{Homeschool Tips} Awesome, Portable Learning Resources for Elementary-Aged Kids

Yes, that's my motto as a freelance writer/author and homeschool mom.

Have kid. Have iPad. Will travel. 
Consequently, I'm always looking for portable, quality educational products. Featured below are three stand-out options we've come to rely upon this academic year.

Horrible Histories

This semester, we've seen both versions--the off-the-beaten path Scholastic one (via Netflix) and the knock-your-socks-off CBBC series. Hands down the CBBC version wins our vote for best of show. Quirky, clever, and filled to the brim with all the gross-out humor of the Terry Deary books on which both series are based, the CBBC one is as much fun for me to watch as it is for our son.

Note that the gross-out humor is strong with the CBBC version, but the trade-off is that our kid really did learn his Western civilization. I know this because I dusted off my B.A. and M.A. in history and tested him orally. I was floored at what he'd learned and retained. (If your kids--or you--are weirded out by potty humor and talk of public executions as family excursions, then please steer clear.)

We watch Horrible Histories via YouTube.com, which means as long as we've got WiFi access for the iPad, we're good to go. We've seen all the seasons now and are awaiting the rumored creation and release of a feature film.


We've used the MindSnacks French app before, but this semester we're both enjoying the Spanish version. It's a great way to learn vocabulary and spelling in particular. I assign two rounds of it daily to supplement our foreign language curriculum (which is largely DIY because I have yet to find anything I like). I play MindSnacks, too, and allow my son to watch me complete the more advanced levels. This seems to have encouraged him to keep progressing on his own.

We love Bookboard!


Back when we started with the children's book subscription service this summer, I wasn't sure how long we'd last. Our kiddo was an "early reader" and appeared to have all but given up his interest in picture books, which are heavily promoted as being central to the Bookboard experience. (There are, however, plenty of text-only readers for advanced readers in Bookboard. They just don't photograph as well as the graphically oriented picture books!)

We've been Bookboard subscribers* for a couple of months now, and we both remain very happy with it. In our household, it's a supplement to our own books and library books. Our kid enjoys the "gamification" of unlocking new books, which are tied to his interests and abilities and therefore keep him engaged. For me, the portability (WiFi required) is a real help when I need to work away from home and with him in tow.

To try Bookboard for yourself for free, visit their website.

*FCC Disclosure: I am a member of Bookboard’s Blog Ambassador program. I am compensated, from time to time, with free products and monetary payments. 

I am also a member of Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, which is an affiliate advertising program through which sites earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.
Any views and opinions expressed in this post are completely my own.

1 comment:

  1. For foreign language...I use www.duolingo.com

    It's free and very effective...you can also get the Pimsleur audios via Audible.com


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