When you’ve made the bold and brave decision to homeschool your children you want to know that the resources you’re using are going to hit the mark. You want to know that what you’re using in your classroom is the most modern, the most well-researched and the best material that you can provide. A home school is not a compromise after all and education is at the forefront of your child’s time spent in the home classroom, alongside their emotional development.
In this review we’re taking a look at some homeschooling resources starting from the very smallest students and upwards. We take a look at some early years resources to get you started, moving on to literacy and numeracy material.
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The Early Years Learner
The emphasis for preschoolers is fun and learning through play. While you don’t want to put your young child under any pressure to learn you do want to satisfy their natural curiosity, so take a look at some of these educational toys and games to help them on the path to learning:
Little fingers love to construct and the bright, bold Duplo bricks remain a firm favourite in the world of toddlers. Easy to assemble, they allow creative minds to build castles and dinosaurs. They also tap into maths skills practising geometry with their shapes and dimensions.
Your preschooler will love the interaction they have with the blocks and how mom and dad can get involved in the game.
Melissa and Doug Puzzles
Chunky wooden puzzles are bright, eye catching and entertaining and make great educational tools. Not only will your child appreciate the skills needed to match colours and patterns, they’ll also love matching the shapes and contours of the pieces. Hand to eye coordination, fine motor skills, geometry – puzzles have it all when it comes to providing entertainment and learning, plus they’ll keep your child occupied for hours.
Take a look at these games where cooperation with team mates is the only way to get the job done. There are no winners or losers just a task that needs everyone to help. These board games not only help youngsters practice their fine and gross motor skills but also help develop a team spirit and practice the skills of working collaboratively with others. A great excuse for playing together as a family.
Kitchen and Play Food
Head to IKEA to pick up the famous wooden kitchen and soft play food and let your child’s imagination soar. One minute they’re role playing a parent feeding their own children, the next they’re a chef in a cafe or restaurant acting out the part of cook and waiter.
Role playing is an essential tool in the emotional development of your child, allowing them to play better with others and helping them learn empathy skills towards others as they take on different roles and personas.
Whether you make it yourself or buy the shop bought version, Play Dough is fun, versatile and opens up a whole world of creativity to your child. The texture provides a sensory experience while the play itself can be adapted to include topics that you suggest: animals, food and so on. Allow your child to imagine worlds filled with dinosaurs, trees and so forth as they squish, mould and create their worlds from the brightly-coloured dough.
Finally, we have the cash register that, much like the kitchen, allows your child the chance to role play as a cashier or customer. Practising their number recognition and interpersonal skills, your preschooler may not be at the point where they can do mathematical adding up and taking away but they can practice numbers and go through the scenario of a shop or restaurant with an adult or playmates.
Your preschooler is now at a point where starting school is on the horizon and as a homeschooling parent you want to start equipping your classroom with material that fits the early education curriculum. Here we offer some resources that will set your child on the path to educational success.
The very best resources you’ll find are online, so we bring you a list of some of our top links to sites that support the homeschooling parent:
Primaryleap: this site is a favourite for UK home schoolers but has plenty of resources for parents in any part of the world. It’s free to use but there is a subscription option available. It’s packed full of material for children in their first few years of school.
Education.com: another great site that offers a library of materials and games but also allows you to track progress. Free to start or take out a subscription to access all areas of the site.
Skoolbo: A skills-based site that gives parents access to everything from times tables to language learning. Bright, colourful and engaging it is free for a 30-day trial and afterwards you’ll need to pay $10.95 per month.
K5 Learning: for a free maths and English resource this site is highly recommended. You can take an assessment of your child’s levels and find plenty of worksheets and videos that will match their specific needs and help their practice.
The Literacy Shed: not just for English, the Literacy Shed also provides resources for spelling and maths. Alongside pre-prepared worksheets, you’ll also find lesson plans, including interactive videos and so on. Choose from free to premium subscriptions.
As your child grows so must their challenges and you’ll need to provide more and more material to keep them engaged. But don’t worry, there are still plenty of resources out there, we bring you just a few:
Conquer Maths: this site takes you all the way through the school years up until 19. It doesn’t come cheap, at a cost of $99 per year but it’s going to provide you with the ability to upscale your lessons as and when you need to.
Maths Gynie: for older children to grow and practice their skills with videos and exam papers to go through and complete.
Developing Experts: Focussing in on science, bring experiments into the home with this great resource that provides you with lots of material and lesson plans. Covers children from 4 to 14.
When it comes to physical fitness for children at any age, parents can feel overwhelmed with choice but alongside enrolling your child in some after school sports clubs they might also benefit from family yoga sessions and other alternatives that aren’t necessarily represented in the mainstream school curriculum.
As a homeschooling parent getting access to the right materials is vital. Alongside that you’ll appreciate the need for lesson plans that are simple and straightforward and come with all the worksheets you need without making it too complicated.
Thankfully there are plenty of websites and other homeschooling groups out there who will share resources and knowledge and provide support for the homeschooling parent.
Start young with games that entertain and educate and tap into your preschooler’s growing awareness of the world around them, their own body and the relationships that they have with others.
From role playing to counting and puzzles there are a wealth of early years games and toys that make learning a fun and celebratory experience for children and parents alike. For older children exploring that natural curiosity continues with interactive maths and English challenges and science experiments that help explain the world around them. Learning has never been so fun.