The Coronavirus has us all inside for a spell. It helps to think of the long winters farmers endured on the lone prairies in the early 1900s. If they can hunker down, we can too! Below is a list of sites that offer free access to educational materials that you can use to prevent your kids' brains from turning to mush. I've starred the ones I'm currently using.
Schedules are great in a rigid environment but at home you can tailor it more around individual flow. As a homeschooling mom on Facebook pointed out, what if your child takes much longer to do a math lesson than the hour on the schedule?
Or, if they should get into a flow with their piano, do you really want to interrupt their flow to start reading? Should a break in the rain present itself should you miss it because it's not in the schedule?
Scheduling an hour for something really challenging when your child only has 15 min in them will only lead to frustration if you continue to push them for the full scheduled time block.
While homeschooling, try creating a rhythm laid over a skeleton schedule. Don't beat yourself up if you choose flow over schedule.
Our skeleton consists of wake up, breakfast, lunch, dinner, bedtime with no free time until after 3 pm. All activities are layered on top of that skeleton.
This is a great opportunity to introduce tasks not touched on in schools anymore including learning about money, cooking, cleaning, sewing on a button, ironing, checking the oil. It is a way to interleave subjects like math writing and economics.
Free Educational Internet Resources
Thank goodness there is the Internet spurting out endless amounts of knowledge. Here's a curated list of some educational sites that provide free access to learning during this outbreak.
Tons of downloadable worksheets for all grades. ***
Love these activities as they are creative and fun.
Act Academy is a giant K-12 repository of resources.
Accessibyte is offering their apps for free for 45 days or longer if you need it. Their apps help make online learning more accessible to those who are visually impaired, deaf or have reading difficulties.
BrainPOP is offering free access during school closures although you have to have a promo code from your school. They have a junior site for younger kids K-3.
Online list of free educational games, apps and websites.
Fun videos that teach a variety of subjects in a fun and engaging way.***
Website that makes learning fun. It offers free games, books, printables, videos, math and more to enhance skills. Divided up by grade to Grade 8.
Free videos in a wide variety of subjects for middle school to college aged kids.
Non-profit to give access to learning to all people. Loads of classes in all subjects.
Filled with lessons used by teachers all over the world for all grades in a wide swath of subjects.
This resource is not free but it is low cost and has some interesting classes in coding and tech.**
Curated collection of videos, interactives, lesson plans for teachers. Good stuff here.***
PenPal Schools is offering free access during school closures. This is an amazing curriculum exposing your children to alternative, global ways of thinking and cross-cultural experiences.
Scholastic offers free online classes during school closures. 4 projects daily geared around one specific subject by grade level. Kids can do these on their own or with their teachers.
Art & Music
Lovely Alphabet by designer Joshua Blankenship to get your kids coloring their ABCs.
Amplifier is sending free artwork and teaching tools to adults who are teaching at home now.
Free online art classes for kids on Facebook. They even provide a list of art supplies to gather before each class. This week they have Puff Paint Picassos, Houses, Watercolor Fun, Watercolor Birds.
Fun Youtube videos that teach kids how to draw all kinds of things.
Informational pieces about so many different subjects. Take a peek into Frida Kahlo's diary or explore the Dodge's Palace. Learn something new every day! They also have a 360 degree videos.
Performances streamed from Broadway stars as they perform in their living rooms.
While he's in residence he gives a daily video on drawing. Comes with a daily activity page.
That's right, the Met is streaming their Operas from their collection of HD presentations from the past 14 years. Check nightly at 7:30 pm EDT to remain live for 20 hours.
Check out this musicians music video channel for kids. It is so much fun!
This is kind of a fun little app located at the Chrome Music Lab.
Mr David is giving free online stop motion lessons on Facebook. #stayhomestopmotion.
Online music theory lessons. They offer a free version for the casual learner. Currently, they are offering free access to schools closed by COVID-19.
Take a virtual tour with your kids and explore some art.
Code offers free coding classes for kids.
Google teaches Computer Science to kids.
Learn coding via Minecraft.
This site is filled with amazing lesson plans around architecture, literature, history, geography, civics and more. It's super easy to use their lessons.***
Collection of children's stories from across the world.
Library of free e-books. There is also your public library. Ours has amazing access to e-books and music.
Videos featuring actors reading children's books with fabulous illustrations.
Online Audio Books
Astronauts reading kids stories from space!
Fun math problems and activities.
Online lesson plans in PDF format for grades 9 to 12.
Math program to increase math skills.
Math tool that turns math into gaming and has a free option. I purchased a membership because my kid loved it so much. In fact, he's playing it right now.***
Now is a great time to get out in nature and this birding challenge is a great way to get started.
Check out their live cams of their Baboons, Penguins, Pandas, Polar Bears, Koalas and much more.
Explore 33 National Parks. Ooo la la on the natural beauty of our parks.
The American Association of Chemistry Teachers gives us access to their lessons that include projects, videos and more for grade school, middle school and high school students.
Fun science experiments for free during school closures for grades K-5.
Hubble Tour online!
Virtual Tours with VR capability although we could not get it to work for us. Check out the Bone Hall and the Hall of Fossils.
A non-profit website filled with free videos, STEM activities, podcasts.
Interesting articles about how we learn and better ways of studying. I am including it here because if you understand how we learn you can tailor your teaching style around what we know. I thought the Wired article on interleaving especially interesting.
An online site to help guide parents through remote learning through COVID-19.
This Facebook group is full of tons of learning links, lesson plans and advice. Lots to love here.
Focus on early development.
Focus on elementary aged children.
Education companies offering free subscriptions due to school closings.
Another list of education companies offering Free subscriptions due to school closings but slightly annoying because of all the ads.