We've begun a bit of the planning for our 2010-2011 school year ... we're starting to discuss which topics to study ... courses to take ... learning objectives to target ... and of course we're discussing which resources we can use.
As I plan each year, I usually begin with a series of conversations. Together, each Cherub and I formulate a rough mental-sketch for the year (for each child).
Then, in the first few planning sessions, I scroll through many of the "free" resources online (picking and choosing very selectively -- when they're free, it's easy to over-plan. What's one more book / project / etc, right ?!?!?!). Sometimes our Cherubs check them out too ...
pre-reading test driving them. (and sometimes certain Cherubs test drive particular books all the way from page 1 to the last, which means we have to find another book for use later. HA !)
I check out topic and reading lists at Ambleside Online, along with other "curriculum" type resources and reading lists.
And then I browse books at Project Gutenburg, Classic Bookshelf, Baldwin Online Children's Project, Perseus Digital Library (c/o Tufts University), The Rosetta Project, Read Books Online, Books By Gosh, UPenn's Online Book Page, Many Books, Questia, Chest of Books, Classic Book Library, Bibliomania, Full Books, Internet Public Library, University of Virginia's E Text, Classic Reader, Bored.com, Read Print, The Literature Network, LibriVox, Bartleby, as I look for ideas and options. Often these older books are of much higher quality (literary language, illustrations), often the topics are covered with much more depth (there are many living books to be found through the above websites !), and of course the pricetag is very appealing. We've used vintage books for literature, free reading, topical studies, phonics / beginning reading, history, science, natural science, poetry, geography, grammar, and more ....
So, just when I thought I'd found
"all" of the enough sites ... I stumbled across a lovely website called Happy Hearts Homeschooling Library which contains many free online vintage books for subjects like history, civics, handicrafts, nature study, and more.