If you're waiting on your curriculum order, but you'd like to go ahead and get started with a school routine, here are some easy-to-implement learning activity ideas for you!
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:
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 for download. 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 playing 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.