Welcome! I am a mom to two wonderful kids, a lovely retired greyhound, and a wife to a great husband. Needless to say, there are a lot of daily messes to clean up around our house. Daily Messes is my blog to share ideas on things to do with your kids, snack and meal ideas, crafts, and holiday fun. I hope you find something to enjoy!

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

At Home Activities: Learning

This is our first exposure to real schooling from home. Over the summer we do workbooks and flashcards, and of course homework during the school year, but this is totally different. Everyone is trying to quickly adapt and not fall behind this school year. It's a new experience for the kids, the parents, and the teachers!

For us personally, schooling at home has been challenging. We now have a schedule set up, which does help keep them on track. However, even though Bernardo is older, he also does not seem to get as much assigned work. I have been working with him trying to find additional materials for him. Below is a list of the additional learning resources I found. I tried to make most of the list free, although there are some sites that are only free for a limited time, so please double check their websites. Things that I know are a paid service, I have marked with (*fee). There are also a ton of free apps available for phones.

  • San Diego Zoo: They are offering free courses online. My oldest just started these today. He wants to be a vet, so he is so excited about these! Once I showed him this, he has been on for almost 2 hours now without any complaints. He finished one and started another because he was having so much fun!  (NBC News Article) 
  • KiwiCo: The boys got a subscription for Christmas from their Aunt and absolutely loved getting their boxes. They are fun to do (*fee). They do offer some free printable items as well right now!  They also have a list of free learning resources
  • PBS: PBS is also offering educational videos and interactive materials. 
  • Kahn Academy: Now offering many free online learning opportunities. 
  • Scholastic: Many of us are familiar with Scholastic because of the school book fairs (these were my favorite part of the school year, and the kids are really missing it this year!). They do have some free online learning opportunities sorted by grade. 
  • Minecraft: Minecraft is having some of their educational content available for free download until June 30, 2020 (as of the time of writing my post). 
  • Typing: There is a website their school uses, but they still weren't memorizing the keys. I had them try KidzType and they love it. It looks like a game, but they are typing quicker and remembering the keys now. There are a lot of online options for typing practice!
  • Drawing: There are a lot of drawing classes offered on YouTube. Even some local art stores are posting classes or a project on their Facebook pages.
  • Experiments: Lots and lots of options for finding kid friendly experiments online. I have a post with some of the ones we have done in the past, but if you google or even look at some of the sites above, you can find all kinds of things to keep the kids learning and engaged.
  • Outschool. This site offers small classes in a variety of subjects with teacher interaction. However, there is a fee! (*fee)

  • Amazon: There are some free books and videos being offered, as well as a discount on some Kindle Unlimited Memberships. Amazon also offers a free month trial of Kindle Unlimited (You will need to cancel your membership before the month is over, or you will be charged for the next month.(*fee) I have a membership and love it!).  
  • Audible: Audible is offering many free kids' audible books for download. The app itself is free (although there is a subscription option too(*fee)). 
  • Ebooks: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and local libraries offer a large selection of ebooks. Libraries use a variety of apps (overdrive, Libby, hoopla, or cloud library, etc.), so look on your libraries website or give them a call to see what they use. Amazon Kindle books are available to read on a Kindle device or you can download a free app for your phone or computer. 
  • Online Story Times: Some libraries and/or authors are having online story times.

PHYSICAL ACTIVITY: Of course nothing beats playing outside, and I have been encouraging the kids to play in the backyard when able. We have also taken a lot of walks as a family. However, there are some days when it is raining and the kids still need to move about. My husband often compares them to puppies--you need to exercise them to wear them out!
  • YouTube has a lot of exercise videos. 
  • The kids have used Go Noodle at school and have had fun with it.


  • Word Finds/Word Searches/Crossword Puzzles: You can find a word puzzle for pretty much any subject online! Here is a list of my word finds/word searches/crossword puzzles. I have the puzzle and answers posted.
  • Coloring pages and/or Drawing: There are a lot of drawing classes offered on YouTube. Even some local art stores are posting classes or a project on their Facebook pages.

SOCIAL: Higgins is my social kid. He was having a really hard time without seeing his friends. He does have his brother to play with, but it's not the same as being surrounded by a bunch of kids his own age. There are a lot of free apps and services where the kids can get in contact with each other (Skype, Discord, FaceTime, Zoom, texting, Messenger, etc.) We have used a couple of different apps and I have made sure that I know the passwords and have adjusted the settings to make it as safe as possible for the kids. They are not allowed to use the apps without an adult present. It has made a huge difference to Higgins to be able to hear his friends and talk to them.

Other educational resources list

Are there any other apps or sites you use to help your kids connect and/or learn while at home? Please share if you do!

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