Homeschooling while social distancing? I won’t lie – we are a family of homebodies. Besides a few classes and activities being done online, not much has changed for us. We have literally been training for this our whole homeschooling careers!
With the exceptions of our occasional co-ops or field trip outings that have been interrupted, we are pretty much business as usual. That is, except for coaching and reassuring our non-homeschooling friends that have now found themselves immersed in our weird and wacky world.
There are literally thousands of new homeschooling resources popping up now that the whole country (world?) is teaching their children from home. Thanks, we have been doing this for years, but appreciate finally getting noticed! 🙂
Instead of providing an endless list of dozens of possible activities, I wanted to share some of the resources that we actually use on a regular basis in our homeschool. Either longstanding, or relatively newly arrived.
LUNCH DOODLES with Mo Willems!
We love Mo Willems! The Pigeon series, Knuffle Bunny, and Elephant & Piggie have been staples in our household throughout our 4 children’s lives. Now, the Kennedy Center is hosting daily #MoLunchDoodles each weekday at 1:00 PM EST. Each episode, Mo invites you into his studio for an art lesson! These sessions are a blast!
Home Safari at the Cincinnati Zoo
If you are following Build Your Library on Facebook, you will see we keep sharing these daily live streams reminders for the Cincinnati Zoo. They have featured many different animals from the usual suspects at the zoo including lions, elephants, hippos and giraffes. The also feature some more unusual animals such as binturong, ocelots and sloths.
If you follow their Facebook page, the also post short video clips and information about other animals under their care. If you live anywhere near Cincinnati, once the stay-at-home orders are lifted, it looks like a great zoo to visit. But until then, or if you are too far away, these virtual visits are great fun!
I’ve long been a fan of Mystery Science – my youngest really enjoys their videos. They offer a wide variety of fascinating science lessons in video format, along with printables and activities to enhance the lesson. They offer quite a lot of material for free, but you can purchase a one year subscription to gain access for even more lessons. Mystery Science can work as a full curriculum, or you can use it as we do – as a supplement to our science lessons.
Audible is currently offering a selection of free audio-books for children and teens who are home from school. There is a decent variety offered from picture books to middle grade, and even classics like Pride and Prejudice. My kids have already dug into this resource, and my youngest has listened to several books. Typically we don’t listen to audio books, so this has been a fun treat for my kids as well as a break for me. 😉
Teach Your Monster to Read
My youngest LOVED this app. It is set up like a video game, with a silly monster on a quest. While they are playing a fun game, they are also learning basic phonics skills! We used it as a supplement to our reading instruction and I highly recommend it. Also – it’s completely free!
I have a love/hate relationship with Khan Academy. I love their resources and that they offer so much variety. However their website can be difficult to navigate and we’ve struggled with figuring out how to access it to its fullest. That being said, I still think it’s a fantastic resource. We dip in and out, using lessons that tie into what we are currently studying.
Crash Course – All of it!
I am not shy about my love for the Green brothers. They have done so much for the internet in the name of education. We love the Crash Course video series. There are videos on practically everything, from US History, to Astronomy, even Media Literacy, there is something for every interest and enough video lessons to keep teens and tweens busy for years. They do speak fast, so if that is an issue, you can slow down the videos a bit to make it easier to follow. I like to watch along with my kids and then discuss it with them after.
Harry Potter At Home
Ok, so I haven’t used this one yet, as I only heard about it yesterday. However, it looks like an amazing resource, especially if you are using our Harry Potter unit studies! There are games, quizzes, videos, and more to keep you and your children entertained.
Nothing beats a great book, but these online or digital activities are great supplements. Do you have a favorite free resource that you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments below!
Emily Cook is the author and creator of the secular homeschool curriculum Build Your Library, a literature-based K-12 program infused with the teachings of Charlotte Mason. She writes full year lesson plans as well as shorter topical unit studies. Emily has been homeschooling her four children in Southern NH for 21 years. She is passionate about reading aloud to children of all ages and loves to share her love of literature with others. She and her family also makes incredibly dorky videos about homeschooling, books and more on Youtube at ARRRGH! Schooling. You can follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. You can also check out her author page on Amazon.
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