5 Free Online Learning Programs for Kids to Do at Home
With schools and daycares closing due to safety concerns over the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), parents all over the country need to find ways to keep kids busy for the length of a school day. While you shouldn't put pressure on yourself to create teacher-level lesson plans to implement while you're balancing a new work from home schedule, you can still make some of the day educational.
Here are five free online learning resources to take advantage of while creating a plan for keeping little ones learning outside of the classroom.
1. Scholastic Learn at Home
Scholastic Learn at Home is a 20-day program to keep kids entertained and learning through videos, stories, and problem-solving challenges. The website is divided by age and has enough activities for each group to provide parents with three hours of content each day. That means three hours each day of online reading and activity time, all themed around a special topic area for the day. Day one for first and second graders? Spiders. Get ready for some cute spider drawings for the fridge, folks!
The Brainly app aims to connect parents with other parents to help out their students, aka a virtual study group. That means you can crowdsource other families for help on concepts that you might not remember from grade and high school. For an extra fee, parents can get help with specific homework problems from experts (useful for brushing up on geometry if you don't remember the Pythagorean theorem).
BrainPop has videos and quizzes on just about every school subject a kid could need—and even has videos on how to explain the virus to children of different ages. They're offering free classes for schools that have shut down because of the coronavirus, so if your school is out for a while, you can fill out a form on the company's website to get access.
Parents can take advantage of a free month on teacher-made website Twinkl, where there are educational games, homework help, and even lesson plans on different subjects. There are also guides to break down exactly what kids learn each year for parents who need a refresher on what knowledge comes when. Users can also rate and review the games so you can pick and choose which ones to set your child up with to practice their multiplication tables.
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Sumdog offers a selection of free games with the aim to make math fun for kids. You can also get a family subscription if the kids really take to it for bonus games, plus access to ways to chart kids' learning progress.
Parents, don’t forget to breathe and remember, you don’t have to do everything perfectly in order to keep your kid learning. You're never going to mimic the exact format of a classroom with the kiddos at home, so give yourself some room to experiment with what works for the whole family if you're all housebound. P.S. Don’t forget recess exists for when you need a break—send those kids out into the yard to run off some of that energy!