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The Homeschooling Handbook During COVID-19

 

 

 

 

The last few weeks have seen some extraordinary changes to our daily lives as a result of COVID-19, and one of the largest changes has been the closing of schools.

Most families are not prepared to suddenly start homeschooling their school-aged children, and in the midst of all the other enormous changes during this situation, this poses a large challenge for parents and childcare providers. We wanted to collect some excellent resources to mitigate some of this chaos and to offer a bit of direction for folks to jump right into homeschooling with confidence.

For those that have directives from their kids’ school districts as far as curriculum, of course, we recommend adhering to that and using this guide to supplement the existing education plan during this time period. For those who don’t have a specific curriculum to follow from their school districts, we hope that these resources will help you to establish a daily learning routine for your kids that will be fun, dynamic, and age-appropriate. Keep reading to check out some wonderful resources for home-learning!

 

Scholastic Learn At Home

Scholastic has just released the first five days of what will soon be a 20-day curriculum plan with interactive options for children from grades kindergarten to 6+. The lessons are exciting and fun, with lots of great graphics and rich content. “The courses provide approximately three hours of learning per day, including writing and research projects, virtual field trips, and geography challenges. The website is accessible on any device that has the internet and no sign up is required. It will remain free and open indefinitely, Scholastic said.”

 

The Learning Network via The New York Times

 

Khan Academy

Khan Academy offers free online lessons and interactive exercises on just about every possible topic. These lessons can be a great resource for students and parents, whether you work through an entire subject, or just supplement with videos to get help with a tricky math challenge or other subjects. Students practice at their own pace, first filling in gaps in their understanding and then accelerating their learning. 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, parents, and teachers.

 

NASA For Students

The NASA website for students includes a great free catalog of articles, activities, videos, and games for students in grades K–12 on topics related to STEM, aeronautics, and space exploration.

 

TED-Ed

Browse hundreds of TED-Ed animations – short, award-winning videos that will spark the curiosity of your learners. You’ll also find thousands of other video-based lessons organized by the subjects you teach. Create customized lessons and add interactive questions, discussion topics and more to your favorite TED-Ed Animations, TED talks or any video on YouTube. Easily share lessons with your students and track the results.

 

 

 

 

Discovery Education

Discovery Education is the global leader in standards-based digital curriculum resources for K–12 classrooms worldwide. They are the home to award-winning digital textbooks, multimedia content, and the largest professional development community of its kind. Discovery Education supports K–12 teachers and students with award-winning curricular resources and dynamic professional development.

 

ABCmouse Early Learning Academy

This comprehensive program covers a wide variety of subjects for students aged 2-8 (Pre-K through second grade). It offers more than 850 self-guided lessons across 10 levels. A companion program focuses on teaching English as a second language for this age group. ABCmouse for Teachers and ABCmouse for Schools are always free for all schools and teachers in the U.S. In another country? Contact them here to see what they offer if you’re closed due to COVID-19/coronavirus.

 

Adventure Academy

This MMO game gives kids something other online learning resources may lack: a sense of community. Students up to age 13 play games to learn across a range of topics (math, reading, social studies, science, and more), while also creating their own online persona and interacting with others in the game. In addition to their usual 30-day free trial, Age of Learning is offering Adventure Academy free to schools closed due to the outbreak. Contact them here for more information.

 

BrainPOP

BrainPop offers in-depth learning on topics across the curriculum for upper elementary and middle school students. Each topic includes videos, quizzes, related reading, and even coding activities. Teachers have access to planning and tracking resources too. They also offer BrainPop Jr., specially designed for younger kids. All schools get free access to their COVID-19/coronavirus online learning resources for talking to students about the topic. Any school closed due to the outbreak can receive free unlimited use of BrainPOP during their closure. Contact them here.

 

Breakout EDU

Breakout EDU uses online games to bring the fun of escape rooms to learning across the elementary curriculum. They’ve put together a list of free online games kids can play at home. Click here to see them.

 

 

 

 

EdHelper

EdHelper is an online service that provides printable worksheets to teachers and homeschooling parents. EdHelper is providing daily free workbook pages for grades K-6. Click to see the offering today!

 

Elementari

Turn writing assignments into something amazing with the illustrations, animations, and sound effects available. Kids can even write their own choose-your-own-adventure story! Schools affected by COVID-19/coronavirus can get free access until May 2020 or the school reopens. Contact them here.

 

Freckle

These online learning resources for younger students are easily differentiated for students of different ability levels. Adaptive math and ELA courses are always available for free for teachers and students. Sign up here.

 

iCompute

This program is designed to teach elementary-aged kids the computer skills they need. It’s specifically aligned with learning standards in the UK, but the skills apply to students everywhere. iCompute is offering free access to its programs for schools anywhere that are closed due to COVID-19/coronavirus. Contact them here.

 

Kids Discover Online

This library of science and social studies articles allows differentiation by reading level, so you can use these articles for various age and skill levels. Schools and districts closed due to the outbreak can request free unlimited access to Kids Discover Online here.

 

 

 

 

Legends of Learning

Legends of Learning offers 2,000 3rd through 8th-grade games and simulations correlated to state standards. Using their various assignment options, teachers can create custom playlists, or have a playlist built for them with a top-rated game. The basic Legends of Learning site is always free. They are offering free access to all premium features for schools closed due to the outbreak for the duration of their closure.

 

MobyMax

This popular differentiated learning site provides instruction across a wide array of elementary subjects. Teachers and districts can receive online training on effectively using the site. All K-8 schools closed due to COVID-19/coronavirus can receive free access to a comprehensive curriculum through MobyMax. Learn more here.

 

Mystery Science

Mystery Science offers digital video mini-lessons for science subjects K-5. Mystery Science is always free, but they’ve put together a special list of lessons grade-by-grade that are perfect for tackling remotely. Find it here.

 

Newsela

Authentic news content turned into learning materials that are classroom-ready. Newsela has put together content for teachers to prepare for distance learning.

 

PebbleGo

PebbleGo offers safe, interactive online research resources on topics selected by their teachers for students K-3. Schools can get free access to PebbleGo during closures. Learn more here.

 

 

 

 

Prodigy

Get game-based learning in math for kids from first to eighth grade. The site offers lots of how-to articles to make your distance learning effective and fun. The basic Prodigy site is always free. Sign up here.

 

Purple Mash

This British company’s site hosts games and creative learning opportunities for elementary level math, spelling, and writing. Teachers can set daily tasks for students, create a blog, and find other ways to communicate. Purple Mash is offering free access for schools closed due to the outbreak for the duration of their closure. Find out more about using Purple Mash When School is Closed.

 

ReadingIQ

ReadingIQ is a comprehensive digital library offering books, magazines, comics, and more for kids from ages 2-12. It’s a smart replacement for library time right now and makes it possible for teachers to monitor what and how much their students are reading. Age of Learning is offering ReadingIQ free to schools closed due to the outbreak. Contact them here for more information.

 

Tynker

Tynker offers a complete online computer coding curriculum for students K-8. Teachers can get free lessons, projects, and more on the site. Schools impacted by COVID-19/coronavirus can get free access to Tynker’s complete curriculum, including online professional development courses for teachers. Learn more here.

 

Virtual Field Trips

They specialize in K-8 social studies, life science, geography, and ancient civilization curriculum content. Their website has online learning videos and quizzes along with a list of the national and state Standards that the videos align with. Teachers can send an email through the Contact Us form on the website (or email info@virtualfieldtrips.net) to request access. They are currently offering 60-day memberships and will extend if necessary.

 

 

 

Vooks

Missing storytime already? Vooks is a kid-safe online streaming library of read-aloud animated storybooks. Vooks is offering a free one-year membership to all teachers. Find out more here.

 

Xtra Math

A nonprofit organization dedicated to math achievement for all with activities for achieving math fact proficiency. Membership is always free!

 

 

We hope this list of resources proves useful during this difficult time, and we look forward to getting through this together.

 


 

We’d love to hear your thoughts, do you have any other resources for online education? Reach out to us on Facebook, Instagram, and check out the other posts on the blog!

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