I am very grateful for a number of things (baby wipes, washing machine and dishwasher to name a few) but one thing I am grateful for and really would struggle without is my internet connection. I use the internet all the time for all sorts of home education activities, not just with the children, but my own pre-reading or fact checking endeavours. It is the place where curriculums can be compared and it is choc full of free books many of which are of remarkable standards. I recently received a comment on my Home Education page pointing out that parents today have so much more in educational choices for our children thanks to the Internet and he helpfully provided a couple of example links including the BBC bitesize pages which we have used on occasion.
I think the internet gets a bad rap from a lot of parents, understandably when so many of us have had children come home from school with some pretty disturbing stories. At home however, with a bit of caution and common sense, the internet can be a minefield of brilliant learning opportunities.
The Internet archive for example is an astonishing resource packed with wonderful books, audio and even the odd film worth watching. Using various free sites with audio and online books I think I have save a fortune in money and a library’s worth of space.
My side bar is packed with websites we use on a regular basis-and I have more to add soon-when I get around to it. Curriculums, information, films, books, interactive lessons…you name it, it’s online somewhere and once you’ve trawled the net finding them all you need is a blog with a decent sidebar before
We use lots of different science sites and Youtube is remarkably useful for all sorts of subject areas. I am amazed at the amount of good quality stuff there is out there that is free to use.
Books Should Be Free looks good although we haven’t had time to properly look at it yet. I do love Treasure Chest which is so well put together. For Science we often go to the Children’s University of Manchester as well as KidsKnowIt. The children get a lot out of the Signed Stories and I use the simpler stories quite often in teaching British Sign Language. We also love the free resources from Mr Linney on his Latin and Spanish sites.
Iona uses a lot of different sites for research purposes as she learns the wonders of the Franklin Expedition, the history of duelling, weird and wonderful things about toxicology. Of course Open Learn is a main site for her at this point.
Blogs are also a great source of information. I’ve found great ideas for lapbooking, living books worth buying and what ideas other parents have for curriculum planning. While some of the ideas might not work for us, many can be adapted in some way.
These are just a few of the sites we use and they are the ones we use the most I think. What websites do you recommend?