Hello! Since schools have been canceled and we all stuck inside at the moment, I decided to start a series sharing FREE online resources. Some are free because they’ve always been free while others are free specifically for the current COVID-19 crisis we are facing together. In this series, I will cover free resources for language arts, math, history, science, arts & crafts, coding, PE and all subject learning.

It’s hard right now. Hard to be home, hard to be a parent, hard to be your kid’s teacher, hard to deal with all emotions this pandemic is bringing upon us. Yes, we’ve been homeschooling our children from the road for years but what we are experiencing now is NOT homeschool. This pandemic school or isolation school or whatever else you want to call it. It is not normal, that’s for sure. My hope is that some of the learning sites I’ll be sharing will help your days become a little easier and give you a moment of calm in these hectic times.

Today, I am sharing eight learning resources that we have been using or just started to use for ALL SUBJECT learning. These sites cover a little bit of everything and either have always free or are free now during the pandemic period.

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BRAIN POP

Website: brainpop.com (also available on iOS and android apps)
What: Learning source covering all subjects, like science, social studies, english, math, art, music, health, engineering and trending topics, primarily in video format with other formats to support the topics
Ages: Recommended for grades 4-8 (but there is a version called BrainPop Jr for grades K-3)
Usual Price: $24.99/month for full website access, ($9.99/month for full access on the iOS app, $6.99/month for full access on android app)
Special COVID-19 Price: Free access to the full website, (no special pricing for apps)
How we use it: We use BrainPop multiple times a week to supplement topics we are already learning about or to introduce new topics to our children. I like that there are quizzes associated with all the movies to help see how much of the video the kids absorbed. If they have trouble with the quiz, they rewatch the movie alone or sometimes with a parent as well if they need additional help. The kids like the characters and style the topics are presented.
Side notes: We have been paying $6.99/month for full access to the app for the past few years. We recently signed up for website access as well. In addition to the movies and quizzes available on the app, the website gives us access to topic-related games, worksheets, art and vocabulary.

OUTSCHOOL

Website: outschool.com
What: A marketplace of live online classes led by a teacher. Each class is a small group of students led by a teacher via a group video chat. Subjects range 
Ages: Recommended for kids ages 3-18.
Usual Price: Prices are class dependent and based on duration and frequency. A single 15-minute class for mediation could cost $4 while a 55-minute human anatomy class that meets twice a week could cost you $30.
Special COVID-19 Price: Any class scheduled between March 10th and June 1st, 2020 is eligible for financial assistance for students affected by class closures due to COVID-19. They recommended not exceeding $50 in free classes so they can assist as many families as possible.
Time Spent: We’ve been meaning to try Outschool for a while now but haven’t made it a learning priority, mostly because it is difficult for us to plan for having internet fast enough for video conferences. Now that we are stationary for a bit due to the virus, we had our first class scheduled today. The girls chose a watercolor class as their introduction to Outschool and absolutely loved it. They are looking forward to signing up for more. It’s a great way to get one-on-one (or close it) instruction from an expert.
MORE SPECIAL OFFER: You can get an extra $20 worth of classes if you use our link to sign up for your account: https://outschool.com/?signup=true&us…

KHAN ACADEMY

Website: khanacademy.org (also available as an app)
What: A nonprofit that provides free educational courses that students can complete at their own pace. They cover subjects like grammer, math, science, engineering, history, art, coding, and storytelling. We use it as a complete math curriculum for our kids.
Ages: For math, they have all grade levels available. The other subjects are geared more to older children. There is a Khan Kids app for ages 3-7.
Usual Price: Always free.
Special COVID-19 Price: Always free.
Time Spent: We use Khan Academy daily for math, 45 minutes a day per kid on average. It’s great because it also includes quizes, unit tests and challenges to make sure the kids remember what they learned in previous units.

SCHOLASTIC AT HOME

Website: classroommagazines.scholastic.com
What: The magazine that we all loved as kids has introduced a resource called Learn At Home for students that are unable to attend school. It has 20 days of learning activities broken down into 4 different grade ranges (pre-K-K, Grades 1-2, Grades 3-5 and Grades 6-9).
Ages: From pre-K to 9th grade.
Usual Price: Created specifically for free learning during the crisis
Special COVID-19 Price: Created specifically for free learning during the crisis
Time Spent: Our kids started this program this week. I see it as an opportunity to expose them to additional information that will help them be more well-rounded kids.

PBS LEARNING

Website: pbslearningmedia.org
What: Videos and interactive activities on a wide range of subjects covering the usual subjects like science, social studies, english, the arts, health, etc from a company that has been providing us free educational content for many years.
Ages: The cover all ages from pre-school and beyond
Usual Price: Already free
Special COVID-19 Price: Already free.
Time Spent: This is a new tool we will use for learning. I see us using it to supplement topics we are already learning about. For example, we are studying Anne Frank this week and we found a fun word search using vocabulary words from her diary.

WONDEROPLOIS

Website: wonderopolis.org
What: A primarily video-focused site that answers one question daily with supporting photos and text, created by the National Center for Families Learning.
Ages: All school aged children
Usual Price: Always free.
Special COVID-19 Price: Always free.
Time Spent: This is another site that is new to us. We started watching a video daily in the mornings with the kids over breakfast and having quick and fun discussions together.

ABCya

Website: abcya.com
What: A collection of 400+ educational games that include math, science, language arts, typing, social science, etc.
Ages: Pre-K through 6th grade
Usual Price: There is a free plan that gets you access to most of the website but you can also upgrade to Family Premium for $5.83/month, which gives you access to the app as well.
Special COVID-19 Price: None found.
Time Spent: I use this to supplement our youngest’s math and grammer via their games for repetition practice. He played a game today that involved choosing past tense verbs. A nice change of pace from workbook learning.

Starfall

Website: starfall.com
What: A website aimed at learning letters, sounds and numbers. It also includes additional seasonal activities. (There is also an app.)
Ages: Pre-K to 3rd grade
Usual Price: Free version and a yearly $35 plan
Special COVID-19 Price: None found.
Time Spent: We used Starfall when our oldest kid was very young. I think it’s a good introduction to online learning for really little ones.

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And that wraps up our favorite free learning resources for all subject learning, across all grade levels and age groups. Up next in the series, we will cover resources that focus on specific subjects.

Hope this helps some of out there. Would love to hear about your favorites.

Stay safe and well.

Free online learning during the pandemic crisis


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