As we move along the 'pop up dining room school' journey I'm finding that appropriate resources are key to ensuring smooth and directed learning time. After some reflecting, research, reaching out, and trialling here's my current (and ever evolving) go-to list. May it be a help to you too! Keep in mind these resources have been hand picked for kids tracking at Grade 1 and Grade 3 level in Victoria with a 3 year old 'helper' over our shoulder.
I have found that checking the curriculum has ensured I'm heading in the right direction and spending the right time in the right places. Especially when it comes to incorporating extra educational resources. I have been especially paying attention to the maths and english dot points. As our school is continuing classes for now, there has been very little support and direction for home learning so I have found this very helpful. I am also glad to be connecting to my kids school learning more deeply. I'm sure this will have positive effects on their learning into the future!
There's a bunch of staged phonic reading texts available at Speld and Oxford Owl For Home. I have been either printing them out or getting the kids to read them on the iPad. Most come with some short comprehension questions too which I also often use as a launch pad for a drawing / craft activity (Mr 6) or a brainstorming / reasoning activity (Mr 8). K5learning also has a lot of free resources - I especially like their comprehension sheets (some text and questions all on one page). I have found it helpful to have a 'home learning master page' where I document what the kids have done. This also helps me keep track of their approximate level in all the various systems.
I have had some trouble firming up a finalised list of these! The final page on this document includes the The Oxford Wordlist of the 500 most common words in reading has been a good starting point. Over the coming weeks however I hope to create customised spelling lists for them, as I glance at their creative writing and notice some words they have trouble with. I also keep a bookmark in Mr 8's 'good fit book' for him to write down difficult words on. I am looking forwards to our stick on whiteboard arriving in the mail to help me (1) keep track of their spelling words (2) keep visible their problem words.
EDIT: a speech pathologist friend has helpfully pointed me to spelfabet
Khan Academy has some amazing online maths learning lessons and quizzes for Primary aged kids. Note that they use the U.S. grade system but it's mostly common material. Prodigy Maths is another terrific online maths learning / practise platform. If you're after printed resources the kids have been enjoying making the 3D shape nets found at Maths Salamanders over the last few days. They a large bank of printable free maths and english resources available on their site.
We've been really enjoying the Duolingo app on my phone for keeping up and extending the kids Japanese. Mr 6 is able to keep up with the reading requirements and it's broken up into 15 minute per day lessons. Very fun and free!
Mystery Science is filled with a bunch of free science lessons. I'm sure there's a whole heap of other excellent science resources out there - I'd love to add more to this list so do leave suggestions below. We're also big fans of the Slowmo Guys on Youtube in our home. We've also been listening to the Buy Why Podcast during creative time over the last few days here - they have an excellent episode explaining the science of the CVID-19 to kids. After listening Mr 8 corrected me that "it's A Corona virus, not THE Corona virus Mum!".
I can't wait to get my kids into this host of simple but fabulous Geography games... like naming flags, countries, and oceans. Not my strong points so I'll be joining in... isn't technology great?!
ART & CREATIVITY
If you're looking for some inspiration and resources beyond Pinterest I have been suggested: Tinkered, The Artful Parent, Red Ted Art, and The Imagination Tree.
Education.com is a website full of learning resources divided into year level for lots of different subjects
The Kids Should See This presents a whole bunch of categorised educational Youtube clips in a very accessible way. I have been rewarding our kids with one of these clips when they have sat and applied themselves for a non-tech activity.
You may be familiar with Crash Course - a You Tube channel filled with animated explaining clips. Good new, there's also a kid's version!
OTHER GOOD USES OF TECHNOLOGY
I hope you can find some help in your home learning from the resources I've put together here, please feel free to share it among your networks with sanitised hands!
And true to the style of this blog, here's a sum up of our day: Japanese on Duolingo, puppy kitty tag, the boys giving each other spelling tests, creative writing about our breakfast conversation (how to move our rented house from the land it's on so we can buy it), creation of 2D and 3D shape posters, self directed reading, sheet music reading practise, action song filled transitions much to the delight of our Miss 3, writing extra verses to 'Wiggly Woo' and trying to play it on the piano, an official debate with Mr 8 over lunch about whether or not all men should have beards (i was on the affirmative side), and losing our first game of Pandemic (which arrived today). We bought the game to feel a bit more in control of the situation (& educate the kids), it kind of backfired! Let's hope that's the only time we lose.
Made By Me