We home educated both our boys for three years between 2011 and 2014 and it has led us on an amazing journey that we would never have otherwise experienced. Despite having been left with no alternative but to home educate, as there was no local education provision for our autistic son available in our area, it has actually been the best thing we have done for our children.
This is a page we set up with links to some of our favourite resources whilst we were home-educating...
It is certainly not always easy, but the good days far outweigh the bad days, there is a fabulous network of home educators out there, plus tons of information available on the internet and I feel so lucky that whilst a lot of my friends worry about the school holidays and what they will do with their children for 6 whole weeks off school, we actually find that there are just not enough hours in the day to do all the stuff we want to do!
Hopefully, over time I will add some of our home-ed adventures on the blog along with some of my favourite online sites.
ResourcesA lot of friends ask me about the resources that we use. As well as the obvious ones like the BBC bitesize website (www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize) and buying a selection of workbooks (we like schofield and sims for our core subjects), some other online resources / websites that we quite like can be found here. This is just what we have found useful, but there are many many more out there and where I have mentioned the key stage / age range - that is just my own opinion based on what my children have enjoyed. Obviously all children are different and have unique needs and interests.
This is one of our favourites! It is a wonderful guided reading story in parts with free downloadable worksheets. My boys loved working through this when we first started homeschooling. It also has some games to help with learning full stops, spelling, alphabetical order etc. A truly wonderful site. Additional games and resources are available to purchase too.
A large selection of free e-books to practice reading.
Links to other useful resources.
A pay for subscription - but a free trial is usually available first to try it out.
ScienceElectricity - have a go at learning about electric circuits and building your own virtual one.
Have a go and learning about insects and building your own super bug at www.mylearning.org
(click on 'interactives' and then 'create your own superbug')
MathsPractice basic maths to build up speed against the clock www.extramath.com
Angles - www.mathsisfun.com/angles.html
IXL allows a certain number of 'free' maths practice questions each day. We have found it good for checking on the topics we are covering and practising new things we have learnt.
General / other:A great site to teach your children some basic first aid skills is www.redcross.org.uk/lifeliveit
A wide range of topics from Maths to the solar system to geography (absolutely loads on there!) but some tutorials can be quite advanced: http://www.khanacademy.org/
Social learning (e.g. dealing with anger, emotions etc) http://pbskids.org/itsmylife
Sites with lots of suggestions / links to other resources:
Craft ideas at http://www.thecraftycrow.net/ and http://www.favecrafts.com/#
A pay for site offering a large range of topics is www.educationcity.com, again offering a free trial period first.
http://www.topmarks.co.uk/ Topmarks is also a great site to search by category/topic and year group to find other websites that are useful.
This is a lovely blog with some good educational links to follow for ideas.
Geography in a fun way following Geo and Meri on their adventures http://www.teachersfirst.com/globetracker/episode-show.cfm
We also look out for lots of competitions as they are a great way of encouraging children to perhaps write a story or poem, draw/invent characters or even practice their colouring in.
Children's book authors often have their own webpages with some fun activities and they can be a great source of inspiration for children...so try looking up some of your fave authors.
Don't underestimate the learning value of just getting outdoors, enjoying nature and having fun! Daniel loves cookery and food, so he gets to learn lots through baking and helping to cook dinner.
AppsApps also deserve a mention here. We LOVE Key Stage Funs Squeebles apps (Joshua even won a competition to design their new squeeble - so when you see 'Raino' squeeble in the app - that was desgined by Josh!). We have the Squeebles Adding & Subtracting App, Squeebles Times Tables App and Squeebles Words spelling app. They are great because children can practice their learning in a fun way and it keeps them coming back for more with the 'reward' features of the app.
Monster Physics by Dan Russell-Pinson is also fab as the kids are learning so much but they just think they are playing a game!