Great Websites for Homeschoolers, Unschoolers and in fact for everybody!

 

Kids flying computer

I often get asked the question about which websites we use to inspire our kids.

So here is a basic list of some great websites.

 

The School in the Cloud

https://www.theschoolinthecloud.org/big_questions

This is a lovely website set up by Sugata Mitra, in fact the company Made by Many worked with us as a family when they were in the process of building the site. The kids gave their feedback as to how the site was working for them, so that was a fun experience. We use this site by looking at the BIG QUESTIONS you can set the timer going and work with in the time allocated or else our kids sometimes like to just talk through the big questions and come up with the answers. ‘SOLE’ stands for Self Organised Learning Environments and on this site there are stories and there is a community page, so it is a great place to also see what is going on around the world. This links me back to Sugata Mitra talking about The School in the Cloud, so everything you need to know about his project is in this talk.

 

Skype in the Classroom

https://education.skype.com/

I love Skype in the Classroom, we have signed up as a classroom, so as a home edder/unschooler you can do that. You can create a profile and get involved. The lovely thing about Skype in Classroom is that it is a portal to the rest of the world. So there is a project called ‘Mystery Skype’ where children can guess where in the world the other class is. I write about that here. There is also now a chance to hook up with an author, I am on it, so you are welcome to hook up with me. You can also speak with a ‘Techie’ and talk about technology. So this is a great site for connecting with other interesting people around the world. It is a great opportunity for your kids to meet interesting people. Our kids have been sung to by a man called Cantor Mitch, the singing chef. He also talked to them about food and religion whilst interspersing his chat with Yiddish songs on his Ukelele!

 

Ted Education

http://ed.ted.com/

This site is wonderful, there are short films explaining all manner of things, from how to grow a bone, to how semi colons work, there is a lot on this site. Our kids go through phases where they tap away and choose one short film after the other. The films are nicely illustrated and well narrated. I find the site visually very pleasing and friendly and very easy to use. This is one of my favourite sites.

 

Ted Talks

https://www.ted.com/talks

I like Ted Talks, so I often put them on and the kids either tune in or don’t. There are a few talks that our kids have found really interesting and even though they may well be beyond their listening age level they have been very hooked and have sat and listened. So here are a couple that they have liked. http://www.ted.com/talks/jill_bolte_taylor_s_powerful_stroke_of_insight?language=en This talk is from a woman who is a neuroanatomist and in it she describes her experience of having a stroke.

http://www.ted.com/talks/amy_cuddy_your_body_language_shapes_who_you_are This is an interesting talk about ‘faking it to make it.’ From her, the kids have learnt to do the ‘Wonder Woman’ pose prior to doing a circus show and I try to encourage my son to do the ‘Superman’ pose..although he often rolls his eyes when I suggest he does it and I end up doing it for him.

 

The Scale of the Universe

http://htwins.net/scale2/

I am yet to show this to the kids but I saw it at The S-cool unschooling/homeschooling conference in Rimini I think this is great. It kind of gave me goose pimples. The title suggests what it is so press lay and have a look. I am going to show the kids this and check whether they get goosies too.

 

Do it Yourself

https://diy.org/

PenelopeTrunk mentioned this on her blog and it looks great, we have yet to delve deeply in to it but it looks like a very fun website and I am looking forward to getting to know it a bit more.

 

The Khan Academy

https://www.khanacademy.org/ This is a great website. Our kids go through phases where they spend a lot of time on this, then phases where they don’t. But it is a great site for maths, science, technology and in fact now they have expanded so it is worth poking around and having a look.

 

 

The Tinker Lab

http://tinkerlab.com/ This is a great site for makers, artists and creatives!

 

 

Pinterest

https://www.pinterest.com/unschoolingt/ And of course Pinterest, we are there on it and if you can get passed the fluffy kittens and the small cute things (that the girls have posted) I am there posting about unschooling. Our girls have a great time looking at projects and making things from Pinterest so it is really a great resource for us all.

 

 

Animal Jam

http://www.animaljam.com/home The kids LOVE animal Jam, which is a playful website about animals from National Geographic.

 

 

Minecraft

https://minecraft.net/  The one that seems to trump them all right now is MINECRAFT they love it, it has been a bit of a journey for me to get my head around it, in fact I wrote this A Sonnet to Minecraft to explain my confusion and amazement at the game. In fact in all honesty I don’t have my head around it but they do and they are very creative and have built incredible things, I think it is a great resource for learning.

 

So those are our top sites for now and I would love to know what sites you are using right now and what you think of any of these that I have suggested, I hope that they come in handy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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About the Author

Lehla is an illustrator and an author of books, she has written for The Guardian. She trained as an actress at The Guildhall School of Music and Drama. She wrote The South African Illustrated Cookbook, The Lovely Book for Wonderful Women and she illustrated a kid's book by M.J. Amani called 'Excuse Me, I'm Trying to Read' and also 'I am Me, You, Us and We' by Caroline Trowbridge. Above all she is a mother to three fast growing kids, she juggles her time between them and working on new books and projects. She has recently co authored with Anthony 'Jump', Fall, Fly - from schooling, to homeschooling, to unschooling' Her art work can be seen at http://lehlaeldridge.wix.com/lehla-

4 Enlightened Replies

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  1. sameena says:

    Good list. I have found reading eggs and maths seed very helpful too, especially for the younger ones: http://readingeggs.co.uk/
    For foreign languages , they just choose some simple stories to listen to: learning german with subtitles https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qZ7Vsi4W3BE. Any interactive sites tend to be adult based and boring for kids ( and adults!!!)
    Thanks Sameena

  2. Thanks Sameena, those are good for younger ones it is true!

  3. Tanya Paez says:

    Try Kiddle.co for a kid friendly search engine.

  4. Great, will have a look!

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