Almost overnight, as a result of the COVID-19 global pandemic, millions of parents and children have been catapulted into an at-home learning environment.
What’s the first thing they should do?
Don’t panic – take a big deep breath.
But as the days of this crisis roll on, you’re likely trying to figure out how best to make the most of the educational time with your kids. As a homeschool teacher for the past ten years, I created this resource list of websites and other resources for parents who have been thrown into at-home learning.
Homeschool Web Sites:
- Khan Academy: Free educational web site. Dr. Sal Khan, an MIT grad, made math videos for his struggling niece. His videos became very popular, so he created a web site. It is now well-funded by large corporations, so it is always free. The site is wonderful for math, but parents can use it for most PreK-12 subjects. They even offer test prep for SAT, ACT and other assessments. Parents can open a free account for each child. It is intuitive, so the children can advance or slow down as parents see fit. They make it fun, so the kids earn badges and feel accomplished!
- Education.com: Free worksheets for all subjects and grade levels. Crafts, games, foreign language. The list is endless on this site.
- Homeschool.com: Tips on getting started, free printables, worksheets, games, and activities. Preschool through high school, unit studies, etc.
- ABCmouse.com: A 30 day, free trial, or 2 months for $5. You can try it without signing up, but the child can only go so far with it. It’s best to sign up and get the free trial.
- Allineonehomeschool.com: It was previously called EasyPeasy Homeschool, and many parents start here. This web site is a one-stop shop for a complete homeschool program. All of the content is FREE, and the web site has content for every subject and grade. They have it all laid out for you with schedules, lessons, and curriculum. This is a wonderful place to start, especially if the quarantine goes to the end of the school year.
- k5learning.com: Free assessments, free worksheets, free 10-day trial.
- teacherspayteachers.com: This web site was created by teachers, and all of the content is made by teachers. They offer lots of free worksheets, activities, and resources. The resources have been tested in classrooms and home schools by real teachers! See side bar and click FREE, grade level, subject, and/or resource type. Most of the resources can be downloaded immediately.
- thehomeschoolmom.com: This experienced, homeschool mom has tons of free resources, printables, worksheets, and tips for at-home learning. https://www.thehomeschoolmom.com/
Learning Apps and Games: Some are free, free trials, or paid subscriptions
- oaclub.org: Focus on the Family’s Adventures in Odyssey radio drama is funny, poignant and well-produced from a Christian worldview. They are offering a 4 week, FREE trial.
- prodigygame.com: Math Learning Game: All educational content is free. You can upgrade to a membership, but that is not necessary. Kids learn math while playing a fun game, and they earn prizes as they progress.
- Dreambox Math Learning Environment and Games: This is an intelligent, adaptive, learning environment that meets students where they are. They offer age-appropriate environments with a parent portal to keep track of kids’ progress. The kids earn badges and prizes while they play the games. Schools often have accounts, so check with yours before trying it. They are offering a FREE 90-DAY TRIAL. That is a really great deal for this resource!
- IXL: This program is used by thousands of public and private schools. Check with your teacher, school, or district to see if they offer a subscription. They have offered a free trial for parents and teachers at-home. This is not a game, but the children earn prizes as they progress.
- Homeschool Buyers Co-op: Clearinghouse for homeschool curriculum, but they offer lots of freebies. Click the freebies link for lots of free resources. If you’re looking into curriculum to purchase, this web site coordinates with the companies to provide discounts. Check this site before buying.
- Cathy Duffy’s Top 101 Picks: Cathy Duffy reviews homeschool curriculum and offers detailed information about them. Many homeschool families use her service, because she is a trusted name in the industry. She reviews hundreds of homeschool curriculum from the most well-known and established publishers to the newer and unknown ones.
- JonathanPark.com : Radio drama adventures about creation science. They are offering a 10% coupon for their monthly subscription service.
- Kids’ Story podcasts: What if World, Little Stories for Tiny People, What if World, Story Store, or search “Kids story podcasts” on your favorite podcast app. The choices are endless, so keep looking and sampling until you find the ones you and your kids love!
- Library Apps: Go to your local library web site and download the app they use to connect to your library card. If you don’t have a card, most web sites allow you to create one online. Then, download the library app specific to your library, check out and download eBooks, Kindle books, read alouds, and audio books. (Sample library apps: Libby and OverDrive)
- CloudLibrary: This is an app that will connect all your library cards in one place, organizes all of your ebooks, Kindle/Nook books, and digital content. You can also search for physical books, audio books, and other digital content. It even detects a library as you’re driving around town!
- Amazon Prime, NetFlix, etc: Search for educational content, and preview them as you see fit for your family. Sample searches: history educational videos for kids, science educational video for kids, Christian history programs for kids, or make up your own!
Drive Thru History
This challenging time will pass, but in the meantime, why not make the most of this unique season with your children? Before you know it, they’ll be grown and raising their owns kids – in a world hopefully free of COVID-19.
Julie Hamilton Batura is a mom, homeschool teacher and recovering oboist. She resides in Colorado Springs and can be reached via Twitter @JulieBatura.