Millions of children are out of school right now, as communities take action to slow the coronavirus epidemic, and there is a real possibility that some of these students may not be returning to business-as-usual anytime soon. Some schools are continuing to deliver a version of their curriculum virtually, but some caregivers are undoubtedly worried that their children will be missing a lot of academic enrichment this year.
Luckily, educators and companies all over the country have responded to this unprecedented situation by making a whole host of great resources available to students online, free of charge. They range from core subject lessons to career explorations to valuable enrichment opportunities that students can access from computers or other internet-enabled devices.
Here’s a brief round-up of ones that caught our eyes as excellent choices for caregivers (non-educators) who are looking for engaging and enriching content to share with their children:
Elementary (grades K-5)
- BreakoutEDU has a list of educational games that children can play for free, organized by grade level (and including notes about standards alignment). Topics range from the solar system, to telling time, to civic engagement, to geometry.
- edHelper is sharing free daily workbooks available for download that cover coding, mathematics, creative writing, and more.
- Students can sign up for differentiated courses in English language arts (ELA) and mathematics from Freckle.
- Mystery Science, which always offers free resources, has compiled a special list of their most popular science lessons by grade band.
- Parents can sign up for game-based mathematics activities from Prodigy, which are always free.
- Scholastic created a new Learn at Home website where they’re promising to share approximately 20 days’ worth of learning journeys across different content areas. The options include virtual field trips to places like the Museum of the American Revolution!
Middle and High School (grades 6-12)
- Hippo Campus offers video resources that are always free across 13 subject areas—including specialized areas in which parents might feel they don’t have the tools to assist with homework that is assigned by their children’s schools, including calculus, physics, and economics.
- A partnership between the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research, Teaching Tolerance, The Rockefeller Foundation, and Left Field Labs has created Selma Online, an interactive experience that is part history lesson and part call to action around democracy, civil rights, and voting rights.
- Banzai is financial literacy education tool where students work through real-life money management scenarios and it is always free to use.
- cK-12 has a student version of their online learning resources that is always free and which covers a wide variety of topics using virtual activities and videos. They also have free online textbooks.
- Curriki is always free and offers teacher-vetted, open-source lesson plans covering a vast range of topics, from arts to career education to calculus.
- Discovery Education has more than 40 corporate education partnerships that create brand new educational content like video virtual field trips and digital explorations all the time and which are always free to access. The real-world topics covered range from social and emotional Learning (SEL) to financial literacy and from science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) to opioid abuse prevention.
- Education Perfect’s EP Classroom has customizable online learning experiences across a range of core subjects and is free for all users.
- NoRedInk is a free tool for building writing skills through interest-based curriculum and adaptive exercises.
- Students can sign up for a free account on PBS Learning Media and get curated videos, lesson plans, and interactive materials across a range of subjects.
- ReadTheory contains a library of reading comprehension content that is always free.
The Children’s Defense Fund is also hoping to keep kids connected to engaging, diverse children’s books during this time. Check out our Facebook page, where we’ll continue adding Read Aloud videos featuring CDF Freedom Schools® program favorites!
Huge thank you to We Are Teachers for compiling such a thorough list of online resources.