by Megan Bittner
In the midst of a wave of event closures, there is an unexpected opportunity for families to spend more time together than usual, and we are lucky to live in an age where so many free educational resources are available from the comfort of our homes. Whether you’re a working parent trying to figure out how to make homeschooling (long- or short-term) work for you or a currently homeschooling family reaching out to disrupted family, friends, and community members, here are some awesome free educational resources to help you discover how homeschooling really can fit into your life.
This article from the National Home Education Research Institute lays out some clear benefits and challenges of homeschooling, especially relevant if you are considering turning your short-term homeschooling adventure into a long-term family lifestyle.
HECOA (Home Education Council of America) is offering more than 60 podcasts with step-by-step guides on how to homeschool–FREE through April.
Educational companies from around the world are offering free subscriptions to online educational resources due to school closings and community quarantines. Thousands of resources are available with the click of a mouse, and Amazing Educational Resources has compiled an ever-growing list of offerings.
Kid’sActivities.com has also put together amazing list of companies that are offering free educational resources
Gallopade offers free e-books, videos, and activities for students in kindergarten through eighth grade. Topics include volcanoes, Blackbeard the pirate, London’s Big Ben, the White House, and more!
Get 48 free character lessons–perfect for such a time as this–from the Institute for Biblical Principles. Bring character qualities to life with practical applications, discussion questions, and object lessons to make the character the focus.
SchoolhouseTeachers.com has more than 425 courses offered through streaming videos and e-books, and is a great option for parents seeking flexibility, organization tools, and teaching materials for any grade.
Because of the current pandemic, they are offering it FREE for anyone three months with this special code! (HEAV3MO)
You don’t have to put in a credit card, but you’ll have the option of continuing after three months for just $99 for the year. (The code for the special subscription price is HEAVYR.)
Disclosure: If you do purchase at the end of your free trial, HEAV may receive a small commission.
TAKE A BREATH
Don’t get overwhelmed by the myriad of resources out there, though! Now is a great time to explore delight-directed learning, and allowing your children to focus on their personal interests–and share them with siblings and other family members–can be a lovely change of pace from structured lessons. You can also peruse this list to check out resources you may want to incorporate into your curriculum–the free trials and samples are a great way to test out the material before committing to a subscription or purchase later.
KEEP IT FUN!
Last week, the Cincinnati Zoo announced its new Home Safari live stream on Facebook, which streams every weekday at 3 p.m. EDT and features a different animal or exhibit in each video. You can even check out past videos and find additional homeschool resources and related activities.
History is fun! We may not be able to visit at the moment, but we can still experience the historical sites right in our own backyard. Jamestown Settlement and American Revolution Museum has a library of short, eye-catching videos and paragraphs on topics from religion, slavery, profit and trade, Powhatan and Pocahontas, and more!
A fun, highly customizable language arts activity can be found with Word Search Wizard.
Start with this Homeschooling in Virginia word search to see how easy it is to make your own puzzles. This is also an excellent free resource for learning vocabulary and concepts from other subjects such as science, history, math, and more! You can create puzzles for students to reinforce vocabulary, and older students will love the challenge of creating a puzzle on a topic they’ve studied and then watching you complete the word search. Whenever you find a word, have the student explain the definition, relation to the topic, etc.
For a creative STEM activity for all ages, try making this Lego® lamp night light from Family Days Tried and Tested. If you have a simple lamp with a flat base for the shade and a box of Lego®, you already have everything you need! For an added twist, if you don’t have a lamp similar to the style shown, you might try experimenting with your kids to create a base out of cardboard or similar material.
You’ve likely found yourself cooped up with some active little people that are starting to feel the effects of cabin fever! Check out these 49 fun physical activities for some fresh ideas for at-home activities–both indoor and outdoor. Take advantage of this spring weather–even if you only go out to your yard, porch, or sidewalk!