Younger students (e.g., preschool through elementary school) are less likely to have prescribed homeschooling plans. Instead, parents may have to come up with instructional material. For this reason, the guide below provides more detailed information about the “what” and the “why” for specific resources through mid-elementary school. For older students, we have provided more general information about educational and enrichment resources that families can present their students with.
Pre-Academic for 3- to 5-year-olds:
Books that emphasize rhyme and/or alliteration
For 3 and 4-year-olds, supporting later reading skills means boosting phonemic awareness (i.e., the ability to identify and manipulate the phonemes [sounds] in words). Towards that end, reading books that emphasize rhyme and/or alliteration is particularly important.
- The Absolutely Awful Alphabet by Mordicai Gerstein
- Big Alphabet Workbook by School Zone.
- Four Famished Foxes and Fosdyke by Pamela Duncan Edwards
- Clara Caterpillar by Pamela Duncan Edwards
- Jamberry by Bruce Degen
- Bedhead by Margie Palatini
- Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
- Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you See? By Bill Martin, Jr.
- Llama Llama Red Pajama by Anna Dewdney
- Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr. & John Archambault
- There’s a Wocket in my Pocket by Dr. Seuss
- The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson & Ariel Scheffler
- Clap Your Hands by Lorinda Bryan Cauley
- Giraffes Can’t Dance by Giles Andreae
- Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site by Sherri Duskey Rinker
- The Pout Pout Fish by Deborah Diesen
- And any nursery rhyme!
Books that teach about numbers and counting
- The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
- Ten Little Ladybugs by Melanie Gerth
- Click Clack Splish Splash by Doreen Cronin
- Olivia Counts by Ian Falconer
- Chicka Chicka 123 by Bill Martin & Michael Sampson
Books that teach about shapes and colors:
- Circle, Triangle, Elephant by Kenji Oikawa and Mayuko Takeuchi
- I Lost My Sock! A Matching Mystery by P.J. Roberts
- Colors versus Shapes by Mike Boldt
- Color Zoo by Lois Ehlert
- How Do Dinosaurs Learn Their Colors by Jane Yolen
- Little Blue and Little Yellow by Leo Lionni
- Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes by James Dean and Eric Litwin
- The Greedy Triangle by Marilyn Burns
- Food for Thought by Saxton Freymann & Joost Elffers (also letters, numbers, and opposites)
Early Elementary (Grades K-1)
Emphasis in early elementary is placed on developing early literacy skills, including phonemic awareness, phonic decoding, and sight-word reading.
- BOB Books (by John R. Maslen and Bobby Lynn Maslen) introduce and reinforce phonics in a systematic and enjoyable way. Kids can read entire books on their own so they feel successful.
- Beginning Reading Workbook by School Zone does a nice job breaking down early reading concepts, such as syllables, beginning and ending consonant sounds, vowels, sequencing, etc.
- Reading Activities 1 and 2 Workbook by School Zone covers reading comprehension concepts, such as comprehension, predicting, main idea, comparing, contrasting, evaluating, etc.
- To support the development of reading comprehension, ask your child questions, such as “What do you think will happen next?” while reading aloud.
- Listening to stories is a great way to build a child’s vocabulary and comprehension skills. Audible is offering free children’s stories through their platform: Stories.audible.com.
- The Parents’ Read-At-Home Plan for Student Success has a number of fun games and activities for Grades K-3, organized by the “5 Pillars” of reading instruction: Phonemic Awareness, Phonics, Vocabulary, Fluency, and Comprehension. The guide is free.
- SpellLinks has several great tips to help parents read and spell at home with their children
- o Reading
Numeracy and Counting:
Books that teach the concepts of addition and subtraction:
- What’s New at the Zoo by and Suzanne Slade
- One is a Snail, Ten is a Crab: A Counting by Feet Book by April Pulley Sayre & Jeff Sayre
- The Mission of Addition by Brian Cleary
- Monster Musical Chairs by Stuart J. Murphy
- Elevator Magic by Stuart J. Murphy
- Math Start Series by Stuart J. Murphy
English Language Arts (ELA):
As word reading develops and improves, instructional emphasis shifts to reading fluency, which is critical for comprehension. Try to boost your child’s reading fluency by reading books out loud at the same time (aka choral reading) and seeing if they can try to match your pace. This will help them get used to what fluent reading feels and sounds like. Choose books that your child can read independently so that they can focus instead on pacing, rather than decoding.Here are some books and strategies you can use:
- Readworks.org offers a lot of free content for families, including an informational video about remote learning, a tip-sheet to help families get started, and numerous, high-quality activities to promote vocabulary and reading comprehension. Families can access free materials, including a student library with access to thousands of fiction and non-fiction works, reading passages and question sets leveled for grades K-12, “article-a-day” to increase background knowledge, and family supports.
- Encourage your child to act out books that have a lot of dialogue, such as A Big Guy Took My Ball by Mo Willems (An Elephant & Piggie Book). Using the same tone of voice that the characters might use improves their reading expression, which is an important part of fluency.
- Incorporate book sets that fine-tune early reading skills, like phonic decoding and sight-word recognition. When these skills are mastered, reading fluency will follow. For example, try Pete the Cat Phonics Box Set, Peppa Pig Phonics Box Set, or Scholastic Success with Sight Words
- Encourage your children to spend some time every day reading actively.
- Have your child listen and read along with a book within his/her reading level and encourage him/her to think about and write down the following:
o What is this story about?
o What is the solution to the problem in the story? o How did the character solve his problem?o How is this story the same or different from others stories you have read?
- Have your child listen and read along with a book within his/her reading level and encourage him/her to think about each character.
o List each character in this story.
o Write down one adjective that describes each character.
- Encourage your child to read a biography and write about the following: o Who is this story about? Why is that person important?
o What did this person do that made him famous or special?
o What did this person need to overcome in order to be successful? o What other information did you learn about this person?
- Math Basics 1 Workbook by School Zone – covers addition, subtraction, greater than, less than, comparison, number order, etc.
- Math Basics 2 Workbook by School Zone – worksheets that emphasize addition and subtraction, time and money, place value, sums and differences, fact families, geometry, etc.
- Big Second Grade Workbook by School Zone – covers grade-level math calculations and word problems, along with phonics, reading comprehension, and science.
- Math Basics 3 Workbook by School Zone – covers grade-level math concepts, including multiplication, division, word problems, place value, square units, fractions, etc.
- Multiplication and Division Workbook by School Zone – for third and fourth graders, covers multiplication, division, estimation, and word problems.
- Spectrum Critical Thinking for Math – Covers concepts, including multi-digit addition, multi-digit subtraction, multi-digit multiplication, long division, fractions, geometry, and estimation, while encouraging critical thinking skills.
- Flash Cards are a time-tested tool that help students achieve mastery and automaticity with rote math facts. There are also computer-based math fact programs available, which use a game-based system to drill math facts and achieve fluency (e.g., Reflex Math: reflexmath.com; offering a free 60-day trial).
More Learning Resources for Younger Children
- At-home math activities, parent blogs, and more resources: http://bedtimemath.org/
- General resources about remote learning, including during COVID-19: https://web.seesaw.me/remote-learning-for-families?fbclid=IwAR0FaOWDjaI5bsaylKhnOeF4GD1HuQqeMCDpYK-CtjtCG6k3sVtbmITvaek
- Online math visual activities (content offered in English and Spanish): http://nlvm.usu.edu/
- PBS Kids / PBS Learning Media. https://ny.pbslearningmedia.org/collection/kids-lab/
- Reading Rockets. This website offers activities, checklists, and information on building literacy skills. www.readingrockets.org
- Scholastic Learn at Home: https://classroommagazines.scholastic.com/support/learnathome.html
- Starfall Parent Teacher Center: https://teach.starfall.com/lv/
- Stuck at Home Science: Daily science activities for families to enjoy using household materials(content offered in English and Spanish): https://californiasciencecenter.org/stuck-at-home-science
- Spreadsheet of free online resources for K-12th: http://www.amazingeducationalresources.com/
Online Course Content for High Schoolers
- High school subjects include math, language arts, science, study skills, and history. Content is presented in engaging 30-minute videos. One-month free trial available. https://www.thegreatcoursesplus.com/programs-for-young-learners
- Online math visual activities (content offered in English and Spanish): http://nlvm.usu.edu/
- Spreadsheet of free online resources for K-12th