Due to COVID-19 social isolation, families are finding themselves stuck at home. Being a veteran homeschool mom, I have received inquiries asking how to keep brick and mortar school kids learning and engaged during this time of uncertainty. Some are curious where to begin with online learning, others are seeking free courses to get acclimated with the process.
No one can predict how long we will be self-quarantining, so keep your child learning and their brain engaged. But most importantly, STAY HOME. The beauty of online classes and homeschooling is that it can be done anywhere. If you have a structured child, maybe work at your kitchen table or home office. If you have a creative learner, take the lessons outside to a porch swing, a tree house, wherever they will be motivated.
For parents, do not get frustrated if you are unable to understand or explain a concept. Take a break, read a book, go for a walk, watch a movie, but remember “this too shall pass”. Enjoy this time, your child is only young once. Keep in mind, they are very confused with what is happening in this world and look to you for guidance and reassurance. Also, your child’s teacher is just a phone call or email away. Partner with him or her, be open and honest with your communication. Remember, they went through years of schooling to become a teacher and have experience working with all learning types. They want to help your child be successful.
Here are free educational resources and sites for children of all ages (elementary, middle school and high school).
- Free Ivy League Courses: 450 free online Ivy League courses
- Khan Academy: Non-profit educational organization with the goal of creating a set of online tools that help educate students. View short lessons in the form of videos, provides supplementary practice exercises and materials.
- Scholastic Learn at Home
- CK-12: Personalized Learning for Every Student. Create digital classrooms, customize textbooks, and learn K-12 STEM concepts.
- Curriculum Pathways: Interactive, standards-based resources in the core disciplines.
- Hippo Campus: 6800 free videos in 13 different subject areas. This resource is for middle school to college level.
- Easy Peasy: Online christian homeschool curriculum. Uses all FREE online resources, 180 day lesson plans for PreK-8th.
- Core Knowledge: Content rich materials for students and teachers, many at no cost.
- Freedom Homeschooling: Shares all free homeschool curriculums on the web by subjects.
- Mystery Science: Free lessons, memberships can be purchased for all access.
- FunBrain: Math, games, videos and books
- Quizlet: Join classes, create study sets, excellent for test prepping and quizzes.
- Mission US: History: An interactive way for your child to learn history. Online missions where your child chooses a character’s path.
- Time for Kids: Engages students with authentic journalism, inspires them to join the national discourse on current topics, and provides teachers with valuable resources for the classroom.
- Homeschooling with Netflix: A fun and entertaining way to learn. This page also provides links to dig deeper into subjects. Thank you to Homestead Wishing blog for the great resources!
- Code.org: Learn computer science
- IXL Online Curriculum and Resources: Resources for Math, Science, Language Arts, Social Studies and Spanish.
YouTube also has some excellent learning channels. Here are some of our favorites:
- Science Max
- Lab 360
- Smithsonian Channel
- National Geographic
- National Geographic Kids
- BBC Earth
- What’s Inside (father and son team cut objects in half to discover what’s inside and how things work)
- The Back Yard Scientist
- It’s Ok To Be Smart
- Bill Nye the Science Guy
- Homeschool Pop
- Liberty Kids
- Simple History: Visualizes the past, bringing history to life through animation.
- Timeline – World History Documentaries
- The Brain Scoop
Ted-Ed offer a variety of subjects. You can also take virtual field trips from the comfort of your home! Visit zoos, Yellowstone National Park, Mars, The Louvre, The Great Wall of China, and more. You can also tour the White House and many other famous museums.
Check your local library sites for free training courses and classes!
Also, use this opportunity to teach your kids life skills that are not taught inside the classroom. You’d be amazed how eager younger children are to use math skills while following recipes (and they don’t even realize they are). Have your tweens help with everyday chores like laundry, organizing, yard work, cleaning, working in the garden, etc. If you have a teenager, take the time to introduce aspects like filing taxes, creating and managing a budget, writing a resume, designing a website, and interviewing skills. The sky is the limit when it comes to learning.