View Full Version : A List of FREE Comprehensive Curricula

12-02-2012, 07:56 PM
Many of the curricula I'm going to list here have been discussed in depth at GCM, but I haven't found any list of curricula and only curricula. I am focusing on curricula that cover all subjects for a given year. I have a list of preschool and pre-K curricula in the Lesson Plans forum under Educating Our Children, BTW.

Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America: The Kindergarten Curriculum


Years Covered: K.

Lesson Plans/Schedules Included? No.

Distinguishing Features: The curriculum is written in Greek. It combines the topics of an old-fashioned, low-pressure K curriculum with first lessons in the Greek language and in Greek Orthodox church practice. For Greek speakers only!

Additional Cost: I honestly have no idea. A Greek speaker I am not.

Gentle? I didn't see any of the usual suspects mentioned on the archdiocese website, but I don't know whether there are Orthodox child trainers, so. If you're interested in Greek immersion for a very young student, this curriculum may be worth a look.

12-02-2012, 07:58 PM

12-02-2012, 08:42 PM
A Homeschool Curriculum for Preschool and Kindergarten by Lillian Jones


Years Covered: Pre-K and K.

Lesson Plans/Schedules Included? Explicitly, no.

Distinguishing Features: Written in response to research suggesting that academic subjects are not good for young brains, this curriculum teaches the basics of life through including a child in the daily life of the family, with occasional special excursions such as getting up early to see the moon.

Additional Cost: Minimal to moderate, depending on which curriculum suggestions you decide to use.

Gentle? Very.

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St. Thomas School Free Curriculum by Dr. Jean Rioux and Maria Rioux


Years Covered: K-12.

Lesson Plans/Schedules Included? Notes on how many times each subject should be covered per week and checklists of book selections to be read are included.

Distinguishing Features: Written from a Catholic perspective, this curriculum incorporates "living books . . . with a classical perspective." "Living books" is a Charlotte Mason term (see below). Higher grades incorporate portions of a great books curriculum, using primary sources to teach certain subjects and scheduling monthly book seminars.

Additional Cost: Moderate to high, depending on whether you can find the required books--lots and lots of books!--used or not.

Gentle? The usual suspects were not listed, but I don't know much about punitive Catholic teachers, so.

12-02-2012, 08:47 PM

12-02-2012, 08:59 PM

12-02-2012, 09:40 PM
Ambleside Online


Years Covered: K-11

Lesson Plans/Schedules Included? Each year includes suggestions for how frequently each topic should be studied each week.

Distinguishing Features: This is a Charlotte Mason curriculum through an American Protestant lens. For those who don't already know, Charlotte Mason in a nutshell is, "A child's mind is not a game of Tetris." (Of course, there's a lot more to it than that.) This educator argued all her life against what has become the conventional wisdom in education in the English-speaking world, the assumptions that underlie carefully organized lesson plans with pieces of information presented in sequence in textbooks. Children, Mason said, can abstract ideas from context on their own and synthesize them to form a comprehensive understanding of a topic without someone pointing out every step they are supposed to take. Furthermore, she asserted that a well written storybook or personal account is much more engaging than an outline of facts. Therefore, Mason recommended what she called "living books" whenever possible, instead of textbooks.

Additional Cost: Moderate. Depending on which books and equipment you choose, you may find yourself spending quite a bit of money on certain subjects. However, suggestions for tight budgets or families living abroad are included for each year. Many of the suggested books can be read online for free and shorter books may be checked out from your public library.

Gentle? Mason took some corporal punishment for granted, but was against a punitive mindset. People have combined AO with the likes of Tripp and Pearl and also with GOYB and grace-based parenting. It's up to you.

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An Old-Fashioned Education by Miss Maggie


Years Covered: 1-12.

Lesson Plans/Schedules Included? Weekly schedules for grades 1-11 are available.

Distinguishing Features: Another Charlotte Mason-style curriculum, this one organizes an enormous database of etexts from relatively modern school textbooks to the transcribed journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. The viewpoint is modern American conservative Christianity.

Additional Cost: Minimal, by design. Books must be purchased for some subjects.

Gentle? The usual suspects are not mentioned on Miss Maggie's various sites. For what it's worth, she links to the Prairie Homemaker forum, which disavows the Pearls on several bases that have been cited here at GCM--but not on the basis of baby whipping.

12-02-2012, 09:54 PM
:pencil subbing - free stuff rocks!

12-02-2012, 10:39 PM
The Puritans' Home School Curriculum, by J. Parnell McCarter


Years Covered: Preschool through college prep.

Lesson Plans/Schedules Included? No. Checklists for subjects and reading selections are provided.

Distinguishing Features: Designed to present a strict Reformed viewpoint and produce children who are functionally young adults at 13.

Additional Cost: Moderate if the numerous free books (many developed for this curriculum) are read from the monitor.

Gentle? Explicitly, no. "The rod" as a whipping instrument, with the associated ritual of a loving explanation of the impending pain, is recommended in the curriculum handbook, and the booklists include such items as Wisdom and the Millers and Bob Jones University publications. If you agree with the rest of the underlying philosophy, you will have to revise the booklist extensively in order to use this curriculum in a gentle way.

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Higher Up and Further In (AKA Charlotte Mason Help), by Linda Johnson


Warning for people with slower older computers or connections: Each page you click in this site will open in its own tab.

Years Covered: K-11 with suggestions for preschool.

Lesson Plans/Schedules Included? Weekly schedules are provided for K-11.

Distinguishing Features: Another Charlotte Mason curriculum, with a Christian viewpoint not explicitly tied to any denomination. The developer describes her goal as a homeschooling parent like this: "To raise children who are passionately in love with God and who are able to relate the gospel of the Kingdom to the many, rather than the few."

Additional Cost: Fairly high; most of the suggested books must be purchased. (Johnson says that she started with the Ambleside Online curriculum and, among other things, replaced some older, free books with more "up to date" choices.)

Gentle? The booklists include Wisdom and the Millers and other books that matter-of-factly talk about spanking, hot saucing, etc. However, this may be explained as part of the general Charlotte Mason philosophy of presenting otherwise good books with the bad bits unfiltered. Or not. Johnson doesn't cite any current experts on any side of the discipline debate by name.

12-02-2012, 11:34 PM

12-04-2012, 11:40 PM
Mater Amabilis, by Dr. Kathryn Faulkner and Michele Quigley


Years Covered: Preschool to 8th grade (Years 1-9).

Lesson Plans/Schedules Included? Lesson plan ideas for selected subjects and notes on how often each subject is to be studied each week are included for each level (1-2 years).

Distinguishing Features: Another Charlotte Mason curriculum, so there are lots and lots of books. Contains options for both U.S. and U.K. families. Written from a Catholic perspective.

Additional Cost: Moderate to high depending on which books are chosen; most are still in copyright and may or may not be available used.

Gentle? I didn't see any of the usual subjects on the site for this curriculum. However, I am not completely up to speed on Catholic punitive teachers.

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Easy Peasy All-In-One Homeschool


Years Covered: Preschool ("Getting Ready 1") to 8th grade. The author is working on higher grades.

Lesson Plans/Schedules Included? Detailed daily lesson plans are included for all levels.

Distinguishing Features: Intended for families with very tight budgets and families living overseas, this is essentially a stripped-down virtual school. Each day's lesson plan includes instructions for the student, guidelines for the adult or older child helper, and links to free online lessons from all corners of the Web. The lessons are brief so that children of multiple ages can share one computer and still get all of their work done. Written from a modern American conservative Protestant perspective.

Additional Cost: Minimal. By design, no books whatsoever need be purchased. Some printing is required. Additional supplies needed are basic back-to-school items.

Gentle? I couldn't find any discussion of child training, but I didn't read every blog entry or lesson on this massive site. If you find otherwise, please post here!


This is all I could find for curricula that provide clear directions for all subjects for one or more years, level K or higher, for free. If you find anything else in this category, please feel free to post it here.

12-04-2012, 11:58 PM
Is simplycharlottemason free?

12-05-2012, 12:28 AM
Is simplycharlottemason free?

No, but they do include a valuable free chart for coordinating lessons in a multi-age classroom here: http://simplycharlottemason.com/planning/scmguide/

There are other useful freebies there, including some of Charlotte Mason's own writing. However, mostly SCM sells handbooks and organizers for use with a Charlotte Mason curriculum, and you have to pay for their core textbooks and lesson plans.

12-05-2012, 07:04 AM

12-05-2012, 09:56 AM

12-05-2012, 09:58 AM

12-05-2012, 10:07 AM
:cup Thanks for compiling this! Hope it can get stickied. :)

12-05-2012, 10:09 AM

12-09-2012, 09:37 PM
I deliberately avoided free-with-registration sites such as Head of the Class, not because I suspect the safety of their database, but because I am just plain overloaded with passwords and usernames right now. If you have experience with a free comprehensive curriculum from a site that requires registration, please post it here.

12-09-2012, 09:43 PM

12-09-2012, 10:19 PM

12-10-2012, 01:08 AM

12-13-2012, 09:47 PM
The Core Knowledge Foundation Lesson Plans


Years Covered: K-8 (plus preschool; see my thread in the Lesson Plans forum.)

Lesson Plans/Schedules Included: A complete list of core subjects and topics is given for each year. There are many lesson plans for some topics, fewer for others, and none for some. Besides the lesson plans, you will need to download the content and skill guidelines file, and the Biblical literacy file if desired, from this page:


Distinguishing Features: These lessons were written for use in a Core Knowledge curriculum. The Core Knowledge Foundation has identified the basic pool of knowledge that is intrinsic to U.S. culture; it turns out that this pool of basic, necessary knowledge is not that large. Teachers are expected to add lessons relevant to local culture (state, city, etc.). So this is not a complete curriculum, but a checklist of basic knowledge with lesson plans, for you to expand as needed. The free lessons were written independently by educators working with the Core Knowledge curriculum, which is why you have a lot of choices for some topics and just the checklist of important knowledge for others. If you want to use this curriculum, you will need to write some lessons.

Additional Cost: Moderate if suggested books and CDs can be checked out and the necessary Core Knowledge and teacher-developed PDFs can be read from the monitor.

Gentle? The question doesn't arise.

09-07-2013, 10:38 PM
Here is a K12 Great Books curriculum for the Western canon, presented with a secular American conservative perspective. The content is irreligious, but the designers take the influence of Christendom on Western history into account.

What Kids Do: This being a Great Books curriculum, kids do a heck of a lot of reading or listening to reading, plus discussion of books and reporting on books read. They also do art, science projects, math practice, etc.

What Kids Learn: Reading, writing, math, geometry, science, art, music, history, geography, economics, civics, and at least two languages other than English.

Cost: High. Recommended textbooks and multi-media materials must be purchased and the long list of children's fiction and nonfiction for each year is supposed to be purchased as well, in order to build a library for each child.

Teacher Beware! While I do think that it's important to keep the Western Canon in our culture, the curriculum designers link to an article by Sophia Cochran about "Cultural Marxism," which is "an offshoot of Marxism that gave birth to political correctness, multiculturalism and 'anti-racism.' Cultural Marxism maintains that all human behavior is a result of culture (not heredity/race)[.]" The designers also dismiss Spanish as a "low-brow" language in which hardly anything that belongs in the Western Canon has been written, and even crack a joke about Spanish only being useful for outdoor manual laborers. Check up on any unfamiliar title in the booklist, especially anything to do with history, before you buy! See also the "Great Books Reading List," which inserts categories of writings from Patrick Buchanan and others of his general viewpoint next to the likes of Xenophon and Cervantes. If you don't agree with this grouping, treat this curriculum with caution.

(On a lighter note, the designers also recommend the animated Lord of the Rings movies as a multi-media supplement. Anybody who has ever suffered through the things will understand why I say, "Gondor has no pants. Gondor needs no pants." Try the BBC radio plays instead!)