As we head into the school year—nothing looks the way any of us expected. Many of you are unexpectedly homeschooling while trying to juggle work. Others are essential workers who can’t work from home and are scrambling to find safe care for your children. And all of us wish we could be near the ones we love.
So I wanted to share a list of resources that may be a help you. (Anything missing here? Let us know, and we’ll add it.)
We compiled this list by asking my Instagram Community for recommendations. So huge thanks to you!
Read stories with Sally on IGTV
Spanish-English Story Time with me and my friend Tony Plana offers one story in two languages
#operationstorytime on Instagram has great read-alouds
Storyline Online is another fabulous virtual library of children’s books read aloud by celebrities and authors
Mac Barnett, Chris Van Dusen and Sophie Blackall are picture book writers and illustrators who have some fab, fun read-alouds on IGTV
Fun with Books
SLJ’s Top Summer Adventure Books: My top book recommendations and fun activities to go along with them (great even after summer is over!)
SLJ’s Goldfish on Vacation Book Guide gives a fun activity that goes along with my picture book, Goldfish on Vacation
SLJ’s Free Story Planner from my picture book, Look! I Wrote a Book! will guide you through all the processes involved in writing your own stories. As one of my little bosses Anna put it, “That’s the book that made me want to write my own book!”
SLJ’s Free JSB Coloring Page from The Jesus Storybook Bible Coloring Book
Amazon FreeTime Unlimited has an excellent library of ebooks (plus a bonus: it also has movies, shows, apps, games, and more)
Brain Quest Books are fabulous
SLJ’s Top Ten Read Aloud Book Picks has my favorite children’s books/read-alouds
SLJ’s Amazon Store has even more book list recommendations
Watch a season of Mr. Rogers together online (I’m a huge fan of Mr. Rogers)
Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood on PBS is a favorite for many of you
Sesame Street clips are available free online
Miss Monica’s Circle Time on YouTube was highly recommended by many in the Instagram community
Learn Something New
Outschool has excellent small group, short-term online classes
Scholastic Learn at Home offers educational activities for ages 4-10
Compassion Explorer is a great way to explore the world
Dive Into School Subjects
Each of these were recommended by my Instagram community. Thanks for the suggestions!
ABCmouse: Enhance reading and math skills
Crazy Games for math skills
Mystery Doug: Fun science-based videos
Khan Academy Kids or Prodigy for math
Photo Math is great when you’re stuck. Take a picture of a math problem, and the app will help you solve it.
Twinkl offers free resources to download, like worksheets and handouts
Get Moving with GoNoodle
Debie Doo has fun movement songs
The Wiggles will help get your wiggles out
Jump Skip Smile with Amanda Kloots’ workout videos
Tools to Help
Read-Aloud Revival for expert book recommendations & homeschool advice
Zoom has a free account (for up to 45 mins). Great way to stay connected. It’s easy to add lots of people (perfect for virtual visits with grandparents and helping kids stay connected with friends)
Simplified Planners by Emily Ley will help you stay organized
Six Tips for Homeschooling During Coronavirus from NPR
The 2020 Back-to-School List for Teens’ Emotional Well-Being from The New York Times
SLJ’s Ten Tips for Reading Aloud: My top tips for making the most of your read-aloud time together.
Keeping a Love for School Alive from The New York Times
How to Set Up School at Home for Students of All Ages from The Wall Street Journal
Five Ways to Get Structure Back Into Your Kids’ Lives from The New York Times
Take a Breather
Peace be Still: My Spotify Playlist I put together with some of my favourite music for this pandemic time
Dwell: Listen to David Suchet read the Bible to you. How can you beat that?
Lectio 365: A beautiful meditative app that I love
Calm: Guided meditations to help you sleep more and stress less
The Science of Well-Being: A free online class from Yale designed to help increase your own happiness and build more productive habits.
The Happiness Lab: A podcast with Dr. Laurie Santos from The Science of Well-Being
Go outside every day. If it appeals, take photos. Notice the treasures all around you. A treasure hunt for the beauty around you. (I’m a big fan of this, as you’ll see on my Instagram.)
And finally, I’ll leave you with a thought to encourage you.
I’ve been sharing one each Sunday from my book, Thoughts to Make Your Heart Sing.