School isn’t the only place for children to get an education. In times like these, many parents have quickly learned that when children are at home, you’re their teacher. But that doesn’t mean home needs to feel like a classroom or that everything should be a lesson.
More than 30 million children in the United States attended school online in order to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, the upper respiratory illness that has impacted every corner of the globe. With schools potentially closed through the end of the school year, if not longer, most teachers are rapidly shifting to online classrooms. Educators and parents are suddenly finding themselves navigating waters that are uncharted for most of us.
With so many schools closed or shifting online, parents are taking greater responsibility for their kids’ education. For many parents, this new change started during an even greater challenge — working from home during the Coronavirus pandemic. If you are a parent looking for ways to help your kids succeed in their courses, here are nine online programs to help your children stay focused and engaged in their studies.
National Geographic Kids
This free online platform takes the world-class content from National Geographic and packages it in a way that is inviting and engaging for kids. National Geographic Kids offers science experiments, quizzes, history lessons and biology information—all in vibrant, fun videos and styles that keeps kids at attention.
Storytime from Space
This online resource seamlessly blends the worlds of science and reading by hosting storytime opportunities with astronauts. Targeting kids from 6 to 13 years old, Storytime from Space offers curriculum-based learning that helps parents make sure their kids are exploring the right learning outcomes.
The New York Times
High school students can get three months of free access to The New York Times, a leader in global journalism. Teens can explore important current and historical topics. With The Learning Network, students can upload their own videos and podcasts to share their research, discoveries and interests with other teenagers.
High school and advanced placement students can further their college preparatory studies with online courses on Coursera. Nearly 200 colleges, universities and companies offer programs in areas like world history, musical theory, pre-calculus and academic research writing. Students can audit many of these courses for free.
With courses for students of any age and at any level, Khan Academy can help your kids stay on top of their specific learning outcomes. You can search subjects by grade, from 1st grade math to 8th grade reading. Khan offers personalized learning for students and vast resources for teachers, making the world of online education more accessible and exciting.
This online learning platform offers kids an opportunity to learn or further their computer programming and coding skills. Kodable courses prompt creative and critical-thinking, while also teaching math, computer science and programming skills. Students from kindergarten to fifth grade can learn, code, create programs and share games.
More than 90 percent of parents who use Reading Eggs report seeing an improvement in their kid’s reading and comprehension skills. While their professional and diverse online programs are available year round, they are also providing free homeschool resources for students impacted by COVID-19.
Cosmic Kids Yoga
Homeschooling is more than just hitting the books; if you want to give your kids a well-rounded education you’ll want to inject some physical education, too. Cosmic Kids Yoga teaches yoga and mindfulness to kids ages 3 and up. This YouTube channel provides free access to yoga classes designed especially for kids, so they’re sure to be engaging and fun.
Virtual Museum Tours
Renowned museums across the globe are offering free virtual tours while they are closed due to the Coronavirus. Let your kids take a virtual museum tour of the Guggenheim in New York City, Musee d’Orsay in Paris, The Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, the National Museum of Archeology in Mexico and dozens more.
One of the greatest gifts you can give your kids is a passion for seeking knowledge. Despite all the stress, many parents are balancing work and homeschool while deeply connecting with their kids. You can accomplish that by taking advantage of all the educational tools the World Wide Web has to offer!
For parents, teachers, and students stuck at home, knowing where to turn to find free educational resources can be difficult. We’ve curated a list of top-rated picks across a variety of subjects to make remote learning easier (and more enjoyable!) than ever.
All of our listed resources are currently free. Note that some of these sites and apps are offering free trials only. Be sure to read the terms and conditions before signing up for any service, especially if you’re required to enter your credit card number or any other billing information. We will continue to update this guide as more free educational resources become available and to reflect pricing changes for the services that are currently listed.
Whether you’re homeschooling or trying to supplement your child’s education while schools are closed, you’re probably feeling the heavy weight of dual priorities. How can you prioritize parenting and educating your child while still making time for other priorities, including your job? To reduce stress and maintain balance, you can arm yourself with lesson plans that combine entertainment with education.