Kim's Giant List of Homeschool Awesomeness

March 21, 2020

Last week, our local public school superintendent announced that all schools in Washington state will be closed until April 24, 2020 (at least) in order to hopefully slow the spread of the CoVid-19 virus. We live just outside of Seattle, so this news didn't come as a huge surprise.

As I read my feed on Facebook I'm seeing school closures all over the country, also! So I wanted to put together some ideas, helpful posts, links to learning sites, and other encouragement for families that find themselves suddenly thrown into the world of having kids home all day, every day.

First, let me say this:

Please, please do not try to replicate
school at home during this time.

While your kids can -- and will -- learn during this forced break (they learn all day, every day), you don't have to panic and try to keep up with the amount of material they covered during a day in public school.

Instead, my biggest piece of advice, given from the depths of my heart and everything I've learned during my 3.5 years of homeschooling so far: focus your energy, planning and time on your relationship with your child(ren). Get their favorite snacks and meals. Look through Netflix and see what you could watch together. Use this time to just be together.


Cuddle on the couch and read aloud or listen to audiobooks or podcasts. Bake stuff. Watch BrainChild on Netflix. Google science experiments that you can do with ingredients from your kitchen. Make slime. Play board games. Go for walks in the woods. Write journal entries about what's happening and how it feels. And yes, play video games and watch movies, too!

You can sprinkle in some other learning things, too, especially if you have kids that love to do worksheets and such. I'll give you ALL of our favorite resources below. But please don't push hard on schedules, such-and-so amount of work done.

First, if you happen to be in Washington state, as we are, the amazing volunteers at WHO (the Washington Homeschool Organization) have an amazing website and Facebook page. In particular, here is a post about homeschooling in WA and what your status is during this time. You are still enrolled in public school, so your kids are still public school kids. Aside from finding ways to engage kids during these days, this is like extended Spring Break.

However, if you have been thinking about homeschooling anyway, and think this might be the impetus you need to start, here are a couple of informative posts.

Washington Homeschool Association: Homeschool law and ideas for your family

Washington Homeschool Association: Dear newbie lurker

Now. With all that out of the way, I present to you...

happy child with magnets

Kim's Giant List of Homeschool Awesomeness

My friend and mentor Sue Patterson has written a fantastic post: Corona Virus turned us Into Homeschoolers: NOW WHAT?

First off, I highly recommend going to Homeschool Buyers Co-op and signing up for a free membership, even if you NEVER plan on buying anything. Why?

Because every day they send out a great little newsletter called ClickSchool that has a link to a cool learning site. Some will be a fit for your family, and some won't -- but man, have we discovered some hidden gems this way!

Plus, if you ever decide to get any curriculum, learning website memberships, etc., always check the co-op first to see if there's a discount. I have saved some serious money on things we use, like Prodigy for math! Plus, they have a SmartPoints reward program, where you earn points for your purchases that translate to money off the next thing you get.

Online Game-Based Learning for Homeschoolers

Not gonna lie, we LOVE gameschooling. Whether it's online or board games, learning through fun keeps my kiddo engaged, and what kids learn through play, joy and fun, they retain more easily.

Prodigy is hands down the best money I've ever spent so far in our homeschool journey. It has been a favorite for over two years. It is a video game where your child gets to fight magical battles... only in order to cast a spell, s/he needs to correctly solve a math problem! You can play for free, BUT -- we found the AI advances too quickly in the free version to really enjoy the gameplay.

prodigy online math game

If you get a membership (check Homeschool Buyers Coop first), you can make assignments by grade level and specific skills, which allow your child to play more and practice skills, instead of always having to do challenging work for every spell cast. At full price, it's just $60/year, which is a great deal. Sometimes I make assignments of easy things just so that my daughter can play! Prodigy is for grades K-8.

Dreamscape is a reading game for grades K-8. We just discovered this recently. So far it gets a thumbs up from my daughter, but we've yet to see if it becomes a long-time favorite.

dreamscape online reading program

Tyto Online
Middle school science in a game-based format? YES PLEASE. They are offering 60 days free during the CoVid-19 school closings, but the regular homeschool membership is only $5 monthly with discounts for multiple students. We haven't tried this one yet -- but it seriously looks right up my science-loving daughter's alley (even though she's not quite a middle schooler).

Virtual Field Trips for Homeschoolers

This is a great compilation of 30 online field trips, from Mars, to a couple of national parks, to the San Diego zoo.

Google's project Hidden Worlds of the National Parks is a very, very cool, immersive experience. Pop some popcorn.

Here are 15 Plays and Musicals You Can Watch from Home... an awesome way to get some live theater but without the people-ing!

The Georgia Aquarium has great live feeds, like the Ocean Explorer Cam.

We've also had good luck simply searching YouTube for places we're interested in learning more about! People have recorded SO many cool adventures. You could:
  • Ride all the rides at Disneyland from a front-seat perspective
  • Go surfing
  • Go mountain climbing
  • Go scuba diving

Our Favorite Online Learning Sites

Outschool has an amazing array of live, online courses!

outschool online learning

Build and govern a Minecraft city? Check! Video game design? Check! Learn your multiplication facts? Check. Mastering the 5-paragraph essay? Check. Literally all. the. things. Sign up for a free account, and then you can browse classes and see class pricing (I believe every teacher sets their own pricing).

What's cool is that when you sign up they automatically show you classes that are starting soon! With over 10,000 different classes, from fully academic college prep to drawing characters from Studio Ghibli films and Harry Potter courses, there's just a LOT to choose from.

What are you wondering today? Fun question and answer site that is so good for conversation starters or learning about specific topics. Also, there is a cool branch called Camp Wonderopolis that are themed summer camp programs... might be perfect for this school closure time. What could be more fun than summer camp at home? You can also sign up for their email and get the Wonder of the Day, which would be perfect to start the morning or get connected at lunchtime!

wonderopolis online learning
ABC Mouse 
ABC Mouse was a staple of our preschool years. Just an amazing early learning program with games, coloring sheets, activities... all along a learning path. Fun, sweet, educational. They are offering a free 30 day trial right now.

ABC Mouse early learning program

Adventure Academy
Adventure Academy is for older kids by the same company as ABC Mouse. It's a little more "explore on your own" as opposed to having a learning path. My daughter likes that you can have a pet and customize your avatar; she enjoys the program but it's not as strong as ABC Mouse, IMO. However, it's still the least-schooly, most game-like site out there covering all subjects. Also offering a 30 day trial.

Adventure Academy online learning

BrainPop is almost like a full curriculum, except you access everything as it is broken down by topic and subtopic. So, you could choose social studies --> continents, and under that topic there's an animated movie, a quiz, worksheets, further reading, vocabulary, games, and some cool tools like make-a-map and make-a-movie where kids can demonstrate their learning in ways other than writing.

Brain Pop online learning

There is BrainPop Jr. for K-3, and BrainPop for upper elementary and middle school. They are offering 30 days of free access during the corona virus shutdowns.

DanceMat Typing
This is the only typing site approved by my choosy 10 year old. There are only 4 levels though, so once she gets enough practice of those she'll have to pick another one! I personally like Typing Club better (it's clean and simple) but whatever works for the kiddo works for me. I used to be pretty speedy at typing, and could stand to practice too!

Vocabulary/Spelling City
Pop in your vocabulary list, choose the games, and you're off to the races. There's also a mobile app for couch-friendly vocabulary learning. Your kids will soon have their favorites among the games. The free version doesn't have all the games, I believe -- but the full version is only $35/year for homeschoolers, so it's affordable.

Big History Project
All things history. Secular, FYI.

Big History Project

Mystery Science

Mystery Science has reorganized their site and pulled out all the projects/lessons that are easy to do at home, and sorted them by grade level! No sign up needed.

Examples of experiments available at Mystery Science

Storyline Online
A fun site, with videos of books being read aloud by authors and actors! LOTS of choices (mostly early elementary). It would be a fun thing to make a list of your story books and see which ones are available on Storyline, and plan out a couple per day for morning time!

Mind Blown
A site of really cool things to discover. An example: I clicked on "Mind Blowing Facts" and "Moon Facts 101" and there were some neat YouTube videos to watch, some connected topics, and a place to ask questions. One of those places where you could just keep clicking and before you know it, an hour has gone by!
Examples of things to learn at Mind Blown online

We just discovered Kahoot! recently. You use it to build games and multiple choice quizzes that your kids can play on their tablets with the app! It's really cool! There's also a huge database of Kahoots already made by other teachers and parents.

Artist Mo Willems (Artist in Residence at the Kennedy Center) is doing a daily, free tutorial for kids! SO COOL!! Here's the playlist on YouTube: Lunch Doodles with Mo Willems

Art for Kids Hub
Fantastic, fun art lessons! Lots and lots and lots of them!

Lesson about how to draw a poke ball

Paris Musees Online Collection
Truly amazing! a collection of 14 museums in Paris have recently made high-res digital copies of 100,000 artworks freely available to the public.Users can download a file that contains a high definition (300 DPI) image, a document with details about the selected work, and a guide of best practices for using and citing the sources of the image. You could do an artist study, make classic artist greeting cards,

Chrome Music Lab
This is a fun music experience for younger kids (although my 10 year old found it pretty fun, too!) Just load it up on the computer or tablet and bring your kiddo(s) over. They'll play around and figure it out. And, they can make and share their own songs, as well as just playing with the tools.

The home screen of Chrome Music Lab

PE and Staying Active at Home

My daughter used GoNoodle when she was still in school, for classroom movement breaks. We still love it at home! Goofy, silly, fun and engaging exercise!

Cosmic Kids Yoga
Geared toward the younger set (with bright, colorful graphics) but works for any age, Cosmic Kids Yoga is fantastic for exercise, flexibility AND mindfulness -- which can help all of us get through this CoVid-19 outbreak. There's also an app!

Screenshot of the Cosmic Kids Yoga YouTube Channel

The OT Toolbox
A good resource for ideas and activities for at-home occupational therapy.

Favorite YouTube Channels in our Homeschool

I'm not going to put a description of each... they are pretty self-explanatory. Check them out and see what you think!

Spangler Science TV (Steve Spangler also has a subscription science kit and a TV show on Netflix)

Sick Science

Amoeba Sisters

The Kitchen Table Scientist

The Kid Should See This


TedEd (my kiddo discovered this one on her own and LOVES it)

Smarter Every Day



5-minute Crafts PLAY


Favorite Podcasts in our Homeschool

Stories at Audible
Audible is putting a huge library of stories up for free while schools are closed!

Wow in the World
Our favorite homeschool podcast, hands down. Hosts Mindy Thomas and Guy Raz guide curious kids and their grown-ups on a journey into the wonders of the world around them. We'll go inside our brains, out into space and deep into the coolest new stories in science and technology.

Wow in the World Logo

But Why? A Podcast for Curious Kids
But Why is a show led by you, kids! You ask the questions and we find the answers. It’s a big interesting world out there.
Eleanor Amplified
Like an old-time radio show, following the adventures of an intrepid reporter.
Pinna has podcasts, audiobooks, and music for kids 3-12. Not a free service, but during the school closings, they are extending the free trial to 60 days with code PINNA4KIDS.

Fun Homeschool Printables

Super fun Printable Board Games!

Board Game Geek also has printable board games.

Printable Paper Dolls for coloring (not just for girls... there are Star Wars ones, too!)

This is normally a paid product, but free for now, and beautiful: How to Teach Nature Journaling

Printable Disney coloring pages! WOOHOO!

Adults, you can get in on the coloring action, too. Prints some gorgeous mandala coloring pages and pull out those colored pencils!

Did you know there's an app called Foldify that lets you print out cool 3D toys to fold and create?

Favorite Homeschool Learning Subscriptions

Kiwi Co
Kiwi Co makes fun, hands-on learning kits for a variety of ages. We happily used Kiwi Crates for a couple of years. We're taking a break at the moment, but I may just sign up for Tinker Crates for our 5th grade year starting in the fall - or maybe the Doodle Crate!! SO MANY CHOICES!

Letters from Afar
This lovely monthly letter is a beautifully hand written and hand illustrated "adventure letter" from your child's penpal, Isabella. Every month is a different area of the world. I can't say enough about these - they are SO beautiful and inspiring. A lovely addition to your geography study!

Screenshot of the Letters from Afar website

The Yesteryear Gazette
By the same family behind Letters from Afar, this is a monthly newspaper of stores and facts from history, designed in an old-fashioned style! Love love LOVE them. We usually read them in just one or two sittings because they're so darn interesting!

Screenshot of the Yesteryear Gazette website

The Young Scientist's Club
If you have a science lover in your house like I do, then check out the Young Scientists Club subscription. There are a couple of choices. First, the standard YSC subscription that's been around for years and years. But also -- for the younger set -- a Magic School Bus science kit subscription! SO FUN! We did a lot of the Magic School Bus kits in second grade, they were a blast.

Young Scientist Club website screenshot

Ranger Rick
My daughter reads Ranger Rick cover to cover every month. She's a big animal lover! If your kiddos love animals too, it's a great magazine! There's Ranger Rick Jr. for the younger kiddos, also. Ranger Rick is making their online magazine and website features free through June 2020!

Curriculum-y, Worksheet-y Things

Easy Peasy All-in-One Homeschool
Easy Peasy is a free, daily-format Christian curriculum made by a homeschooling mom of many. A couple of years ago they built a nifty tool to make accessing the curriculum easier: My EP Assignments keeps track of where each child is and is built so that they can become more independent in their school work.

Easy Peasy All in One Homeschool Logo

Discovery K12
Another option for a checklist-style, every day, free curriculum is Discovery K12. [No relation to the public school K12 online school.] We haven't used this a great deal, but I like to use this and Easy Peasy to find grade-level appropriate activities (online math practice games, art tutorials, or videos about current events) that I think my kiddo would enjoy. (Sign up for the free account, choose the grade level, and then click on DAILY ASSIGNMENTS in the sidebar and you can click through all 180 days.) If you want to upgrade, you can print all kinds of reports, transcripts, attendance logs, etc.

Time 4 Learning
We used Time 4 Learning for the end of first grade and the beginning of second grade. It's solid, and fun! A little more video learning and less writing is a good mix for kids with dysgraphia or other writing challenges. Very cost effective for smaller families!

MiAcademy is another option that is a full curriculum. What makes MiAcademy different is that it's a community and not just a curriculum. Kids can interact in safe community messaging, submit writing to the weekly newsletter, create videos, and make digital art they can sell in their own online store. In addition, you can dress your avatar and keep pets. They are offering a special right now: Up to 40% off with coupon HOMESCHOOL40!

Scholastic (the book fair people!) have a neat Learn at Home series happening right now for grades 3-5. Right now they have 5 days of content up, and are promising 15 more.

Daily Free Learning Workbooks for K-6. There are coding workbooks, puzzle workbooks, writing challenge workbooks, math workbooks, and more. LOTS here if your kiddo loves worksheets and puzzles!

I really like Super Teacher Worksheets, it's only $20 for a year! Not just worksheets, they have printable games, stories to read and more. Sorted by subject and grade level, super easy to find whatever you might be looking for. has tons of free resources for kindergarten through 5th grade.

Teachers Pay Teachers has seriously ANYTHING you could want for ANY grade. A great way to support teachers (and also other homeschool moms), because these are all products made by teachers and homeschoolers. TpT is kinda like Etsy, but for educational printables.

OK. That's it for now. I didn't even get to the board games, I'll have to do a separate post about that!

Relax and make the most of this family time during the CoVid-19 crisis. I promise, learning is happening all the time.

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Hi! I’m Kim. I love crafting, homeschooling, and being near the ocean. I also love encouraging moms to make the leap into home education, sharing awesome resources and tons of encouragement!


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