• Emily Hess


Many of my friends became instant homeschoolers over the weekend when the Pennsylvania governor closed schools in an effort to slow the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

I've seen lots of funny memes about homeschooling (here's my current favorite that my sister sent me!).

I hope everyone can continue to have a good sense of humor and not bring fear into the lives of our children.

Since I've been homeschooling for seven years I figured this would be an appropriate time to encourage everyone that there are lots of free and easy ways for your children to learn at home. Here are some resources you can look into, most are free or low cost.

-Read aloud to your kids. One benefit to this is you can read to them at a higher level than they can usually read themselves yet can still understand the story. My girls favorite time of our day is our read aloud time. They always draw or color during this time: some things they love are printable paper dolls, animal coloring pages, My Little Pony coloring pages and more. Simply Google what your child is interested in and you can likely find it free.

-Audio books

- Extra Math: www.xtramath.com (a FREE online math site//better than flashcards but will keep your kids sharp on those math skills)

-For Spelling: Www.Spellingcity.com (a low-cost online spelling program if you're concerned about spelling)

-Do a puzzle together

-Tea & Poetry time (drink some hot tea together and read some poems. Seriously takes 10-15 minutes and my kids love it)

-Teach a particular home-making skill that you would like them to have but haven't had the chance to work on (cooking, baking, window washing, vacuuming, stain removal, literally anything you think is important for them to know but they may not learn at school – even cursive)

-Interactive map games if you want them to learn some valuable geography (FREE on http://www.sheppardsoftware.com/Geography.htm)

-Easy Peasy homeschooling (FREE https://allinonehomeschool.com)

-Make a card for an elderly, housebound friend or family member and send it in the mail.

-Teachers pay teachers (FREE or low cost activities you can find appropriate to grade level and topic www.teacherspayteachers.com)

-Watch a YouTube art lesson and attempt it

-Watch a documentary on a person who interests your child and have them write a paragraph or paper about it or even just discuss it together

-Listen to a Podcast about finances and discuss it with your children

-Learn about the real Saint Patrick and do an Irish/Celtic craft

-Watch Torch Lighters on Amazon Prime

-Read a story and act it out together as a family

-Heaps of outdoor activities depending on where you live: nature walk, collect plants and leaves then look up what they are, bird watching, bike rides, rail trail, visit a park, etc.

-Our library, sadly, is closed, but you can still likely find lots of books on Amazon or Kindle or just pick up an old favorite you haven't read for awhile that's been sitting on your shelf. Need recommendations? Browse www.sonlight.com or ask me!

I truly hope you all will come to enjoy your unasked for initiation into homeschooling.

And just remember, we are the original social distancers that you like to poke fun at.
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