Using Online Resources to Supplement Your Homeschool Curriculum
Even when we love our current curriculum and it’s working well for us, we can sometimes find our kids needing more. Multiplication tables that just won’t stick. Extra practice with spelling. Some kind of visual or interactive example to demonstrate a concept that the printed page just can’t give.
Sometimes our kids don’t need extra help or practice, they just want more. They’re interested in a subject and want to go deeper. They have questions that go beyond the scope of the curriculum.
One of the best things about homeschooling is our opportunity to meet the individual needs of our children and allow them to pursue their own interests. At least it is in theory. This wonderful opportunity can also present quite a challenge though, especially when you’ve got more than one child needing a little more. There’s only one mama after all!
That’s where online resources come in.
When you need something non-parent-intensive to supplement your homeschool curriculum, online resources can be a homeschool mama’s best friend.
Online Resources for Supplementing Your Homeschool Curriculum
There are so many possibilities when it comes to supplementing your homeschool curriculum with online resources. There’s video streaming, audiobooks, podcasts, educational apps, and websites galore. Sometimes the perfect resource is easy to find, other times you need to do some digging and sifting to find the right one.
We are a fairly low tech homeschool, and I have a strong preference for seeing my children engaged in active play and learning from physical books. So when I’m using screens in our homeschool, I want to make sure it really counts. I ask myself if the resource is really worth the screen time — is it going to help me accomplish my goals for my children? Will they be learning? Is there another way I could better meet this need?
Today I’m going to share with you about an online learning resource that we have been using and that has been meeting my children’s needs both in terms of learning new skills and re-enforcing what they have already learned.
Nessy Learning: An Easy Choice for Supplementing Our Curriculum
My kids have been spending the summer working on their reading, spelling, grammar, math, and even writing skills using Nessy Learning — all with little or no effort on my part.
Nessy’s Parent Pack offers a range of subjects to supplement key skills for homeschoolers. Kids get extra practice in the 3 Rs with Nessy’s:
- Reading & Spelling
- Writing Beach (descriptive writing, punctuation, grammar, sentence structure, paragraphs and story writing)
- Nessy Numbers (times tables & telling time)
- Dyslexia Quest/Yeti Mountain
Since my kids have very limited access to screens and next to no experience with games, Nessy has been quite a novelty around here! The Parent Pack has been especially useful to my 6-year-old who is a struggling reader and resistant learner — but who LOVES screens.
Sitting with mama to do phonics lessons can be the longest 5 minutes of her day (and mine!) but she’s been ASKING to do her reading lessons with Nessy. She can easily spend 20 minutes using the Nessy Reading & Spelling program, and instead of groans or tears, I hear peels of giggles instead.
Nessy uses the Orton-Gillingham approach to teaching reading & spelling, as does our own phonics program, so I’m confident that the two will complement each other well.
Nessy Numbers has also been a great supplement to her math curriculum, giving her extra practice with telling time and even introducing her to the times’ tables in a fun way. Nessy’s games make learning fun — I don’t think she even realizes that she’s learning!
Because learning to read has been such a challenge for her, I’ve often worried if in fact, she might be dyslexic. Her older sister was an absolute breeze to teach in this area, so her struggles have really had me wondering if they are normal, age appropriate challenges or if something else is at play.
Nessy’s dyslexia screening tool, Dyslexia Quest/Yet Mountain has really put my mind at ease in this respect — after 20 minutes of playing games to assessed her visual and auditory sequencing, processing, memory, and phonological awareness, her assessment revealed that she has zero signs of dyslexia! If your child is dyslexic, or you are concerned that they may be, you can also check out Nessy’s free Dyslexia Explained e-book.
Nessy’s Parent Pack had even more resources that were useful to my 9-year-old. She was able to practice her grammar, sentence structure, and punctuation. She was also introduced to some beginning elements of story structure, which our writing curriculum hasn’t covered yet. She got extra practice with those tricky times tables that have been tripping her up in the last year, had some fun spelling, and even mastered telling time — and now she’s the proud owner of her own very grown-up looking wrist watch.
My girls have had a lot of fun completing challenges, watching the strategy videos, and earning tokens that they can spend in “Monkey Town”. They insist on watching each other’s lessons and have just as much fun watching as they do playing and learning themselves.
While my kids were primarily interested in the fun factor, I was pleased to see that the program is thorough, beginning with a placement test to set their individual learning targets. It also has an admin panel for student reports where I can monitor their progress.
Try Nessy Out For Free
Want to learn more about Nessy? See if Nessy is right for your family by checking out their website, signing up for a free 7-day trial of Nessy Reading, or by visiting them on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.
Subscriptions to Nessy’s Parent Pack can be purchased monthly or yearly, and you can use the coupon code PPBLOG16 to save 15% until October 16, 2017 (discount is valid only on the first month of a monthly subscription but on the whole year for the year long license).