Homeschool

Homeschool Using the Internet

The internet has lots of free educational resources for children and parents! In fact, one of the best things (and one of the worst things) about homeschooling is the amount of great information that’s available! You know what I mean. It can be so hard to sort through what’s available and decide what materials to use with your children. It just doesn’t make sense not to use the great free information that’s available on the internet, right? But the volume of material is so overwhelming, so let us show you how to homeschool using the internet.

How to manage free resources on the internet

 

Organization Is Key

In order to make use of all that information, there are several steps you must complete. First, you have to find the time to search the internet and review the resources. Second, after you’ve sorted through all that material, you need to find a way to organize it, assign it, take notes on it, and review it. Sounds nearly impossible, doesn’t it?

I became a teacher late in life, and when I walked into the classroom, I thought…you want me to do what, with what? Meeting the individual needs of 25 kids can be tough. Meeting EVERY need as a homeschool parent can be even tougher. Not all students learn the same way or have the same interests. We all know there are millions of resources on the internet that can help children learn, but who has the time to spend hunting, vetting, and organizing all of it? I felt called to help teachers and families manage this avalanche of information, so I pulled together teams of educators, administrators, parents, and students and built ZUNI Learning Tree. 

Our team realizes it doesn’t matter where a student is being taught, whether it is public, private, charter, or homeschool. We brought on a team member for each category. We want to provide something that will help ALL students succeed. A system that will support those wanting to teach and guide children with resources to inspire everyone to dream, learn, grow, and thrive individually and together. So we created the Zuni Learning Tree platform and have now taken it nationwide.

What is ZUNI…

and how can ZUNI help you go from 3 hours to 3 clicks to find the information you need for your homeschool?

ZUNI Learning Tree is the assistant every homeschooling parent dreams about, needs, and deserves!  We look through the millions of free and open educational resources on the internet, review them, and place the best ones into our platform. From here–in 3 clicks–users can find the different types of content they need from games and videos to stellar lesson ideas.

Harnessing the power of free and open educational resources into the ZUNI platform saves parents money and time and keeps them in the know about trending educational initiatives, tools, and resources.

ZUNI is a web-app and works on all devices*.

* If you are working with iPads, you will need to run it through the Puffin Browser.  The Puffin Browser allows flash games to work on an iPad.  ZUNI is not flash based, but some of the games it links to are flash based.

ZUNI Grade Levels

Currently ZUNI is designed for PreK-5th grades with 6th-8th grades almost completed. 9th-12th grades are scheduled to publish by this summer.  It is exciting to watch new content being added every day! We have some exciting stuff happening over the next few months with Computer Science and STEM resources.

What’s so special about ZUNI Learning Tree?

We’ve all found ourselves searching the internet for hours for just the right resource or book or video. You know how it goes. You set aside 15 minutes to search for what you need, and then you need to do the next lesson or wash a load of laundry or head out the door to art lessons. Three hours later, you realize you still haven’t found what you need, and three hours of your time are gone! Wasted! Not only that, but you didn’t even get the laundry done or the lesson taught. It’s happened to all of us. We know. We’ve done it too.

How can ZUNI help?

We’ve taken the time to go through the information that’s available so you don’t have to! In fact, if you can’t find what you need in ZUNI, you can ask ZUNI’s team to search the internet and find it for you! Big executives have assistants, and we believe you need one too. After all, one of the most important jobs in the world is inspiring and educating our children.

The team at ZUNI knows it is not only about having resources but having the ability to collaborate with others as well.  ZUNI’s dashboard is designed for users to be able to collaborate, be inspired, and be in-the-know.  Parents can collaborate with each other on topics, resources, and anything else.  The dashboard is also geared to inform users of the latest cool tools and topics trending in education.  For example: Wonderopolis is a great resource created by the National Center for Families Learning.  Children can submit questions to the Wonderopolis team, and they will answer these questions in a way that is unique.  Their site will even read the response to the viewer.  My son and I often log into our Zuni Dashboard and click on the Wonderopolis widget to listen each morning to the new Wonderopolis Wonders.  We love it! Together we have cool conversations on topics we would have otherwise never discussed.

Another great resource that every parent should know about is Storyline Online.  Storyline Online is founded by the Actors Guild, and some of our favorite actors read great books with beautiful illustrations.  My son and I snuggle up each winter and enjoy being read to.  ZUNI’s mission is to help every parent know and easily use great tools like these.

ZUNI covers all core subject areas: math, literacy, science, and social studies, and it includes great resources like how to manage kids, positive ways to work with behaviors, bilingual resources, special education information, technology how-to, monthly holidays, special event resources, and more.

What is ZUNI like for parents?

We have a lot of people ask us what a ZUNI experience is like for the parent/educator? If you want a free trial to find out for yourself, you can sign up for one! Just click here to get your free trial!  After you click the link, choose the option on the left that says, “If you are not with a specific school.”

As a parent, you will discover that ZUNI is one of the most beautiful and easy-to-navigate sites out there. When you log in, you will see a dashboard with widgets.  These widgets include a default Calendar, Weather, Be Inspired Videos, Joke of the Day, Quote of the Day, Wonderopolis type feeds, and more.  A parent can create a personalized widget and add a word of the day, sentence of the day, or a widget and can send any piece of content within ZUNI straight into the widget.  Next, the parent can click on grade 3, literacy, adjectives (3 clicks) and find an organized variety of, games, videos, interactives, lesson ideas, Teachers Pay Teachers freebies, songs, and more.  Each piece of content can then be shared with the child, assigned to the child, or planted into a learning garden (favorites).  Parents and students can comment on any piece of content and talk about how that activity, lesson, or game helped in the learning process.

What is ZUNI like for students?  

What is the ZUNI experience like for children?  When children first log in, they will see a positive quote like, “I am brilliant,” “I am capable,” or “What good can I do in the world today?”  Next, they will be taken to their dashboard–which looks very different than the educator’s dashboard but has the same great information.  They can access their My Garden (favorites), their widgets, assignments, sync to Google Drive or Microsoft Apps, and access educational games, videos, songs, and messages from their parents/teachers.  It is a fluid and simple interface.

To Learn More

To find out more about how ZUNI Learning Tree can help your children and you manage and learn from all the great information that’s available to you on the internet, click this link. We’ll be glad to answer questions and help you learn how ZUNI Learning Tree can help you go from spending three hours to just three clicks to find the information, lessons, and resources you need for your homeschool! (You can contact ZUNI at this link if you have questions or need more information.)

Free Trial

Or you can try a free trial for 20 days before you make your decision! To get your free trial, click this link!

It’s important to note that, when you sign up for your free trial, you should click on the big green square on the left that says, “If you are not with a specific school, click here.” This option allows homeschoolers to sign up for a free trial without having your account linked to a specific school.

Once you sign up for your free trial, you’ll receive an invitation to attend a free webinar to get more information about how to make the most of your subscription!  They want to be sure you use your subscription and that you know how to use it! You’ll find that it’s fun and easy!

Got Questions?

The folks at ZUNI Learning Tree are ready and willing to answer your questions! Not sure if ZUNI is right for your family? Contact them! Not sure exactly how ZUNI can help you successfully use the internet to homeschool your children? Ask them! Have questions about how the site works or how to use it? Just click this link to contact the folks at ZUNI, and they’ll be able to answer your questions!

Want a 50% Discount?

If you’d like to save 50% on your ZUNI Learning Tree one-year subscription, use the code LOVE4LEARNING. But this offer is limited to the first 500 people who respond, and it expires on March 15! (This gives you time to try out the free trial and still be able to take advantage of the 50% discount as long as you buy on or before March 15.)

Just like those who sign up for a free trial, you’ll get an invitation to  to attend a free webinar to get more information about how to make the most of your subscription!

When you buy your subscription, be sure to sign up for the teacher license! 

For Your Chance to Win a One-Year Subscription

ZUNI Learning Tree Giveaway

 

About the author

Wendy

Wendy is one of the owners of Hip Homeschool Moms. She married her high school sweetheart, Scott, 28 years ago, and they live in the South with their three children. Hannah, age 23, has autism and was the first homeschool graduate in the family. Noah, age 22, was the second homeschool graduate. Mary Grace, age 16, is the remaining homeschool student. Wendy loves working out and teaching Training for Warriors classes at her local gym. She also enjoys learning along with her family, educational travel, reading, and writing, and she attempts to grow an herb garden every summer with limited success.

26 Comments

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  • Ok so I am at the point where I want to homeschool! I don’t know if its the horrifying news stories or the disappointment I feel every time I send my son to school… knowing they do not care for him as much as I do. Thank you for this article and the resources shared!

    • We all want the best for our kids. I totally understand your feelings. It is a big part of why I developed ZUNI. When I started ZUNI my great nephew came to live with me. He was six. Even though I was a previous teacher, I still needed ways to help him at home. Sometimes he struggles in school. Having ZUNI helps me to keep the LOVE of learning at the forefront. We login to ZUNI every morning and listen to Wonderopolis. It reads to us while he is getting ready for school and I am getting ready for work. Together we have learned about all kinds of cool things we would have otherwise never talked about. When he was in 2nd grade I was struggling as a new female entrepreneur and he was struggling a bit in school. Each night we snuggled up and would login to ZUNI and be read to by the Actors from the Actors’ Guild through StoryLine Online. This provided us warm bonding happy moments with literature. It was good for us both. I hope you will find ZUNI as beneficial as a parent as I have. Please let us know what else you need to see in ZUNI. Everything we do is based on our users’ feedback and needs.

    • Yes, it is a great program for after school. For parents whose children are attending school, it is the answer to the question: How can I help at home? Here is a story from one of our parents. At parent night, a parent came up to me and said, “I have to tell you I cheated.” I asked him what he meant, he cheated. He went on to tell me that he had recently gotten a new job and his boss told him that if he learned Microsoft Office he would get a raise. He was embarrassed to admit that he didn’t know where to go to learn MS Office so his son put him in ZUNI and he went through the MS Office tutorials that were in ZUNI and got his raise. I was so moved when he told me that story. 🙂

    • That is our intent. To be helpful and to support everyone working with children. The internet is packed with so many dynamite resources that can help from so many different perspectives. Last week a 4th grader learned how to convert fractions to decimals from the songs linked in ZUNI. How cool is that?

      Teachers and parents can chat with us directly from the ZUNI platform and ask for resources on specific topics. We need a little time to pull them all together but we are here to serve.

  • This sounds like such a great program, I can’t believe that I have never heard of it before! I homeschool my three kids and could definitely use all of the resources that I can get. Thank you so much for sharing and for the opportunity to win! I am excited to try it out!

  • This post couldn’t have come at a better time! I just spent half the morning looking for Presidents’ Day Activities. (I may be a procrastinator! Lol!) This would’ve saved me so much time! I’m definitely going to try the free trial!

  • My sister is considering homeschooling because of all the bulling now days and fears of violence. I will pass this on to her.

    • Gloria, it is a misconception that homeschooled children don’t interact with others, but it is understandable that those who aren’t very familiar with homeschooling might believe this. Thankfully, there are lots and lots of activities available to homeschoolers now days, so one of our biggest problems is often turning down too many social opportunities and staying home long enough to get our work done! 🙂 Also, homeschoolers tend to socialize with children and adults of all ages, so our kids are able to get along and feel comfortable with babies/toddlers, young children, tweens/teens, adults, and elderly folks! In other words, our kids not only know how to socialize with other children their own age, but they are quite comfortable with children and adults of all ages! It truly is one of the best things about homeschooling!

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