In order to cut down on the clutter in your life, I’ve compiled a list of my top 5 favorite resources that can help you and your children thrive during this time of temporary homeschooling. This list is full of places that will require very little direction from you (because you didn’t ask for this homeschooling gig!) but won’t just be busy work for your child. So without further ado, my top 5 choices to help you thrive in this new homeschooling gig:
My Father’s World: (K-8th grade resource)
I used to use this full curriculum when we homeschooled back in the day. If your kids get engaged with story-telling, this will be right up their ally. This resource is mainly for those of you who just want to supplement and aren’t looking for a full curriculum quite yet.
They are currently offering 2 different social studies activity packets for free. One is focused on preschool through 3rd grade and the other is 3rd – 8th grade. They purposely design their curriculum to be done within the family unit so they differentiate the assignments for you. For example, your 3rd grader may color and do an easy crossword while your 8th grader is creating maps or researching the topic in a deeper way BUT it’s all over the same topic. It makes it less work on you as a parent if you have multiple ages of kids. And while it is designed for social studies, there is also spelling, language arts, and a bit of math in the packet.
Pros: It’s completely free and something for all the kids to do together Cons: The packet they are offering will only last you 2 weeks.
The Good and the Beautiful (K-5th grade resource)
If you have elementary kids, this resource is pretty excellent. It’s an all in one curriculum that may take some up front prep work on your part as far as printing things out and organizing things for your kids, but after the initial set up, your child can self-direct for the most part. If your school district isn’t offering direct instruction for the rest of the year, this would be an excellent resource for you to consider in order to give your kids structure while still encouraging their love for learning.
Pro: This is completely free download that fully covers all curriculum. It is also fun and engaging and will help your kids enjoy learning. Con: Preparing to start will take quite a bit of printing and organizing on your part. Also, be aware that while the author markets this as Christian material, it is not. Just like everything you give your kids, vet it and pick and choose what you want them to consume.
Total Language Plus (K-12 resource)
This one isn’t free but it’s pretty cheap considering all you will get for the cost. For somewhere between $8- $25, you will get a complete Language Arts curriculum which, depending on which packet you choose, will help with spelling, grammar, critical thinking, research writing, and comprehension. If you choose nonfiction or historical fiction, it will address social studies curriculum as well. If your child can read independently, this will be completely independent work.
I used this when I taught High School homeschoolers back in the day and absolutely LOVED it. It was one of my favorites. When I stopped teaching and was just homeschooling my own kids, I would buy 2 workbooks and just one novel and used it with both girls at the same time. The workbooks are differentiated within them so multiple grade levels can benefit from the same workbook.
Pros: It is pretty independent and covers all the skills they need, it’s cost effective, there’s a wide variety of novels so your child is sure to find one that will interest his/her, and offers excellent material all the way through high school. Cons: It is not free and will take some time to ship to you.
Startstride.com (K-12 Resource)
This is an online adaptive learning program through k12 online public schools. We use this to reinforce what we are learning. Your kids will start by taking an assessment based on their current grade level. It will use this initial assessment to find gaps in his/her learning.. Every day, they sign in and do online lessons over each of the curriculum areas and earn coins for each question they get right. The coins can be used to play games on the site so the more lessons they master, the more coins. The more coins, the more games they can play.
Pros: It’s absolutely free and completely self-directed. Most of your kids will not need any parent interaction in order to use this site. Cons: It’s not necessarily focusing on teaching new skills to your kids and can be more like online worksheets than interactive learning.
Easy Peasy All In One Curriculum (k-12 Resource)
This is actually what I’m using with my kids now. For a $15 donation, you can create an online account so each kid can access it on any device. There is also a free version if that feature is not necessary for you. The owner of this site has ALL the daily lesson plans, assignments, links to teaching videos and worksheets enrichment activities, links to the online books, and much more all divided out according to your child’s grade level. It covers every single subject area, including electives like foreign language, art, music, P.E., and Bible. This was one of the few free resources I have found that will help my daughter’s continue with their foreign language work.
Pros: It’s easy to set up and runs your child’s day like an actual school day. You can start your lessons wherever your child was when they left school. It is also self-directed so once you set it up, your child should be able to continue without much help on your part. Cons: The initial set up took a few hours. Mainly because the kids are in the middle of the school year so I had to figure out which day of assignments was the right day for each kid to start on. For example, Avery is half-way through Algebra so didn’t need to start on Day 1 of Algebra. Instead, I scrolled through the lessons until I found the place where she is currently in school and started her on Day 63 of lessons instead. This took some time on my part.
Just for Fun:
If you want to pull some extra worksheets or practice sheets for your kids every once in a while, Freedom Homeschooling is a great resource. She has lists of free resources for homeschoolers based around the topics you need. It’s a one stop shop for ya!
We have a challenge before us to help our kids continue to love to learn but we also don’t have an idea of what success should look like during this weird time in our life. Plus, none of us (including your kiddos) signed up for this homeschool life so be kind to yourself and your children, don’t stress about finding the “perfect” solution because it doesn’t exist, and just do the best you can with the circumstances you’ve been given. And hopefully these resources will take a bit of stress off your shoulders!
Disclaimer: This is by no means meant to be an exhaustive list but simply to keep you from heading down the bottomless pit of the internet if you don’t want to!