Online At-Home Education Resources We Love - Oh Yeah, And They're Free
Is your school routine disrupted? We feel that. For those brave homeschooling parents who have been on this grind for years, you now have a fresh batch of compatriots. Whether we may enjoy it or not.
For those of us that are faced with sudden realization that we’re now homeschooling parents, it’s sometimes hard to find stimulating and enriching experiences for our school-aged children. If your school is proactive enough to send e-learning materials and lesson plans to you, that’s a great start, but there’s still large swaths of the day that are left unfilled with activities.
Instead of letting those gaps fill organically with video games, movies, or oops-I-accidentally-broke-this-window moments, we’ve put together some of our favorite FREE digital learning resources to help during this period of COVID-19 education disruption.
Choose your grade level and get high-quality educational content from Time Magazine. In their words, “As the world asks more of families and teachers, TIME for Kids salutes you, and we're here to support you! TIME for Kids is in the unique position to help kids understand this unprecedented moment. ...[Get] free access to a library of four grade-specific digital editions of TIME for Kids and Your $ financial literacy magazine. Turnkey teaching tools, with worksheets and quizzes for families or teachers.”
Audible is making a curated collection of stories available for free. They say, “For as long as schools are closed, we're open. Right now, kids everywhere can instantly stream an incredible collection of stories, including titles across six different languages, that will help them continue dreaming, learning, and just being kids.”
Our favorite way to experience audiobooks with kids is to let each child participate in their own activity related to the story while listening; drawing, knitting, puzzles, and even reading along. As one reviewer put it, “As I was listening to Stephen Fry's narration [of Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone], I was also reading the book. Mr. Fry helped the story leap off the pages and brought all the characters to live. He turned a pleasant experience into a truly marvelous one.”
With the weather getting warmer, we’re longing to get outside and surround ourselves with people and animals. But, until it’s safe to do so, this Zoo in Pennsylvania is bringing the animals to us. “Enjoy a live broadcast from Elmwood Park Zoo’s Education Team each weekday at 11 am! They’ll be presenting different lessons featuring members of the zoo’s Animal Ambassador collection, as well as taking your questions!”
We could make a solid case for using Khan Academy as a full replacement for traditional education, and we know some people are doing just that. “Created by experts, Khan Academy’s library of trusted, standards-aligned practice and lessons covers math K-12 through early college, grammar, science, history, AP®, SAT®, and more. It’s all free for learners and teachers.”
If you’re looking for a full education solution, or your child is expressing interest in a subject beyond your personal skill set, browse their extensive library.
On the topic of enrichment, if your family is a fan of Harry Potter, there is a new fan-made resource that lets your kids feel like they are taking classes right from Hogwarts professors. With courses in Astronomy, Potions, Herbology, and even Defense Against The Dark Arts. A fun extension to the Harry Potter universe.
Classic storytime from well-known celebrities, brought to you by SAG-AFTRA Foundation. This reminds us of Reading Rainbow, if the host was a different person each episode. One of our favorites is A Tale Of Two Beast as read by Sarah Silverman. “Each book includes supplemental curriculum developed by a credentialed elementary educator, aiming to strengthen comprehension and verbal and written skills for English-language learners.”