With schools closed across the country, many parents find themselves taking on a new role as a homeschooler. Whether that means dedicating hours a day to make sure your children keep up with grade-level standards or just finding some lessons and activities to keep your children stimulated and learning, the homeschool space can be a difficult place to navigate.
For many years, I have tutored students of all ages, and for the past year, I have been homeschooling multiple students. In this time, I have found many great resources to help me with lesson planning that adheres to common core and state-specific standards. I want to share these resources to help families who now find themselves unable to send their children to school because of coronavirus.
First, I want to share several helpful FREE resources with you. It is entirely possible to put together lessons and find activities for your children that are completely free.
If you’re unsure exactly what your child should be working on for their grade, you can start with the Common Core website, which gives descriptions of the standards for each grade. It is a good place to begin to get a sense of what kind of activities and skills your child should be working on. For Massachusetts specific standards, you can go to the MA DOE website.
Khan Academy is a great resource that provides self-guided lessons for students from ages 4-18. This site is especially useful for independent students who can take themselves through lessons and complete quizzes, etc. Many high schoolers use this as an additional resource for AP classes and to study for the ACT/SAT. The site has even stepped it up in response to COVID-19 and they have provided a recommended schedule for anyone trying to homeschool.
Project Gutenberg is a library of over 60,000 eBooks that you can download for free. They have a ton of classic literature and older books that are great for high schoolers to read.
In my last blog post, I mentioned renting eBooks from your local library. If you’re in Massachusetts, you can use your library card to rent eBooks on Overdrive.
There are a lot of great educational YouTube channels. Here are some of my favorites.
For younger kids:
For older kids:
Nasa provides some great resources and lesson plans for topics in science.
Scholastic also offers free lesson plans and ideas organized by grade level.
There are also several great resources that you can purchase.
Spectrum provides books for each grade level and subject that correlate to Common Core standards. Many families use these books as a supplement to classroom learning or use them over the summer to make sure their students are keeping up with their grade level.
Generation Genius provides engaging and informative lessons in science, organized by grade level. The site also provides questions and quizzes to
go along with each lesson. Dr. Jeff, the host, is like the new Bill Nye the Science Guy. You can get access to 5 lessons for free, but after that, you need to pay a monthly subscription. The content is high-quality and in my opinion, worth the cost.
And finally, a few of my favorite books to use in class:
Time Big Book of Science Experiments (for elementary to middle school students) is filled with science experiments you can do with simple household items.
Rip the Page (for elementary to middle school students) is a book full of creative writing prompts to get kids thinking.
Unjournaling is also a creative writing prompt book, but it doesn’t require students to write about themselves.
For high school reading ideas, you can see my High School Reading List blog post.