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The coronavirus pandemic triggered a bunch of school closures last week. Many families found themselves suddenly homeschooling and searching for ways to keep their children learning at home. Traditional homeschool curricula are intended for children learning at home all year – not for a few weeks or months. Thankfully, there are fantastic temporary homeschooling resources available.
Temporary homeschooling resources can take many shapes:
- Online teachers
- Websites with educational printables
- Hands-on resources
Amazon is also FULL of homeschool supplies – science kits, workbooks, and educational games. I did not include any on this list because I don’t know how much longer we can really count on mail delivery.
If you decide to purchase items, consider calling a locally owned toy store and asking if they can deliver or offer curbside pick up.
Do as much or as little as feels right for your family. Life is a little scary right now.
It is perfectly okay to focus on helping your children feel safe rather than continuing school work.
However, sometimes maintaining a routine helps kids (and parents) feel secure. These temporary homeschool resources will help you create a ‘school’ routine for your family.
Temporary Homeschooling Resources
Khan Academy – Khan Academy offers complete lessons on a wide variety of subjects for just about every grade level. Lessons contain videos, practice questions, and mastery challenges (like quizzes). This is a fantastic free way to keep kids skills sharp. Khan Academy has put together sample daily schedules to make the transition from school to home as easy as possible.
Scholastic – This children’s publishing company is offering free virtual educational activities while public schools across the country are shut down. The activities are intended for preschool and elementary school.
Outschool – Outschool connects students with teachers who are offering virtual classes. Each teacher has the flexibility to set the price, curriculum, and class format. This means that there is something available for just about everyone 3 – 18.
The Crash Course – Crash Course provides free short videos on just about every subject imaginable. I regularly assign these videos as part of our homeschool lessons.
Ted Ed – Ted Ed videos are like mini Ted Talks for children. They use cartoon graphics to explain big ideas. There are a variety of topics available. You can ask your children to watch specific videos, but I like to let my kids (11 and 14) choose whatever seems interesting to them.
Coursera – Coursera provides online courses from many different universities. I think their intended audience is adults trying to complete a degree online, but there is no reason that teens or motivated kids can’t try out a class or two as part of a temporary homeschool plan.
Literary Adventures for Kids – Literary Adventures for Kids offers online book clubs for elementary, middle, and high school. These are a fantastic option to keep kids growing in their reading skills while they are not in a classroom.
Watch documentaries – Documentaries can be a great way for kids to explore subjects that they find interesting. Most of the major streaming services have documentaries that are appropriate for kid. Be sure to check out Common Sense Media to make sure it is something you feel okay letting your children watch.
Fluency and Fitness – Fluency and Fitness combines K – 2 math and language arts skills with physical movement. They are currently offering 3 free weeks to families who are temporarily homeschooling.
Websites with Educational Printables
Teachers Pay Teachers – There are printable worksheets and activities for just about every grade level, subject, and budget.
All About Learning – All About Learning offers free printable reading and spelling games in addition to their full curriculum. I loved their spelling curriculum for my children, but a full yearly curriculum is probably overkill for a temporary homeschool situation.
Super Teacher Worksheets – A low annual fee gives you access to a ton of educational worksheets. Just search for the subject or skill you want your children to practice and print out the worksheet.
WriteShop Writing Prompts – Writing prompts give kids a little nudge when they need a little help deciding what they want to write. These printable writing prompts suggest a character, setting, and action.
Favorite Authors – Many authors offer printables and activities that relate to their stories. Check out the websites of your children’s favorite authors.
Government Agencies – Government agencies provide free resources to educators.
Poetry Tea Time – Poetry tea time is one of my family’s favorite language arts activities. There is just something peaceful and calming about gathering my family around our table, sipping tea, nibbling on homemade treats, and reading kid-friendly poetry.
Cell Cake – Baking is a great excuse for a hands on lesson. This lesson is a delicious way to teach children all about the organelles of a cell.
Rice Krispies Map – Rice Krispies Treats can be shaped into just about any state or country. Use candy to create a map with various landforms.
Boredom Busting Baskets – This activity is perfect for those times when you need a few kid-free minutes for a phone call or virtual meeting. There are plenty of suggestions for themed baskets, but you can use whatever you already have around your house.
Read Books Together – Now is a great time to crack open a new family read aloud book. My kids love it if we read the book and then watch the movie.
Many libraries across the country are closing, but you can still download digital library books. Another option is to search YouTube for the title you want. Often we can find someone reading the book.
Related: Book Lists
I will continue to add to this list as I find things. If you have any temporary homeschooling resources that you love, feel free to share them in the comments!
Special thanks for Farrier Leather, an amazing business run by a homeschool mom, for sharing many of these ideas!