For my overall thoughts and suggestions for “Homeschooling” during COVID school closures, please visit this page.
Some notes about the info below for ALL STUDENTS:
- For thematic learning, you can use several of the resources listed below to help you easily develop entire lesson plans around the topic. I indicated resources that are especially useful for thematic learning with [TL].
- Unless otherwise stated, assume these resources are free (some are always free; some are just free during school closures). Please keep in mind that many businesses are struggling to stay open and pay their workers. So, if you enjoy the resources and are able to donate to the organization, please do – especially at a time like this.
- For those sites that have a related app for your phone or tablet, I have added [App] so that you can search for it by name in your device store. Please note that the apps, while often more convenient, usually have more limitations of free access.
- Some activities are live streamed at certain times on certain days. I have indicated those in italics. For most of these, the videos are available at least 24 hours afterwards also.
- Hands-on learning creates stronger memories and understanding. So have your children try the activities that can be done “In Real Life” [IRL]. Keep in mind that this may mean going to a website to read about a hands-on lesson, order materials, or print a worksheet.
- Pro Tip: Put printouts in plastic sheet protectors and have your children use dry erase markers so that you can do the sheets over and over.
Note: I usually create my own content in pdf form because linking to other websites often results in unforeseeable changes like altered content, modified pricing, broken links, etc. If something I posted below has changed or is not correct, please email me so I can correct it.
Visit the following links for resources for:
For ALL ages:
Gutenberg has ebooks made available to the public [TL]
Literati’s “kids book club delivers exceptional books across five book clubs for children 12 and younger.” You get one week to explore 5 books per shipment and then you return the books for free. $9.95/month. [IRL]
Read Theory has “Personalized reading comprehension exercises for K-12 and ESL students.”
Storyline Online “Streams videos featuring celebrated actors reading children’s books alongside creatively produced illustrations. . . . Each book includes supplemental curriculum developed by a credentialed elementary educator, aiming to strengthen comprehension and verbal and written skills for English-language learners.” [TL] [App]
Storytime from Space has videos of astronauts reading books from space while the pages of the book are displayed so kids can follow along. “ Within each unit you will find science background information for educators, science activities and cross-content activities (such as Language Arts, Social Studies, Physical Ed. etc.) that help support the STEM concepts.”
Scholastic Education: “Every day includes four separate cross-curricular learning experiences, each built around a thrilling, meaningful story or video.” You can also search books and activities by subject, genre, theme, category, or grade. [TL] [IRL]
Skybrary is “a carefully curated, ever expanding interactive library of digital books and video explorations.” 1 month free trial, then it costs $4.99/month. [App]
Get Epic has a digital library with related videos and quizzes for kids 12 and under. First 30 days are free. [TL] [App]
Vooks is a kid-safe, ad-free streaming library of read-aloud animated storybooks for $4.99/mo. [TL] [App]
Unite for Literacy has various categories of books with flippable pages that can be read aloud. [TL] [App]
The Gail Borden Public Library’s Facebook Page has storytime and activities in English and Spanish M-F at 1pm and 2pm CST, Family Program Sat at 1pm CST.
LitPick Lessons is a growing collection of curriculum-based lesson handouts and teaching guides in categories like Careers, Faith, and STEAM. [TL] [IRL]
Audible has children’s books that are read aloud. [TL] [App]
Story Nory has audio stories for kids, including fairytales, original stories, myths, poems, music, history and audiobooks all read beautifully by professional actors. [TL]
Harry Potter at Home has activities, games, puzzles, reading opportunities & more provided by JK Rowling. [IRL]
Storytime with author James Dean M-F at 11:00am CST on Instagram @PeteTheCatOfficial (videos are also saved there for viewing anytime). Visit the website for Pete the Cat songs, animated videos and downloadable activities.
@Josh Gad and #GadBookClub on Twitter – Frozen actor Josh Gad reads nightly at 6:30pm CST (videos are also saved there for viewing anytime)
On YouTube, search “Read aloud books for __” and choose the age/grade of your children.
Common Sense Media has “trusted ratings and reviews for what your kids want to watch, created with families in mind.” [TL] [App]
Kinder Art has downloadable and printable lessons and activities for children PreK-8. [TL] [IRL]
All Kids Network has thousands of crafts, worksheets, coloring pages, mazes, hidden pictures, etc. [TL] [IRL]
Harptoons: “Each lesson starts with a number or letter. These letters and numbers are magically turned into animals, monsters, and funny characters by just adding a few simple lines and shapes” which can be transformed “into ideas for stories or comics.” Steve Harpster also draws online on his facebook page @harptoons every M-F at 1pm CST.
Art for Kids Hub has draw along art lessons.
5-20 minute kids drawing exercises via Draw Together with WendyMac on M-F at 12pm CST on Instagram Live. Available for up for 24 hrs in stories.
Art teacher Cassie Stephens goes live M-F at 11am CST with weekly themed art projects.
Artist Lindsay leads virtual art lessons M-F at 10am CST on Facebook live.
Ms Jesion’s Artroom has grade level specific sketchbook prompts, classroom information and art class assignment links. [IRL]
Author Nick Bruel Bad Kitty activities and videos.
The Library of Congress is collaborating with Captain Underpants author and illustrator to create weekly videos on F at 7am CST for drawing, creating characters, and acting out scenes. [IRL]
Scratch: Kids can create stories, games, and animations, and then share them with the world. [TL]
Student Treasures allows children the opportunity to become published authors. Just order a free kit, let your kid get creative, submit the final product, and they will send you a hardcover book. [TL] [IRL]
Write the World allows budding writers to connect, get writing prompts and advice. [IRL]
StoryBird is a short story creation website with engaging prompts created by experienced teachers. [IRL]
PlayMakers Laboratory Theatre goes online every MWF at 3pm CST with PlayMakers Media Lab to share their hilariously adapted stories online for all ages.
Magic Dave is hosting mini magic shows on W at 9am CST that are “full of magic, silly characters and lots of fun” and Story Time on F at 1pm CST where Magic Dave reads a fairytale story (but Charlie the Cheetah thinks he knows the story better).
“Create impressive videos in minutes with Animoto’s drag-and-drop video maker. No video editing experience necessary.” [App]
The Metropolitan Opera streams encore performances of some of its most famed shows to the public for free.
Cirque Du Soleil has online videos of its performances.
The Paintbrush “incorporates music appreciation into hands-on art appreciation lessons to teach students about the lives and the works of influential artists from the past and modern day, from all over the world.”
“SmartMusic is a web-based suite of music education tools that support efficient practice, helping musicians to develop and grow.” [App]
Mr. Selfridge is a professional saxophone player and music teacher who posts videos to help students learn the basic skills of playing all the band instruments. With school closures, he has been doing live band classes on YouTube MWF at 2pm CST.
Incredibox allows users to compose their own music through avatars. [App]
Groove Pizza allows users to create music using math concepts like shapes, angles, and patterns.
VIRTUAL FIELD TRIPS:
Different parts of Yellowstone National Park
Article listing 33 National Parks with Virtual Tours
5 National Parks in Alaska, Hawai’i, New Mexico, Utah, and Florida
Google Arts & Culture’s collection includes the British Museum in London, the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, the Guggenheim in New York City, and literally hundreds of more places where you can gain knowledge about art, history, and science. [TL] [App]
4 of the Louvre’s exhibits
Interactive British Museum timeline allows you to explore different themes of art across different time periods. [TL]
Live streams of various places and animals. [TL] [App]
Farm Sanctuary has virtual humane education classes about their animals for K-12 students including storytimes, sing-a-longs, and more. Classes are M & F at 1:30pm CST, Tu & Th at 12pm CST.
Switch Zoo: Animal learning games, crafts, music, stories, etc. [App]
Sedwick County Zoo goes live behind-the-scenes for animal encounters, keeper chats, and more M-F at 11am-2pm CST.
Shark Story Hour at Atlantic White Shark Conservatory M-F at 10am CST.
Live streams of animals from zoos:
Pandas at Zoo Atlanta
Penguins at Kansas City Zoo
Polar Bear Cubs at Ouwehand Park
Go noodle: “Movement and mindfulness videos created by child development experts.” [App]
Adventures of Superstretch: Meditation, health, and wellness [App]
Sworkit: Sign up for “Kid Workouts” that are customizable and have student examples. [App]
Open Phys Ed: “Games and calendars for families to use to make their home an Active Home,” as well as “resources to . . . provide meaningful movement opportunities that progress students toward physical education and social & emotional learning outcomes.” [IRL]
PBS Kids and Arthur provide “resources to help you and your family understand the basics of staying fit and healthy.”
Darebee: Diagrams of exercises. [IRL]
“Debbie Doo TV is where you will move, learn, dance, sing and most importantly have FUN!”
Cosmic Kids Yoga “Yoga, mindfulness and relaxation for kids.” [App]
Fitness Blender: “Search over 500 free workouts by length, difficulty, training type, muscles used, calorie burn & more.”
P.E. with Joe Wicks videos, with live 30 minute sessions every M-F at 4am CST.
Jesse is now live streaming YouTube PE classes M-F at 12:15pm CST.
Themed HIIT workouts by Glenn Higgins that are good for kids.
“Would You Rather Roblox Fitness”: You have 10 seconds to choose which of the 2 options is their favorite. Then another timer appears for 30 seconds along with an exercise GIF depending on which.
“You Choose” videos developed by Eric Turrill.
Ross Chakrian specifically designs exercises for younger kids to follow.
Wild Child Gym in CA streams free online classes.
Maine Isshinryu Karate Academies (MIKA) is streaming live karate classes on Facebook.
New York City Ballet principal dancer Tiler Peck has launched an online series of daily ballet classes on her Instagram account M-F at 12pm CST.
Just Dance videos that children can dance along to.
GROOV3 with Dance Sweat Live is “the intersection of Dance and Fitness.”
Move to Learn “classroom videos help elementary and teenage students shake out the energy and regain focus.”
Chicago Loves Dance posts follow along to warm up, games, cheers, yoga, and dance routines.
Ms Ajanta: Tu & Fr at 10am & 3pm CST Listen to fun stories and dance to some fun Bollywood tunes! Perfect for ages 2 to 8 years.
PhET has over 125 interactive simulations for physics, chemistry, biology, earth science, and mathematics for K-12 students. [App]
Laboratory Collective’s Virtual Wizarding School “blurs the lines between subjects, seamlessly connecting literature, history, art and design, writing, role play and popular culture and brings it to life through math and science. Our immersive storylines empower students to use math and science to solve problems that are engaging and interesting to them.
Let’s Talk Science has learning resources and videos for STEM topics.
Mark Rober is a former NASA engineer. His Science Class on STEM topics livestreams on YouTube every MWF at 2pm CST.
Scouts compiled some STEM indoor activity ideas. [IRL]
Carly and Adam themed STEM Challenges. [TL] [IRL]
Wonderopolis has 2,000+ Wonders of the Day covering a vast range of topics. [App]
“Nature Lab is the @nature_org hub for youth curriculum that gives teachers, students, and families resources to explore and understand nature.” [IRL]
Kids Gardening Activities has ideas for gardening, seeds, plants, animals, and more. [IRL]
Hills of Milk and Honey are amplifying the Regeneration Movement with “online modules to guide families through lessons in regenerative agriculture. No need to own a farm or have access to land. We bring the concepts to life on your screen and provide ways for your family to get involved in your own neck of the woods.” [IRL]
England-based science presenters Maddie Moate and Greg Foot have launched a half-hour LIVE YouTube show every M-F at 6am CST. The videos are posted to YouTube afterwards.
NASA: Space stories, videos, images, and STEM projects. [IRL]
Space Racers is a “NASA-funded, award-winning preschool television series that follows young spaceship cadets at the Stardust Space Academy as they explore the solar system. Episodes of the TV series — along with educational content; science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics (STEAM) activities; and educator-approved lesson plans — are now available online.”
Discovery #MindBlown app helps kids explore the world around us with videos, hands-on experiences, and games. [TL] [App] [IRL]
Frontiers for Young Minds has more than 400 articles written by scientists and aimed at young people. [TL]
The Kids Should See This: 4,300+ kid-friendly STEAM videos on science, technology, space, animals, nature, food, music, art, animation, etc. [TL]
The Royal Academy of Engineering has collaborated to launch the Great Exhibition at Home, a seven-week home science project looking at how science and engineering can help protect the planet. They also have global at-home projects and free resources. [IRL]
Steam Powered Family: STEM activities/experiments and STEAM challenges. [IRL]
How to Smile: Theme-focused STEM lessons include national standards, big idea lists, popular media content, and concept maps. [TL] [IRL]
CodaKid is a kids coding platform that teaches kids how to use real programming languages and professional tools while creating games, coding apps, programming drones, building websites, and more. CodaKid provides a 14 day free trial.
Explained with LEGO Bricks videos teach educational STEM facts using LEGO.
Snapology offers 1hr online “instructor-guided programs that provide fun, focused activities for students who have access to LEGO bricks and other creative materials” for $10 on M-Th at various times in the afternoon (CST). They are also offering 5 online classes M-F at 4pm CST for $35.
Delish‘s editorial director Joanna Saltz and her kids will be going live on Instagram M-F at 12pm CST to share cook-along videos for parents and children. The videos are saved on Instagram for 24 hours afterwards.
The Kids Table is offering Virtual Healthy Cooking Classes via Facebook Live every MWF at 11am CST.
Taste Buds Kitchen releases new recipe video every Tu and Th at 1pm CST made with simple ingredients you hopefully already have in your pantry.
Type Tastic has 700+ typing activities for all grade levels.
Nitro Type helps students “Improve typing skills while competing in fast-paced races with up to 5 typers from around the world.”
Kidz Type has “Dance Mat Typing” organized by skill level
Muzzy “works for preschool to high school age kids because the stories are engaging & it is designed for children to go at their own pace.” [App]
Rosetta Stone is offering a 3 month free subscription for K-12 students to learn one of 25 languages.
Duolingo uses short, mini-lessons to teach a new language in a way that is fun and effective.
Memrise allows users to “watch and learn real conversational language from native speakers” and “get a personalised learning experience that gives you just the right level of challenge to keep you motivated.” [App]
GENERAL STUDY STRATEGIES:
WorldWise Tutoring’s Student Handbook resources for Organizational & Study Strategies [IRL]
WorldWise Tutoring’s YouTube videos on Organizational & Study Skills. [IRL]
Popplet is a mind-mapping tool that can be especially helpful for kids who have problems with organization and visual memory. The app allows kids to insert words, images, and their own drawings to help kids who benefit from visual presentation. [App]
Anki‘s Flash card app that automatically spaces flashcards based upon confidence with material to track mastery. [App]
“JIRA Jr. is the best way to track being a kid. Track baseball cards, tea parties, boo-boos, poo-poos, and more.” This helps children organize, plan, and schedule their priorities. [TL]
And remember… if you’d like one of our expert tutors to help devise, teach, monitor, and assess lessons for your child, we are here to help! CONTACT US.