • This website allows educators to search thousands of articles on different educational approaches and suggestions on teaching. Don’t come to this website looking for curriculum, though. While this site may provide lesson plan ideas and educational theories, it is assumed the educator reading the articles already has a curriculum and simply wants advice for teaching it.


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Free Homeschool Resources for Teaching Disaster Prep/Safety

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)

Any grade level

  • Fact sheets: FEMA provides PDF downloads of kid-oriented fact sheets about how to prepare for and stay safe during disasters such as floods, fires and hurricanes.
  • Kid website: FEMA’s companion website includes an entire section dedicated entirely to kids, featuring games, trivia sheets and more.
  • Emergency Preparedness Curriculum: FEMA offers a PDF download of a full curriculum for grades 1-12 designed to teach students about preparing for disasters.

Federal Railroad Administration (part of the U.S. Department of Transportation)

Elementary, middle school

  • The Federal Railroad Administration offers guidelines on keeping safe around railroad tracks, as well as free downloads of colorful posters and quizzes to test a student’s knowledge of railroad safety.


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Free Homeschool Resources for Teaching Fine Arts

John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts

Any grade level

  • Livestreams: Not only does the Center distribute free tickets for its performances, it also livestreams many of the performances and later posts the videos online! Enjoy professional concerts for free in your own home. See which talented performers are upcoming: performance schedule.

National Endowment for the Arts (NEA)

High school

  • Musical Theater Songwriting Challenge:  Annually, the NEA holds a musical challenge for high school students who want to hear their work played in a professional setting!  Winners are eligible for scholarships and other prizes.  Details can be found on the linked webpage.

National Gallery of Art (NGA)

Any grade level

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