Now that September has arrived, the traditional time for "back to school," there is a certain urgency to get started. The problem is, you may not have all of your curriculum yet. Or maybe not any of it.
We are right there with you on the disappointment level. We will continue to do the best we can to keep our website clearly updated and your products shipping as fast as possible.
In the meantime, there are a number of learning activities you could have your child do that could count as “school” while you wait for your curriculum to arrive. Please don't feel like you necessarily need to do something in every category. Many families prefer to start the school year with a lighter scheduler and then gradually add in more subjects as they get used to the routine.
Here are some ideas of substitutions you could use until you receive your actual curriculum:
Handbook + Scheduler
You can download a sample of your Handbook. Just click through on whatever grade you’re interested in and download a PDF sample. This will give you an idea of what’s included.
Then, go ahead and start getting your Scheduler set up. If you ordered a curriculum kit and didn't receive an email with your scheduler access code within 2 or 3 days of placing your order, please let us know and we'll re-send it. (It does sometimes filter into spam folders, so you might check there first.)
Please note: The scheduler was designed to supplement your Handbook. With the current shipping delays we know you don't want to wait until you have your actual handbook on your desk to start playing with the scheduler, but please know that there is a lot more information in it that will make sense of this format and provide additional information on teaching each item. However, this will give you an idea of the structure of the subjects included.
Preschool and PreK
If you have access to your public library look for Look & Find or I Spy type books. Also, vocabulary building books such as First 100 Words would be great.
Your dollar store may have some simple alphabet workbooks or flashcards.
Grades PreK - 2nd
All About Reading has some excellent free activities. Not only are they great prep for the lessons, but they can really help with the reading routine. I'd combine that with reading together and use that for your lesson plan these first weeks.
Go ahead and get started on the Reading Challenge. The Handbook sample includes some of the categories and suggested titles, so that should get you started. If you need more, feel free to read books of your choice. Chances are they can fit into one of the reading challenge categories later.
Preschool and Pre-K
Practice counting and sorting objects you have around the house. Look for counting books at the library.
Your dollar store may have some simple preschool math workbooks or flashcards.
Grades K - 2.
- Primer Activity Sheets from Math-U-See.
- Alpha Activity Sheets from Math-U-See.
- Beta Activity Sheets from Math-U-See.
Grades K - 12
Math-U-See offers free printable worksheets and online drill activities. It definitely wouldn't hurt to start off the year brushing up on skills your student has already learned.
What games do you already own? Obviously, some games are better than others for developing thinking skills, but almost all games do offer some element of critical thinking. Common games that come to mind include: Checkers, Chess, Dominoes, Uno, Scrabble, Clue, Monopoly.
Don't own any games? You can find classic kids' card games such as Go Fish or Old Maid at the dollar store... or a regular deck of cards for older kids.
Check your dollar store for age-appropriate puzzle books. Kids' activity books are great for younger kids. Older kids might enjoy word search or crossword puzzle books.
History & Social Studies
If you have access to your public library look for Richard Scarry books. These highly visual books are almost all about neighborhoods and communities.
Look for books and/or videos that tie in with the era or topic of history you'll be learning about this year.
Look for age-appropriate science books at the library. There are also many, many ideas for science projects and experiments available online.
Do you have Legos? Google "Lego challenge" for all kinds of ideas for incorporating them into your learning activities. Other types of construction sets could substitute for the STEM Learning category as well.
Join our TD Doodle Crew on Facebook for weekly doodle challenges. (Plus you could win prizes!)
Make play dough or slime. Just Google "homemade play dough" or "homemade slime" for dozens of recipes.
Tips from Our Blog Team
Need more ideas? Members of our Blog Team have also shared their best tips for getting started while you wait.
Help! My Homeschool Curriculum Hasn't Arrived Yet! from Oaxacaborn.
My Homeschool Curriculum is Delayed - What Do I Do Now? || 5 Tips to Fill the Gap from Anyday Blessings.
77 Best Educational YouTube Playlists for Learning at Home from Jump Into Genius
How to Homeschool for Free During a School Closure from Oaxacaborn.
Free and Cheap Homeschool Resources During Covid-19 Crisis from Homeschool and Humor.