Last week, I became an accidental homeschool mom, or so it seems.
The truth is, I don’t plan on actually homeschooling my child.
Yes, I’m a former teacher.
Yes, I know that having a learning gap is not ideal.
I also know that sometimes we just need to let the kids play.
In the midst of everything, I’m secretly a little happy about having a few weeks with my kiddo unexpectedly. I’m excited for board games, movie nights, endless games of hopscotch, and bubbles in the backyard. However, I’m also going to need to keep my kiddo’s mind occupied at least long enough for me to shower and maintain some of my sanity. The reality is that I’m an introvert and she’s an extrovert, and when she’s uttered 300,000 words before lunch my brain feels a little fried.
With that said, we are not labeling this list “homeschool resources” — instead we’re calling them “learning opportunities.” They are all free.
These learning resources are broken down by category, and all of them have my teacher brain seal of approval.
- Scholastic Learn at Home is a comprehensive lesson plan program that has a daily lesson available. You can choose your child’s grade level and participate in daily lessons that include a virtual story, a nonfiction video, and a virtual activity. If your child is not interested in the daily topic, you can manually choose one that is better geared toward their interest.
- ABCmouse.com is regularly used in our family and is available as both a website and an app. You can start with a 30-day free trial.
- PBS Learning Media is always free, and it has a comprehensive and easily searchable library of videos for all grade levels — with all different subjects.
- Hooked on Phonics is offering a month’s worth of content for only $1. It’s appropriate for kids from pre-K to 2nd grade and can be used on multiple devices for multiple children.
- Chrome Music Lab is a wonderful tool for younger children to really learn about beats, melodies, and musical notes — and to have the opportunity to create their own songs! It’s fun, educational, and can be used with headphones.
- Busy Kids Do Piano has a free coupon code for a month’s worth of virtual lessons with code PIANOATHOME.
Math and science education
- Mystery Science has pulled their most popular lessons and put them on the website for anyone to use — no login or account is needed. There are mini-lessons and full lessons for grades K-5.
- Gizmos is giving unlimited access to their entire library for 60 days. This interactive website allows for students to gain a deeper understanding of challenging math and science topics.
- The San Diego Zoo has a beautiful series of videos, stories, and activities about all your favorite animals. You can even do an “in-depth” study of each animal using their incredible and user-friendly animal profiles.
- The Atlantic White Shark Conservancy will read your child books about sharks and then do a fun shark Q&A! They go “live” on Facebook then archive the videos so you can watch whenever you want.
- The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden may be closed to visitors, but each day you can visit their website or Facebook page for a “Home Safari” — a live video about one of their animals and an accompanying quiz.
- GoNoodle is like “Just Dance,” but for kids, with easy-to-follow dance moves. The videos are just a few minutes long and are great for a short “break time” to expel extra energy.
- Fluency and Fitness has made their platform of incorporating learning with movement activities free temporarily. The content is for K-2, with a library of over 900 videos.
- Cosmic Kids Yoga is a popular YouTube channel with high-quality yoga for kids ages 3 and older. It’s a wonderful tool for any day and has a fast, fun pace for active kiddos.
- The Kennedy Center has created a series with their artist in residence called Lunch Doodles with Mo Willems. Each day a new video with instructions for a kid-friendly drawing is uploaded.
- Art for Kids Hub is a family-friendly YouTube channel created by a family of six that loves to be artists together. Their tutorial videos are engaging and themed. This channel could easily be used in conjunction with the Scholastic daily lessons listed above.
May the force be with you! I hope one of these learning resources brings you 15 minutes of relative peace.