Finding resources for home education might seem a daunting or costly prospect. But thanks to the Internet there is much available online, some for free.
Some of these resources have been mentioned in the recent posts on resources so do browse round these by subject. The following are a few that might help home educating families, particularly those starting out with young children.
A good place to start is at the BBC Learning website. Here you can search either specific subjects or by Year. Take a look also at the ‘Basic Skills’ and ‘Bitesize’ tabs where there are plenty of activities. Even though some are aimed at adults they’re just as useful, because with home educating, rather than limiting exercises children do by age, you can use whatever interests, suits, or they enjoy at any time. There are also other links, games and activities that build skills.
The ‘Parents’ tab is also worth exploring for information on helping you help your child learn.
Channel 4 Learning is a similar one containing a wealth of activities and clips that kids will enjoy, particularly the ‘Interactive Resources’ tab.
Interactive Games and programmes
Don’t be worried that these enjoyable interactive games are not ‘proper’ learning as in a familiar school approach for they’re just as effective; the more children are enjoying their learning, the more they retain and engage with it and the more likely they will want to keep on learning longer term. Watching documentaries or dramas on TV for example, like natural history programmes or war or historical films, provokes thought and discussion and topics for further research round the Net.
Whereas we once did all our learning by studying books and writing things down, this more web based, interactive and independent approach is just as effective, so let the children explore – it is research after all.
Remember too that worksheets or ‘lessons’ are not the only way to learn. Youngsters now go straight to YouTube whenever they want to find out how to do something and this is just as valuable an approach as any other. For example, a quick search for ‘long division’ brought up several short films like this one. And pretty much whatever you need to know, you can Google! Self teaching can work as well as being taught.
Social Media groups
Another valuable way of finding resources and support is to join the many Facebook and Yahoo groups where parents share and discuss the resources they use, where they found printables and exercises, which were most valuable, the freebies and the ones that they bought. This gives a useful insight into a resource you might be considering investing in before you commit to the outlay.
And finally many families are extremely generous in keeping up personal blogs which are in my view one of the most valuable resources of all. On these they may list their curriculum or activities, specific experiments or craft ideas, book and resource reviews, their outings and field trips. They talk about how they tackled specific concerns, subjects, or exams, what they’re reading, if they’re using schemes of work and how they go about their children’s learning. These blogs contain a treasure of information and support, ideas and reassurance. You can find a list on my site and here are a couple to start with; Adventures in homeschooling and And Ordinary Life. There are many more equally as good.
Perhaps you could add any below any more you think others might find useful.