As schools across the country close due to the COVID-19 pandemic, millions of students are home without schoolwork. While some teachers may have sent work home with students and many colleges are simply moving classes to an online format, others did not have time to prepare before the closures took place.
If your kids have been impacted, there are numerous free online resources you can sign up for to ensure your children are keeping their minds sharp while on this hiatus. Here’s a list of services offering free online classes or other educational materials during the shutdowns.
Outschool, which has been used for homeschooling, tutoring and extracurricular activities since 2015, is offering $300,000 worth of free classes — up to $100 per family. They have more than 10,000 live, online classes for ages 3-18 conducted via video chat. Classes are all taught by a qualified teacher and include courses in subjects such as math and English. Kids can also learn to bake, get instructed in video game design, and take health and wellness classes.
Outschool says they are also in need of more teachers because of increased demand. They’re looking for a whopping 5,000 teachers right now, so if you are qualified and out of work because of any of the closures around the country, you may want to look into signing up.
Scholastic has served as an educational tool for decades and now they’re offering free online learning. Their “Learn at Home” website has daily courses for students from Pre-kindergarten to grades 6+. While the website currently only has five days worth (three hours a day) of science, social studies, ELA and social-emotional learning content, Scholastic says an additional three weeks (15 days) of content will be coming soon.
There is no signup required and the website is accessible on all devices with an internet connection. Simply choose from four grade levels and your child can get started on a variety of subjects.
Khan Academy, a nonprofit organization with free educational resources for kindergarten through 12th grades, will be having live streams on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter every weekday at 9 a.m. PST/12 p.m. EST for students, parents and teachers navigating school closures.
They have created multiple guides, including daily schedules for students ages 4-18. You’ll also find daily lessons covering everything from core curriculum classes to computer animation and SAT preparation.
For college students looking to study while off-campus, or simply anyone looking to further their education, OpenStax has free online homework products and openly licensed digital textbooks that are available to anyone, anywhere.
A nonprofit educational initiative based at Rice University, Openstax includes books in math, science, social studies and more.
Prodigy is an online math program that uses adaptive video game-style lessons to help motivate students in first through eighth grades. Users create characters and conquer challenges while doing math along the way, making it clearly more fun than just opening up a textbook.
You will need to create an account for your student and one for yourself if you’d like to monitor your child’s progress, but you can always start with a free membership.
Mystery Science is offering a number of free memberships for up to one year. They have lessons on a variety of science-related topics for kids in kindergarten through fifth grades.
Some would be interesting and timely right now — like “How do germs get inside your body?” and “How does hand sanitizer kill germs?” Video lessons are complemented by hands-on experiments and downloadable activities.
Free classes being offered don’t just apply to children, either. If you’re stuck at home because you can’t work or find yourself with some extra time because you’re working from home, you may want to consider taking a few classes yourself.
How are you dealing with the school closures?