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Educational Resources for Kids During School Closures

20 March 2020
Some members of the Family5 office went into mini-panic-mode yesterday afternoon with the news that the kids were going to be home from school next week. Luckily for us, this blog post arrived in our mailbox shortly after…
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There’s help out there

Many of us were expecting it, but the day has come when most of us are experiencing school closures due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Like many of you, my head has been spinning with ideas, plans or concerns about how to keep my kids engaged, learning and at least somewhat occupied while at home for weeks. Although I’m typically a proponent of hands-on play and learning over screen-based options, I recognize that we as parents can only do so much. If you are trying to work from home, online learning can be a helpful option to keep kids engaged in education. At least many of us have access to many wonderful online educational resources to help us.
I’ve seen many links circulating online for various educational options so I thought I’d put them all together in one post as a resource for you. I’ll be updating it often as new opportunities arise.
As much as we enjoy spending time with our kids, I think most of us feel the strain of this situation. My kids love school and miss their friends. It’s been helpful for me to keep in mind the bigger picture of community health and hospital resources. I’ve even talked with my older son (age 10) about these bigger issues and how our relatively small inconvenience is hopefully helping others in our community stay healthy and health care staff be able to serve those most in need.
Online Educational Resources for Kids
This spreadsheet of resources has been circulating on Facebook. It’s a helpful place to start. I’ll link to these resources here too but refer back to this sheet or the groups listed in the document for ongoing updates.
Circle Time: online classes with real instructors on topics like social-emotional learning, yoga, interactive storytime (geared to ages 0-6). Use code: homefun1 for free access.
CK-12: online content for a variety of subject areas include math, science and social studies. Some text and some video. Most of it seems to be free.
Conjuguemos: online learning for foreign languages, including Spanish, French, German, Korean and more. Choose the “use without account” option.
Curriki: tons of free online content for grades Preschool-12. Includes text and videos
Freckle: online content for math, science, English and social studies. Free account available.
HippoCampus: online learning for middle school to college-age students; covering 13 subject areas. Free
Izzit: free online videos on a variety of educational topics including economics, government, health and social studies.
PBSLearning Media: PBS-quality educational videos. Free
Khan Academy: well-known, high-quality online learning videos and text for students. Free.
Mystery Science: fun online question-and-answer style videos. Free
Scholastic Learn at Home: this is such a fun resource! It has day-by-day online videos, books and other learning resources focused on a different topic each day like insects, weather, history, etc. Free
Storyline Online: books read by top actors (like Kristen Bell and Kevin Costner) with wonderful little animations. My kids are loving watching these at snack time.
Typing Club: online typing lessons for kids. (I’m definitely going to use this one!) Help kids learn a new skill while they are at home. Free
Google Arts and Culture: virtual tours on famous museums, national parks and landmarks
Your Story Hour: stories of famous historical figures read and acted in the style similar to the old fashioned radio dramas of the past. Free stories releasing each week.
Other Fun, Educational Resources for Parents and Kids
Family5: Of course! Hundreds of fun activities for the family to do together plus suggestions and tips from some of the world’s top parenting experts. Free.
Sunny Side Up Book Club: author Maria Dismondy (I love her work!) is offering online lessons (MWF at 1 pm EST) focused on character, kindness and empathy. All you do is sign up HERE and you’ll get an email with a link to the broadcast. I love this idea! This is in lieu of her school book tour for Sunnyside Upbringing which had to be canceled.
Common Sense Media: this is one of my go-to sites for checking out the quality of apps, games or movies. See their list of educational apps and games.
Meditation Apps: Common Sense Media also has a great list of meditation apps for kids and adults. I know I’ll be using some of these for myself too!
Take care everyone and stay safe!
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The Family5 app is free and can be downloaded from the app store.
About the author
Amy has a Doctorate in Human Development and Family Sciences. She is a writer, a researcher and a sometime-teacher. She is based in Colorado, U.S.A.
This post originally appeared in The Thoughtful Parent on 13 March 2020