For years, many homeschool families have relied on the all-in-one simplicity of Calvert. Off the grid or screen-limiting families loved the way everything came in a box, along with detailed lesson plans of what to do every day and how to teach it.

Calvert in a box is no more.

What do you do if you’re in an area without easy mail service, and you suddenly need to change your plans?

Here’s a quick guide to quality secular programs which you can download as PDFs anywhere you can access the internet. If you have access to a laser printer, so much the better.

There are many, many other wonderful secular programs out there if you decide you want to shop around. The closest Calvert-replacement is probably Oak Meadow.

But for those of you out of reach of shipping, who just want a quick shopping list of reliable secular programs, read on …


Check out Math Mammoth’s complete Light Blue Curriculum. If you would like to add a spiral review, they also sell a daily math review program.


Combine history as much as possible, especially if your children are only 1-3 years apart in age.  For early elementary, I like the look of Curiosity Chronicles for Ancient History and Medieval History. (These links contain the complete digital bundle including an audiobook; it is also possible to buy it without the audiobook.)

For later elementary/early middle school, I like Story of the World books 3 & 4 (books 1 & 2 are not secular), Early Modern and Modern History. With those two books, you don’t need to have the workbooks, just the texts. Read my article over at SEA Homeschoolers about how to generate assignments to go along with it. Modern History is recommended for Grades 4 and above.


Check out Pandia Press. You may not have all the materials readily available to do all the labs, but exploring the outside world will make up for a lot of that. As with history, combine the study of science so your elementary / middle school aged children are studying the same general topics. (Note, while I like Pandia Press products,  at the moment I am not recommending them for history for people without easy shopping because they require quite a few outside books. This may change, as I understand they are about to publish a secular alternative to the Story of the World book 1.)


Read, read, read. Don’t worry about adding school into it.


Check out Brave Writer.

Second language:

Read the book Fluent Forever, and check out their second language learning apps.

Low tech organizing:

Here’s my blog on turning a simple notebook into a homeschool bullet planner.

How to teach?

Check out the sampler of my book Homeschool Teacher. I hope to have the digital version finished by the end of September.  In the meantime, you can order hard copies at:


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