Majik Audiobooks (free!)

Majik Audiobooks (free!)

My daughters love audio books and I love seeing their imaginations expand as they listen. One thing they love to do is paint, or draw, whilst listening to their latest adventure. We discovered recently MajikKids. MajikKids says its audiostories help inspire kids imagination, creativity and joy sparkle.  Each month MajikKids releases a new story with an adventure to enjoy. You can listen on Spotify, iTunes and YouTube.

There are many things that I have enjoyed about MajikKids stories:

  • My girls love them (even though at age of 11 they are a little ‘old’)
  • They are narrated by multiple voices which makes it so engaging to listen too
  • They are fun to listen to as adults. My absolutely favourite is ‘Beyond the Wall: The untold story of Humpty Dumpty’. Honestly, you must listen and understand what ‘actually’ happened, this clever story had me smiling all day! Another one that has brought delight for us all was ‘The Other Side: the Untold Story of why the Chicken REALLY Crossed the Road’ – perhaps a question you may have wondered yourself?
  • They are a fair-trade publishing company which means all their staff get paid well
  • Bradley, the founder, writes the stories with his unschooled five year old son!
  • The stories use real words (not ‘little people’ words) which is refreshing, and they have good values embedded into them which are inspiring and rich.

I haven’t signed up for a subscription, as I feel my girls are a little too old, but for a $11 Canadian dollars a month (£6.90 at the time of writing this review) you can join the Majik Club and receive downloadable activity books and colouring books, to name a few of the benefits.

It is always a winner in the home ed world when you find a new FREE resource and this one with worth checking out.

  • 0-4 years | 5-7 years | 8-10 years | Parents
  • https://majikkids.com
  • free OR $11/month
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Copywork Cave handwriting programme

Copywork Cave handwriting programme

Where we aim to be self directed in our kids learning there are a few basics skills that I actively encourage my kids, now 14 and 10, to engage in even if they are not jumping at the opportunity to learn! Handwriting is one. For a couple of years we bought the handwriting workbooks, easily found on amazon to order. I will be honest, even I found them dry; the text dull and uninteresting also written for younger kids not 10/14 year olds. Needless to say, handwriting was a chore in our weekly rhythm, and in particular my younger daughter was happily able to express her unwillingness to complete a daily exercise. 

I discovered Copywork Cave a few months ago via a friend’s recommendation. We bought the Level 3 Classic collection which contains 12 weeks of exercises, 5 a week. Quotes from Martin Luther King, poems by Yeats and Lear, letters by Da Vinci and Einstein, quotes from Shakespeare. They are great excerpts that I enjoy reading with the girls.

CopyWork Cave’s website explains “Let education enrich the soul” – “We are inspired by Charlotte Mason’s philosophy of education in which children undertake daily copywork across a variety of written texts. We have carefully selected excerpts from classic children’s literature, engaging poems and thought-provoking quotes with rich and descriptive language.”

Developed by Amanda, a home educating mum of four, the layout is clear and easy to follow. Where, I will be honest, handwriting is not the highlight of our week! It definitely is more interesting, less tedious and undertaken without a battle. On the odd occasion it has also led to further exploration – for example a few weeks ago we were exploring who Martin Luther King was – an exciting rabbit hole to head down.

It is currently £6.99 for a 12 week course, once bought it is a downloadable pdf.

I would fully recommend this as a fantastic meaningful resource as well as a lovely introduction into the Charlotte Mason approach. 

Affordable online piano lessons that motivate children to love music

Affordable online piano lessons that motivate children to love music

We are a music loving family and it was important to us that all of our (four) children could learn an instrument, starting with piano. Getting individual lessons for four children is not cheap and we were delighted when we found Hoffman Academy online piano lessons. We were so impressed with the quality of the video lessons (they are well made and also funny – not to mention free!) that we decided to pay for the premium option which gives you access to practice sessions, fun music theory printable pages, interactive games to consolidate learning, and music to play along to. It is an excellent investment and is far cheaper than a personal tutor.* Because it’s online, the children can do their lessons whenever it suits (sometimes at 7am!). We also love his unique method which starts with teaching children to play by ear rather than by sight. We also love that he gets the students to improvise and transpose songs into different keys very early on – skills that are traditionally taught much later. The only downside is that as parents we have to keep a track on their progress but Hoffman helps with that too – for each Unit there is a printable sheet which shows what the student should be able to do before they start the next level, so when our children think they are ready to move up, they play for us and we decide if they have completed everything or if they need to practice some more. The children never complain about doing their piano lesson/practice and it has inspired our 8 year old to start composing his own songs which he hopes to record one day. If you want an affordable introduction to music, you can try the video lessons for free before deciding whether to pay for the premium membership. We can’t recommend Hoffman Academy enough!

*Prices for the premium membership are in USD and currently start at $18 per month, with $9 for additional students, or $179 for a full year.

  • All ages
  • https://www.hoffmanacademy.com/
  • USD $18 per month with $9 for additional family members. Discount for a full year membership also available.
  • 5
TES Resources

TES Resources

TES is a brilliant website that I use regularly. It’s a platform where people share their own resources. Most of them are free and there are some that are only accessible for a one-off fee (usually around £3-5). The resources vary in type (worksheets, powerpoint presentations, explanatory videos, etc.) and quality, but there are so many, that everyone can find something for their needs. You can find complete packs that teachers use in their classes, with presentations and activities, which might prove really useful if parents are not so familiar with the topic they want to work on with the children. On the other hand, if people just want some extra worksheets they will find that too. The best thing about it is the sheer quantity of resources that makes it possible to compare, combine or choose the best. And as it is a shared platform, age is no restriction here.

 

Review written by Nandor and submitted by Streams.

Twinkl, My Go-to Resource

Twinkl, My Go-to Resource

Twinkl has been my go-to resource since we started home educating over three years ago. My first thought when starting to plan group time (IMHO Twinkl works best for groups) is “What does Twinkl have about this subject?” For almost whichever subject we’ve been looking at, Twinkl has had a teaching resource to go with it. PowerPoints, activities, worksheets, colouring pages, interactive resources… the list goes on. It is such a comprehensive set of resources, we’ve hardly scratched the surface during our home educating time.

There is a dedicated Home Education section on the site which is pretty thorough as it includes guidance on home educating, planning resources, curriculum overviews (if that’s the style of home education you’re following), as well as projects and lapbooks you can use and subject specific lessons and activities. 

The down side to Twinkl is that there is so much on the site – sometimes it’s overwhelming! And, of course, you need to adapt the resources for your children. 

In summary, Twinkl is probably my most-visited resource for when we’ve been looking at learning something in a group. It’s excellent for that.

  • All ages
  • https://www.twinkl.co.uk/
  • From free to £9.99 per month (Ultimate Package £8.49 per month with a yearly subscription)
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