The reality of homeschooling is that sometimes LIFE gets in the way… Illnesses overtake your home, loved ones pass away, schedules change, etc. yet we have to figure out how to continue school. After our first year of homeschooling I started purchasing some materials that my children can do on their own during these situations. Our first investment was Rosetta Stone. I purchased all five levels of German and my children have been using it off and on since our second year. This year we made the transition from Singapore Math to Teaching Textbooks. I cannot even begin to explain how much stress Teaching Textbooks has taken off of my shoulders. I love that my children can log onto their accounts and do their math no matter what is going on in our lives!
We also use audiobooks, documentaries, learning apps, and educational websites to help carry us through the tough times in life. Our local library has a wonderful selection of audiobooks, and we just signed up for a free trial with Audible. Although I prefer to do the reading myself, it is nice being able to turn on an audiobook sometimes.
This past year I swear we caught every illness that was going around. We spent many afternoons snuggled up watching Netflix. I was surprised how many good documentaries they have to offer. I really enjoyed Planet Earth and Blue Planet: Natural History of the Oceans. My children also binge watched Brain Games and The Magic School Bus.
By far my favorite resource would have to be Khan Academy. We use Khan Academy all the time for help when my children are struggling with something, but during our tough times I will tell the children to go online and work for a set amount of time. They all love being able to do this because it is a change from their normal materials. My oldest son discovered the “computer programming” section, and loves being able to make his own games.
Something new we added this year was watching SciShow and SciShow Kids channels. I allow my children to choose any video from these channels to watch. After they watch the video they have to send me an email with the video link and a summary of the selection. I originally assigned Kenten and Julia to do this one day when I was sick, but after reading their great summaries I made it part of our regular school week. They had to submit two SciShow summaries a week. We learned all kinds of unique things this year, and as an added bonus Kenten and Julia got a lot of extra writing practice.
At the end of the day your homeschool might not always look how you expected, but your children will continue to learn and grow. Utilize all the amazing resources out there and don’t feel bad when things don’t go as planned!