Who would have thought that much of the world would be thrust into homeschooling so quickly? I’ve seen so many hilarious memes out there, but I have to say, this one is my favorite!
Source: Unknown- please let me know if you know the awesome creator of this one!
I’ve been a bit under the weather the past few days, so we’ve modified our homeschool studies and my kids have been enjoying some amazing online programs! In the past, I’ve shared my reservations about online programs for kids. To sum them up, while a program may be “complete and comprehensive,” that doesn’t mean that your child’s understanding of the material will be and it’s often difficult to isolate areas where they need additional practice. With that being said, we use a variety online programs for fun learning times and stick to books work for daily studies.
The first program my almost 4 year old has been LOVING is ABC Mouse. They offer programs for pre-k through 2nd grade. Parents can adjust the learning levels as needed, so I set my children up on the 2nd half of their school year and found that they all have had a lot of fun! We keep running into technical issues with the 2nd grade program, which might be due to heavy system usage, or our out-of-date laptop!
ABC Mouse is offering free service for children who are currently out of school, the code we received was SCHOOL7771
My eight-year-old was enjoying Adventure Academy pre-pandemic mania, and we're enjoying free access now! Adventure Academy is a downloadable program which invites kids into a world of age appropriate learning where they earn rewards and points through completing quests. There is also a social aspect to this program where kids can interact with other kids in the game, but that feature can be turned off depending on personal preferences.
The code for free access is the same as ABC Mouse:
Generation Genius is video science program that offers amazing videos, accompanying worksheets and quizzes for students K-5th grade. All of my kids enjoy watching the videos, and I love the amount of material they cover!
To help families during our current times, they are offering a free month of service, even if you have subscribed for a free month before! I highly recommend incorporating their material into your schooling for a big dose of science and fun!
To access a free account, educators can go to:
Reading Eggs and Mathseeds
Reading Eggs and Mathseeds have been a staple in our house over the last few years. It differs from ABC Mouse because the programs are focused on one topic: reading or math, where ABC Mouse combines different areas of studies into one learning area. Both offer maps, which allow kids to see their progress as they finish their lessons, and kids can earn fun reward points!
Due to Covid-19, they are offering a free 30 day trial to keep kids busy!
Learn more about their trial here-
They also offer accompanying workbooks, which we've reviewed here!
Kanopy and Mango Languages are amazing programs that we receive free access to through our local library. They're great learning resources for older kids, and adults! I've been enjoying watching The Great Courses via Kanopy and my son has been working on his French with Mango! Check with your local library to see if you can gain access to these programs!
What have your kids been up to these last few days? Any free resources I should add to the list?
Stay healthy, friends!
As a part of our Montessori Cloud Study, we decided to take a cloud scavenger hunt. Our spring weather has been ideal for rapidly changing cloud movement. One moment, it's beautiful and a few hours later, spring showers have rolled in. This has been ideal for helping my kids learn about different types of clouds.
To be clear, there are a lot of types of clouds, but I mainly wanted them to master 4 types:
With this knowledge in hand, they can "read" the sky at a level appropriate for small kids and possibly even predict the weather.
The scavenger hunt was enjoyed by all, and mostly focuses on having children draw what they see in the clouds and relate it to the cloud vocabulary they have been learning. If your students are new to cloud vocabulary, grab the free montessori cloud cards here!
Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.
Albert Whitman & Company has been creating beautiful books for the last 100 years! Recently, they released “The Boxcar Children” series, originally written by Gertrude Chandler Warner in 1924. I vaguely remember hearing about the series when I was a kid, so I was intrigued to find out more about the new The Boxcar Children Early Reader Set geared towards students ages 6-8.
Albert Whitman & Company will be producing a total of 8 books through 2020. We received the first four paperback books in the series and I began by reading out loud to all of my kids to spark their interest. They immediately connected to The Box Car Children because they were a sibling group four, just like my four kids. The second book my son read independently, then I asked him about it, and the third and fourth book we read together. I would read one page out loud and then he would read the next. I found this to be the best way to go through them at his reading level, so I could help him with words he didn’t know and be sure he understood the story.
Ultimately, we enjoyed the stories. Because they’re written in an “easy read” fashion, there’s not tremendous character detail or plotline establishment, but The Boxcar Children Early Reader Set offers mysteries and adventures for emerging readers to explore!
Don’t forget to check out the rest of the Homeschool Review Crew’s thoughts!
These last few weeks have been chaotic to say the least. Cold temperatures mean we’ve been stuck indoors and we’re at that point in the years where we risk turning into the Donner Party by staying in, or picking up some nasty sickness by going out. What’s a mom to do?
Well, I ended up changing our schedule and incorporating some new learning activities into the afternoon when the level of chaos seems to get unbearably high. I decided to pull some of the Montessori Method into our afternoons. It’s a bit more work for me and involves more planning than I enjoy, but I do think that the extra intentionality is beneficial in directing my kid’s independent learning time.
So, I started by creating simple stations at the kitchen table. Traditional Montessori Schools place activities on trays and allow children to pick their tray, do the activity, and put it back, but we’re going tray-less for now! Each spot has an activity for a child to do. Ideally, they’ll spend about 20 minutes at a station and then switch spots. But, it’s been slightly less organized than that. For the stations, I’ve pulled manipulative toys from our downstairs that have been getting very little play because they’re downstairs where the boogie man apparently lives too. For my older kids, I made some Montessori cards about clouds to supplement some lessons I don’t think they grasped the previous week.
You can download the cards here, cut them out, and glue them to cardstock of your choosing.
When I printed them, I had to hit “scale to fit paper,” because the top and bottom was getting cut off.
The benefits of the Montessori cards is that kids can match pictures with names, read about the picture, and then I have my kids draw their own version of the picture, and copy the definition of each into their workbook. The following week, I add in two more cloud terms and a Bible verse for my kids to familiarize themselves with (Card Set 2)!
It’s been a hit, except for some groans about the amount of writing from my 7 year old, but that’s to be expected ;)
I hope you enjoy the download! Have you used Montessori Cards before? Do you enjoy them?
is a writer & tired homeschooling mom of five.