5 Great Resources for World Schooled Kids
The internet continues to revolutionize how we live life, redefine the terms of employment and entrepreneurship and rewrite the “rules” of education. It’s not lost on us that our family’s lifestyle, from our career choices to the kids’ schooling is made possible, and much easier by the existence of the internet and the myriad of resources that continue to blossom from creative minds around the world.
This month I’d like to share five of my recent finds that are new favourites among our children for expanding their knowledge base in fun ways!
I’ve just recently encountered these on youtube and I’m in love! Two highly entertaining and engaging young men race headlong through the basics of biology and world history in two 40 episode series that will educate and entertain. If you’ve got a kid who wants a taste of the big picture these videos will give him that, in digestible 10-15 minute chunks! They’re well produced, fun and informative!
I can’t say enough good about these. They’re high end university classes that have been recorded and come with a booklet that guides you through the lectures and suggests additional reading as well as asks thought guiding questions. The content is phenomenal on hundreds of subjects from Fine Arts to Economics and back again. They’re designed as adult continuing education resources, but we use many of their courses as high school classes for our kids. They do now have a small section of classes aimed specifically at high school students, but any of their material is within the reach of a bright, motivated teenager. Your kids are sure to be inspired by the sheer range of topics and the fantastic, passionate teachers they’ve assembled. These aren’t cheap, but they are worth their weight, I assure you! (And they run great sales!)
Confession: We are radio lab junkies and have been for years. We download their podcasts and listen to them as we travel, and the kids BEG for them. They are a radio show out of WNYC that tackles all sorts of whacky science topics from memory and forgetting to sound and how some blind people can “see” using clicks, to why we blink and hundreds of other things your kids are wondering about and you’ve forgotten to wonder about. Radio lab. Go there now. Fall in love.
I used this simple little series of workbooks to teach all of my kids to read and spell when they were little. I loved the simplicity and the repetition and the ease with which we could skip the stuff they’d already mastered and keep right on rolling. Of course in the last 12 years they’ve taken the workbooks I loved and created a really fun website that does the same thing without schlepping around paper. Even better! This is my favourite resource for early reading and phonics instruction.
This year we’re memorizing all of the countries of the world together. Were taking it one continent at a time (starting with the one we’re on!) and working our way around the globe. We’re coloring maps and using lots of different resources, but quizzes are a really fun way to make the whole project into a game and compete against people from all over the world, and, it’s free! Ezra says to tell you that he’s almost got Asia down cold, but he’s stuck on the “stans” (Turkmenistan, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan... you get the idea!). Geography quizzes listed here: http://www.trekkingtheplanet.net/geography/the-best-geography-quizzes
What are your favourite portable resources for world schooling?
Jenn Miller is the Uncommon Childhood Editor for Wandering Educators.
She was raised in log cabins on the shores of lakes and in the back of a van across continents. She's the lucky child of nomadic parents and has grown into a gypsy mama herself. She is a teacher by trade, homeschooling mother of four, and a freelance writer for the alternative education and travel markets, having spent over ten years as an educational consultant and curriculum designer. She does a lot of things, but her real passion is found in helping people live their dreams. She and her
family are in their fifth year of full-time travel that has taken them across four continents by virtually every means possible, from bicycles to ocean ferries. They're currently exploring Southeast Asia with backpacks - you can follow along at Edventure Project. Her one great desire for her children, and all people, is for them to develop vision and create lives built out of big dreams. She's a believer in hard work, hard play and giving back to the world through pursuing our passions.
Photo courtesy and copyright Jenn Miller