Last updated on February 22nd, 2016 at 10:23 pm
We planned to unschool when we first set out to travel. Since we’ve been on the road our opinions have shifted on the best way to go about educating Mak. We still believe in the principles of unschooling but think for Mak to reap the true benefits of interest led learning he first needs to read, write, and do simple math. So now we homeschool to develop basic core skills. Don’t get me wrong, we’re not in classroom mode for multiple hours a day. We usually spend an hour or two a day max and mix things up regularly. Mak has a short attention span so homeschooling can be a bit of a juggling act. We’ve found a few really great sites that we go back to again and again. Here are seven of our favorite free educational websites.
1. TED- Ed
TED-Ed’s mission is to “spark and celebrate the ideas of teachers and students around the world. ” They do this by taking the lessons of great teachers and sharing them with the world on their site. The thing I like best about TED-Ed is how they refine the video lessons to make them less than 10 minutes long. They are simple and engaging, you can filter your choices by content type, student level, or video duration making it easier to choose lessons by setting some limits. I really need limits or I would find it impossible to choose, there is that much great stuff to learn about on TED-Ed! And all of those great, fun lessons are in little bite size pieces perfect for kids with limited attention spans.
I go to TED-Ed to look for lessons to enhance anything I’m trying to teach. It’s a quick and effective resource to expand on an idea, explain the other side of a question, or spark a whole new avenue of learning.
We use this website to play games that teach strategy, logic, and time management skills. I am so impressed with some of the games on this site! We’ve just scratched the surface on everything it has to offer. The cool thing about it is, Mak doesn’t tend to jump from game to game.
He sticks with one game until he completes all, (or most) of the levels. Doing so, is not his usual approach to games he finds on free educational websites. He usually becomes bored because the games are either too hard or way too easy. This website has games that are perfect for Maks skill level. He does have a couple of favorites right now, the Crazy Digger 2 game and the Papa’s Cheeseria time management game.
Coolmath games.com offers a lot of fun game choices that teach perseverance and strategy.
ABCya offers lots of activities that teach basic core skills. We use it for math, the Grade 2 Marble Math game is a favorite; Grade 2 spelling practice and sentence structure(nouns and verbs), telling time, ‘greater than’ and ‘less than’ and holiday based games and challenges. Mak likes to try activities in all the different grade levels and doing so seems to build confidence in his basic abilities.
Mak likes to try activities in all the different grade levels and doing so seems to build confidence in his basic abilities.
4. Turtle Diary
We originally started to use this site to learn and practice days of the week, months of the year, and seasons. What I like best about this site is there are layers to learning each lesson for each grade. For the days of the week and months of the year, there are activities that teach the names of days and months, their sequence, and before and after. By grade level, there are lessons and activities to demonstrate what the lesson is trying to teach.
I like that there are games, printable worksheets, and activity ideas all in one place for whatever I’m trying to teach.
Free math worksheets and there is a lot of choice on this site! I like the variety of sheets that fit Maks skill level. We used sheets available on this site to teach Mak how to read analog clocks and count money as well.
The name says it all! I like that the sheets are customizable. We print words and sentences for Mak to trace and print. The great thing is we choose the words and sentences so we make them things Mak is interested in like names from Star Wars or sentences about Minecraft.
This site is all about planet Earth. Lots of memory work and really fun. We’ve focused on Earth, Atmosphere, Oceans, and Countries so far. We do a lot of these together as a family because apparently, we all have a lot to learn about geography.
We have come across so many different educational websites. There are a lot of great ones out there but these seven are the ones we always come back to.
Are there any free educational websites that you love? Please feel free to share your favorites in the comments.