30+ Online Learning Resources to Use at Home
With the news of many school districts around the country closing down for several weeks, a month or more due to the health concerns going on around the country & the world right now, many parents are feeling overwhelmed & looking for options for ways to continue to provide school activities at home. There is so much information out there on resources & it can be very overwhelming to sift through all of that information.
I am a former educator who worked in preschool & elementary schools & my husband has been a high school educator for many years, so we put this list together. We also have experience with our kids being in school & homeschooling, so we have had both perspectives. As a work at home mom, I know that it can definitely feel very overwhelming if you do need to now work from home with kids at home too & wonder where to start & what are the best resources.
There really are so many great online learning resources available out there to use that the most important thing is to try out some different options in the beginning & see what you feel will work the best with your kids, but know that if one thing doesn’t work, there are a lot more options to try.
It’s also important to remember that natural learning at home is a great way for kids to learn through hands-on learning. Your day does not need to be all sit-down at the table or computer all day long, but you can incorporate so many educational lessons into cooking together, doing crafts & art together, outdoor science projects, gardening together, playing board games & so much more.
Take walks, get outside, & bring notebooks to start nature journaling. Or bring sketch books & colored pencils to the park to sit & have art time after a visit to the playground. There are so many different ways to look at learning from home.
In this post, we wanted to share more structured online learning resources for you to target specific subjects at home. You’ll find general resources that offer specific lessons for every subject for your child’s level for every day if you’re feeling overwhelmed & want something that is all ready to go for you to use without having to research different programs. Or resources that target specific subjects & you can pick & choose the programs that fit your children best. There really are so many options!
We know this is a stressful time with job situations as well, so we tried to compile as many free resources as possible or resources that have several weeks or a month free trial for you to use in the short term.
We would love if you would share with us your favorite online learning resources to use in your home, too! Especially all of you homeschool moms who have a lot of experience in this area!
General Program Options:
Scholastic has created a program called Scholastic Learn at Home. This is a free resource to provide all students with 20 days worth of content they have compiled into easy to use lessons to span different content areas. This is broken down into: Pre-Kindergarten/Kindergarten, Grades 1 & 2, Grades 3-5, & Grades 6+. It includes reading books together, watching educational videos, activities to do at home & much more.
This is a free curriculum resource for all subjects for all grades if you create a student account for each of your kids (they do have an optional paid option for parents if you want to use some of the tracking materials, etc). But all of the student resources are free. There are over 16,000 lessons across all grades & courses with videos, slides, worksheets & resources.
This is an online program accessible on any platform (desktops, laptops, tablets, smartphones, etc). They provide daily assignments in a clean, user-friendly format. You can start at anytime & go at your own pace. This is traditional, secular curriculum for pre-k to 12th grade for part-time, full-time, you can go by their schedule or create your own. They work on the 7 standard subjects including Reading/Literature, Language Arts, Math, History/Social Studies, Science, Visual/Performing Arts, & Physical Education. They also have extra curriculum for Spanish 1, HTML Coding, Healthy Living, Personal Finance, Business Apps, & Business 101. STEM & the arts are integrated naturally into the curriculum & they offer hands-on project ideas using household or basic school supplies. There is a library with over 100 classic literature e-books. Weekly spelling program with over 6,300 words, printed/digital worksheets & end of week spelling quizzes.
This is a resource of free curriculum for homeschool from preschool to 8th grade. You can find the Easy Peasy All in One Homeschool for High School on this site.
You can choose the courses (everything from reading, language arts, math, computer & logic), choose the level, & theme if you want all of your children studying the same theme at their level. Themes are based on history courses of ancient history, early American History, geography & cultures, & modern history. Music & art are also part of these themes.
Once you choose the courses, it is all set up for you & your child will just click on the lesson link for each course & work thru the assignments. It will track their lesson they are on & their days. No other info is tracked or saved – it is just for your personal information. (There are additional offline courses for math, reading & language arts if you’d like to purchase) but all of the lessons online are free
Khan Academy is a popular choice for homeschool families as it is a free resource for families & teachers from a non-profit organization. All of the materials are free for both students & teachers. They offer lessons for kindergarten through grade 12th in subjects such as math (from K-early college), grammar, science, history, AP, SAT & more. They offer personalized learning for students to work at their own pace. This is a great option especially for any age, but especially for middle & high school students, with the wide variety of curriculum they offer. Everything from Geometry, physics, US Government, computer programming, & so many more high level courses, as well as AP courses, SAT test prep & much more.
Study.com is a site that offers paid curriculum options, but they have a free 30 day trial to try it out. This an option for middle, high school & college courses, with over 27,000 video lessons & other resources. It is adaptable curriculum which can be customized to each child’s schedule & specific interests. Instead of having to research new curriculum providers for each subject, this is a comprehensive course library focusing on subjects such as English, Social Studies, Public Speaking, Nutrition, Math, Business & so much more.
Education.com is a great resource for curriculum for all ages & subjects. They do have a paid membership ($9.95/mo) if you want full access to their curriculum, but they also offer a number of fun printables, coloring sheets, games, mini books, and much more. You can find printables for everything from math, spelling, reading, writing, science, fine arts, foreign languages & much more. There is a limit on how many you can print if you do not have a membership, but this is a nice way to supplement if you just want the free printables to use. Or choose the more comprehensive paid option for many more options.
Adventure Academy is an online educational resource with learning games & video lessons for reading, science, math & more to be personalized to the student. This is from the creators of ABCMouse.com & is an online learning program for kids ages 8 – 13. This is available to use on any device. There is a free one month trial & you can cancel at any time. The monthly subscription is $9.99/mo if you choose to continue.
This is a free site that offers starter kits with lessons, downloadable worlds & tutorials in core school subjects. There are hundreds of lessons created by educators round the world for students of all ages. There are lessons for language arts, science, history & culture, computer science, math, and art & design. What a fun way for kids to learn at home while using their love of playing Minecraft
The Good and the Beautiful is a program we have used & I love how this curriculum incorporates so many subjects into the lessons & makes it really fun for the kids, with no prep work required for the parents, but excellent lessons (this is a favorite among many homeschool families). This is a paid curriculum that you can order the books/workbooks, etc, but they do have some great free downloads of full curriculum as well for you to use. They are offering free, full year language arts courses that provide no daily prep time, just print off the downloads, put them into a binder & follow the instructions.
These are family style so you can do these lessons together as a family with multiple ages & the language arts curriculum also includes history, science, art & more into these lessons. By combining multiple subjects, it connects learning & eliminates the need for 6-7 different courses. They have a thorough phonics reading program, too.
Here are the free downloads available for Good & the Beautiful:
Pre K-8 Language Arts – Free PDF Course Set for Levels 1 – 5
The Good and the Beautiful Book List – All Reading Levels (this is a huge comprehensive list that I have found really helpful)
Marine Biology Science Unit
This is a free educational website with educational lessons that include quizzes & activities & more in the subjects of history, biography, science & geography. They also offer a variety of educational games.
Online Reading Programs
Free Reading Program.com is a non-profit program with a free reading program curriculum for grades Kindergarten to Grade 6. There are over 266 learning units & over 3600 interactive learning activities. This was originally designed by literacy experts for use in schools with proven teaching practices & it has been used by over 20,000 schools in North America. This looks like a very comprehensive program with full lessons that are completely free.
ABC Mouse is a full, online curriculum for kids ages 2 – 8. ABC Mouse is a phonics based program with both a web & app based option. It is recommended by educators as a great resource and many teachers have used this in their classrooms with kids as they have a free program for teachers. This is great for beginning readers & kids working on learning their letters & sounds. It is typically priced at $9.95/mo or $49.95/yr, but there is a 30 day free trial available right now.
Reading Eggs is a great program for both kids learning to read, but also older kids who need to work on reading comprehension skills. This is for kids ages 2- 13 with self-paced, one on one lessons to match your child’s ability. This is compatible with both apps for tablet access as well as web access & it includes over 2,000 e-books. There are fun characters, songs, & animation to make it more fun for kids. Track progress with detailed reports & kids will have rewards & certificates to motivate them.
This is a paid program, but you can register for a free 2 week trial to test it out & see how you like it. It is $9.95/mo for full access. This actually gives you access to Reading Eggs, Reading Eggs Junior, Reading Eggspress & Mathseeds. So you will also get the Math program with the reading program if you sign up for the paid program.
Here are the areas it targets:
Ages 2-4 – targets phonics & letters
Ages 5 – Sight words & vocabulary
Ages 6 & 7 – Spelling & Ebooks
Ages 7-13 – Comprehension & Live Games
Reading IQ is a comprehensive digital library with over 7,000 books for every reading level, with literacy from ages 2- 12. The collection of books includes those with simple language, early chapter books, picture books, & non-fiction texts with informational graphics. This is accessible on all devices & web. You can sign up for a free 30 day trial (the pricing is $7.99/mo if you choose to continue)
Online Math Programs
XtraMath is a Seattle based, non profit group that is a math fact fluency curriculum program to help students master addition, subtraction, multiplication & division facts. This is a free web-based program, but it does look like they do offer an app as well (for a paid fee). These are basic math fact activities & they have quizzes to keep track of students’ progresses.
Prodigy is a free math online curriculum resource for grades 1 – 8th & it’s used by 1.5 million teachers. It follows local school curriculum & the math problems are presented in a game-based format to make learning fun & reinforce what they were learning in school. Kids will get personalized math content based on their strength & weaknesses. (Thanks reader Randi for this suggestion)
MathSeeds is a program that teaches kids ages 3-9 core math & problem solving skills with fun, interactive lessons. The lessons are highly structured with fun, motivational elements to keep kids engaged. It is all accessible by app or website. They will focus on numbers, counting, shapes, subtraction, measurement, early multiplication & division, with one-on-one lessons to match your child’s ability. This is a paid program (& it is included with Reading Eggs which we included above as a great reading program) but they are offering a free trial right now to test it out. Otherwise, it is $9.95/mo which includes Reading Eggs, Reading Eggs Junior, & Reading Eggspress too.
MathDrills.com offers free online math worksheets for extra math practice for your kids to work on at home. You can print these off & have them work on these at home for extra practice.
Online Science Programs
Mystery Science offers science lessons for schools & they have curated a starter set of science lessons for parents to use at home during this time of school closures. There is no account or login needed to access these as they are totally free (if you want more than the lessons listed, you can sign up for a free account for more options. They have short, mini lessons that are totally digital plus full lessons that include an activity for you to choose. All activities are designed to use simple supplies you would already have at home.
The National Geographic Kids site is fun & educational free resource for all things science, nature & animals. This is a great way for kids to learn more about our world around us with videos, interactive games, & much more. For older kids/teens, have them use the main National Geographic site for full episodes & documentaries as a great science resource for topics that they were working on in class or that interest them.
The Discovery Channel online is another great free resource to watch science shows for topics such as nature, motor, tech, exploration & so much more.
Habitable Planet is an entire free environmental science curriculum online covering a wide variety of topics similar to an AP Environmental Science course. The material can be simplified for middle or younger high school students.
Bozeman Science is free online video high school science curriculum that closely follows public school science curriculums. He has lessons in areas such as AP Biology, AP Chemistry, Earth Science, Physics & much more.
This is a popular Youtube channel with science teachers for biology lessons
Online History Programs
The History Channel has some great free resources for classrooms, but parents can use these at home as well. They have study guides on a variety of topics, documentary videos & more.
The Crash Course YouTube channel is a video series that covers a wide range of topics for science, history & social studies. They are short, 10-15 minute videos that cover a wide range of topics that would often be incorporated into school lessons (this is more high school level).
This is a non-profit group here in Washington that has provided free art lessons for classrooms, but these can also be used at home & are available for anyone. These are art lessons for grades K – 6 and every art lesson is aligned with Common Core standards & Washington State Art standards. Just click on the grade you are interested in at the top & you can download the art lessons.
I have a daughter who loves to draw & this is one of my favorite free resources for finding simple, step by step art projects & drawing projects. This blogger is an art teacher in the schools & she has relevant topics & fun, engaging art projects that kids will love.
This is an informative you tube channel with so many different art lessons that kids can follow along with on YouTube. There are so many great art youtube channels out there, this is just one that we have found to be very comprehensive with quite a few different options.
Free live art & craft tutorials Monday- Friday at 10am pst (starting Mon 3/16/20)! They will provide a list of art supplies needed too so you can order ahead of time online. (thanks reader Carrie)
Online Foreign Language Programs
Duolingo is an awesome free online program to learn a new language or in this case, continue to learn a language that students may have been learning in school. This is a game-like approach to learning a language with apps on any device for easy practice. You can take a test to find out what level your student is at.
Online Music Learning Programs
The entire family can sing and dance together with this program.
QuaverMusic is offering free access to general music activities to all impacted schools, including free student access at-home
Full of resources including digital games, printable worksheets, and lesson plans.
Paid Educational Programs
Many school districts use IXL so this is one to ask your local teachers or school to find out if they have a subscription to this already & find out your child’s login & password so they can use this at home. If they don’t, this is a popular one to use for comprehensive K-12 curriculum personalized to each child’s learning & level, similar to what may be taught in the schools. They offer math, language arts, science, social studies, & Spanish. It is easily accessible from any device for easy use by kids on tablets, smartphones, laptops & more. It gives you real-time information on how kids are doing & what levels they are at.
If schools have not given you access, there are paid programs for parents depending on how many subjects you are interested in with a monthly rate starting at $9.95/mo.
Time4Learning.com is a comprehensive homeschool curriculum with built-in lessons plans for parents to either follow a specific sequence for lessons for all subjects or you can focus on a particular area of study. They have automatic grading & record keeping so parents can encourage independent learning for their kids but also be aware of what they are working on. This is self-paced with adjustable grade levels by subject & 24/7 unlimited access to lessons.
This is $19.95 for the first student from PreK-8th grade (& $30/mo for high school level). It’s $14.95 for each additional student.
Hooked on Phonics is another great online reading program for kids who are working on learning to read & learning letters & sounds to blend into words. This can be done as an online program or use their supplemental workbooks. There is access both via an app & computer. They have 100+ videos & 275+ interactive games to make learning to read fun for kids. You can get your first month for $1, with future months charged at $12.99/mo, but it says you can cancel at any time (make sure to read all the fine print)
Kiwi Crates are not an online program, but it is a kids subscription box service you order online & you can either order monthly subscription boxes for your kids to use or they also have a variety of STEAM & art project boxes in stock to order at any time. These are great hands-on learning opportunities for kids to use at home to supplement their learning.
Raddish Kids is a monthly subscription cooking club for kids. Membership includes a monthly cooking kit, digital bonus recipes & activities & an online community of resources. If you’d like to start up a monthly Raddish Kids kids cooking subscription, you can get $20 off & a free E-kit as well.
Right now, they are offering 25,000 free cooking kits for those who are impacted by school closures (just click on the top banner of the website). You will receive the Swedish Eats cooking kit, which includes 3 recipe guides for Nordic Cinnamon Buns, Swedish Meatballs & Scandinavian Smorgasbord, 1 culinary activity (Swedish handicrafts), 1 kitchen tool (kitchen tongs), 1 iron on patch & 1 set of table talk conversation starters. All you need to do is pay the shipping fee of $4 & get the grocery supplies needed (they have an online grocery list)
Online Library Resources
Even if libraries do shut down, there are a number of online resources for kids & parents to use for school at home thanks to our libraries. Make sure to check with your local library & look for their online resources. If you don’t have a library card, you should be able to sign up for a card online. Also, many libraries allow students to use their school ID as a library card, so check with your library.
Northwest Library Resources:
Tacoma Public Library – all Tacoma School District students can use their school ID as a library card. Here’s a listing of all of their online resources for kids & families
King County Library System – all King County school (except Seattle SD) students can use their school ID number instead of a physical library card. You can then have full access to ebooks & downloadable materials, databases & online homework help for your students.
Seattle Public Library System – check out this huge list of online resources from the Seattle Public library system.
Pierce County Library System – this library system also has a very in-depth page of online student resources & options for homework help, audiobooks, ebooks, STEAM activities & much more.
Sno Isle Libraries- check out this online resource page for audiobooks, ebooks, magazines, videos, newspapers & much more.
More Educational Online Learning Ideas:
Check out this list of 12 famous museums around the world that offer virtual tours you can watch at home.
Rick Steves’ Classroom Europe website is a free resource for teachers (& parents at this time) to learn about European art, history & culture. There are a variety of different, short educational videos you can use with your students (& the video dialogue is provided too if you’d like to look it over for age-appropriateness first.
The Seattle Symphony will be broadcasting livestream concerts for free starting Thursday March 12, 2020
Go Noodle is a free online program that provides movement videos created by child development experts. These activities get kids up & moving to fun, engaging content & games. Dance parties, yoga sessions, mindfulness activities & games to wake up their bodies, engage their minds & be active. (Thanks reader Shayna)
This is a big list of online resources but we will continue to be adding to this list as we research more & more ways you can work with your children at home & provide online school or home school learning activities.