Homeschool Resources

The Cuba Circulating Library does not specifically endorse each individual site. These sites are provided solely as a convenience in locating homeschooling information. It is up to each individual family to deem and discern the appropriateness of the material provided at each site for their own personal use.

Library Resources


These kits were purchased through a generous donation by Marilee Patterer and the Friends of the Cuba Library, Inc., and through funding from the Kaleigh Wilday Memorial Foundation. Each comes in a zippered tote for easy carrying. Families may borrow ONE kit at a time, and have ONE WEEK to explore the activities in the kit. All kits are kept in the library office and patrons may request them from library staff. There are no fees for overdue kits, however, for kits that are one week late, the full cost of the kit will be billed to the patron’s account until the item is returned.

STEAM kits in tote bags

All About Dinosaurs
Interest Grade PK – 3| Explore what would happen if you looked in the mirror and saw that you had become part dino! Enjoy imaginative play with dinosaur figures and reusable sticker scenes. Dinosaur Escape allows kids to work together, use their memory, and incorporate simple strategy to rescue the dinos from volcanic eruption. Includes What If You Had T.Rex Teeth!? book, dinosaur escape game, jumbo dinosaurs, and a dinosaur reusable sticker tote.

All About Magnets
Interest Grade: PK – 3 | Kids will be pulled toward this Steam kit with it’s hands-on introduction to the fascinating powers of magnets. STEAM lessons are irresistible when you add the excitement of fun, colorful tools to scientific exploration. Includes Magnets Push, Magnets Pull book, STEM Explorers magnet mover set, and STEAM magnet activity set. Both magnet sets include activity guides.

Building and Design
Interest Grade: 4+ | Dive into a behind-the-bricks look at the beloved LEGO toy with this hands-on STEAM kit. Kids can take what they learned in the world of LEGO engineering and apply it to the KEVA Brain Builders and City Engineer sets which give you the tools to design and build creations to solve challenges. Includes From an Idea to Lego book, KEVA brain builders STEM kit, and City Engineering & Design building set.

Construction and Building
Interest Grade: PK – 3 | It’s never too early to introduce engineering. Little engineers will gain experience with construction while they are still learning basic life skills. Kids can put on their imaginary hard hats and channel their inner engineers while they get to work with building blocks and the construction kit. Includes Construction Zone book, Construction Building set, and 100 Piece wood blocks set.

Decimals and Rounding
Interest Grade: PK – 3 | Kids use a cash register and play money to learn about currency and making change. Base ten cubes reinforce counting, measuring, and working with patterns. Cash Kat learns the value of money on a fun adventure with grandma. Includes the book Cash Kat, base ten cubes, a wallet with play money and cards, and a solar powered cash register.

DIYs and Art Facts
Interest Grade: 4+| Get hands-on with 15 DIY craft projects created by YouTube sensation Karina Garcia. Boys and girls of all ages will be able to express their artistic side and create their own masterpiece using the multi-craft weaving loom. And put your art knowledge to the test with this fun and memory-boosting game which features essential art topics. Includes Karina Garcia’s Must-Try DIYs book, BrainBox STEAM art game, and Multi-craft Weaving Loom with design booklet.

Electronics, Coding & Bots
Interest Grade: 4+ | Science Comics gives us a high-interest graphic novel packed with facts on robots and drones: past, present and future. Kids apply the information to coding with Artie the programmable robot that draws whatever you code on any sheet of paper. Use Snap Circuits to enjoy hours of educational fun while learning about electronics and circuits with hands-on manipulatives and easy-to-follow activity guides. Includes Robots and Drones book, Artie 3000 coding robot, and Snap Circuits Jr. set.

Everyday Science
Interest Grade: 4+ | Explore popular science topics in DC Superhero Science, an action-packed nonfiction title, featuring experiments led by beloved DC super heroes. Use the scientific method like Bumblebee, defy gravity like Superman, or make things out of light like Green Lantern. Perform cool chemistry experiments and dig into the fascinating world of insects with simple activities that can be completed with items found around the house or in nature. Includes DC Superhero Science book, Chemistry Lab with activity journal, Bug Discovery lab with activity journal, safety goggles and plastic magnifiers.

Examine Science and Nature
Interest Grade: 4+ | Let’s go and explore! The Examine Science and Nature Kit encourages kids to explore everyday items in their house, backyard or on a nature walk. The Handheld Mini Microscope and Specimen slides gives children a lens into assorted specimens including: algae, fish scales, coffee, grasshopper, silk to name a few. The fun and memory boosting game features essential science and nature topics to teach life science topics. Includes Smithsonian 10 Minute Science Experiments book, mini microscope, specimen slides, and Brainbox Science and Nature game.

Machines and Contraptions
Interest Grade: 4+ | Young thinkers explore the ideas of Leonardo Da Vinci through his notebook sketches, showing how his ideas foreshadowed modern inventions. Students construct, examine and explain simple machines to develop a deeper understanding of how they make work easier. KEVA planks build an early understanding of proportion and balance, while teaching basic principles of physics and engineering. Includes Neo Leo book, Simple Machines set with activity guide, and KEVA contraptions set with project book.

My Amazing Body
Interest Grade: 4+ | From your head to your toes, the My Amazing Body kit is an introduction to anatomy and explains the important parts of your body. The hands-on manipulatives for the heart, brain and skeleton will provide children an in-depth look into the human body and create an appreciation for everything their bodies can do. Includes book Me and My Amazing Body, double sided magnetic human body with skeletal system and major organs and muscles, human heart model, and human brain model.

Trucks and Tools Kit
Interest Grades: PK-3 | The Trucks and Tools kit is designed for the young gearhead. The two-piece tractor trailer and the Design & Drill Bolt Buddies are interactive hands-on manipulatives for building fine motor skills. Kid friendly tools are designed for tiny hands and encourages creativity and problem- solving skills. Kids will love Trucks!, a level two Ripley Reader featuring great pictures and information about various trucks.


These kits were purchased through a grant funded by Allegany County United Way. Each comes in a zippered tote for easy carrying. As with the STEAM Kits, Families may borrow ONE kit at a time, and have ONE WEEK to explore the activities in the kit. All kits are kept in the library office and patrons may request them from library staff. There are no fees for overdue kits, however, for kits that are one week late, the full cost of the kit will be billed to the patron’s account until the item is returned.

Five Penworthy STEAM to Go Phonics kits in clear zippered tote bags with blue trim

Lego Star Wars Phonics
Interest Grade: PK-3 | Feel the Force in this Lego Staw Wars phonics kit featuring a Lego Star Wars phonics set with 10 books and 2 workbooks, Penworthy Prebound level 2 reader Lego Star Wars The RIse of Skywalker, Wipe-Off phonics workbooks and two activities. The first is three sets of soft foam phonics cubes with activity suggestion sheets and a second is a collection of phonics dominoes allowing kids to build hundreds of words. Let Penworthy help keep learning to read fun.

Peppa Pig Phonics
Interest Grade: PK-3 | Help your kids take to reading like a pig to a puddle with this kit featuring a Peppa Pig phonics set with 10 books and 2 workbooks, Penworthy Prebound 8×8, Wipe-Off phonics workbook and two phonics games. The first is a reading rods phonics word building game and a second is a quick card based phonics game. When the play-based learning is done, put it all together and work through a great AR 2.0 graphic novel Super Peppa. Let Penworthy help keep learning to read fun.

Paw Patrol Phonics
Interest Grade: PK-3 |Paw Patrol is on a roll in this phonics set featuring a Paw Patrol phonics 12 book set, Penworthy Prebound level 2 reader Paw Patrol Save the Dinosaurs, Wipe-Off phonics workbook and two activities. The first is three sets of soft foam phonics cubes and a second is a Slam Ships game focused on sight words. Let Penworthy help keep learning to read fun.

Pete the Cat Loves Preschool Kit
Interest Grade: PK-3 | Settle in with your preschooler and Pete the Cat. Enjoy two great books and a variety of lessons with Pete the Cat. Includes level 1 reader Pete the Cat’s Family Road Trip and level 1 reader Pete the Cat: Super Pete. This kit featuring two interactive preschool sets promotes groovy, independent, interactive learning. Press the Pete the Cat pen on the answer for an immediate audio and visual feedback on lessons in reading, math, science, social studies, and more. Kits are sold in their entirety, components are not available for individual sale. Requires 4 AAA batteries, not included.

Letters and Numbers Kit
Interest Grade: PK-3 | Help your kid establish a strong base for all future learning with this kit focused on learning the alphabet and numbers. Kids will love Dr. Seuss’s ABC book along with Alphabet Bingo and self correcting number puzzles. Keep kids actively engaged in learning with building letters and numbers with a kid safe drill toy to tie it all together. Kits are sold in their entirety, components are not available for individual sale. Requires 3 AAA batteries, not included.


These kits were purchased through a generous donation by Marilee Patterer and the Friends of the Cuba Library, Inc. Each comes in a zippered case for easy carrying. Families may borrow ONE kit at a time, and have ONE WEEK to explore the activities in the kit. Families may also check out ONE additional Osmo game if they wish. All kits are kept in the library office and patrons may request them from library staff. There are no fees for overdue kits, however, for kits that are one week late, the full cost of the kit will be billed to the patron’s account until the item is returned.

OSMO coding kit
round robot with clear shell and visible internal parts

OSMO : Genius Starter Kit
Power up family game night with Osmo Genius Starter Kit+. Kids will love exploring STEAM topics on their own or with their family. Foster a love of engineering, art, math, and reading with seven ways to play and learn. Games included are Tangram (visual and spatial puzzles), Words (Guess and spell hidden words with physical tiles), Numbers (Explore and play with math in an open-ended environment), Newton (creative engineering. Guide virtual balls with real-life objects.), and Masterpiece (Draw anything and everything. Supercharge your drawing skills.). This kit includes a Kindle Fire 7th Generation, charger, Kindle base, iPad base (for use with patron’s personal iPad), tangram shapes, letter tiles, number tiles, dot tiles, and a getting started guide in a zipper case.

Osmo Games:
Transform your tablet into a hands-on coding adventure. Designed for ages 5–10, these games build coding skills in progression with hands-on learning games. Watch your child learn to code as they connect colorful blocks of code in the physical world to chart the adventure on their screen.

Coding (Awbie)
String together commands to guide Awbie on an epic strawbie-munching adventure. Explore 35+ levels including green forests, spooky caves, jungles, sunny beaches, a snowy mountain, and even a volcano! Build problem-solving and logic skills while learning the basic concepts of coding!

Coding Jam
Arrange coding blocks in patterns and loops to compose your own music. Comes with 24 characters and over 300 musical sounds to produce your perfect song. Kids can safely record and share their music with friends, family and the Jam community.

Sphero Bolt
Programming made easy. Simple for beginners yet sophisticated enough for experts, Lightning Lab empowers anyone to program their robot. The visual block based programming app makes the basic principles of coding approachable and fun. The Kit includes a Sphero Bolt, 1 power adapter, 1 charging base, 2 covers, 1 roll of ruled tape, and a quick start guide in a zippered case.

Clicking on the book title will take you to the record in the online catalog where you can place a hold or learn more about the book.

The brave learner : finding everyday magic in homeschool, learning, and life / Bogart, Julie

The Call of the Wild & Free: reclaiming wonder in your child’s education/ Arment, Ainsley

Home grown : adventures in parenting off the beaten path, unschooling, and reconnecting with the natural world / Hewitt, Ben

The unhurried homeschooler : a simple, mercifully short book on homeschooling / Wilson, Durenda

Additional resources owned by libraries in our system can be found in StarCAT (the online catalog) by searching “Homeschool”. Click here to be taken to the search results: homeschool resources

STEM & STEAM Activities
STEAM kids : 50+ science, technology, engineering, art, math hands-on projects for kids / Carey, Anne

STEAM kids Christmas : science, technology, engineering, art, math activity countdown for kids / Carey, Anne

Awesome engineering activities for kids : 50+ exciting STEAM projects to design and build / Schul, Christina

Awesome science experiments for kids : 100+ fun STEAM projects and why they work / Chatterton, Crystal

STEAM lab for kids : 52 creative hands-on projects using science, technology, engineering, art, and math/ Heinecke, Liz

STEAM ahead! : DIY for kids : amazing science/ technology/ engineering/ art/ math projects for kids between ages 4 – 10/ Mukherjee, Sumita

The library has nonfiction titles on a wide variety of subjects to supplement your homeschool curriculum for all age levels. In addition, our picture books are organized by topics which would lend themselves well to thematic units, and the easy nonfiction titles are blended in with the fiction books on the same topics. If we do not have what you are looking for, additional titles can be borrowed from other libraries in the system as well.

Useful Websites

New York State Education Department Home Instruction
The NYS Education Department has a section of their website dedicated to Home Instruction that includes Part 100.10 home instruction regulations, questions and answers, special education services for home-schooled students, additional key laws and regulations related to home instruction (attendance records, expectations for instruction, degree requirements, etc), information about immunizations, information for students who wish to attend college, and a page of additional resources.

Part 100.10 Regulations Document (pdf 231 KB)
compiled by Thomson Reuters Westlaw , this document includes many of the basic regulations regarding home instruction and serves as a starting point for parents with regards to legal requirements.

New York State Education Department Office of Curriculum and Instruction
The State Education Department sets the student learning expectations for what all students should know and be able to do as a result of instruction. The standards and curriculum resources for all subjects are available here, as well as additional regulations and guidance resources, and information about special programs.

This site is maintained by the New York State Education Department (NYSED) to support the implementation of key aspects of the New York State Board of Regents Reform Agenda. The site offers curriculum materials for grades Pre-K to 12 in Mathematics, English Language Arts (ELA), and Social Studies Inquiries that are free to all users. The site includes information about Next Generation Learning Standards, Common Core, Teacher/Leader Effectiveness, a video library, and information specifically for parents and families.

New York State Library Links to Selected Education Websites
A compilation of educational websites from the NYS Library

Loving Education At Home
Loving Education At Home (LEAH) is a statewide organization dedicated to supporting and promoting home education throughout New York. Loving Education At Home is organized exclusively for the purpose of providing service and support to Christian home education support groups within New York State. The site offers information about legal aspects of home schooling, resources relating to home education, educating children with special needs, and includes information about LEAH’s upcoming events.

girl with laptop doing schoolwork

Additional Resources

Homeschool Unrefined
A podcast geared toward keeping homeschool simple, real, & fun. The creators are homeschoolers themselves, and started the podcast to ask and answer questions like: What if we could encourage parents to take more off their plates? What if homeschool could be less about our lesson plans and more about a love of learning? What if we could get away with doing less school work and spend more time playing, adventuring, and building lifelong relationships with our kids? What if we could homeschool from our own strengths instead of someone else’s? What if homeschool could be simple, real, and fun?

Homeschool Community Blog and Materials
The Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond, provides a community blog for parents to discuss homeschooling issues. Mrs. Drummond also evaluates new programs and products that her own homeschooling children use. Other resources on the site: links to homeschool materials, grammar, and lists of 20 interesting things.

Homeschooling the High Schooler
a google drive of information on homeschooling high school students

Home School Legal Defense Association
HSLDA is a non-profit advocacy organization dedicated to protecting homeschooling families’ right to provide their children with an education at home. They offer legal representation, educational consulting, teaching resources, information on getting started with homeschooling, and grants for struggling families.

Beginning Homeschooling
A service of the National Alliance of Christian Home Education Leadership (the Alliance). The Alliance is a non-profit organization founded in 2002 to support Christian statewide home education organizations. The Alliance represents 48 affiliate organizations from 45 states, Canada, and Mexico. The site offers articles on homeschooling, links to homeschool organizations, and information on conventions.

Khan Academy
A non-profit that offers free courses for PreK – High School on a variety of subjects, including math, the sciences, reading and language arts, economics, history, art, and even computing and life skills.

A marketplace of live online classes for k – 12 grade students. Offers 50,000+ classes on a variety of subjects and topics, and instructors may be certified teachers, artists, scientists or others with expertise in the subject area. Classes meet via group video chat. Cost depends on the length and duration of the classes.

Teaching Textbooks
A homeschool math subscription program designed as a teacher and a textbook combined into one. Courses include Math 3- 7, Pre-Algebra, Algebra 1 & 2, Geometry, and Pre-Calculus. Each course is delivered online, with no physical textbook. Each student requires their own subscription, although the company does offer family discounts.

The Critical Thinking Company
A company that offers curriculum resources for PreK through 12th grade. Materials are available in print and eBook format, and the company offers software as well. The site also offers test prep resources, resources for working with struggling students, those with special needs, and gifted education. The site is searchable by subject and grade level.

Rainbow Resource
A vendor of homeschool materials, including textbooks, workbooks, complete curriculum packs, puzzles, games, kits, and educational toys.

Free Homeschooling Resources
Compiled by, this is a list of websites and resources that are free of charge. The list includes guides to start planning your homeschooling approach, worksheets, planners and forms, lesson plans and references, and crafts and games.

Varsity Tutors
Varsity Tutors is a paid service that provides online one on one tutoring through a video chat interface. Tutoring is available for all age levels in a variety of subjects. The service also offers test prep, online classes, and small group tutoring.

Homeschool Approaches

There are many home schooling styles/educational philosophies, and one of the necessary steps in planning to homeschool is deciding what approach to take. These methods are taken from Homeschool Life, and a full description with pros and cons for each, as well as resources for further reading on each approach are available on their website.

The Traditional Approach
“School at Home”, following the traditional school model.

The Classical Approach
Three stage approach beginning at the elementary age with basic knowledge, moving into language and thinking skills at the middle school level, and then focusing in high school on using language to write and speak persuasively on a topic.

The Unit Study Approach
Focusing on specific themes (ex. Birds) and integrating some or all subject areas to study the topic. (ie. ELA – read and write about birds, Science – study life cycles, Social Studies – study habitats, migration, ecological impact).

The Charlotte Mason Approach (Living Books)
Based on her writings, this approach teaches basic reading, writing, and math skills and exposes children to the best sources of knowledge for other subjects by taking them on field trips to the sources (museums, nature walks, etc).

The Un-Schooling Approach
Less formal in structure, this method allows children to pursue their interests with guidance. Parents provide a broad variety of books, experiences, and resources, but do not force subjects of study on the child.

two young boys painting with watercolors

The Eclectic Approach
This approach uses a variety of curricula and resources, possibly taking parts from multiple sources, and most of those used are tailored to the individual student.