Never in a million years, nor my wildest dreams did I ever think I’d be a home school teacher. I’m not taking this lightly, but I’m also giving myself LOTS of grace as this is a learning curve not only for me, but my girls as well. I also want to preface this by saying this is the schedule that I have created–neither right nor wrong, it’s what I crafted to what I think will work best for us. Luckily Caroline and Carson are back-to-back in school in 1st and 2nd grades right now so a lot of the skills and lessons I’m working on are age appropriate for both of them. I know many of you don’t have that luxury and I can’t even fathom how challenging that would be. With that being said, today I wanted to share some home school tips that have been helpful for me and will hopefully be helpful for you too!
Just know I am going to use all the resources I’ve found, been sent and found via searching Google and hope it does the job well enough. Furthermore, I want to acknowledge all the educators, teachers, support assistants and other school staff that do this day in and day out. I’ve always tried to do my best to say THANK YOU for everything you do for the youth in our country, though after this brief moment in time, I promise to do even more to show my gratitude– my humblest thanks because it takes a village from the cafeteria to the principal to the janitors, your willingness to serve our next generation doesn’t go unnoticed and I bow down to your greatness.
Our Home School Tips and Schedule
Many of you asked why I have the girls getting up so early each day… and I wish this was me getting them up. My girls are up and at it by 6:30AM every morning so the 7AM start is me trying to get them to rest a bit more, HAHA. And yes, I am having them make their beds and get dressed = studies show the most successful people do this day in and day out so let’s make these small wins happen!
Here’s a bit more info on the background of each activity and what we’re using:
ALL THE MATH
XTRA Math | My girls use this at school and we love it… great for mastering math basics, it’s a free online resource for timed tests and math achievement. They also have a free mobile app to download as well.
DreamBox | Personalized math practice online. My girls love the “game” aspect of DreamBox and the interactive based-learning… they use in their classrooms each day and we love to do it online at home via the iPad.
STMATH | I was recently introduced to this tool from a reader who is also a teacher. It follow core curriculum and state standards and has assessments for mastery, but I haven’t been able to locate a free/parent login yet, though they do have fun math games listed on their blog here.
Adapted Mind | An online portal for both math + reading, they offer more than 300,000 math problems and explanations… they also offer a unique platform for getting kids to complete math games to make it interactive and fun and they are offering a 1 month free trial right now, too.
Freckle | Another resource Caroline is using in 2nd grade is Freckle Math. You start with a diagnostic test to determine level/needs/etc and then customized problems are generated for your child’s skill level. She has a classroom code for login, so you may need to ask for login info from your teacher!
READING + ENGLISH + SPELLING COUNTS
TumbleBooks | A collection of childrens e-books that offers SO many selections: non-fiction, read alongs, graphic novels, videos, puzzles + games as well as language learning, this is hands down both of my girls’ favorite online learning app! A wealth of knowledge and a great way to expand your library without adding physical copies to your shelves.
Story Online | Books being read by celebrities and actors via SchoolTube and YouTube… just now stumbled on this and LOVE it!!!
Free Children’s Stories | Free books online, no downloading and no subscription–great option for kindergarten through 8th grade
Spelling Training | My girls normally have weekly spelling tests and we are continuing that at home right now! This website offers lists by grade, word families, initial consonants, etc. This might be my favorite activity we’re doing–5th grade spelling bee winner so I might be a little biased on the importance of spelling and grammar ;).
EXERCISE + MOVEMENT
GoNoodle | Even I’m obsessed with this one. I first learned of this one when Caroline was in kindergarten and we’ve been loyal fans ever since. Choreographed dance moves everyone will enjoy, especially on rainy days and when they need to burn some energy and get some exercise!
Scavenger Hunt | Something you can do inside OR out, this fun scavenger hunt will cause your kids to get creative in their thinking.
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES + PLATFORMS + CULTURE
Khan Academy | Not only did this come highly recommended from a teacher friend, but it’s also available to our County’s students… programs and lessons are mapped out by grade level/expertise/interests/etc. They are a non-profit organization and I was more than happy to donate to this incredible company as a way to give back for their offerings.
ABCYA | Games and apps for easy and fun learning online by grade level, starting as young as Pre-K… counting, painting, math and games galore
Junior Brain Pop | Animated videos by subject, especially helpful for science + social studies, as think these are harder subject areas to find some assistance with and science is totally not my forte 😉
PBIS Rewards, Online Learning Resources | A comprehensive list of a TON of websites and useful tools to use technology for all the home schooling and education!
Online Museum Tours | Get your kids some culture during the quarantine with these incredible offerings… we’ve a;ready done the Vatican so my girls could see the Sistine Chapel like Jeff and I saw last year in Italy as well as the Metropolitan Museum of Art!
First Grade Lemonade | The most incredible lineup of curriculum-based learning! SO many ideas for holidays, fill in the blank art projects, crafts, etc. Super inpensive to purchase these kits and a way to support small right now.
If you have other resources and/or things to do to occupy our time at home over the next few weeks, by all means send them our way… would love to continue to keep updating this list and adding to this library for all to use and see!!