HelpTeaching.com is a resource website. It includes many free resources, so I encourage you to check it out, even if you are not sure you want to pay for membership right now. They have a plethora of free activities. I am reviewing the paid membership Help Teaching Pro. You can easily see which lessons are behind the paid membership as they are marked with a green lock badge.
We tried out several different areas of the site. One area of the site is testing and quizzes, you can assign quizzes on various subjects at different grade levels. Another area of the site is lessons. Lessons and quizzes can both be assigned to a student by email. You can also easily print off any of the quizzes or worksheets. I did a lot of printing and had no formatting problems. I also tested out assigning my kid’s lessons through the email system and it worked well without any bugs.
The lessons are partially content produced by HelpTeaching, but also supported and expanded by content from a few other high-quality sources such as Khan Academy. When you go into a lesson you will most often find; text to read, videos to watch, sometimes links to activities at other free websites, and often pre-lesson questions.
One area I like a lot is the spelling area. You will find weekly multiple-choice quizzes for grade levels K-5. I used these as pre-tests for my kids, and we then practiced the words they did not know for the week. Help Teaching also provides several different practice activity worksheets and game suggestions for practicing your spelling words. I had actually been looking for multiple choice spelling test where students have to choose the correctly spelled word. This is usually how standardized tests format the spelling section, and I wanted my kids to be able to practice questions presented that way. (I have a wild hope this will magically help their spelling scores go up 😊) So thumbs up for the spelling resources which I used with my 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 6th graders.
The Language Arts area is just full of activities that I love. To practice adjectives, first graders are given a question like “What is Hot” there is then a line underneath for them to answer (I had them answer in a complete sentence using the adjective.) This is very helpful for young students, because they will have fun with the creative side of coming up with their own words, yet they won’t be overwhelmed, which happens when writing assignments are too open-ended, such as “write a sentence using an adjective”. Also, students this age often have a limited endurance for writing and this lets them practice the concept without using up all their writing muscles for the day. The worksheets were formatted weekly with a different question for each day. Each week had a different writing theme. My second grader loved the sheet so much he decided he needed to do the whole week of sentences in one day.
This site is not just for little kids though! If you have HIGH SCHOOLERS, HelpTeaching is for you too! They do not have a complete curriculum for high schoolers, but as the name implies, they have a lot of help. I printed several advanced homophone worksheets for my ninth grader (I believe they were labeled 8th grade). In fact, there are many more homophone sheets at various levels and I plan to keep using them. Another area we used was the biology for high schoolers. You can find lessons on topics such as DNA replication. These are in the lessons section and include text, video, and practice questions. You can then go into the tests section and find a quiz on DNA replication.
I also used the Astronomy lessons from several different grade levels with my 7th grader. He had asked to study Astronomy and had completed all the videos on Khan Academy, but there were no questions or activities to go with the lessons.
I think it is great that the assignments are organized by both subject and grade level. However, I would take the grade level suggestion with a grain of salt, as many of the lessons can be used with a wide range of grades. I used things both several years under and over with my kids, and they were still engaged, interested, and learning.
If you have a child that is still transitioning into independent learning I think assigning lessons from Help Teaching would be a great way to work on that skill. The lessons are made to be used independently and the quiz at the end gives a wonderful level of accountability. The tests are short and seem to be well-matched to the content covered in the lessons. The parent can review the scores from the quizzes they assigned their children from their account. One thing I didn’t realize, is that if you just send your kid to the website and tell them to do a lesson, you will not see that they did the lesson and receive the grade from the quiz. Sending the e-mail sets up the tracking. I think there is a way to track if your kids don’t have email, but I did not explore that option.
In fact, I even used HelpTeaching to get my 2nd and 3rd-grade boys reading some short stories on their own, as the stories have multiple-choice comprehension questions, so I could easily tell if they both read and understood the stories. My boys loved the stories and wanted more, so I just printed out a story for each day a week ahead and put it in a folder for them. This also helped them wait if I was busy helping an older sibling, as they had something they could start and finish without mom. Some of the stories have action words in boldface and direct the child to stop and act out the words as they are reading through the story. These were a particularly big hit with two little boys who would rather be shooting nerf darts at each other than sitting quietly and reading.
HelpTeaching is also a great source if you do unit studies but have older kids who may have outgrown some of the other resource websites you may be used to supplementing with.
I am excited to have discovered HelpTeaching and highly recommend it as a helpful resource for your homeschool classroom. I am nowhere near done exploring and using the site, and yet I noticed several times when a subject I had just viewed a week or two ago had a few more lessons than before. This tells me they are adding content at a good rate, or I would not have been running into new lessons on the small portion of the website I was able to explore. (I explored a lot, but it was still small compared to all the site has to offer.)
If you would like to find out more about what Help Teaching has to offer, such as the test and worksheet generators, check out some of the other reviews on the Homeschool Review Crew Blog.