Online Resources for Your New Classroom (aka Your Living Room)
Maybe teaching was never part of your future plan? Maybe you never wanted to be a teacher when you grew up? Well like it or not, here we are. But at least we’re all happy, healthy, and virus free. And that’s definitely a lot to be grateful for right now.
Personally, I did want to become a teacher when I grew up, and I did. But I never thought I’d be teaching and homeschooling my own kids. And yet, here we are.
It can be a little overwhelming. Especially trying to already meet the demands of their real classroom teacher who’s also assigned online work to be completed during the week. But there are way too many hours in the day, and too few assignments assigned, so the question becomes, what do kids do with the rest of that time? I don’t know about you, but there’s only so many television hours my conscience will allow me to let them watch without mom-guilt kicking in.
We’re lucky to live in a time where we have everything is accessible on the internet—including a plethora of educational resources for kids. Sometimes even just searching “educational resources for kids” will gain you pages an pages of websites to visit. But if you still don’t know which is a great one, I’ll give you some suggestions below. And FYI these are all great apps/websites to keep on their tablets/Ipads for eventually when the rainbow comes out and we do travel once again. They make great airplane and quiet activities that kids can do alone while still reading and learning.
- Epic!: This is a website all about reading and books. It is subscription based, but the first 30 days are free—just enough time for this homeschooling predicament we currently find ourselves in. But the monthly cost isn’t even that high ($7.99) and you’re allowed up to four different kids (profiles) on it. Each kid has book suggestions for their own level and age group, has the option to be read to, take quizzes on the books, and the amount of books is staggering—over 35,000 different titles!
- Scholastic Learn at Home: We all know the Scholastic company. They have a nostalgic place in my heart from my own childhood days. But now that place has grown even bigger as they realized the need for educational resources at home during this unique time. So they’ve devised an entire curriculum per grade level/per subject. Each subject has it’s own set of assignments, projects, crafts, and videos. And it’s completely free for the next 20 days.
- Amazon Freetime Unlimited: I’m not going to talk about this too much as I’ve sung it’s praises multiple times. But there are tons of educational games, books, videos, and songs on this app all controlled by you, the parent, so your kids think they’re playing on their tablet/Ipad, but really they’re learning. Link to the post where I explain it’s cost and setup here, but the first month’s subscription is also free—also just in time for this current conundrum. They’re also offering their free reading service with a year’s subscription right now.
- Mathgames: Besides being completely free, the nice thing about this website is that each of their games, activities, and worksheets align with the math Common Core Standard’s for each grade level. So it’s really easy to find the skill your child needs more work on at their grade level and coordinate activities to go along with it. And each standard offers games, so kids think they’re playing, but they’re really learning.
- Readwritethink: A favorite from my teaching days, this site made lesson planning very easy. Now it also makes lesson planning as a parent easy because it offers many activities, experiments, and writing prompts with a list of materials needed to complete them. And like all the others, it’s all based on age and grade level.
- MysteryScience: I was told about this by one of my awesome teacher friends. The site is offering free short science lessons for parents during school closure time. Each lesson has a video and short experiment attached.
- Youtube: There are so many educational videos and youtube that are awesome for kids. Two channels that we have visited this week already are the movement/indoor recess activities on GoNoodle and the art classes taught by Mo Willems. Fun fact: my daughter recognized Mo Willems right away as the author of a children’s book she read called “Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!” which only made her more excited!