I created this post to help out a friend that is having to teach her kids for a while due to the COVID-19 situation. I am making it into a blog post to help any other parents looking for educational resources for their children, who haven’t had time to prepare on their own due to the emerging circumstances. I am trying to include as many free resources as possible, and have asked some homeschool mama friends for their input, so I will try to update as I receive more recommendations. I am posting in no particular order, just listing as I remember.
UPDATE 3/18/20: Khan Academy has posted daily schedules for prek-12, which can be found here.
Please feel free to share.
- The Kids Should See This — awesome, kid curated videos, searchable by topic. My 6 year old is currently loving the videos about toys, Legos, and Rube Goldberg machines.
- How It’s Made— streaming on Hulu, series that shows how various things are made from start to finish.
- Easy Peasy All-in-One Homeschool— Completely free, comprehensive curriculum, all online. Preschool – 12. Please note this is a Christian resource, so keep that in mind, you may have to scan individual sites before having your children complete the tasks.
- Starfall— K-3 Math & Language Arts, as well as music, some social studies, and other topics. Free, but upgraded content with paid subscription. My kids all love this site, especially the nursery rhymes & composer play lists.
- Khan Academy — my absolute favorite resource for all levels of math, but also has grammar videos & tasks, as well as coding. Extensive high school offerings, including Science, and I just saw they have ELA in beta for young elementary grades. It looks like they also have a help link on the top of their site, since I’ve heard some districts are planning to refer families to them.
- Reading Eggs (& math seeds)/ reading eggspress — my favorite language arts & math website. This is a paid subscription website, but it is billed monthly and includes access to all 4 sites: reading eggs junior (preschool), reading eggs & math seeds (early elementary), and reading eggspress (older elementary). Under bonus resources, you can find lesson plans and supplemental worksheets to support lessons. I have taught 3 children to read, two of which leaned on this heavily. In addition to phonics instruction and spelling support, the reading eggspress includes access to a reading library, reading comprehension tests, and grammar, usage & mechanics “races” where the kids compete against other students for the highest score. My kids love the spelling & grammar races?!? They can earn eggs to buy stuff for their avatars.
- National Geographic Kids — all sorts of cool stuff, highly supports emerging curriculum needs based on interest.
- Education.com— one of my all time favorite resources. You can search worksheets by grade and subject preschool-5th, but don’t let that limit you. There’s no reason certain resources can’t be used for older children, such as writing prompts, etc. You have limited access, I think 5 worksheets a month, unless you upgrade to premium.
- Math-drills.com — my favorite resource for re-enforcing math skills (versus teaching new ones). You can filter by math skill (etc. rounding or multiplication) and even print an answer sheet. I can’t believe it’s free, it’s seriously amazing. They even have seasonal stuff
- Teachers pay teachers— this one may be more difficult to navigate if you don’t already know what you’re looking for. However, I am guessing that teachers may provide some sort of indication to parents as to what they’ve been working on, or you can glance at past assignments or tests for ideas. Be sure to search for free resources before looking at paid ones. Your school may be able to provide access to a school account, not sure how that might work. You can search by grade and by state standard.
- Studies Weekly — this site offers comprehensive, common core aligned, social studies and science content for K-6. While we use the hard copies, you can also have access to the materials online. The students read sections (or have them read by the parent) and then answer comprehension questions. We have recently discovered the robust online options, which include practice questions and quizzes that can be assigned. We have a paid subscription, I’m not sure if the school would be able to have teachers get access & assign to students. This is relatively low cost, and open and go for parents. Also, since it’s common core aligned, you can pick up with whatever the kids were doing in the classroom & then go to teachers pay teachers for extension opportunities. UPDATE 3/13/20: Studies weekly is offering a free 90 day trial to ALL schools. See this link.
- Hoopla& RB Digital — check to see which app your library uses for access to (free) e-books & audiobooks. Freegal & Overdrive offer similar accessibility.
- This Week in History — an amazing (low cost) resource curated by my friend Rachel DeMille, “With a subscription to This Week in History, each day’s resources are an adventure in math, science, language skills, geography, current events, the arts and so on – all tied to events in history.”
My favorite cheapo workbooks:
- Spectrum (by Carson Dellosa) — super simple, super straight forward, they have these in every subject. They are somewhat boring & uninspiring, but they do support certain subjects very well. We have been especially happy with the math, spelling, reading, and writing books at various levels. You can find these on amazon, through rainbow resource, and through lakeshore, maybe even at barnes & noble. They cover various subjects like math, spelling, vocabulary, etc.
- Singapore Math — teaches mental math, we have tried many different homeschool math curriculums and this has been my favorite. I don’t think it teaches the common core way, but if you’re looking for additional practice, you can get these from amazon, or rainbow resource relatively quickly.
- Explode the code— straight up phonics instruction for emerging readers. Amazon & rainbow have them, as well as probably every major homeschool curriculum outlet. Oooh their site says they now have an app for tablets, that could be cool!
- Handwriting without tears — I have seen this used in the classroom, the company also offers other resources
- Usborne Internet Linked Encyclopedias— these are the backbone of many history & science curriculum plans. They offer links for additional content. Check if any of the mamas you know are usborne consultants if you want to support a woman-owned business! You can also find these on amazon, maybe thrift books, and lots of other places. The link only lists 4, but there’s probably at least 20 on various different topics. Usborne in general has a ton of excellent offerings, in my opinion.
- Kingfisher History Encyclopedia — there are various different ones that are great. They are the backbone of several history curriculums.
Resources from my free school idol, @mamasnak they are a full time RV family, and free school (free or low cost educational resources), so she knows a lot of great apps & websites. Here are just some from her IG:
- netflix.com (e.g., who was series, brainchild– I was also going to recommend the magic school bus series, etc.)
- bookopolis (app)
- lyndamullalyhunt.com (resources for fish in a tree book from prior)
- minecraft education edition
- picture this (app?)
- gethopscotch (coding app)
- duolingo (foreign language)
- geography drive (app)
- mad libs (app)
- first words sampler (app– this was our fav too)
- first grade learning games (app)
- umizoomi zoom into numbers (app)
- endless reader (app)
- car factory: spelling game (app)
- khan academy kids (app)
- word cookies (app)
- smash boom best (podcast)
ETA: Homeschool Unrefined App Guide, new, low cost resources ($5) recently put together by the lovely ladies at @homeschoolunrefined
Additional apps, recommended by @mamasnak
- who was? adventure
- vocabulary prep
- apps through icivics
- monster math
- geometry dash lite
- mad libs
- word cookies
- monster math games
- pigment- adult coloring book
- sushi monster (math)
- cloud libraries by bibliotecha
- headspace: mediation & sleep
- google docs (great recommendation we use this too for writing)
- videoshop video editor
From another brilliant friend, a list of shows her boys 4&6 like. I have also included some additions interspersed:
- Justin Time: Fun show with imaginary friend going on fantastical adventures, ties in with good moral lessons
- Little Baby Bum: Catchy nursery rhymes for the younger set with engaging visuals
- Magic School Bus and Magic School Bus Rides Again: Highly educational but presented in a fun and fantastical way
- Noddy: Simple but engaging mysteries, beautiful visuals, friendly and fun characters
- Octonauts: A perennial favorite, adventure, undersea vehicles, and marine animals, I learn something new every time we watch
- Pocoyo: Both my kids love this series, really fun short stories with pantomiming characters
- Puffin Rock: Peaceful and beautiful, a bit of moral lessons and nature
- Rescue Bots: Not as vapid as some adventure shows, has a bit of depth and some good lessons
- Story Bots: Packed with educational materials, fun cameos, and good songs
- Treehouse Detectives: Fun little mysteries that incorporate a bit of science and nature
- True and the Rainbow Kingdom: Gorgeously animated, fun characters and adventures, my kids ADORE this one
- You vs. wild— this is definitely for older kids, my 6&8 year old son’s love it. “[It] is a 2019 interactive American adventure reality television series on Netflix. The premise revolves around making key decisions to help Bear Grylls navigate in harsh, scary environments environments to survive and complete missions. For example, Bear has to travel 27 miles through a jungle to deliver medicine, or danger of deep snow avalanche as he travels to find a lost rescue dog. Lots of real life survival scenarios interwoven with meaningful exposure to real world issues.
- Bob the Builder: The kids loved this one a while back. Trucks, construction, fun characters, and moral lessons
- Caillou: My kids briefly like it. I’m surprised I don’t find it super annoying! Good moral lessons and situations that young kids deal with
- Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood: My kids never got into this, but I’ve seen a few episodes. Very peaceful and strong moral messages with catchy tunes. (editor’s note, studies have been done on the positive aspects of this show, e.g.)
- Dinosaur Train: Temporal paradoxes aside, the kids love this show! Chock full of dinosaur facts and moral lessons. Songs are catchy too! Make sure to check out the movie “Whats at the Center of the Earth” (see also Dino Dan & Dino Dana)
- Sarah & Duck (purchase only): Whimsical and imaginative, a favorite of my kids and me as well, very serene, fun, and cute
- Sesame Street: No need to say more, a classic (great article on the origins of the show here.)
- Sid the Science Kid: Amazing science show with tons of concepts packed in a fun package
- Stinky and Dirty: Fun art and problem solving with science and trial and error
- SuperWHY: A fun reading and word show that incorporates nursery rhymes and classic stories
- Team Umizoomi: Amazingly fun show that incorporates math, shapes, and patterns. My 4 year old is currently obsessed. (your kids may also like Blaze & The Monster Machines)
- Truck Tunes: For truck lovers. We got addicted to the music and found the videos. Really amazing songwriting!
- Tumble Leaf: My kids no longer watch it, but I find it super high quality. Beautiful stop motion series that won awards, deal with exploration of science through play and exploration
- Wild Kratts: Adventurous with humor and tons of animal and nature facts, a favorite in our household
- Odd Squad: Live action series that zany and fun. Lots of math concepts presented in interesting ways (my older kids: 8, 10 &12 also like this show!)
- WordWorld: Great for early readers! Objects and characters in the series are made of letters. Learn a lot about reading and phonetics
- Liberty’s Kids — editor’s edition, appropriate for older kids, more info here. It’s an animated show where, “Benjamin Franklin and four fictional associates of his in their experiences during the American Revolution. Although the series spans 16 years from the Boston Tea Party in 1773 to the ratification of the U.S. Constitution in 1789, no main characters appear to age, except for Dr. Franklin.”
- Xploration DIY Sci– Host Steve Spangler shows viewers how to conduct amazing science experiments in their own homes. Steve explores a different science concept each episode, using everyday items for his fun experiments – proving that anyone can be a scientist! My kids ages 6, 8, 10 & 12 loved this show, and binge watched the entire series. Kinda like Bill Nye, which they also loved, except almost exclusively made up of science experiments.
- Reading Rainbow— the original
- If You Give a Mouse a Cookie— a series based on the beloved children’s book, follows the characters of the various franchises (pig a pancake, moose a muffin, etc.)
- The Snowy Day— we haven’t watched this one yet, but plan to as we loved the book.
- Little House on the Prairie— based on the book series, better for third grade and up I’d say. Also, seasons 6+ have some surprisingly not kid content, so be sure to check beforehand.
- The Most Dangerous Ways to School– I just discovered this one, it’s a series. Was looking for the documentary posted next.
- On the Way to School — additional paywall, but excellent documentary & perspective. Description: These children live in the four corners of the earth, but share the same thirst for learning. They understand that only education will allow them a better future, and that is why every day, they must set out on the long and perilous journey that will lead them to knowledge. Jackson, 11, lives in Kenya. Twice a day he and his younger sister walk 15 kilometers through a savannah populated by wild animals. Carlito, 11, rides more than 18 kilometers twice a day with his younger sister, across the plains of Argentina, regardless of the weather. Zahira, 12, lives in the Moroccan Atlas Mountains. An exhausting walk on foot along punishing mountain paths awaits her on her way to boarding school. Samuel, 13, lives in India. The four kilometers he has to travel each day are an ordeal, as he doesn t have the use of his legs. His two younger brothers have to push him all the way to school in a makeshift wheelchair. ON THE WAY TO SCHOOL immerses us in the extraordinary routines of these children, whose sheer will to accomplish their dream leads them onto a path we have all walked but never like this.
- Baseball player documentaries– there are several good ones, but you have to check for age appropriateness
- Astroblast: Nice show with strong moral lessons and problem solving
- Curious George: Good moral lessons and fun short stories
- Miles from Tomorrowland and Mission Force One: Fun space adventures centering around a family
- Pocoyo: Both my kids love this series, really fun short stories with pantomiming characters
- Sesame Street: No need to say more, a classic
- Sid the Science Kid: Amazing science show with tons of concepts packed in a fun package
- Stick with Mick: My 4 year old loves this one. Basic problem solving with fun simple scenarios
- The Wiggles: New obsession for both kids, they play the music on Spotify all day! Videos are quite good and incorporate live concerts
- Master Chef Junior— kids in a cooking competition, my 10& 12 year old girls love it, and my 8 year old son watches often as well. It has inspired a deep loving of cooking.
- Backyardigans: Musicals for kids, good stories and songs
- Blippi: Surprisingly good content, and shows he does deserve all his billions of views and millions of subscribers (also on amazon)
- Coilbook: Fun animations with shapes and numbers
- Mark Rober: Interesting blend of science, engineering, and crazy projects. My kids loved his recent video bouncing a car off the strongest trampoline
- Yo Gabba Gabba: I wish this was on a streaming service. Catchy music, simple stories, strong moral lessons, fun cameos
“For those of you who have a Google Home, my kids have been into the games you can play on them. I won’t put the entire list here, just the ones they play over and over.”
- Disney’s Mickey Mouse Adventure is a game where you must help your pal Mickey Mouse make it through all sorts of wacky adventures and escapades. Say, “Hey, Google, play Mickey Mouse Adventure.”
- Cars Adventure lets you rev your engines for fun with Lightning McQueen and the whole Cars gang. Say, “Hey, Google, play Cars Adventure.” (Hint: If you say left for all the turns or right for all the turns, you automatically win!)
- In Strangest Day Ever very odd things happen when you play this interactive story about walking to the store. Say, “Hey Google, play the Strangest Day Ever.”
- Jungle Adventure helps you pretend to explore caves, climb trees and raft down rivers, all in search of a lost temple. Say, “Hey, Google, play Jungle Adventure.”
- Talk to the Wiggles let you talk to the Wiggles and go an a short adventure with music and fun. Say “Hey, Google, talk to the Wiggles.”
- Maui’s Music Game lets you help Maui find Moana and navigate an undersea world. Defeat the monsters and get rewarded with magical conch shells that play music from Moana and Maui’s adventure. Say “Hey, Google, play Maui’s Music Game.”
- Toy Story Freeze Dance lets you become one of Andy’s new toys and follow Jessie’s dance moves. Say “Hey, Google, play Toy Story Freeze Dance.”
- Enter Belle’s Castle Adventure (spinning off Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast”) to solve puzzles. Say, “Hey, Google, play Belle’s Castle Adventure.”
- Disney Princess: A princess—you can choose from Belle, Ariel, Tiana, Jasmine and Cinderella—will tell you a story or take you on an adventure. Say, “Hey, Google, play Disney Princess.”
- Ask for a “Frozen story.” You pick a character from a Frozen to tell a story.
|Typing||Dance Math Typing||https://www.dancemattypingguide.com/|
|current events||CNN 10||secular||free||https://www.cnn.com/cnn10|
|computer programming||Hour of Code||secular||free||https://hourofcode.com/us|
|science/engineering||Crash Course Kids||secular||free||https://www.youtube.com/user/crashcoursekids/featured|
|Math, Physics||Derek Owens||www.derekowens.com|
|typing||BBC Typing program||secular||https://www.kidztype.com/tags/bbc-typing/|
|Vocabulary||Words and Their Stories||secular||Fable Vision Learning||https://www.wordsandtheirstories.com/|
|writing & grammar||per class fee||secular||https://www.time4writing.com/|
|chemistry||Middle School Chemistry||secular||free||https://www.middleschoolchemistry.com/|
|various||Time 4 Learning||secular||subscription||https://time4learning.com|
- Curiosity Stream — recommended by another mama, it is a fee based streaming service offering thousands of documentaries
- BBC Maths — extensive resources, organized by grade level. Has videos, and if I remember correctly games. It’s been a while since we’ve used it as I had completely forgotten about it! Their grading system is different than the U.S. so it may take a bit to figure out the proper courses.
Lots of teacher accounts & homeschool accounts on instagram are starting to post their suggestions. I will be sharing links to those posts:
- Little Poppies 10 Super Easy at home learning ideas for parents
- School’s Closed! Now What? 10 Creative ideas that promote learning.
- A cupcake for the teacher,Read at home Bingo (free resource)
- Jenn Mackintosh open letter to parents contains links to various resources
- Scholastic learn at home— 20 days of free online resources and activities, ages preK-9th grade
- Ambleside Online Helping Hand Emergency Learning Plan, created in response to Hurricane Katrina (contains Bible study plan, but also has secular resources, links to books in the Gutenberg project (free online classic books) etc.
- Brain pop is offering free access see link for information.
- Mystery Science is also offering lessons for free, see link.
An additional spreadsheet was created listing educational companies offering free subscriptions during this time (a few duplicates). Now at this link . They have a facebook group, which can be found here. (Disclaimer: I do not know anything about this group, and I’m not on facebook, but their doc seems legit!)
- FREE: 12 museums with free virtual tours (h/t @mamasnak)
- Over at Alicia’s: HOW TO EASILY BEGIN IF YOU ARE SUDDENLY HOMESCHOOLING BECAUSE OF CORONAVIRUS
- The Moffat Girls (TPT) have preschool– third grade NO PREP 3 week learning packets, $5 each (This is the type of resource I would personally purchase extra licenses for & print copies for students who don’t have access to technology or other lesson plan support. )
- FREE: Just a Primary Girl, Reading at home for 1st & K
- FREE: Teaching in the Tongass, At Home Learning Packet(45 pages, 10 days worth of activities)
- Pocket of Preschool, Home Learning Packet for Preschool (2 weeks) $2
Lastly, Mrs. Brown Art posted a great routine to serve as a model for what your days might look like. You can find that here.
- Go Noodle — GoNoodle® gets kids up and moving to fun, engaging content and games. Every dance party, yoga session, mindfulness activity, and game session is an opportunity for kids to wake up their bodies, engage their minds, and be their best.
- Fluency & Fitness — Offering FREE 3 week trial for parents
Update 3/14/20 PM:
- FREE: Art History activities at home (h/t/ @juliebravewriter)
- FREE: Curriculum Castle Spring writing journal (K-2) no prep (HIGHLY RECOMMEND)
- Sarah Jane is going to be offering free daily printables & videos, see her insta for more info
- Teach outside the box is offering a free 3 week maker station download. See her insta for the link. It involves empty toilet paper rolls, score!
- 50+ Easy to set up toddler boredom busters from toddler approved. (I will definitely be giving some of these a try this coming week!)
- The Muddy Puddle, an outdoor education site, is offering FREE access to all of its resources.
- Teach Play with Mrs J has created an at home learning practice packet (1-3) with FREE and low cost options.
Note: many of the teachers who are offering free resources also have other resources that might be helpful. If you can’t afford it, search by price for the free options. If you do have a few dollars to spare, I suggest buying other materials from the same sellers who made their curriculum or lesson plans available for free. Many of these teachers create content for teachers pay teachers to supplement their teacher salaries. I’m sure they would appreciate any reviews they can get as well. <3
- Julie Bogart & Susan Wise Bauer (two veteran homeschooling moms & published authors) are offering a FREE week long online convention, specifically targeted for those new to homeschooling. See link for more information & to sign up!
- “Introducing: Bravery School! A FREE four-week daily homeschool curriculum pairing with Bravery magazines. On Thursday each week you’ll receive an email with the curriculum for the following week. The curriculum is meant to work hand-in-hand with the corresponding magazine and will contain a .PDF with the daily schedule, a digital copy of any activity pages that will be used, plus a bonus download. Just like the magazine, this content will be educational, engaging, simple, and, most importantly, fun!”
- Earthschooling is offering several FREE resources, click here for more info.
- Hollie Griffith is offering FREE home learning packets (grades 1-2), here for week 1.
- Teaching mama has several resources on her site.
- Teaching with crayons & curls has a FREE Home & Digital Learning Document, that looks like it’s to help organize & plan, here.
- Wild + Free is selling a robust download, called the “Homebound Activity Kit” ($29).
- Global Guardian Project is offering its resources FREE for 30 days.
- The Kindergarten Smorgasbord is offering their entire emergent reader collection FREE! You can find them (and other cool stuff) here. (This is one of my favorite teacher accounts on IG, I suggest you give him a follow! Lots of great ideas for Kinders)
- Erin Palinski Wade is doing a 14 day stay healthy at home challenge through her instagram account.
- Audible is offering a free audio book streaming collection of titles, here.
- The Great Courses is offering a free trial.
- In case you haven’t heard of them already (have always been free) college level courses from the likes of MIT, Harvard, UC Berkeley (for the adults?):
If you have any suggestions, feel free to post them in the comments & I’ll try to keep this list updated.
I am especially interested in any youtube educational channels, as I think this list could benefit from a more robust listing of free resources, as opposed to those behind a paywall!
Thanks & hope this helps!
I’ve stopped updating this post on a daily basis because providers & educators are catching up, and there are simply too many resources out there. I will add to it when I can. I hope everyone is able to find what they need & help out those who can’t! Blessings.
Update 11/16/21 from a girl doing research for her school:
HP Coding Program (thanks for the recommendation C!)
If you want to hear about even more easy educational resources, make sure you’re signed up for my email list! (At the moment it is dormant)