Favorite Homeschool Resources as a Working Homeschool Mom
My working homeschool mom life is demanding! So I need to be smart when it comes to saving time where I can. And one place I’ve learnt to do this, is in my homeschool. So today I want to share my favorite homeschool resources that save time and stress.
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I Like Big Books!
Is there anything better than a good book? Nope! And that’s why books are one of my favorite homeschool resources. But apart from their sheer awesomeness, books are an incredibly easy and low-stress way to homeschool.
Granted, books can be expensive to buy or take some effort to get from the library. But the amount of learning that they provide, is priceless! Here are some ideas for using books in your homeschool:
- Create a unit study for a book. It does take some time, but it can extend and enrich the book’s content. And you don’t need to go overboard. Even a simple unit study can be super enjoyable and engaging.
- If you’re not keen on planning your own unit study, then there are loads of really talented teachers and bloggers out there, creating them for you! Kelly from Curiosity Encouraged has loads of fantastic ones in her shop. And so does Melissa from Pocket Homeschool.
- Let kids simply read. And if you have some time, read to them. This is a super easy activity that’s enjoyable for both parents and kids! Not to mention that reading has many benefits for kids! And it takes zero prep time!
- Ask your children to do a book report on what they’ve read. They can present it to you, or do it in picture form. It’s another way that takes no effort from your side, but which has incredible learning possibilities for your child!
Don’t Fear the Screen
I know that screen time is a contentious issue. And that parents are afraid that their children will turn into screen zombies! But it’s just not the case. And there’s science to back it up!
The researchers found that children who spend one to two hours daily watching television or using digital devices had higher levels of social and emotional well-being versus those who reported no screen time.Eric Mack on forbes.com
Obviously, screen time should be monitored and used safely. But as a working homeschool mom, I’ve found it to be a lifesaver. Online programmes are awesome because…
- they often require zero prep time, printing out or grading,
- most of the good ones are adaptive, so they change to the level your child is at,
- they can be really reasonably priced, and often even offer a free trial,
- and you can take them anywhere with you.
Some of Our Favorite Homeschool Resources that Are Online
We’ve tried out and used so many online programmes since 2017. (You can find some of my homeschool reviews here.) But these are the ones we absolutely love and have used for years!
- CTCMath has been our go-to math curriculum since 2020. And we still love it so much! The video lessons are short and easy to follow. Which is important for my neurodivergent kids when they do math! And it has helped them to build such a solid math foundation. How much input does it take from me? Nada!
- Table Fables is the very best way for kids to learn their times tables. It worked like magic for us! And it’s such an important skill when it comes to math literacy. They are also such a great company because they know that incentives work for kids. They offer loads of cool prizes and even hard cash! How involved do I need to be in lessons? Barely!
- We’ve done two ASL courses with Mr. D Math and the kids have loved them! They’re not keen on learning another language, so ASL has been a great alternative. And it’s so much fun! This is something we do do together, but the choice has been mine. Kids could very easily follow the lessons on their own, and at their own pace.
- We’re currently using IXL English. We’ve tried a lot of other really cool Language Arts programmes that I adored, like Creative ELA and LightSail for Homeschoolers. But the boys weren’t keen. And if there’s one thing I’ve learnt as a homeschooler, is that forcing kids doesn’t work! So when they asked for IXL, I signed them up.
- Finally, I have to mention. Mystery Science because the boys have loved using this programme for years. We’re not currently signed up, but will do so soon. We’re waiting for the fall sale. ☺ It’s worth it to pay the $109 per year, because they add new lessons every week. And they have a HUGE library of existing topics too.
Real Life, Real Learning
To finish off my list of favorite homeschool resources, is real life. As a homeschooling family, you have the opportunity to teach your kids about the big wide world. And once again, it takes zero prep or effort. Just let your kids tag along!
There are so many things they can learn with you…
- Kids learn to interact with lots of different types of people when they accompany you on appointments or errands.
- Having a conversation with your kids may seems trivial. But it’s a great way to share your life lessons, wisdom and struggles with them.
- When kids help you in the house, they learn how to respect where they live and to look after themselves. And you’re preparing them for life as adults and partners and parents eventually.
- Getting your kids into the kitchen is another way to teach them some invaluable skills! Being able to cook healthy meals for yourself is something that is never a waste of time!
- Involving your children in household projects like house renovations, establishing a vegetable garden or moving home can be another huge learning opportunity!
- If you’re a entrepreneur, then your kids can learn about the world of business from early on. Imagine what they can achieve by mastering such skills when they’re young and unafraid? The world will be their oyster!
Final Thoughts on my Favorite Homeschool Resources
When you choose resources for your homeschool, I suggest keeping these things in mind…
- Use what works for you and not what works for someone else.
- It’s ok to change if something’s not working.
- There’s no need to do all the things. Rather do what you can manage, but consistently.
- Don’t feel guilty if you can’t do everything. Sometimes the simple things, like your time and attention or a good book, are the very best.