Prior to the 1990s, parents didn’t have many options when it came to schooling their children. While there were a few distance learning programs and some parents taught their kids at home, most students attended schools to get their education. With the advancements in computers and technology, students have more choices than ever before and there are tons of online learning options available. So, why would parents want their children to learn online?
First of all, there are online education classes for every age, grade, and level that can be specifically tailored to a child’s needs. Not every child can keep up in a classroom setting and some are more advanced than others, which makes them fall behind or lose interest. Large class sizes may not give your child the attention they need and behavioral problems can take the focus off education.
With online classes, students have the choice of skipping topics they already know and focusing on ones they don’t. They can also learn in ways that are geared towards them, as each child has a unique way of learning whether it’s visual or verbal. Students can choose the topics they want to learn, which encourages engagement. Along the way, they’ll learn how to use a computer and the internet, which are valuable life skills. There are even extracurricular classes than can be used to supplement your child’s education. These are our picks for the top ten free and paid online classes for kids.
Do you remember the Scholastic book fairs you’d look forward to in Elementary school? Scholastic’s Learn at Home program is a free 20 days’ worth of curricula program to help students continue their learning. There are daily lessons for Pre-K through grade 9 that are built around a story or video. The lessons are up to three hours long and they can be done on any device. The topics for older kids are also super interesting and thought-provoking like, “Celebrating Differences,” “The K Pop Wave,” and “Should Video Gaming Be a Sport?”
With specialized content from NASA, the Museum of Modern Art, the California Academy of Sciences, and MIT, your kids are sure to have fun learning. Khan Academy is a free online learning platform that has practice exercises, instructional videos, and personalized dashboards for kids to learn computer programming, science, math, history, art history, comics, etc. They have daily schedules for kids up to age 18 that include everything from waking up, SAT practice, reading time, writing prompts, lunch breaks with educational podcasts, and going to seep. For ages two to seven, the Khan Academy Kids free app has videos with fun characters and bright colors that teach kids to write and to do basic math.
You don’t have to leave your house to visit the library with Epic. The digital library is for ages 12 and under and it offers free access through June worldwide based on teacher’s requests. There are over 40,000 books, audiobooks, and videos to choose from. The classroom access is free for all educators and parents can join for 30 days for free! Teachers can provide lessons, assign books, and monitor the child’s progress through this platform.
If your kids need a break from typical online learning, they’ll love Storyline Online, which features celebrities and actors reading children’s books online. David Harbour, Chris Pratt, Sarah Silverman, Betty White, Oprah Winfrey, and James Earl Jones all have videos on the site and we’re sure you’ll also enjoy seeing their beautiful faces. There are even activity guides that come along with the stories that are great resources for teachers and parents and there’s the option of buying the story.
Your children will get lost in Adventure Academy’s virtual universe and they’ll gain knowledge and adventure along the way. They’ll play games to learn language arts, math, science, and social studies. Kids can also play with their friends and create their own avatar, explore the marketplace, and design their own homes while traveling through the game universe. It’s geared towards children ages eight to 13 and the first month is free!
The public broadcasting network has a website where kids can play games with their favorite characters like Daniel Tiger, Arthur, Elmo, and Clifford the Big Red Dog. Although the games are a bit more wholesome than educational, the content is designed with kids in mind. In addition to the fun adventure games, there are games for math, spelling, story, Spanish, teamwork, healthy eating habits, etc. The parents’ site offers summer reading books with step-by-step plans and a summer reading chart.
Grab some pens, paper, and crayons and let your child doodle and explore new ways of thinking with Mo Willems. Whether your child likes Knuffle Bunny or Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus, Mo’s here to show them how to draw these beloved characters while talking about his artistic process. Let your child’s creativity flow with daily lunch doodles with Mo, the Kennedy Center’s first Education artist-in-residence.
It’s important for kids to get exercise, especially to let out some of their energy in between leaning. This activity break is a great replacement for recess and we love the characters, playfulness, music, and the burst of color of the videos. There’s Moana, Harry Potter, and Frozen-themed yoga! Did we mention it’s totally free on YouTube? There’s a reason that there are over 650,000 subscribers. In addition to yoga, the site has dance, stories, mindfulness, and relaxation videos.
It’s easiest to learn languages when you’re young and this free app will teach your children how to speak, listen, and read Spanish or French. Through games, your children will unlock levels, earn crowns, and play with animated characters while building their language skills. The lessons teach kids sentences and expressions that they can use in their daily lives. No internet, no problem, Duolingo Kids works offline as well!
Do you want to inspire your kids to love science? Mystery Science has tons of science lessons and experiments that can be done at home. The topics include “who invented pizza,” “why do woodpeckers peck wood,” and “how do they make silly sounds in cartoons?” The site is aimed at teachers, but you can easily use at home with your child and they are now offering free access to students and parents.