If there’s one thing that I could never understand through my first 10 years of home educating my kids, it was why there were so few decent home education resources packaged in a way that made it easy for children to learn while having fun. I couldn’t find someone providing resources that didn’t require significant prep by the parents (spoiler alert- there’s now one provider I would recommend over any other, and I’m going to tell you about them- and give you an exclusive discount- in this post!)
We are super relaxed home educators and I have never made my kids study something they didn’t want to. What I found, though, was that it took a fair amount of effort to put together fun and educational activities when one of my kids took an interest in a topic (let’s say ‘dinosaurs’). I’d scroll through Pinterest for activities, try and find a printable activity or interesting craft, scrape together the materials I needed and figure out extension activities to expand on the knowledge and skills my child had gained.
Multiply that by three kids and it’s no surprise that I was quickly turning to cheap or free quick, printable sheets with (and I don’t like admitting this) a lack of real depth or quality to them. I was tired, I didn’t have the time or energy to think of or plan amazing activities, and I’d frequently become paralysed with the thought that I wasn’t sure what was best for them to be doing anyway!
I frequently commented on this to one of my home educating friends, Laura- an ex-teacher with additional experience in special needs education- and asked what it would take to make really amazing, fun, pre-planned activity packs that parents could use to explore a topic or subject with their child without getting burned out.
The idea was that the activities would work for a range of ages and abilities, as they could be done simply or with extended challenges, which would work with multiple children in one family. I was also adamant that it would have to be affordable- not just ‘eek, ok then’, but really affordable for as many home educating families as possible.
Well, as it turns out, neither Laura or I were willing to sit back and stare at this gaping void in the home education resources sphere. We initially created a cross-curricular activity pack themed around Minecraft, our kids’ favourite game- and when we posted it in a Facebook group, we had 9000 requests within the first 15 minutes (it’s a REALLY big group).
That’s when we knew there was really a need for this- for home education resources and curriculum that captured children’s interests, that made them light up with excitement and that was minimal effort on the parents’ part. We decided to create these activity packs in both digital pdf format and lovely books, to give families the choice in how to access them.
There are mainly two kinds of resource. The themed activity packs, which are cross-curricular and full of things like science experiments, recipes, crafts, projects, maths and word puzzles and more- come in themes such as Minecraft, Roblox, Dinosaur, School of Magic (Harry Potter inspired), Minibeasts and seasonal Easter and Christmas packs. Here’s an example of two of our packs, the Minibeast and the Minecraft packs, with a few sample pages of each:
Then there are the subject packs, which are full of prompts and activities surrounding a subject. We currently have art, literacy, maths, mindfulness (a mental wellbeing journal), Lego STEM challenges and the Curiosity Yearbook (a project led journal). Our Incredible Me Early Years curriculum is an excellent all-round curriculum for preschool, Reception and Year 1 aged children.
We now have over 20 activity packs and they have consistently been met with absolute wonder and gratitude by the families who have used them (over 10,000 at last count!) We have had feedback reporting that a child who absolutely refused to pick up a pen for over 2 years, worked happily through the Minecraft activity pack as soon as he opened it.
We’ve had parents telling us how their children, labelled ‘reluctant learners’, have loved the engaging nature of the activities. The Mindfulness Journal has boosted the confidence of many children feeling anxious about the events of the past couple of years, and we had a great time last year seeing the Christmas pack light up the festive season for so many.
It sounds obvious coming from one of the people who start Curious Little Monkeys Educational Resources- of course I’m going to love the products- but remember that the whole reason I started this was to produce the absolute best quality resources for my children’s education. And my kids’ education is not something I would skimp on or take lightly- these packs really are the best home education resource I have ever come across.
When you go to the website below, use the code START10 for 10% off any purchase- these amazing resources are a steal even at full price so this is a great way to kickstart your time with Curious Little Monkeys Educational Resources!
View the full range at www.clmeducationalresources.com