After two school years affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, students are now mostly back in school and back on a normal class schedule. However, many of the resources that went online during the pandemic are still open to students and can help with learning beyond the classroom.
Here are some resources that can help with continuing education even in hybrid or at-home environments. Even if your kids are back to school in person, it’s a good idea to know what resources are available online – with limited access to schools or library resources (or long lines due to limited headcounts inside the building)
General Continued Learning
IXL: IXL provides free, skills-based learning and practice exercises for students. There is a membership option, which allows families to pay a monthly subscription for a personalized curriculum based on diagnostics and analytics, but there are many lessons and games that don’t require a paid membership.
OpenLearn: OpenLearn (provided through Open University) is an online platform that provides access to multiple subjects and resources for learning. Older students (high school and above) can find resources to supplement learning – or take full courses in language, business, or a variety of other subjects.
PBS Kids: For younger students, PBS Kids is a great way to get homework help and remain engaged at home and over the summer. The site has videos, games and other interactive content for kids. It also has information for parents on educational activities and games that you can play with your kids to keep them academically engaged
Help with Reading Comprehension
ReadWorks: ReadWorks uses an online platform to help build reading comprehension for preschoolers up through 12th grade. This can be a great resource to supplement the work of teachers during the year – and ensure your kids are keeping up on their reading comprehension skills throughout the summer.
Biblionasium: Biblionasium is a safe social network in which students can recommend their favorite books to others by writing reviews. This site helps encourage kids to read independently by providing a safe space for reviewing, recommending and discussing books – supported by parents and teachers.
Building STEM Skills
Better Explained: Better Explained as a website that provides intuitive math explanations for more visual learners. The math help on Better Explained includes charts, tables and other visuals with short articles to explain major math concepts.
Khan Academy: Khan Academy is an online platform that can be used to supplement learning of STEM subjects like biology, physics or math. On the website, kids and parents can find ideal learning schedules for a school day when school is closed (for ages 4-18) to keep learning continuity.
CK-12: CK-12 has science textbooks, curriculum and online activities that students can use to supplement their classwork or to help better understand a particular concept or subject.
Code.org: Code.org has free K-12 computer science classes that kids can use to build their skills. The website also has a large list of games and activities that students of all ages (including adults) can use to learn coding basics.
Coolmath: Coolmath provides short explainer lessons for major math concepts online. Its sister site, coolmathgames.com provides exercises and games in which kids can utilize what they just learned to strengthen their understanding of math concepts.
Getting Ready for a Test
Quizlet: Quizlet has many pre-built lessons and flashcard packs that you can use to get ready for tests (language vocabulary, terms tests, etc.) but students can also use this tool to create custom flashcards for themselves. Your kids have a list of historical events they need to memorize? Quizlet can be a great resource for creating flashcards that they can take with them digitally (and that don’t waste paper).
While Many Libraries Remain Closed
Project Gutenberg: Project Gutenberg is a resource that includes over 60,000 free eBooks on a variety of sources. While many libraries remain closed or are difficult to get an appointment for, students can use these free resources to complete research projects and homework from home.
National Geographic for Kids: National Geographic for Kids is a great resource on animals and nature – but it also can be great for helping kids understand how to research and create reports. The homework help section on the site has great resources for how to fact check research and provides report writing templates so kids can be confident with their final projects.
Trying Out a Field of Study
Academic Earth: For older students (in high school, etc.) who want to try out certain fields of study, Academic Earth provides free online courses from some of the country’s most well-known universities. Students can discover what the study of business is like at Stanford or engineering at MIT all through free academic resources.
No matter what your kids’ learning situation, there are still some resources that are free for students to access and use online. If you ever feel stuck – or if you’d like to encourage them to hone their skills over the summer – these resources can help.