I have been meaning to write about all the lovely subscriptions and freebies available online for kids for the longest time. We have eight kids, we are always schooling on a budget, and I would like to share resources that we look forward to using in our school. These resources are great for all families that love learning together, not just homeschooling families. There is so much loveliness available on the web, that it is quite easy to get lost in the search for something extra ordinarily awesome. To be honest, your kids will be quite happy playing with a delivery box for a week… leave them to it, that is their awesome.
When you have newly arrived in the world of on-line learning it can be overwhelming, I understand that it is hard to decide which products are better than the rest, which will actually be useful, which will be great and what to download. The fear of missing out on something can make you feel like you need to download everything, just in case, and then you put it all before your kids in the hopes that they learn something and they don’t love it. I thought I would share some of the resources that are free or almost free, that we have been using for ages, resources that we find useful and that our kids (and their teacher) actually enjoy using… It is so important that you are enjoying learning alongside your kids… if you are bored to tears, then trust me your kids are never going to love it.
Ten Fantastic Online Learning Resources for Kids
- FireFly Nature School: Just the most gorgeous nature based printables, there is a monthly subscription box or you can shop for individual lessons… they are lovely, always something fresh to think about and the most delightful illustrations. Follow her on instagram or sign up to her newsletter for loads of freebies.
- The Global Guardian Project: Has the most beautiful instagram feed ever… conservation and eco-consciousness as far as the eye can see. Amazing online learning and online lesson plans, with incredible videos, activities, challenges and printables. Loads of free resources, and a subscription option as well. But… right now for this month, all their lessons are free… dash over there and enjoy them.
- Curious Wanderer Society: Do not pause for a second, just dash over to this website and sign up. Seriously, incredible “Around the World” resources roll out month after month and most of it is absolutely free. Of course she has a store, bloggers have to survive. But the free resources, are absolutely amazing… a challenge every month a new destination… codes to decipher, famous people to discover, recipes to try… it is all quite fantastic. You can follow this family’s adventures on instagram.
- Case of Adventure: Is another round the world resource for kids. Loads of free country themed printable packs… with amazing goodies inside them to keep entertained for hours: printable passports, printable stamps, printable maps, flags, money… songs from each country or recipes, stories and such like. It is quite amazing… and … There is a podcast to go with it, that you can listen to wherever you listen to your podcasts..
- Julie Bogart the Homeschooling Guru and the Mother of All Things Writing: Julie Bogart flies under the banner of Julie Bravewriter and her wisdom for writing with children and encouraging them to write, when it is the last thing that they want to do, is nothing short of miraculous. She has lots of free writing ideas on her blog, and she is the founder of Poetry Tea-Time. Basically, you want this homeschooling survivor in your corner while you are on a writing journey with your kids… she is fabulous in every way. And she has a podcast that will encourage and inspire all parents not just homeschool parents. She has opened up a load of free writing resources during this time that everyone is cooped up at home. Writing can be fun, and her website will help you to make it fun. A great place to start is her 7-Day Writing Blitz.
- Melscience: Epic science experiments, dozens and dozens of them, and you can have a two minute break and watch a new, bright and funky experiment on instagram everyday. is fabulous for a mini break in your day, that will inspire little people to try new things and explore their scientific curiosity.
- Big Life Journal: Is a growth mindset journal, blog, newsletter for kids… and if you sign up to their newsletter, the most stunning, bright and beautiful and inspiring printables every week... to be honest, way to fabulous to be “just for kids, ” you need these for your self too. There is also a Big Life Journal Podcast, scroll down on this link to see the show notes for each episode and gather the free printables that go with them.
- Art History for Kids… this site has some fantastic downloadable lessons. There are loads of free lesson plans, all you have to do is sign up to the newsletter, pick a topic and go… very practical, very hands-on and so much fun. There is also an online store where you can buy more prepare lessons, basically this is Art History fun for kids and their teachers. Art Every day Challenge, 23-27 March 2020 for five days, watch her instagram feed to find out more.
- Deep Space Sparkle has heaps of projects available to download and do right now, immediately… tons of it!!! She also has a subscription club… and I am all for supporting independent businesses, if you love her work, invest in it. You can find her on instagram here.
- Babble Dabble Do: Colourful hands on science that you just don’t want to miss… very do-able, very inspiring… all her science projects look like art projects. Her work is fantastic and your kids will love it… you can follow her on instagram over here.
Nine Podcasts and Easy Listening for Kids
- World Book Day has dozens of Audio Books: current, and classic, relevant and fantastic. You can look for them, where you look for podcasts too… just search for “World Book Day – A World of Stories.”
- The Past and the Curious: A history podcast aimed at kids, which is just as interesting for the parents listening in… and that’s a win!!!
- Earth Rangers: One of our favourite kids podcasts ever, it a wildlife, environmental and conservation podcast, aimed at future wildlife rangers, it is fantastic. They focus on different animals in each podcast, and speak to real life scientists around the world. Really interesting, gets top marks from us.
- Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls: Not just a fantastic series of books but they have an amazing podcast too. There are also several new activity books to print out and learn about our famous Rebel Girls, all together fantastic stuff.
- Everything Under the Sun: There are few things more interesting than the answers to the questions that little people answer… this podcast is just for that. All the curiosity in the world, that hasn’t had a chance to be squelched by adult thinking yet.
- BBC School Radio: We are listening our way through the Beatrix Potter stories, but there are loads more.
- The Masterpiece Society Podcast: is an Art Appreciation Podcast for kids, that is just as interesting for the parent listening alongside. Top tip: listen through the website link, because each podcast comes with some lovely free downloads.
- Around the World Stories Podcast is lovely: And this past week they had a fabulous 3 part story about a Leprechaun, with fabulous activities and printables too.
- David Williams Has a Marvellous Music Podcast: Zany factoids and all sorts of classical-ish music.
Eight Specials That Are Available Online Right Now
And then suddenly, while I was creating this post, the world exploded and suddenly everyone is “homeschooling,” and there are a lot, lot, lot of freebies available. People have such generous hearts and the amount of folk that have opened their hearts to families all over the world, with children who are stuck at home, in quarantine or about to be in quarantine. I have to say that we use these resources for fun, and if we take “educational” out of all the time we are spending together, and call this time “making memories” instead, we will probably all get through it with a lot more ease.
- Bravewriter has the Homebound On-Line Conference next week (23 March – 27 March 2020, and its free… and it is going to be fantastic. Between Julie Bogart and Susan Wise Bauer, it is going to be fantastic… amazing topics are going to be available.
- Audible Books have loads of Stories available to kids for free. This has to be the massive freebie at the moment. From tots to teens they have you covered… From Classics to Contemporary… we are listening, in fact we have basically stopped our regular school program just to stream audible books. According to Audible: Stories Help… they are right of course.
- Yuppie Chef Cooking School has a free month (from sign up): of all their cooking school classes… and they are fantastic, not to mention so many different ones to work through. Courses we have tried:
- The Sketchbook Project has a 28-Day “Draw Every Day” Challenge… and you know how we love the Sketchbook Project, so we immediately signed up.
- Brit and Co has free classes this week that I know my teens and tweens would love… I spotted this Freebie on Instagram, check out the details here.
- Mylestone Creatives has free tutorials right now:
- Bravery Magazine and Bravery School: This is the most beautiful looking magazine for children ever, filled with heroic women from all walks of life. They have just introduced Bravery School for the next month. They usually have a collection of lovely printables… but Bravery School takes it to the next level, as a learning resource it is amazing. There are interesting resources to go with the featured characters in their fabulous magazines, it is free and you need to take a look at it. Otherwise, follow Bravery Mag on Instagram.
- Jennie Maizel’s Online Sketchbook Club: Is offering a special on her fabulous sketchbook project online classes… We adore her work (read our interview here) and can’t wait to try them. The details are here, just drop her an email.
I know my older kids will love learning online with free drawing lessons on Facebook for the next couple of weeks.
Se7en Affordable Subscriptions That I Am Thinking About…
- Writings from the Wild: Real live letters sent to you, about wild animals from all over the world. There is a featured animal every month and conservation and all the eco-living you could ever want. And the beautifulness of it all… I just totally love it.
- Home Ed Printables has a subscription to Post from the Past: The most exquisite vintage letters from the past. I absolutely love the look of all of them.
- Heritage Letters: This is another fabulous letter subscription, this time it is letters from famous Americans in the Past. There are also a lot of useful freebies and resources available on the website.
- Curiosity Stream: My friend at My Little Poppies is always raving on about the Curiosity Stream and while I am the worst at remembering to watch a screen and never ever think about watching actual TV, (I tell you what you don’t grow up with, you never think of!!!), I think for $20 for a full year, my kids, especially my bookends will absolutely love this… documentaries as far as the eye can see… History and Nature for the win.
- Squilt Music: Online music Lessons, you download printable, there is a listening calendar… music by “famous artist,” music by “theme”… there are sample lessons to try and they look just fabulous. Topics like a Month of Musicals, Squilt goes to the Movies, Exploring the Great Composers and so on… Really great topics, and themes my kids would be really interested in.
- Honest History Magazine Looks absolutely fantastic… a real live magazine… something without a screen. Yes please!!!
- And finally… absolutely beautiful websites filled with loads of lovely freebies that you should subscribe to, so that you don’t miss a thing:
Six Ways to Get Off a Screen
- John Muir Nature Study: The most amazing resources for learning how to draw and create nature notebooks… not just for kids! Great outdoors inspiration on point. His website is full of lessons, things to try, materials to use… just an incredible resource.
- Creative Bug has loads of Free Crafts… get online, watch the video, download a pdf and then… make, make, make… Loads of Fun.
- Read and Games, Read and Games: Se7en’s Great Big List of the 100 Best Non-fiction Books for Kids… and The Best Bazillion Chapter Books Ever… And…Games, games, games and more Games… from the se7en_hoods!!!
- All the Crafty Things to do on our website ever… Our Complete Craft Collection.
- And all our Homeschool Resources Ever…
- And All our Recipes… for Cooking with Kids.
Before you collapse in a heap with overwhelm… Don’t for a second think that this is what we are doing all day… these are things we have tried and tested over time, and some of them are things we might do one day. With this kind of resource post, where there is so much information… pick one or two things that you like and go forth and enjoy… don’t try and do everything it will crush you!!! Think of these as treats… little things to enjoy, every now and then!!!