Happiness month day 24 – 10 FREE Home education resources
Over on Jax’s site, Live Otherwise, she’s running a Home Education resources carnival for parents whos children will NOT be going back to school this September!
After 3 years of home education and a year of flexi schooling, Little Miss Green is going to school full time this year, but it doesn’t stop me wanting to share some of the fantastic resources we’ve used during our homeschooling years.
Home education can be expensive, but with plenty of free resources available you can find some excellent materials to keep your children entertained and enthusiastic about learning. I favoured teaching topics Little Miss Green was interested in (nature, animals, society) and covering all the academic subjects under those topics. That way there was lots of learning taking place without realising! So for day 24 of happiness month, here are some of our favourite free Home Education resources; because we ALL love free stuff, right?!
Actionaid work with and support the poorest and most vulnerable people to fight for and gain their rights to food, shelter, work, basic healthcare and a voice in the decisions that affect their lives. They offer some fantastic packs of resources aimed at older children. They have a huge library of free teaching resources including lesson ideas, activities, video clips, photographs and case studies for geography and citizenship. It’s well worth a look.
Battersea dogs and cats home
As an animal lover, Little Miss green enjoyed learning all about Battersea Cats and Dog Home. You can now download the material but when we were learning about it we were able to get a hard copy, including a DVD from the charity (this may still be available if you ask). On the children’s page you’ll find all sorts of downloadable leaflets regarding pet care and safety around animals.
The BBC had a campaign called ‘Breathing Places‘. Each term we were given information on a topic to focus on. The aim of Breathing Places is to roll your sleeves up, get into the great outdoors and ‘do one thing’ to enhance your relationship with nature. Unfortunately the resources and site is no longer updated but you can still benefit from all the ideas on their archived class activities page.
I find many colouring pages are for young children and toddlers, so I love the pages created by Mark from Moss Green Books. The free downloadable colouring pages have four groups of illustrations which have different levels of complexity for different skill levels and ages. Instead of them being cartoons or silly smiling animals, they are a bit more ‘real life’. They give you information about fruits and vegetables and simple facts such as when to sow, when to harvest, pests to look out for and how to prepare and eat the food in the kitchen!
Pagan Moonbeams is a Free Pagan homeschool e-zine for kids featuring educational material, stories, crafts, recipes, poems and much more. It’s available as a pdf download once a month and can be adjusted for all age groups. As an adult I love it too! m
Some of my favourite learning materials came from PETA’s (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals Foundation) Humane Education Materials. They have materials suitable for primary to GCSE level. PETA is a UK-based charity dedicated to establishing and protecting the rights of all animals and are behind the Meat Free Monday campaign
Potatoes for schools
The potato council’s potatoes for schools send out a package around February to March containing seed potatoes, identification labels and usually some kind of chart, information or worksheet. On their site there are some brilliant lesson plans and last year Little Miss Green and I did a complete topic on the humble potato.
Refugee week takes place in June, but all the resources and lesson plans are still available online. It’s a fantastic way to raise awareness about some of the issues people face in the world and increase compassion.
RSPB have at least three fantastic home education resources: WildSquare gets you involved in surveys that cover a one kilometer square area near your home. Throughout the year you get indoor and outdoor activities to do, as well as surveys to complete. When you send in your first survey results, you’re sent a free WildSquare folder and stickers. Their homes for wildlife resource shows you how to take simple, practical steps that will benefit many of our most important birds, mammals and insects and their Action Awards for schools is all about finding out about and helping wildlife, doing practical things to help and telling other people.
Little Miss Green spent over 2 hours absorbed in the Woodland Trust “Save Badger Wood“. Save badger wood is interactive experience in which children gather evidence and opinions from the residents of a wood threatened by local development. Comparing the values of conservation with the advantages of the development for the local community provided a lot of thought provoking discussion which resulted in a fantastic piece of work.
What about you – what free home education resources do you recommend?