It sounded amazing: No school for an entire year! No more teachers! No more early morning starts!
When I told the boys that they would have a year off from school their smiles were from ear to ear. The only thing they thought they’d miss on our trip around the world? Recess.
But what they didn’t understand was that no school didn’t mean no work. And so as we’ve gone from city to city the one thing from home that is constantly nipping at their heels? Their homework.
They do it in airplanes,airports, hotel rooms and poolside.
I’m lucky that both boys enjoy school and when threatened with the alternative – returning home early or going back and being behind their classmates – they always choose to pick up a pencil and get to work.
And while I was, and remain, gung ho about their on-the-road education and all of the learning they do just by experiencing the world, we’ve also had to figure out the best ways to keep them up to speed on some of the fundamentals they’ll need when they return to a structured curriculum in the fall.
We can’t afford to carry all the books they might have access to at home along with us from stop to stop. As it is their small backpacks are filled with a few notebooks, a sack of pencils and a book or two.
Instead, we’ve turned to online resources. We’ve got two laptops, an iphone and a Motorola Xoom along with us so there’s always a device we can point them to, and best of all… they like it. The sites/apps all share the common features of being available, engaging and entertaining – exactly what they need to keep going.
Below you’ll find links to a few of our favourites as well as links to a few bloggers who are using other sites for homework help as well.
Hope it helps in your house as much as it has in our traveling one.
www.starfall.com – primary reading with a focus on phonetics
www.storyonline.net – Love this site where hollywood icons like Betty White and James Earl Jones read stories aloud
www.khanacademy.org – The kids actually ask to do math on this site. Videos provide simple and engaging instruction and then follow up with practice questions so you can see if your child has grasped the content.
www.ixl.com – This is another fave in our house. Plenty of practice questions arranged by grade.
http://www.tlsbooks.com/handwritingworksheets.htm – a great source for worksheets your child can use to perfect their penmanship
Television Affiliated sites
www.tfo.org/jeux – French games that help in the practice of French comprehension
www.tvokids.com – popular tv hosts guide your kids through educational games
Other Recommended sites:
www.historica.ca – Canadian History
www.factmonster.com/index.html – great site to help with school projects. It offers facts about everything from countries to natural disasters in a kid-friendly format
http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/ks2bitesize/ – We’ve just begun exploring this one but organized by grade level it offers information in a host of subjects
Geography4kids.com – one of a series of related sites that would help older kids understand concepts their learning in school geography classes – and chemistry, biology and physics as well
Have a site or app to share? Tell me about it in the comments below. Lets help each other :)
Thank you for mentioning us. You’ve put together some great resources here. Half the problem starting out is getting the confidence, isn’t it? Definitely harder without being able to carry many things.
Give this site a try! It covers some of the more difficult math concepts required in the Ontario curriculum. I’m a recently retired TDSB elementary teacher and often used this site with my students. The games don’t have cute animations and lots of bells and whistles, but they are excellent tools for practice and skill assessment. Hope you find it useful!
These are all mamzing sites Heather, thank you for sharing…my class will be using them I am sure. Just posted a response for Ish from my class….loved the pictures of the boys doing homework..a true 21 Century learner :)
Spot on with this write-up, I truly believe that this amazing site needs
a great deal more attention. I’ll probably be back
again to read through more, thanks for thee advice!