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A friend contacted me today because her grandchildren's school is closed. She knew I had homeschooling experience and asked if I had any resources to recommend. Since many of you might be in the same boat, I thought I'd share here.

First of all, there might be a silver lining. Not going to school is an exciting opportunity to let children learn about topics they are passionate about. Use your youngsters' interests as a way to step into learning at home and to keep them engaged.

Resources:

I. Online Lessons:

A great place to start for a traditional learning experience is Khan Academy.  It requires a sign in for record keeping, but is free and you can try it without signing in. I’ve used it extensively and found it to be very good because it progresses in a logical manner. A lot of videos to help explain things step-by-step, too.

Enchanted Learning is a paid service that has been around forever and has everything under the sun.  They are offering it for free to students whose schools are closed, but you have to fill out a form.

PBSKids is a good resource, too. You can sign up for daily tips and activities for learning designed for the recent school closings.

BBC has Bitesize lessons, which has a cool British flair.

Also check out Starfall. It has game-like cartoon illustrations which kids enjoy.

Growing With Science has tons of hands-on science activities. See the growing list.

Great science at The Happy Scientist.

New additions:  A dedicated group of STEAM authors has put together a list of links to many activities at STEAM Team 2020.

Wow! Society of Children's Book Writer's and Illustrators (SCBWI) has put together a giant digital resource list of activity pages and teacher's guides.  Well worth diving into for some amazingly creative materials.

II. Books

Libraries are wonderful resources — with ebooks available if you don’t want to leave the house. Some libraries stock homeschool curricula. Favorite educational series are The American Girl, Dear America, or My Name is America series for history; The Magic School Bus series for science; The Magic Treehouse series for history or science; and Discover America State by State for geography.

I have lists of great STEM books by topic at Science Books for Kids  See also the list of books to learn about the 50 States at Reading Through the States.

III. Videos

YouTube has a video for anything you can imagine, but you have to know how to search. Examples:

IV. Virtual Museum Tours

List of Links to get you started.

Hope this helps. Please let me know if you'd like any further information.

Final note:  Take this as an opportunity to enjoy nature every day. You'll be glad you did.

We are excited to let everyone know we will be participating in a blogging carnival this month about Environmental Education called Learning in the Great Outdoors.

According to the website, the carnival “is intended to be a monthly clearinghouse for online resources, discussions, tools, debate, or any other information related to using the environment as a context for learning.

If you are interested in nature and environmental education, take a look at the results from last month's May 2008 carnival hosted at the 10,000 Birds website. You might want to spend some time checking out the rest of this interesting site, too.

The June 2008 carnival will be held at The Miss Rumpius Effect blog, by a teacher educator who discusses poetry, children's literature and issues related to teaching children. Stop by her science resources for teachers, too.

We also want to thank Karen at Leaping From the Box for mentioning us in her blog. If you are interested in homeschooling, Karen's website, blog and chat are great resources.