Free Online Resources for Families

Free Educational Resources for Families

Last year, more than 124,000 school closed due to COVID-19, impacting more than 55.1 million students. Today, coronavirus continues to impact families’ school choices. Many families are choosing out-of-the-box educational options: full-time online learning, homeschooling, emergency remote learning via their existing school, or even learning pods

However you’ve chosen to help your child learn, educational resources can help. Below you’ll find a list of free online resources that are easy for families to use from home. 

Staying healthy at home? Learn about free educational resources your child can use from home. Click To Tweet

Looking for more? Check out our list of 100+ free resources for teachers and schools shifting online or our list of offline learning fun

 

  • Carnegie Mellon University's CS Academy

    Looking to introduce your kids to Python programming? CMU CS Academy is a free online, interactive high school computer science curriculum. By signing up for a mentor account, families can access the CS0 course. This course includes about 40 hours of instruction and is intended for middle school, out-of-school programs, and summer camp settings. 

  • Code Academy

    Code Academy offers online coding classes in several programming languages. While Code Academy also offers a fee-based plan with more features, your child can access basic lessons and daily practice for free. Code Academy is designed to teach anyone to learn to code, no prior experience needed, and is suitable for any child able to read and type.

  • Excel Easy

    Excel Easy is a website that offers free, easy to follow tutorials that walk you through different functions and commands in Microsoft Excel. The tutorials are broken up into sections: Introduction, Basics, Functions, Data Analysis, and VBA (Visual Basics for Applications). The step-by-step examples include picture references so that you can see where you should click and what your spreadsheet should look like.

  • Lakeshore Learning's Writing Templates

    For practicing print and cursive handwriting, Lakeshore Learning offers customizable templates. Simply type in the words your child would like to practice, select print or cursive, and print the template out. Lakeshore Learning also offers wriiting prompt calendars with seasonal writing prompts for each day of the month.

  • No Red Ink

    No Red Ink is a resource for online writing and grammar practice. The resource was developed by an English teacher who realized that immediate feedback, interest-based curriculum, and lots of practice could help all students become stronger, more confident writers. No Red Ink offers a limited version of its resources for free.No Red Ink's resources serve grades 5-12.

  • Reading Rockets' Reading Adventure Packs

    Reading Rockets offers 31 downloadable Reading Adventure Packs for families. Each pack pairs a reading suggestion with ideas for hands-on activities and imaginary play. The recommended books are ones that can easily be found at local libraries. While the Reading Adventure Packs are formatted to be prepared by a teacher or librarian, parents can certainly download and use directly with their child! Packs are available in English and Spanish and are geared toward students in grades K-3.

  • Wonder Stories

    Wonder Stories is an interactive reading platform for grades 2-4. The platform's books are designed to be engaging and encourage critical thinking. Students participate in stories by solving mysteries, puzzles, and adventures all while getting feedback. Your student is in control of the story, deciding what the characters do! Wonder Stories is especially great for struggling readers. While Wonder Stories is always free for teachers, it is free to all community members for the next two months. Families can access this resource by downloading it from the App Store or Google Play.

  • Young Writer's Blueprint

    Young Writer's Blueprint is a free writing course for children ages 6-10, led by award-winning author Alice Kuipers. The course consists of personal and hands-on videos and worksheets designed to "set loose the creative imagination of the world's youth." The course can be downloaded in advance and used offline, and covers topics such as gathering ideas, creating characters, writing short stories, poetry writing, and editing.

  • Fathomr

    Fathomr provides free high school math and ACT lessons, flash cards, formula sheets, and practice questions. Fathomr's goal is for students to love math and learning in general more today than they did yesterday. Since a high-quality education should be available to everyone, their materials will always be free.

  • Omnni Calculator - Math Resources

    Omni Calculator is a website that has hundreds of custom-built calculators. Each calculator is meant for a specific type of problem - percentages, algebra, arithmetic, coordinate geometry, fractions, linear algebra, trigonometry, 2D geometry, triangle, 3D geometry, sequences, and more! Simply click on the calculator of the type of problem you are solving, enter in the information, and get the answer! With each calculator you will find an explanation of the type of problem, links to other related topics, and a FAQ section. The calculators also come with code that you can use to embed them into your website or presentation!

  • ORIGO Math

    ORIGO Education is offering a collection of free math learning resources to support teachers, parents, and caregivers as they strive to keep students engaged and continually learning. ORIGO at Home features free weekly, digital plans for home use. These weekly plans contain activities for each day, along with digitally accessible or downloadable resources, designed for grades pre-K through six. Parents can simply choose a grade level and start at Week 1. The lesson plan format provides everything needed for instruction and is written so it can be implemented outside of the classroom. Students can engage in the work on a device or resources can be downloaded for printing. In addition, most of the student resources are available in Spanish.

  • Cincinnati Zoo's Facebook Live Safaris

    Cincinnati Zoo offered live home safaris that families could tune into for several months during COVID-19. Now the videos are housed on the website, so your kids can watch a safari whenever they're in the mood to learn about animals.

  • Challenge Cards by the James Dyson Foundation

    Engineers at Dyson have put together 44 science and engineering challenges for kids. Visit the website to download a packet of all the challenges, which range from fitting an egg into a bottle without breaking it to making raisins dance up and down in a glass of soda!

  • Cosmoto

    Designed by a teenager, Cosmoto is a free, virtual space and astronomy camp for kids. Cosmoto spaces out lessons and activities over five weeks and will require some home supplies, such as glue, scissors, paper, etc. Released in summer 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic, Cosmoto continues to be offered for free to families.

  • Digital Dig

    Digital Dig is a free educational resource offered by Excavating Adventures. Through the Digital Dig program, students go on virtual quests to learn facts about archaeology and then answer trivia to earn points. The points can be exchanged for real rocks or fossils sent to you in the mail! While Excavating Adventures also offers subscription boxes for a fee, there are no shipping fees or costs of any kind associated with the Digital Dig program. New questions are being added almost daily, resulting in a new "quest" about every two weeks.

  • Kid Museum

    KID Museum offers families some fun DIY ideas with its Make It! series. Discover tutorials with fun maker activities: building a high-five machine, designing a tin foil boat, and more. The activities utilize common household supplies and encourage kids to make the most of their time at home.

  • Mystery Science

    Mystery Science is offering families a free trial of their most popular science lessons for free until June 2022. These lessons are designed by experts to engage students, achieve learning outcomes, and be easy to implement (using simple supplies a parent will likely already have at home).

  • NASA Kids' Club

    NASA Kids’ Club is a kid-friendly website for students to learn about NASA and its missions. Besides online games geared toward grades K-4, the site has an image gallery that can be used to start discussions about space and STEM. You can also download space-themed activity booklets, coloring pages, and calendars.

  • National Geographic

    During COVID-19, National Geographic is offering families free videos and activities about all things science and geography. National Geographic is also providing live videos daily at 2 p.m. EDT. The live, "Explorer Classroom" series unites students from around the globe with bat-trackers, wildlife conservationists, documentary filmmakers, and more.

  • OLogy

    Ology is a science website for kids from the American Museum of Natural History. Ology not only has science content, but through a partnership with ReadWorks they have created dozens of Ology articles and paired them with vocabulary lessons and formative assessments.

  • Omni Calculator - Science Resources

    Omni Calculator is a website that has hundreds of custom-built calculators. Each calculator is meant for a specific type of problem - chemistry, ecology, physics and more! Simply click on the calculator of the type of problem you are solving, enter in the information, and get the answer! With each calculator you will find an explanation of the type of problem, links to other related topics, and a FAQ section. The calculators also come with code that you can use to embed them into your website or presentation!

  • STEM from the Start

    STEM from the START is a free curriculum resource for teaching STEM content to PreK-2 students. Blending animated adventures with guided activities, these free lessons are engaging, effective, easy to prepare and aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards. Discovery Breaks are questions posed directly to students where the video is designed to be paused to engage and explore with activities found in the Discovery Guide.

  • Tinkergarten's DIY Activities

    While Tinkergarten also offers paid classes, you'll find a plethora of free DIY content on their website. These DIY activities are outdoor, play-based activities for students ages 0 to 8+. Activities can be sorted by age range (0-2, 3-5, or 6-8+) and skill (thinking skills, social/emotional skills, or body skills).

  • A Child's Introduction to Jazz, by Cannonball Adderley

    This 45-minute introduction to jazz combines a sampling of great jazz music with a history of jazz's origins. The introduction was recorded in the 1960s by jazz saxophonist Julian "Cannonball" Adderley.

  • Chrome Music Lab

    Chrome Music Lab is a free web resource that makes learning music more accessible through fun, hands-on experiments. Students can use it to explore connections between sound and science, math, and art. Note that aspects of the website will work best with a computer microphone enabled.

  • Detroit Symphony Orchestra

    The Detroit Symphony Orchestra offers four symphony recordings that introduce students to classical music and the fine arts. Each high-quality recording includes a teacher resource guide with complementary activities. The performances can help your child learn about musical instruments, storytelling through music, and more.

  • KidLitTV

    KidLitTV offers a variety of creative video content to inspire and educate kids. The website's free content includes read-alouds, drawing tutorials, cooking lessons, craft ideas, and more.

  • Michaels' Online Classes

    Arts and crafts store Michaels offers free online kid classes for budding artists aged 3-12, as well as general classes for artists aged 13 and up. From popsickle stick birdhouses to drawing activities or terrarium-building, the classes feature a variety of creative ideas. The classes typically feature seasonal ideas and are one hour long over Zoom. Some classes may require simple craft supplies, while others (like drawing classes) may only require pencils and paper.

  • ABCya

    ABCya offers more than 400 educational games for children in grades Pre-K through 6. Games are categorized by grade and subject, and families can access all ABCya's regular games and videos for desktop with a free subscription. Free subscribers can also play up to 6 games on a mobile device per week.

  • edHelper's Free Printables

    edHelper is currently offering lots and lots of free, printable worksheets for parents to use. These printables range from Sudoku puzzles to spelling challenges to addition worksheets, and can be accessed without purchasing an account.

  • Evan-Moor Educational Publishers

    Evan-Moor Educational Publishers is offering free resources for Prek-6 parents throughout the challenges brought on by COVID-19. The website contains free printable activities that are updated monthly, free samples of resource books, and a free 14-day trial of TeacherFileBox (Evan-Moor’s online lesson library). They are also offering free e-books: Daily Fundamentals (grades 1-6, provides one page daily of math, reading, and language practice for 30 weeks) and Early Bird (grades PreK-K, offers colorful stories and early reading and math activities for young learners).

  • Legends of Learning

    Legends of Learning is an online, game-based learning platform for students in middle and elementary grades. There are over 2000 math and science games and simulations for grades 1-8 across 350+ learning objectives. To help parents and students with summer learning, they have created ten weeks of exciting game-based curriculum-aligned activities that can be played at home. You can see your child’s progression throughout the game.

  • Lumosity

    Lumosity offers free brain games to keep student minds actively engaged. For example, the games use problem solving, critical thinking, and memory to keep students on their toes and strengthen their skills. As a free user, you can play three games per day.

  • Scholastic Learn at Home

    Scholastic Learn at Home's helps keep learning lessons built around meaningful stories and videos. Kids can do them on their own, or with a sibling or parent. This resource offers 5 days of cross-curricular journeys for the following age groups: Pre-K and K, Grades 1 and 2, Grades 3-5, and Grades 6+.

  • Smithsonian Learning Lab

    The Smithsonian Learning Lab is a digital collection of images, audio, text, and other learning resources on a vast variety of subjects. With more than 5 million resources and 7,000 "collections," families can explore lots of educational content.

  • Wide Open School

    Wide Open School brings together big names across education, technology, and media to create a free, one-stop shop site for education resources for K-12 students, teachers, and parents. The site has an interactive daily schedule customized to your student’s age range, a list of live virtual events (such as story times and concerts), and links to materials for every school subject. All the materials are free and vetted for quality by Common Sense. There are Spanish materials available. The website also offers resources that can be used offline as well as lists of sites that are accessible on cell phones.

  • Varsity Tutors

    Varsity Tutors has launched “Virtual School Day”, a free program that includes live, online classes and educational resources intended to help keep students from sliding academically and to help parents with homeschooling. With Virtual School Day, each student receives 30 hours a week of free, high-quality live, online instruction led by an expert tutor with experience in the course topic. Core content is covered such as K-12 Math, ELA, K-12 Science, and expert-led study hall sessions for students to receive personal attention when completing homework assignments from school. Enrichment classes, such as Secrets of Staying Healthy for elementary school students and History of the National Parks and Careers for high school students, are also available.

  • YouTube Learning

    YouTube Learning offers families free livestreams from organizations such as Khan Academy Kids and The Princeton Review. Parents can also check out YouTube's Back to School section, which features playlists on different school subjects as well as virtual fieldtrips.

  • Your Free, Ultimate Guide to Online School

    Maybe you’re thinking about switching to online schooling, but you’re not sure how to make the switch. How does online school work? Or, maybe you’re wondering whether your state has an option allowing you to online school for free. We created this ultimate guide to online school answer those questions.

  • Your Free, Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling

    Homeschooling is legal in all 50 states, but rules and regulations surrounding homeschooling differ by state. If you’re wondering whether homeschooling would be a good fit for you, you may have questions about how to switch to homeschooling and what resources are available. We created this guide to answer those questions.

  • Parent Support for Online Learning

    Parent Support for Online Learning offers mentorship and resources from experienced online educators. Wondering how to fix a bad WiFi connection? Looking for learning ideas? Craving a support network? Find help here.

  • Your Ultimate Guide to Parental Controls for Tech

    As students spend an increasing amount of time on online platforms for education, many parents would like to be more involved in setting healthy boundaries for their children’s technology use. This guide dives into that very topic. It walks you through how to set up parental controls for whatever device you use, whether the operating system is Apple or Android.

  • Marathon Kids

    The mission of Marathon Kids is to inspire kids to live healthier lives and achieve their goals through running. Marathon Kids has a free parent section that offers printables and conversation starters that encourage parents to walk or run with their student while getting to know them better. Marathon Kids also offers a free run and read printable that allows kids to track their progress toward 26 books and 26 miles at the same time!

 

Hashtags 

You can also find more home education tips and resources on social media. Search these hashtags that educators and community members are using to share learning tips: 

#operationstorytime

#freeresourceloop

#teachertipscovid19

#togetherathome

#parentsarethenewteachers

#learneverywhere

  • BrainPOP Espanol

    BrainPOP is a learning resource supporting core and supplemental subjects, reaching millions of learners worldwide through learning made visible through tools that challenge students to reflect, make connections, and engage in deeper, curiosity-driven learning. The videos on the website also come with engaging learning games, animated movies, and activities. There is a specific Spanish Brain POP website that offers all materials and videos in Spanish. Free Services Offered: A selection of content is available for free covering social sciences, math, health, technology, art and music, and Spanish.

  • CommonLit

    CommonLit is a nonprofit education technology organization working to support all students with reading, writing, communication, and problem-solving skills. The CommonLit Literacy Midel is built on a foundation of over 2,000 high-quality free reading passages for grades 3-12, complimented by aligned interim assessments, growth oriented goals, and expert led teacher development. Teachers can assign Mini Units (short, self-paced thematic units for grades 5-12) and Text Sets (relevant reading passages from a variety of genres). Passages are available in Spanish. Free Services Offered: Free account access for teachers and students.

  • Engaging Every Student

    This website offers a list of Dual Immersion Spanish Resources. You will find links for Spanish Language Games, Spanish Portals, Spanish Language E-Books and More for Emerging Readers, Spanish Language Reference Websites, Spanish Learning Activities to Print, Apps for Kids/All Ages, Software/Apps for Adults/Teens, Spanish Language Theater, and More! Free Services Offered: Free list of websites offering Spanish Resources.

  • Khan Academy

    Khan Academy offers free courses of all grade levels to help students master subjects and accelerate their learning. Through these courses, Kahn Academy allows students to personalize their learning and learn at their own pace. Khan Academy is available in more than 40 languages! Free Services Offered: Free standards-aligned lessons ranging from Kindergarten to advanced math.

  • The Fable Cottage

    The Fable Cottage is a website that has a host of bilingual tales for language learners. These stories are available in English, French, Italian, Spanish, and German. There are 10 stories on the site, and you have the option of listening to the text or watching the video that goes with the story. The text of the story is available right on the page so your learners can follow along! Free Services Offered: 10 stories available in 5 languages each!

  • Learning Heroes

    Learning Heroes mission is to inform and equip parents to best support their children’s educational and developmental success. Learning Heroes partners with some of the most trusted education and parent organizations to help save you time and bring you the best resources all in one place. You can search the resources by subject and grade level, and results are available in Spanish and English. Free Services Offered: Free search engine and results list.

  • Resource Guide for Spanish Immersion Students During School Closures

    This is a blog post from a former Spanish teacher turned bilingual blogger who has curated a list of foreign language resources in reading, writing, speaking, listening and grammar - plus resources for parents who don’t speak Spanish. Free Services Offered: Free list of foreign language resources to help with Bilingual/Spanish education

  • SALSA: Spanish for Children

    SALSA blends puppets, animation, live action, and music to create a unique experience for first-time learners of Spanish language and culture. SALSA spices up learning by creating visually exciting production, complete with funny characters that children can enjoy, in situations they can quickly recognize and understand. SALSA also portrays the rice variety and heritage of Hispanic culture. You can share episodes of this show directly to Google Classroom as an assignment, and support materials/standards alignment are provided on the page for each episode. Free Services Offered: Free access to 42 episodes of the show, standards alignment, and supporting materials.

  • Smithsonian Educational Resources

    The Smithsonian Institution has curated a list of educational resources that are bilingual and in Spanish in the following content areas: Art and Culture, History and Social Studies, and Science and Nature. These resources are available for families, caregivers, teachers, and students. This spreadsheet breaks down the activities by grade level, topic, name of the resource, URL, and notes about the resources (language description, etc.). Free Services Offered: Free catalogue of Spanish Resources from the Smithsonian Institution

  • The Spanish Experiment

    The Spanish Experiment is a website that has well-known children’s stories translated into Spanish and spoken by a native Spanish speaker. You can read along in Spanish or English. The website also contains free online beginner Spanish lessons with audio. Free Services Offered: 5 free stories with audio and text & 15 free beginner Spanish lessons

  • Unite for Literacy

    Unite for Literacy has developed a platform, publishing tools, and systems-based strategies to change the literacy landscape of communities and optimize the future for all young children. The Unite online library provides free access to more than 400 original picture books, one fourth of them written in Spanish. The digital books provide audio narrations in more than 40 languages, spoken by native speakers in warm, expressive voices. The languages of narration include indigenous and endangered languages along with languages most widely spoken in the US. Free Services Offered: Free digital books in Spanish with narration.

  • Camp Kinda

    Camp Kinda describes itself as "an exploratory learning experience designed to keep kids ages 3-13 engaged, curious, and having fun—even if they're stuck at home. It’s like summer camp (kinda)." The camp offers families 1 to 2 hours of online and offline activities for each day of the summer. First launched for summer 2020 due to COVID-19, the camp is back with new additions for 2021. While the camp has a registration fee of $25 per family, fee waivers are available.

  • The Pizza Hut BOOK IT! Program

    Camp BOOK IT! rewards young readers (kids in pre-K thru 6th grade) with pizza! Families can use the digital summer camp's dashboard to help their child set a monthly reading goal for June, July, and August. Once they meet their monthly goal, they'll receive a certificate for a free one-topping Personal Pan Pizza from Pizza Hut. The summer reading program also shares book and activity reccomendations throughout the summer to encourage learning.

  • Kids Bowl Free

    Kids Bowl Free is a program allowing families to register kids for two free games of bowling all summer long at participating bowling centers. Find your state on the website to see participating bowling centers near you, as well as each bowling center's rental shoe policies and age limits. The Kids Bowl Free program is designed to bring kids a fun and healthy summer activity and to encourage bowling centers to give back to the community.

  • Scholastic Summer Reading Program

    The Scholastic Summer Reading Program takes place Monday, April 26 through Friday, September 3 and encourages kids to celebrate reading. Families can create an account where kids can track their "Reading Streak" and join in dance parties and online games. By recording their summer reading, kids can also help unlock book donations for kids in rural America with limited access to books.

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