Here are 18 resources for your school-at-home efforts that I’ve either used or referenced in our brief homeschoolers-by-choice journey. From curriculum, to YouTube, to favorite bloggers, these are some ideas and resources to help you support your child’s education until we come out on the other side of this experience.
Covid-19 has sent us home for months, but my email inbox has never been busier! First, I received dozens of emails from any retailer I had sneezed near in the past 700 years.
Then, I received a flood of emails from homeschool contacts, education bloggers that I follow, local educational services, and various products, influencers, and services. These emails had lists of activities, resources, new programs, and loads of support.
But there were so many of them that they were overwhelming. In fact, I’ve revamped my scheduled content so we could take advantage of some of these other innovative programs.
So whether you’re a homeschooler-by-choice or a homeschooler-by-coronavirus, check out some of these resources – but don’t try to use them all! Some of the resources are clearly for elementary students, but a few of them are very much geared towards middle and high school students.
- For math we use Beast Academy. It’s a rigorous math option, but it’s fun and engaging. Our girls love the puzzles and challenges throughout the book. Their site has several worksheets that can be downloaded, and they are offering a discount on a monthly or yearly subscription to their online learning content.
- For typing we use a program called Typesy. With games and instructional modules, this program logically teaches the fundamentals of typing. Students are challenged in both accuracy and speed. My girls love the games, and I love that they are building muscle-memory without realizing it.
- Handwriting without Tears is what we use for handwriting – part of the Learning without Tears. We started this after experiencing it in my eldest daughter’s school. Clear instructions and practice. They also have uploaded resources for those who are now providing education at home.
- My absolute favorite resource for finding supporting worksheets and activities for our unit study lessons is TeachersPayTeachers. It supports a wide range of educators who are sharing their experience and earning a little cash on the side, and the range of resources and creativity is amazing! I’ve found color-by-number activities for practicing multiplication and addition, science experiment sheets, lapbooks, and content guides. Plus it is super affordable!
YouTube & Netflix
- Brainchild –Brainchild is designed to teach students about how the brain works. It’s a combination of science and psychology intertwined with fun mental challenges to demonstrate their points and guided by an energetic host.
- Mark Rober – if you’re not following Mark Rober on YouTube, you’re missing out. Rober used to work at NASA and has now developed a YouTube channel full of outrageous experiments. His challenges are fun and interesting, but he doesn’t devolve into over-hysterical or ridiculously-outrageous efforts to explain science. In short, he does cool stuff and talks like a normal person (i.e. not a used sales guy trying to make science “sound” fun). Learn some serious science with very non-serious demonstrations/experiments!
- Oversimplified – a great history channel for your older students – check it out first though. It uses language in various parts that you may want to discern appropriateness for your kids. However, for breaking down complex events in history, this is a great overview channel! The animation is entertaining and the content covers a good range of history.
- CNN-10 – some friends of ours clued us in to CNN 10. Current Events on weekdays. Carl Azuz breaks down a few top stories with enthusiasm. It’s ten minutes of non-stop news, quizzes, and some occasionally terrible jokes.
- Teach Beside Me – nonstop ideas for teaching creatively – start at her Teaching Ideas tab to search by subject area.
- Learning Through Literature – a great site for literature-based guides. They also send a monthly poem to work through and have fantastic resources.
- The Clever Teacher – I think I found this site through TeachersPayTeachers. She makes great resources for teaching history. Incredibly good quality and a range of approaches for teaching various topics in history.
- David Rickert – Much of his stuff is geared toward middle and high school students, but his creativity with language arts is inspiring. This is another person I found through Teachers Pay Teachers. His comic strips are fantastic.
- What Do We Do All Day – this site is stuffed with ideas for learning without using screens. Her site navigation at the top will lead you to ideas based on subject area or just enjoy browsing the site.
- Kitchen Table Classroom – Soooo many fun art projects on this site plus resources for teaching art history and art elements. Great quality all around.
- TinkerLab – Another fantastic art site. A friend of ours invited a small group of us to participate in art prompts for April. Each day we complete an art project based on a prompt and then share our ideas with others in the group through MarcoPolo. I’ve been impressed by the creativity it brings out in my girls – plus they love seeing their friends and knowing what everyone else is doing!
- Library – this link will take you to the digital offerings that our library system has set up to support parents and teachers (and all readers!) while we learn at home. Definitely check your local library system for offerings that may be more accessible for you depending on time zones, interests, etc.
- Discovery Place – This link will take you to the science-at-home page for Discovery Place (Charlotte’s Science Museum). This incredible resource is regularly updated with post after post of science activity ideas, homeschool tips, read-alouds, and more science activity ideas. I now have red cabbage on my next grocery run thanks to their suggestions. First time for everything.
- MecKidz – I know many churches have gotten creative with connecting and supporting their families. I can only speak for our church though, so I’m including this link. In addition to “churchy” activities and lessons, they’ve filled this page with online resources to support parents who may need to have conversations with their children about anxiety, homeschool support, and general goofy family ideas. Plus, their YouTube channel is a favorite around here for pranks, jokes, and general ridiculousness.
How to Use These Resources
Good luck to you. I hope one or two of these will inspire the next best idea for your child or your family. Remember that learning doesn’t have to be contained in a schedule. We watch most of our YouTube or Netflix suggestions at night as a family. Likewise, I skim most of the emails I receive from other places and only insert activities as needed.
Also, check out this post with 5 activities that don’t require screens or worksheets – math with a clock, an unconventional scavenger hunt, and art with nature.
Pin this for later and refer back to it as needed!