Schools are shutting down district by district across the country and it is leaving parents wondering how on earth they will figure out everything from daycare to lunches to yes, even homeschooling. As schools plan for remote learning, many online educational sites are creating new tutorials for students, and many of them are free (and some which usually charge are being offered at no cost in light of the recent COVID-19 outbreak).
We’ve found 18 free resources online that parents can turn to in these trying times.
Subscriptions That Are Now Free
Here is a link to an extensive list of subscription-based educational resources for parents. As of now, they are all free to everyone while trudging through school closures around the country. It’s worth looking through to see what can help your kids stay their course and not lose their precious academic skills.
Scholastic at Home
Scholastic has set up an online service for remote learning that is divided by grade levels. The company that we all trust to buy books for our kids is stepping up and helping parents connect to high-quality learning materials.
Probably the world’s best and most respected free online math site, Khan Academy has personalized math lessons that meet every student exactly where they are. They now offer a breathtaking array of lessons covering science and engineering, arts and humanities, computing, and economics & finance as well as test prep for all major academic tests such as the SAT, LSAT, Praxis, and more.
Virtual Field Trips
Take your kids to the zoo, to Mars, or even a national park all without leaving your home. This list of free online virtual tours can help your children see the world and ask great questions without having to actually go anywhere. Honestly, it’s a pretty great distraction for moms too!
Tour A Famous Museum
Speaking of seeing the world without leaving your house, check out this list of 12 bucket-list-worthy museums from around the world that you can tour virtually for free. We’re talking truly stellar museums like The Louvre and The Guggenheim. Give your kids a taste of culture and an appreciation for history all while staying safe in your home.
For Kids Who Code (or who want to learn)
Kids who love coding or who are curious to learn more about it (heck, I am!) can check out this amazing site that teaching amazing computing skills. Complete with lessons and projects and materials for parents and teachers to get on board, this a pretty cool site to check out.
PBS Learning Media
PBS is a trusted educational source for parents so we’re super happy to see that they offer a robust learning site that covers language arts, social studies, science and math and so much more for kids at a variety of grade and learning levels. This site includes lesson plans and materials for parents and teachers to help create an exciting remote learning experience.
The Cat in the Hat Invents
Parents who are looking for a great STEM experience for their kids will love this downloadable lesson plan that gets kids inventing and learning about how to combine science with art in clever and fun ways. Kids can join Nick and Sally on a virtual experiment in which they build a robot and learn tons about problem-solving, inventing, and teamwork. This is perfect for pre-schoolers.
K, let’s be real. Being at home for days on end with the kids can mean desperately trying to figure out how to get the wiggles out without losing your mind. That’s where the hilarious – and somewhat addictive – Go Noodle comes in. With fun loud song and jumping, dancing, and be-bopping movements, kids can burn off some energy without driving you nuts.
Cosmic Yoga Kids
Roll out your yoga mat and fire up YouTube for this fun yoga experience for kids. Give them a chance to clear their minds, bend and stretch their bodies, and learn calming breathing techniques. Honest talk, this is a pretty great little workout for moms too.
National Geographic Kids
Get your kids learning about the world at large with this amazing site that gives kids the chance to watch videos, play games, and discover amazing people and places. This is a wonderful site to use a supplement to lesson plans you may already have. Or, if you need a few minutes of mom time – alone – then turn this on and let your kids soak up some fun facts.
Ever wonder who invented pizza? Or why do we get hiccups? Chances are pretty great that your kids have wondered these and other wacky things and that’s where Mystery Science comes in. Right now, they are offering help to parents who are getting a crash course in trying to figure out how to plan for remote learning.
E-Books If You Can’t Access A Library
Rivet offers parents and kids more than 3,500 FREE leveled books for grade school kids. This is a perfect solution for parents who can’t get to a library or who don’t have a stash of books on hand for reading time. You can download their app or visit them on a computer for easy access to their titles.
My kids are in LOVE with this site. Brain Pop has tons of fun interactive media that give them an up close understanding of every thing from science to math and even, yes, an explainer on coronavirus in terms sthat little kids can understand. You might already be familiar with this site as it is super popular with elementary school teachers around the country.
The folks at MIT have created this kid-friendly online site where you can build your own interactive stories, games, and animations and then share them with other kids from around the world. For examples of what you and your kids can do, check out the site to see what kids from around the globe have created using Scratch.
Use Minecraft Education to Get Kids Interested
If your kids are anything like mine then the idea of going from mom to teacher is giving them a bad case of eye rolling. That’s why we’re super excited that Minecraft has created a site using the fun game to teach actual academic lessons. Kids can learn social-emotional learning and get a STEM immersion experience using this site that is popular with schools in more than 115 countries.
Help your kids keep up with math with this curriculum aligned math site that gives kids standards-based lessons. The site os goldmine of opportunity to boost your child’s math scores while having fun at the same time and it is totally free.
TED Talks are AMAZING if you haven’t already sat through 100 hours of them. Now, you can find collections of TED talks that are curated for tweens and teens. With thousands (millions?) of talks to choose from, you might find yourself learning right along with your kids.