Schools closed down? Here are some more links to help support your child’s education

In Pennsylvania the governor announced a couple of weeks ago that the schools will closed for the remainder of the school year. Many other states have already made similar decisions. While the teachers in most school districts have most likely already provided resources or assignments for their students, there may be some parents who would like to access some additional resources for their children.

There are many bloggers, educators, politicians, news sites and others sharing these online resources but I thought I’d help consolidate them here for any of my followers who have missed these announcements. I shared two similar posts HERE and HERE.

I currently homeschool my son but someday we may move him back to public school. Having homeschooled him, though, has helped us prepare if something like this happens again while he is enrolled in public school. I have to say that one of the only good things about the schools being closed is I get a reprieve from people in my life who don’t agree with me homeschooling my children. Now I get to tell them to stuff it because I don’t have a choice. Ha! (Sorry, I just had to add that little joke in there. I’m not really telling them to ‘stuff it.’ Well, yet anyhow. And no one has been super vocal about my choice to homeschool, so I really am just teasing!)

Our local U.S. Rep. shared this link to the Library of Congress, which is offering a variety of resources online for free.

Included in that list is the Library of Congress Youtube Channel.

A friend of ours who is a local elementary art teacher (and amazing artist) just yesterday announced that he is hosting a live art class each Thursday from 4 to 5 p.m. EST. Wayne Beeman is a talented artist who has provided images for Marvel and also has a list of degrees in art education and education in general.

He created this cartoon recently based on all the toilet paper hoarding:

You can find out more about the classes and other features he is offering for children on his site and on Facebook where he details what the class will entail and how it will be run, as well as his full qualifications. Here is the page to register your student (ages 8 to 15) for the class.

He also offers drawing guides, art activities, and various art courses, including one to create comics or cartoons.

Simply because I enjoy his work, I thought I’d share one of his paintings below:

National Geographic is offering three months free of a digital subscription to their magazine (normally about $2.99 a month) and also various educational resources for free.

The National Park Service is offering virtual tours of the parks within their system (something I learned from Erin at Still Life with Cracker Crumbs.

The Penn State Extension is offering a variety of courses for free for a limited time. The courses range from topics such as beekeeping, partial budgeting, learning about your local government, and beef production and management.

School Choice Week’s website has a huge list of resources for parents who are suddenly homeschooling.

Brain Pop is currently offering free access (I’m not sure for what time frame) on their site. The site seems to offer videos, text and other resources on a variety of subjects for all ages. I’ll check it out more and get back to you on what it is all about.

Abeka, which offers Christian-based education is currently offering 25-free hours of their courses.

If you have any more links or resources parents can use, let me know in the comment section so I can share it in a future post!

Suddenly homeschooling? Here are some tips and links to help you out. Sorry, I can’t send wine.

If you are a parent whose children attend public or private school and now they are suddenly home you may be panicking a little. That panic may be because you know they are going to drive you crazy, or it may be because you are afraid they are going to fall behind on their lessons. Either way, you’re feeling the stress right now.

Welcome to the world of this already homeschooling mom. *wink*

Seriously, though, stay calm. It’s not as hard as you think.

Maybe your child’s teacher has already given you lessons, paperwork, etc., but maybe your child has already worked through it or would simply like some supplemental educational resources. Either way, I’ve pulled together some links and advice that might help you feel a little calmer about the situation you’ve been placed in.

Blogger Heather Dawn from Every Small Voice had some great advice about this on Friday, actually, so make sure to check out her post as well. 

One of the most important lessons I have learned from homeschooling is something Heather mentioned on her blog as well and that is that homeschooling is not going to look or act like public school and that is okay.

As I told a friend this week: The issue is that a lot of parents think homeschooling has to be exactly like public school, in that the kids have to be sitting in a class for six hours at a time. That’s not the case. Kids aren’t even in instruction time all day at school. They have recess and lunch and study hall and getting on and off buses and by the time they are done they really have only had 2-3 hours of instruction time, perhaps a little more as they get older.

Also, with younger children, everyday activities can be a chance for learning. For example, when my daughter wants to play a game or watch something on my phone she has to type in my passcode and has been learning her numbers that way. If she wants to watch one of her kid-friendly shows on YouTube, she and I search for it together, which helps her practice her letters.

On Friday my daughter and I were outside drawing with sidewalk chalk and she was practicing writing her letters at the same time.  Homeschooling creates many hands-on situations like this for every age.


DSC_8912Unlike what some may think, homeschooling families do not simply sit at home playing video games, though they probably have more time to do that than some students since they don’t have homework. They do all of their work during lessons, which means homework is completely unnecessary. 

And speaking of lessons, some students are self-sufficient when it comes to their lessons and assignments and some students require the parent to be more of a teacher to them. Every age group and student is different. Our family has set curriculum that I research prior to each school year, but we also supplement with a number of resources, both written and digital.

We currently use America the Beautiful for our social studies; Apologia for our Science; CTC Math for math; Saxon Grammar and Writing for part of English and we read books through America the Beautiful and on our own for English.

For my 5-year old we use The Good and the Beautiful.

I won’t lie that we have been pretty thrilled with the free resources popping up for parents who have been flung suddenly into a homeschooling situation so I want to share some of the links I’ve found that have popped up recently, as well as resources we use in our regular homeschooling lessons.

So far, we have enjoyed Mo Willems, who is the current Kennedy Center Artist in Residence (literally), and is offering an art demonstration and lesson for young children every weekend day at 1 p.m.

Michelle at Blessings By Me mentioned a resource in the comments and I’m adding it here. Supercharged Science will send you science experiments via your email and explanations of the experiments, according to Michelle. Thank you to her for this additional link!

Crash Course offers digital learning on their YouTube channels related to history and science and current events. Their channel is aimed toward older children maybe 12 and up. My son has already been a little more mature than his peers so it’s hard for me to gauge the age that this would be appropriate for accurately. You might just want to watch a couple videos and see if the channel would be right for your student.  We use their videos as supplemental resources for our Social Studies and Science.

Speaking of YouTube, you can find a lot of supplemental videos there for a variety of subjects, but always be sure to vet them and double-check they are from reliable sources. 

Also on YouTube are a few videos from a farmer friend of ours. It’s good for students to understand the importance of farmers, especially right now when people are panicking about a possible lack of food. Mark creates videos to educate children and others about dairy farming. I don’t know how he even has time with all the work he has on the farm! My 5-year old really enjoyed this one.

I also saw a blog post from Cornerstone Confessions that shared a huge list of online activities to support music education.

I’m barely on Facebook, but I did happen to catch a very extensive list of sites offering either virtual tours of museums and zoos or other educational opportunities. The sites range from offering ways to learn about art, history, culture, and music and other academics to simply offering ideas for child-related activities. FYI: not all these sites or activities are free.


Have any tips of your own for parents who are “suddenly homeschooling”? Or links to blog or sites that do? Let me know in the comments and feel free to leave links (I’ll check my spam in case any of them get kicked in there.)