A happy mom on day 1 of home learning.
“I have so much free time,” said no parent ever!
With sudden school closures affecting many countries dealing with the COVID-19 outbreak, families are scrambling to move from the classroom to online learning.
We know first hand how busy parents are, so we collected a list of available free online educational resources for elementary school students to keep their mind and body busy.
We found far-off virtual field trips, helpful sample daily timetables, and even kid-friendly yoga routine paired with Disney songs.
A huge thanks to all the educators and websites that have opened up their resources for families navigating school closures!
Enjoy the free resources, but don't overload your kids. Their routines have changed and they feel the stress too. Make sure to give them time to adjust and don't forget the importance of productive play.
(Before they start learning from home, remember your kids should always use volume-limiting headphones when plugged into their devices.)
1. How to Teach Kids about the Coronavirus
It’s important to explain to kids why they aren’t going to school and how this is different from an extended vacation.
We start with a helpful video that explains what the virus is from the perspective of a mom, the Science Mom, that is. She does a great job using facts to explain the coronavirus to kids in a way they understand, without causing fear.
Brain Pop goes a step further with a whole lesson plan around the virus.
2. Khan Academy Offers Daily Online Learning Schedules
Struggling to come up with a daily routine to follow?
Khan Academy is offering daily schedule templates for parents/educators to adopt and use as needed. They offer self-paced, interactive content exercises, videos and articles for students in every grade and in most major subject areas. Best of all, the content is kept free thanks to donations.
3. Stay Home and Travel the World with these Virtual Field Trips
While most of the world is on lockdown, these online field trips let your kids travel the globe virtually. The list includes a farm, a zoo, famous world landmarks, and even Mars!
A special mention goes to the Cincinnati Zoo that is hosting Home Safaris- Facebook live videos that feature an animal and activity every day.
4. Read Aloud with Famous Children's Book Authors
TheLivBits put together a list of live readings by famous children's book authors. It’s a lot more than just listening to the authors read aloud, the schedule comes with activities, coloring sheets, contests, and even Q & A sessions. The list is live, so expect it to keep growing.
Or maybe listening to astronauts read from space is more your thing?
5. Flex your Body and Mind with Cosmic Kids Yoga
Struggling to come up with a daily routine to follow?
With so much online learning to do, it’s easy to forget that the body needs exercise too! You may not have enough kids (or equipment) to mimic a PE class, but we found a great alternative.
The Cosmic Kids Yoga Channel has dozens of videos that help teach yoga, mindfulness and relaxation for kids. They use interactive yoga adventures to build strength, balance and confidence. They even have a lesson called ‘Disney Yoga!’
6. Go Mad for Science with these Popular Lessons
If there’s one thing the current global climate has taught us, it’s that science is so important!
The Mystery Science website offers their most popular science lessons in short and long formats for each grade, and has over 200 more available when you sign up for free. They are all designed to engage students, achieve learning outcomes, and be easy to use.
7. Netflix and Learn with 30 Great Educational Shows
It’s not just adults that have problems finding something to watch on Netflix. Thanks to this list of the top 30 educational shows, your kids will also know what it’s like to have almost too many options.
We Are Teachers helps by dividing the educational list of Netflix shows into age groups and giving a short synopsis for each show.
8. Learn at Home with Scholastic’s New Website
Most parents know of Scholastic from their offline educational resources. They just launched the ‘Learn at Home’ website that has daily courses for students from pre-K to Grade 6 and higher. The online lessons cross a wide range of subjects like social studies and animal sciences.
"As more and more teachers, students, and families around the world are affected by the coronavirus, our priority is to support them in the best way we know how -- by providing them with rich stories and meaningful projects that will keep kids academically active," Lauren Tarshis, senior vice president and editor-in-chief of Scholastic Classroom Magazines said.
9. Spend a Day and Night at the Museum
Love museums but hate the long lines, entrance fees and closing hours?
Google Arts & Culture partnered with over 2500(!!) museums and galleries around the world to offer an inside look at their exhibits through virtual museum tours. Some of the highlights are the Guggenheim in New York City, the British Museum in London, and the Musée d’Orsay in Paris.
This is a great way to learn about art, history and science just for the fun of it.
Extra Credit Bonus Material!
Not enough content for you to keep your kids busy while they learn at home?
Get your kids volume-safe headphones for home learning.
Protect Your Kids While they Learn at Home
While you use these online educational resources for kids to keep learning from home, it’s important to protect their hearing.
The best way to do this is by using volume-limiting kids headphones that will cap the volume at safe levels. According to the World Health Organization, 1 in 8 kids today already have some degree of hearing loss from listening to their devices too loud. That’s insane!