Kelly Anne has been a teacher since 2010 and has taught students in Colorado, South Carolina, and Spain, in addition to many online students from around the world. During the early days of her teaching career, she discovered she really enjoys helping students fall in love with reading and writing, which still influences every aspect of her work. After she welcomed her rainbow baby, Lachlan, in late 2018, most of her days were spent chasing after Lachlan and sneaking in time to create writing curricula for educators when she could. She's put the work in and is now here to help you during these times of transition! Below Kelly is sharing her favorite resources to help get you through social-distancing education! You can view even more resources and helpful downloads on Kelly's website, Apple Slices, or follow along with her onInstagram.
These homeschool resources will help you support your child, no matter their age or what type of parent you are. Obviously, you’ll need to adjust some of the resources to fit your children’s needs and age, but there are plenty of amazing resources out there for you and your child. These are just the beginning! Use this homeschool resource to help you get started and then make it your own.
No matter your child’s age or what type of a parent you are, I highly recommend putting some sort of loose daily routine or schedule in place (and hanging it somewhere visual) and keeping high expectations. Below is a copy of an example daily schedule. This schedule is completely editable via Google Slides, so go ahead and start editing!
You can write out your schedule if you have older kids or use icons and arrows to create a picture schedule for younger kids. For me, the schedule is flexible. If my son is happily playing by himself, I’ll let him keep going for a while.
“Independent play teaches children how to be self-reliant, creative, imaginative, and even improves focus and thinking capabilities.”
The Basics of School at Home
When we’re learning something new, we need guidance. Children are the same! If something is new to them, they’re going to need your frequent support. So, unless you want to really teach your child during this time, you won’t want to cover any new material! The name of the game is to review, review, review. Revisiting topics they have already mastered allows them to learn new material with ease later on and not lose any of the information they’ve worked so hard to learn this year.
To hit all the bases, every day should consist of some reading, writing, drawing (or basic art activity), math, science, and history. These topics do NOT need to be taught in-depth. Below are some simple ways you can cover each content area.
Reading – Let your child read ANYTHING they want. Comic books, lists, books that are challenging for them, books that are easy for them, etc. Just let them read! Serve hot chocolate and a yummy treat while they read. Build a fort to read in. Read in bed. Make it feel a little special. Every child should read for at least an hour every day! And then you should also read to them for 20-30 minutes each day.
Writing – Let your child write ANYTHING they want. I go into more depth with this here, but seriously. Just let them write! Don’t critique them. Just let them fill their pages with whatever they want, then read their writing and tell them, “WOW. I love what you did here! I can really sense the character’s motivation. I would be upset too. I can’t wait to read what you write next!” Do they have writer’s block? Here are some simple solutions for fixing it! Try to encourage your child to write for at least 45 minutes a day. You may have to work up to 45 minutes, but that should be the goal for all ages.
Drawing – Illustrating a story is an important part of writing and can be a great motivator for reluctant writers. All ages should be encouraged to draw or create an artistic piece to compliment their writing. This is a great time to listen to music and relax.
Math – ALL. THE. MATH. GAMES. Math games do not need to be complex! You can find printable games for all ages on TeachersPayTeachers. But you can also play plenty of math games with a deck of cards! You can never go wrong building number sense. For any age! I share my favorite simple math games HERE. It’s better to have a variety of math games than just one or two.
Science – Keep it simple! Watch an episode of Bill Nye The Science Guy or The Magic School Bus (also available on Netflix). Or listen to Brains On! A Science Podcast for Kids and Curious Adults.
History – Read a historical fiction book aloud for 20-30 minutes each day and discuss it together. Listen to one of these Podcasts while enjoying an afternoon snack or drive in the car. I can’t wait to listen to Story Pirates, as recommended HERE.
Homeschool Resources for the Working Parent
Are you working from home and also have your kids with you all day? You’re going to need to be more hands-off, and that’s okay! You have a job to do and your child has a job to do. Set yourselves up for success right from the start. Create a daily schedule that you know will be successful most days. Then stick to it as much as you can! When you “go to” work your child should go to work too. Make sure you discuss the expectations for the day from the beginning and have everything set up for them ahead of time. For all ages, I would use a timer to help you keep them on schedule. Start the timer at the beginning of each task.
For reading, make sure to have plenty of books your child can choose from. If they don’t have an assignment from their teacher, they should read and fill in a reading response page. (Search reading response on TPTand filter your child’s age and price range. You should find plenty of options for free!) Use the basic ideas above if you need activity ideas for any subjects. Or have your child do the work their teacher has assigned them. Locate yourself close enough that you can help your child if needed, but also far enough away so they can focus and not lean on you the entire time.
The Working Parent’s Recommended Homeschool Resources
Homeschool Resources for the Typical Parent
So maybe you don’t have to do much work right now… but you still need your child to focus on schoolwork so you can do the laundry, cook, and take care of your home or other children. Set high expectations from the very beginning and layout a specific schedule for your child. Give them everything they need to be successful and use a schedule and a timer to keep them on track. If they need a break, don’t get frustrated! Let them grab some water or a snack and get back to work. It’s hard to focus while other activities are going on around them.
Utilize some time outside or afternoon quiet time to spend at least 10 minutes talking with your child and reflecting on their work. At the end of each day, try to write a little positive feedback on their work. “Whoa! Your artwork is so creative. I was blown away by the colors you used.” If you empower them to feel good about the work they’ve accomplished, they often want to do more (and better) tomorrow!
The Typical Parent’s Recommended Homeschool Resources:
Homeschool Resources for the Crafty Parent
Maybe you’ve always loved crafts. Or you enjoy learning… a lot. And perhaps you even considered homeschooling your children at one point in time. Well, this is your time to shine! I recommend choosing one area to go BIG on every day and then keep the rest fairly routine. This will keep you motivated and not overwhelmed.
Try a Playroom Transformation. You can search“Classroom Transformation” on TeachersPayTeachersand find all sorts of kits to create a fun new space for your child. Use that theme to engage your child in their daily activities. For example, you could useThe Hungry Teacher’sBook Tasting for Book Clubs and Literature Circles to create a fun space in your home. Then use coffee shop themed resources to make all other subjects entertaining!
Consider what resources you already have before deciding on a transformation. There are many options. A camping theme may be a great choice for your family!
Just search “Camp math” or “camp writing” on TeachersPayTeachers and filter out the grade level you need.
Homeschool Resources for the Scientific Parent
Are science and math your jam? Lean into all the STEAM activities you can and have fun learning and discussing science with your children. Start by reading One Plastic Bag. You can find the book and a reading of it on YouTube!
The Scientific Parent’s Recommended Homeschool Resources
No Matter the Age, Take Brain Breaks!
Lesson Planning Tips for Homeschooling
Instead of planning the next day’s lessons and activities every night, sit down one day and plan for one or two weeks at a time. Print out all of your materials and find everything you need and place all your resources in a file for every day of the week. Monday will get a file, Tuesday, will. get a file, etc. At the end of each school day, reassess the next day’s lessons and make any adjustments necessary. This should not take too long and will help you feel prepared for the following day.
Still Have Questions?
Email me! I am happy to help you. Please email me at AppleSlices4th@gmail.com and I will get back to you as soon as possible!
You can do it!
“Importance of Independent Play for Children.” The Little Gym, www.thelittlegym.com/blog/2017/11/importance-of-independent-play-for-children/.