If social media is any indicator, parents are learning quickly that homeschooling is hard. Luckily, MCPL is here to support you as you venture into a journey as your child’s primary teacher. Our online resources for adults, teens and children are available 24/7 with your library card. Here are a few that you can use with your elementary-aged child while their school is closed—and beyond.
Schools call it informational text; here at the library we call it plain old nonfiction. Whatever you call it, magazine articles are wonderful short, digestible chunks of information that can help your child practice their reading comprehension skills while also learning about a new topic. MCPL gives you access to two sources of online magazines. Flipster includes current and back issues of children’s titles like Zoobooks, Sports Illustrated Kids and Cricket, among many others. You can read them on your computer or download the Flipster app to your mobile device. RBDigital also provides access to magazines, and while most of the magazines they offer are for adults, they do offer access to current and back issues of National Geographic Little Kids. For bilingual families or for children studying Spanish, RBDigital also includes back issues of a number of children’s magazines in Spanish. You can download the RBDigital app onto your mobile device, or read on your computer with Adobe Digital Editions.
Whether a school assignment requires it or your children just want to explore an interest, our online research tools have you covered. World Book Encyclopedia has a version for every age level, including Early Learning for the youngest children, Kids for children in grades 1-4, and Student for older elementary and middle school. You can also access Enciclopedia Estudiantil Hallazgos for content in Spanish. These resources are easy for kids to navigate on their own.
Primary Search and Explora Primary both offer full-text access to articles from children’s magazines, many with the original format and illustrations. One helpful option with both of these resources is the ability to filter the results by the lexile reading level to help find articles your child can read independently. If your child’s school uses a different reading level program, you can find charts online that will help you make the conversion. Both will get you great results, but Explora Primary is more kid-friendly, with the option to navigate using pictures.
Children’s books are available through our most popular ebook platforms, including Overdrive, cloudLibrary, and RBDigital. If you’re looking for something with a little more pop, we also have two ebook resources that are designed just for kids. BookFlix pairs an animated video of a picture book with a nonfiction book on a similar topic, with the option for kids to listen to the book or to read it independently. TumbleBooks offers children’s books in a variety of formats, with videos, read-alongs and ebooks for kids to read independently. There are also books in Spanish and French on TumbleBooks. Both sites also offer games and puzzles, with the books as the theme.
If your child’s language learning has been interrupted—or if this seems like a good time to get started—check out Muzzy. Muzzy teaches languages, including English, with a child-centered focus. Kids can learn new words, then practice saying and spelling them with the activities available. Muzzy can be used on a computer or downloaded onto a mobile device. The app is called Muzzy BBC. The username is MontgomeryCountyMD@muzzybbc.com, and the password is MontgomeryCountyMD.
All of these resources and more are available from our website, montgomerycountymd.gov/library. You’ll be prompted to log in with your library card number and PIN, which is usually your year of birth. If you need help with any of our online resources, our Ask a Librarian service is still operating, and will be happy to assist you. Happy homeschooling, everyone!