With many schools temporarily closing to reduce the spread of the coronavirus, parents now find themselves facing the reality of homeschooling their children. Although schools themselves will remain responsible for setting tasks and providing resources to their students, it won’t hurt to make the most out of some of the many free online educational resources. After all, not all learning has to take place in the classroom!
Here’s our pick of seven completely free educational resources:
1. Khan Academy
The Khan Academy is a nonprofit organization offering comprehensive learning experiences with materials curated by experts. It was specifically launched to assist teachers and parents during the coronavirus pandemic.
Although its main focus is on math and science, it also offers some courses in the arts and humanities categories. It specifically aligns with the K-12 curriculum, and it offers personalized learning experiences so students can choose their grade or subject.
Duolingo is one of the world’s most popular free services for learning a language. It’s available online or as a web app, and it currently has 36 courses for English speakers, as well as ones for speakers of other languages.
One of Duolingo’s strongest points is its use of gamification. It’s specifically designed to be as addictive as possible by incorporating features like experience points, badges, league tables, and achievements.
3. Open Culture
Although Open Culture doesn’t offer any educational materials itself, it’s one of the web’s most complete directories of free online educational resources. Collated from top universities from around the world, it primarily caters to those in higher education.
Open Culture also has a section for K-12 educational resources, which have been specifically curated to assist parents and teachers during the pandemic crisis. The resources cover every major subject and include things like textbooks, audiobooks, and test preparation materials.
4. Bamboo Learning
Bamboo Learning takes a unique approach to homeschooling with voice-powered education. It offers a wide range of voice applications for users of Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. However, it’s best to use widescreen tablets so you can view graphical content as well.
With all their resources available for free and readily accessible via simple voice commands, children can learn by themselves without their parents having to be involved. Bamboo provides resources for math, literature, social studies, history, reading, and music.
HowStuffWorks is one of the world’s most popular infotainment websites. It focuses on a wide range of factual topics, but also offers resources for lifestyles and hobbies. The site deploys a wide range of media formats to explain complex subjects in a way that’s entertaining.
While HowStuffWorks isn’t a formal educational resource, its vast range of articles and other content make it ideal for parents and teachers looking to collect and curate relevant content to support children in their homeschooling endeavors.
6. Prodigy Game
Another pioneer of gamified learning, Prodigy is a math game that uses practical exercises to assist in virtual learning. It’s designed to make learning math as fun and engaging as possible, with visualized content in a familiar gaming environment.
Prodigy is completely free for students and schools, and research has shown using it leads to substantial improvements in exam grades. It also features monthly report cards and real-time data insights for monitoring progress.
The CK-12 Foundation aims to provide free and low-cost access to K-12 education throughout the United States and beyond. It covers a huge range of subjects and includes customized learning paths tailored to the unique needs of individual students.
CK-12 was primarily set up to support science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education, but it has since expanded into social studies like history and economics too. Users can choose from textbooks and other resources by grade and subject.
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