I have compiled a list of organized and concise resources for your newfound homeschool.
This is an uncertain time and I want to encourage you to not try to “create school” at home, but rather, to embrace the time you have together as best you can. Above all, read together, and spend time outdoors together!
You can get a complete list for your homeschool day here in a Google Doc, so it is easier to see! The list is broken down into categories!
Just do one or two things!
For example, read a chapter book together and try out a nature idea.
That will be enough. BUT! If you’re like me and you want to schedule a routine, take a look at all you can put together from your own home! Enjoy the beauty in composers, great art, and singing songs together! I hope this list helps you make sense of your upcoming days!
I know there are many free resources floating around for new, unexpected homeschoolers. I’d like to encourage you to not think that you have to “do it all”. These lists are WAY too overwhelming and I think cause more confusion than being helpful! I hope this concise list will give you just a few ideas, and overall you will take time to promote boredom and creativity in your children!
Here are suggestions for a beautiful time with your kids that is completely FREE!!
Set up a schedule together:
(No screens in the morning.)
- Enjoy breakfast together (bake together, clean up together!)
- Read books at the table (and couch)
- Independent work in books or math games at this time (don’t stress about worksheets, etc, learning is done in the mind, not on paper!)
- Go outside for a nature walk/journaling time
- Lunch with a read aloud (cook together, clean up together!)
- Enjoy a quiet time in the afternoon with books or quiet toys
- (This is where I will sometimes allow an intentional movie, etc.)
- Have children clean up the house
- Family dinner
- Reading aloud or board games before bedtime
*You really don’t need anything more than what you already have, all links below are free and many books are in the public domain!
*Still wanting some ideas for what to get?
You can see our homeschool supply lists here (affiliate linked)
Morning Bible Time:
Bible Story, Bible Memory Passage, Hymn, (we also include a Nursery Rhyme and Spanish Song from YouTube)
Simply read a chapter of a Gospel (or any book), ask for narration (“what did we just read, tell me about it, what do you remember”), pray
Bible reading passage: choose a long passage for recitation/ memorization (such as Isaiah 23, Ephesians 6, Matthew 5, Psalm 23)
Hymn choices could include:
Holy, Holy, Holy
Crown Him with Many Crowns
Be Thou My Vision
It is Well with My Soul
There is a Fountain Filled with Blood
I Sing the Mighty Power of God
Come Thou Fount
Morning Arts Time:
Take time on each of these subjects for 6 weeks, then switch, take time to savor each beautiful subject! (once a week for Composer, Artist, Poet, Folk Song). Below are some suggestions.
Watch a short youtube video on the artist’s life and history. Then listen to one movement by the composer. Throughout the week, try to play only that composer during art time, play time, or reading time.
Watch a short youtube video on the artist’s life and history. Then simply show children a painting (only one per week, then display), and ask the children to look at it. Ask them what they might name the painting. Talk about the name and then have the child close their eyes and talk about the picture. Its background, foreground, use of light and color, style if you’d like. Keep it simple and a time of joy. (For some you may need to use discretion, so take a look before you have kids looking on!)
Watch a short youtube video on the poet’s life and history. Choose one poet and read one or two poems outloud during tea time.
Or you can get a compilations of poetry books.
Many can be found here at Sing Solfa. Choose one per six weeks to sing together, in a circle, with scarves, tapping rhythm with pots or drums.
Find a beautiful literature book to read aloud.
See my extensive list below!
Find a history book to read aloud. Ask me if you need suggestions by grade/time period! I have an expanded review and pictures of these books here.
Suggestions include (find in your library!):
A Child’s History of the World (World History)
America First (American History)
Nature Journaling/ Science
Go outside with a notebook and colored pencils, draw something, go inside and identify with books you already have or look it up on Google! Simple! Find books about topics of interest!
-Bird watch and listen
-Plant seeds inside or out
-Pick flowers or plants and identify them at home
-Make mushroom prints with spores
-Force branches (cut off branches from bushes or trees and watch sprouts grow)
-Do common kitchen experiments together. Here is a great and simple science experiment book.
3PM EST every day: one animal and activity featured on their Facebook!
This one is a bit tricky for “free learning”. But I can suggest two resources:
Math Online Games by grade, these are set up daily and I have friends who solely use this resource, as it’s very thorough!
Free Math from CIMT MEP Math / British & Hungarian collaborative effort to make free, comprehensive math for students.
(Find your child’s grade under “scheme of work”)
We use copywork (1-4 sentences depending on level) for spelling. The child copies the words, then you can pick 5-10 words together that are good words to practice. Write them in shaving cream, sand, using moveable letters. After a couple days, have your child fill in blanks for that copywork selection.
Here is a list of 18 copywork selections you can use for FREE!
You could use these free Bible sheets.
You might also find these websites helpful for creating your own copywork:
Spelling for older grades could be taking a look at a page (or sentence or paragraph) in their reading book and asking them to pick 5-10 words they cannot spell. Have them practice writing these words all week, then quiz them by asking them to write that sentence or paragraph, or just those chosen words in a list.
What about writing?
If your child is 5th grade and up, have them read, then write a report (narration) on each chapter. Doesn’t have to be long, just a paragraph. Then at the end of each book, have them write a 1-2 page summary, or relating to a personal experience, or to make an argument about the plot, etc. You can edit this together to talk about punctuation.
“Writing” is not needed for 3rd/4th grade and below (depends on your child and their lead!). Simply ask your child to narrate back what you read to them (for history and literature) or what they read on their own. This narration is a verbal composition and is amazing practice for creating written composition starting in about 4th/5th grade.
Free & Complete Language Arts Program
Or you can use the Language Arts Program (which also includes geography and fine arts appreciation) from The Good and the Beautiful! It is FREE to download for grades 1 – 5!
YouTube video (always with supervision) of various projects
Reading books by grade:
Find some Leveled Readers or simple Frog and Toad, or whatever your child’s level! We love these sets:
Read with Usborne (Levels 1-4)
Kindergarten and beyond
I have a huge list of living beginner books here for teaching your child to read (like Frog)
Mrs. Piggle Wiggle, The Velveteen Rabbit by Mergery Williams, Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White, King of the Golden River by John Ruskin, Peter Pan by James Barrie, Fairy Books by Andrew Lang, St. George and the Dragon, Family Under the Bridge, The Whipping Boy, The Happy Prince, Paddington, The Little Prince, Rabbit Hill
American History: Little House on the Prairie Books
Secrets at Sea
Mouse with Question Mark Tail
A Little Princess
My Side of the Mountain
The Bears on Hemlock Mountain by Alice Dalgliesh
The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes
The Enormous Egg by Oliver Butterworth
Impunity Jane: the Story of a Pocket Doll by Rumer Godden
The Little Duke
Tornado by Betsy Byars
Betsy-Tacy books by Maud Hart Lovelace: Betsy-Tacy, Betsy-Tacy and Tib, Betsy and Tacy Go Over the Big Hill
Billy and Blaze books by C. W. Anderson, Fairchild Family series by Rebecca Caudill: Happy Little Family, Schoolhouse in the Woods, Up and Down the River, Schoolroom in the Parlor, Heidi, Five Little Peppers, Five Children and It, Pied Piper of Hamlin, Along Came a Dog, Brighty of the Grand Cannon, Otto of the Silver Hand, Treasure Island
Sarah Whitcher’s Story
In Grandma’s Attic series
Courage of Sarah Noble by Alice Dalgliesh
Squanto by Clyde Bulla
Third Grade (on own or read aloud)
Bear Called Paddington, Moffats, A Little Princess, Water Babies, Men of Iron, Through the Looking Glass, At the Back of the North Wind, Swallows and Amazons, Bears of Blue River, Just David, Donkey John of the Toy Valley, The Enchanted Castle, The Little Lame Prince, Pyle’s Book of Pirates, Little Lord Fauntleroy, Good Master and The Singing Tree, Caddie Woodlawn, The Little White Horse, The Saturdays, English Fairy Tales by Jacobs, King of the Wind (series), The Saturdays by Elizabeth Enright: The Four Story Mistake, Then There Were Five, Spiderweb for Two, All of a Kind Family by Sydney Taylor (series)
The Wheel on the School, Unknown History (Captivity of Mary), The Water Babies
The Remarkable Journey of Prince Jen by Lloyd Alexander
Twenty and Ten by Claire Huchet Bishop
The Twenty-One Balloons by William Pene du Bois
Meet Thomas Jefferson, Meet George Washington, Meet Abraham Lincoln, Penny’s Worth of Character, Riding the Pony Express, The Cabin Faced West, Sarah Plain and Tall series by Patricia MacLachlan: Sarah Plain and Tall, Skylark, Caleb’s Story, More Perfect than the Moon, Grandfather’s Dance
Calico Captive, The Reb and the Redcoats, Tree of Freedom, Justin Morgan, Black Beauty, Pollyanna, Secret Garden, The Railway Children, A Book of Golden Deeds, Bambi, Chronicles of Narnia, Little Britches, Gentle Ben, Gone Away Lake, Thimble Summer, Return to Gone Away, Complete Peterkin Papers, The Borrowers,
Mrs Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O’Brien
The Rescuers by Margery Sharp (and others in the series)
The Cricket in Times Square by George Selden
Centerburg Tales by Robert McCloskey
The Great Brain by John D. Fitzgerald (boys)
Noel Streatfeild books (girls): Ballet Shoes, Skating Shoes, Dancing Shoes, Theater Shoes
Kate Seredy books: The Good Master, The White Stag, The Singing Tree, The Chestry Oak
Liberty! How the Revolutionary War Began
The Sign of the Beaver
Mr. Revere and I
Ben & Me
Heidi, Lassie Come Home, Little Women, Christmas Carol, Captains Courageous, Puck of Pook’s Hill, Tom Sawyer, Prince and the Pauper, Lad: A Dog, The Treasure Seekers, The Wouldbegoods, Anne of Green Gables, Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, Hans Brinker, Michael Faraday, Rifles of Watie, Across Five Aprils, Rilla of Ingleside, Falcons of France, Goodbye Mr. Chips, Story of My Life
Madeleine Takes Command
The American Revolution
Guns for General Washington
I like this homeschool thing, what curriculums should I try if I decide to keep them home longer?
We use A Gentle Feast and love it. This is a Charlotte Mason curriculum and includes many of the subjects I’ve included above, set up daily in a beautiful schedule. It is so well put together, and includes language arts for all grades. It is wonderful!!
The other curriculums I recommend are:
Workbook style (open and go): The Good and the Beautiful
We love their History curriculum, if you are looking for an open and go style. And we adore their math. I also love their library selection. Their language arts goes a little too in depth, too soon, for my children’s needs, but they are excellent. We use their math for my daughter (first grade); she loves the coloring and lovely games and manipulative provided. I HIGHLY recommend their math.
Unit study, combined with some classical and Charlotte Mason: My Father’s World
We used their Kindergarten and First Grade because the phonics is very solid (though it goes too fast in first grade and we had to slow down and use supplements). Love their sweet character building and Bible truths throughout.
Math: Right Start Math
We use RS Math wtih my son. It is cut and dry, but also uses math manipulatives in almost every lesson. Very easy to teach, though it is teacher intensive, meaning, you can’t just give them a workbook and tell them to go, they must have some instruction (or games) with you. So incredibly solid, my son is thriving and I cannot recommend it more highly.
The Good and the Beautiful Math only has K, 1, 2 right now, though they plan to release more grades soon. My son would not thrive with it, as he doesn’t like “cutesy” things and wants to cut to the chase. However, my daughter begs for math every day and adores the program, so this shows that EVERY child needs something different!! (We have tried 4 other math curriculums before we landed on these two. They are the absolute best, in my humble opinion.)
-Amy Smith, M.Ed.