Changes coming…

I’m working on updating the site in preparation for some exciting new changes coming to Plethora Homeschool.  Please be patient while the site is in transition.  Thanks!

NBC Learn

We actually watched some of the Science of the Summer Olympics during the London games, but I didn’t realize at the time that it was part of a whole series.  So, check out NBC Learn’s free resources to find videos on the science of all kinds of sports, plus video series on Chemistry, Climate Change, […]

Shmoop

I ran across Shmoop several years ago and for some reason, it didn’t really strike me as something I would use very much.  What was I thinking?!?  Maybe my kids were a little too young for it then, or maybe they’ve really expanded their content since then.  Whatever it was – WOW.   They’ve got […]

Manga High

There are a gazillion games out there to learn addition or multiplication facts.  There are very few, however, to learn about the quadratic formula.  If you’re looking for some games to help your student practice math skills like fractions, prime factorization, angles, factoring polynomials, percentages and other math concepts under-served by the other math games […]

Code Combat

Here’s another great resource for teaching your kids to code, and it has the added bonus of being in a game format.  Code Combat is in the format of a flash game.  While playing the game, your child writes the Javascript code to make the moves to complete each challenge.  It’s a great way for […]

Teach with Movies

I LOVE using movies in our homeschool.  For example, last year we read Life of Pi; then saw the movie; then learned all about India’s traditions, religion and food; then we started learning all about India’s war for independence from England; and then we watched Gandhi.  For book/movie combinations, we always read the book first. […]

Kerbal Space Program

Here’s a fun activity if you’re studying space flight.  Kerbal Space Program is a downloadable PC game where players create their own space program.  Given a collection of parts, players must build a functional ship capable of taking their crew of Kerbals into space and bring them back alive.  There is a free demo version […]

Frontiers for Young Minds

Frontiers for Young Minds is a scientific journal on neuroscience with kid editors.  It’s a pretty cool idea.  Scientists write cool articles about neuroscience and kids edit them.   You can read about the scientists and the kid editors, or you can get involved and be an editor.  Great for upper elementary through high school […]

Kids Think Design

Kids Think Design is a great little site to start looking at design careers.  It covers 10 different design careers from Fashion Design to Architecture.  Each one has information about the career, examples and design project and links to other sites.  It’s a great place to start if your kid is interested in design.  Great […]

GCF Learn Free

GCF Learn Free is a site put together by Goodwill Industries of Eastern NC.  It covers basic math and reading, along with technology and job skills.  It by no means covers everything, but it does contain over 250 videos and 750 lessons.  If you are looking for some games or videos to help reinforce some basic […]

Reading Rewards

OK – I’ll admit, I’m a little on the fence about this one.  I always hated reading logs and felt like they sucked all the joy out of reading.  However, I know other parents who have used them effectively and didn’t have problems with them.  So here is Reading Rewards – a free online site […]

New Path Learning

New Path Learning is another site that lets teachers track classes of students, assign content and track grades.  None of this is overly useful to homeschoolers, but New Path Learning, like Learn Zillion, does include some great multimedia content of their own that is FREE.  They have animated science lessons, interactive science and math, quizzes […]

Math TV

Tackling high school math?  Math TV is a great source for help.  It has videos of teachers explaining all kinds of math problems, step by step.  So if you need some more worked examples and more explanation on any topic from fractions to derivatives, this is a good place to look.  It would be a […]

Ancient Civilizations

If you liked the British Museum’s Ancient Egypt site, I have great news for you.  I knew there were other sites in this series, and I finally had time to find them all.  So here they are: Ancient Greece Ancient China Ancient India Ancient Egypt Ancient Mesopotamia Each of these sites has interactive content, games […]

Artisan des Arts

I love tying art projects into what we are studying.  None of us around here are very good at drawing, so I always look for crafty project that don’t rely on drawing talent.  I’m adding Artisan des Arts up there with Art Projects for Kids as a go-to place to find projects.  This Canadian art […]

Word Dynamo

Finally  – some help with vocabulary!  Word Dynamo offers thousands of lists of vocabulary words in English, Spanish and Latin at all grade levels.  For each list, you can do a match game, work a crossword, use flashcards or hear the word spoken and match it with its definition.  There are even lists to help […]

Math Snacks

Yay!  More math help!  Math Snacks has animations, mini games, interactive tools and learning guides to help with math concepts for grades 3-8.  Topics include ratios, number lines, basic operations, scale, units and more.  This is a great resource to help your child grasp a concept that they may be struggling with.  They don’t cover […]

Virtual Labs

Virtual Labs is a site put together to help train students in basic lab techniques.  There are six labs, mostly covering topics related to food safety.  It’s not a lot, but if you’re looking for an interactive animation on how to use a microscope or on topics like pH and acidity, they’ve got you covered. […]

Fold It

In case you haven’t figured it out yet, we are big fans of PBS’s NOVA show, especially the NOVA Science Now series.  When we were watching one of their shows on technology a few months ago, we found out about the amazing story of Fold It.  I’d try to explain it to you in this […]

BrainRush

BrainRush is a great way to lean anything that requires some memorization, from the times tables to parts of speech to dates of the American Revolution.  Each game is set up to practice a skill until it is mastered, quickly and efficiently.  There are hundreds of games on all kinds of topics and if you […]

Science of Soil

Don’t let the title fool you.  Science of Soil is all about math and it’s use in science.  Put together to help undergraduates catch up on some concepts they might have missed, the animations and interactives cover dimensions, graphs and scale.  They are very cleverly done, and each one includes an interactive experiment, videos and […]

Seed

I was very pleased to run across this little educational site from a large corporation that my husband used to work for.  Seed has great experiment ideas and some really nice little animations on earth science, space, energy, health and even math puzzles.  Look under the Science tab at the top to find the content. […]

Newton’s Playground

Newton’s Playground gives your child the opportunity to play with Newton’s Laws.  Using drawing and animation, the game gives kids a chance to discover gravity, mass, kinetic energy, and transfer of momentum.   There are several challenges and a trophy is awarded for successfully completing a level.  Great for upper Elementary through Middle School and free […]

Constitute

OMGOMGOMG!  I love this.  I really hate how we teach so little about other countries.  Sure, we study Ancient Egypt and the political systems of the ancient Greeks and Romans, but we learn almost nothing about the rest of the world after 1776.  And we spend huge amounts of time studying our own modern history […]

Spatulatta

One thing I love about homeschooling is the ability to integrate real life skills into your school day.  I’m not talking about being a “good communicator” or experience “working in groups”.  I’m talking about know how to manage your money, how to change a tire or how to cook a good meal.  For most of […]

Periodic Table of Videos

What a great resource!  I wish I had found this when we were studying the periodic table last year.  Periodic Table of Videos has a video about EVERY element in the periodic table.  Even those ones you can’t pronounce and have never heard of!   This is a great addition to any study of chemistry. […]

Scientists @ The Smithsonian

You just have to love everything about The Smithsonian, the magazine, the museums, the website.  And here’s another to add to the list – Scientists @ The Smithsonian.   The site has videos and profiles of over 20 scientists – from ant farmer to dinosaur hunter.  If you have kids who are interested in science, […]

History Animated

OK, this one may be for more of a niche audience.  But if you have kids who love military history, History Animated needs to be in your tool bag.   It offers animations of the major battles from the Revolutionary War, the Civil War and WWII.  The animations are not exactly what you would call […]

DIY.org

DIY.org‘s tagline on their homepage says it all:  Get Skills. Be Awesome.  Think of it as Scouts for the Maker crowd.  It is set up like a scouting organization where you earn badges by completing a certain number of projects for each badge.  Their skills include everything from ornithology to baking, from bike mechanics to […]

Science Friday

I have been a big fan of Science Friday on NPR for years.  Somehow, I missed the fact that they have a fantastic website until just recently.  The site has podcasts, videos and some really cool lesson plans.  With the menu down the left, you can search for stories by topic.  You could also use […]

NASA Education

NASA Education has lesson plans, videos, interactives, design contests and a lot more.  Search by grade level for content for K-12.  Anything you need to know about space is here.  Great for all ages and free.

NOAA Education Resources

If you’re studying anything to do with the Oceans or Weather, NOAA Education Resources has some great material.   Find out more about hurricanes, volcanoes, marine life, the tides and a lot more.  Each section has videos, multimedia, activities and real world data.  Great for all ages and free.

The Kid Should See This

File this under Awesome Sauce.  The Kid Should See This is a Mom’s collection of truly cool videos your kid should see.  Most of them were not made specifically for kids, but they are all kid-safe and incredible.  I’m adding this one to our morning visit to Wonderopolis and This Day in History.  There are […]

Big History Project

This is big.  Really big.  The Big History Project is a new online course covering 13.7 billion years of history on Earth.  David Christian first started teaching his Big History course in 1989 at Macquarie University in Australia.  He wanted to look at history on a big scale, including the disciplines of  biology, cosmology, astronomy, geology and anthropology.  The class […]

Real World Math

Another Math site to get excited about!  Real World Math uses Google Earth to teach, well, real world math.  Lesson plans are done in Google Earth, where you can measure distances or add media or models to the earth’s surface.  There is some learning curve here if you haven’t used Google Earth before, but it’s worth […]

Engage Games

Engage is the outcome of a consortium of universities and government agencies who want kids to be more involved in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) activities.  These games have been developed to encourage kids in PreK-3rd grade to develop STEM skills.  These games are engaging, entertaining and educational.  I’m not saying they’re going to […]

Quandry

Here’s another cool game to add to your arsenal with Urgent Evoke.  Quandry is an online game where kids 8-14 lead a new human colony on a distant planet.  Difficult decisions must be made.  Students must filter opinion from facts and make ethical decisions that could impact the planet, the colonists and themselves.  There are […]

Climate Kids

The folks at NASA have put together a great website to help kids learn about Global Climate Change.  Climate Kids has videos, games, articles and teaching resources on topics like climate, energy, oceans and weather.  There are lots of great activities to try here.  This site alone would provide all the material you would need […]

Math Live

Math Live has animated explanations for a variety of math subjects, mainly in the range of grades 4-7.  Each animation goes into a detailed discussion of the subject and provides some interactive practice.  Each topic also has a downloadable practice sheet, teacher notes and an assessment.  It’s a great way to introduce a new math […]

Energyville

Studying energy?  Energyville is a cool little game to help students learn about the trade-offs between cost, environmental impact and security when choosing sources of energy.  Kids can play with the mix of sources to power a city and see how their choices affect cost and the environment.  They can also learn more about each […]

EasyTech

I have lots of sites on Plethora about computer science, programming, game design and even touch typing.  But what about just learning how to use a word processors or spreadsheets?  EasyTech covers everything from mouse basics to HTML, including word processors, databases, spreadsheets, presentations, online safety, email and it even includes a touch typing program. […]

Get the Math

I know, I gush about a lot of these sites – but, OMG, this is sooooo cool!  Get the Math has videos of people in different fields (cool ones, like game design, fashion design, music and basketball) talking about how they use math in their jobs.  The videos are each about five minutes long.  After […]

Your Local Public Library

OK, I’m veering a little from my usual format.  Have you noticed I’ve been doing that lately?  Anyway, if I had to give one piece of advice to a new homeschooler, it would be this:  get thee to your local public library.  Now.  Get a library card.  Get one for each of your kids.  Put […]

Project Noah

If you are looking for a meaningful way to include more Nature in your homeschool, take a look at Project Noah.  I just love ideas like crowd-sourced research and citizen scientists – these are opportunities for you and your kids to do real research that will be used by scientists in their studies.  In Project […]

National Geographic Education

NatGeo has a wealth of information over several websites.  If you’re looking for good educational content to add to a science or geography lesson, the National Geographic Education website is probably the easiest place to find it.  Search for videos by subject and grade, download coloring pages, find a map of any place from any […]

Homeschool Planet

If you’re using a lot of the resources that are featured here, then you might be interested in a very powerful tool to help you organize and plan your lessons.  Homeschool Planet is a new, online calendar and planning tool from Homeschool Buyers Co-op.  I was part of the Beta Testing, so I’ve been using […]

Teach Engineering

This unassuming little site has some of the best lesson and unit plans I’ve seen for engineering.  Teach Engineering‘s curricular units have lesson plans, activities and links to online resources that add up to great interactive and hands-on learning.  Just take a look at the Asteroid Impact lesson or Moon Colony (can you tell I’m […]

Cosmeo

If you just can’t bring yourself to pay the money for the Discovery Education Streaming, or if you just want to try it for a few months, take a look at Cosmeo.  It is a pared-down version of Discover Streaming.  It still has 30,000 videos and 150,000 reference articles, along with pictures, math tutorials and […]

Discovery Education

I have been looking at Discover Education for a while now, wondering if it was worth the money.  I recently had the opportunity to try it out for a month and I’m convinced that if you have the money and your kids learn well from videos, it is definitely worth it.  Not only are there […]

BBC Bitesize

BBC’s Bitesize site has a whole British plethora of learning material.  Here’s a little key to help you navigate: KS1 – ages 5-7 KS2 – ages 7-11 KS3 – ages 11-14 GCSE – ages 14-16 TGAU – only if you speak Welsh Standard Grade and Intermediate 2 – High School in Scotland Otherwise, just browse […]