There are numerous online learning resources available for children. However, how do you know which resources are best for your child/ren? And how can you find the time, as busy work-at-home parents, to find the best resources for your child/ren online amongst the myriad of resources?
Fortunately, some excellent reviews of online learning resources have emerged in recent weeks to support you. We, Deirdre, Margo and Rosaria, mothers and educators and the three founders and directors of Education and Development Solutions, have put together a list of our top ten of these reviews of free online learning resources for children of all ages, to help you find the support you need with home schooling during the covid-19 pandemic.
Most importantly, do not put yourself or your children under pressure with home schooling and online learning, you can only do what you can manage and what works for you and your family as a unit within the resources available to you – laptops, phones, human resources (you, older siblings, friends). We love these expert tips from teachers by Donna Ferguson in the Guardian. They highlight the importance of cutting yourself some slack and allowing your children space and time to choose and lead their learning, to get bored, to have fun, and to prioritise yours and your child/ren’s well-being.
Here we go – our top ten reviews!
This set of resources, compiled by Tiffany Doerr Guerzon, includes excellent resources for all ages, subjects, interests and skills, as well as clubs that your children can join to learn skills, such as typing or Science club. It includes some resources for children with special needs, such as dog on a log books for children with dyslexia. It includes Khan Academy, the favourite online resource of one of our founder’s teenage son. Khan Academc is a hugely popular resource for teachers, offing lessons in all subjects at all grades and allowing personalized learning at child’s own pace. It also allows parents to sign up and add your child and become your child’s coach for home schooling and/or help you track your child’s progress.
This site is very popular and includes curriculum-based materials for many countries, with advice for parents, online games, worksheets, and so on. This link is for Ireland, however, find your country and click on resources based on your country’s curriculum. It has free school closure packs based on each grade of school with curriculum led activities and worksheets.
Designed for teachers but invaluable to parents also. It includes reviews of 25+ virtual tours, 60+ best Mathematics websites, 25+ best reading websites, 40+ best Social Studies websites, top Science websites, hands on activity ideas, learning with TV suggestions, Best reading apps, free printables, digital penpals, and more!!
These 17 free educational websites for kids are fun while offering online teaching games, printables, videos, and much more. It includes websites such as BBC History, How Stuff Works, National Geographic for Kids, Sesame Street, Cool Maths, and Time for Kids. This review was completed by Apryl Duncan, a former writer for Verywell Family, covering stay-at-home and work-at-home parenting.
Hannah O’Dwyer, a primary teacher now working as an education officer with Irish autism charity, asIam, has put together an excellent list of resources for learning, such as access to textbooks (for Ireland, but many countries’ textbook publishers are offering free access to textbooks online during covid-19), and online classes offered by celebrities such as Maths with Carol Vordeman and Music with Mylene Klass.
Gavin McCormack, Principal at Farmhouse Montessori School in Australia, has compiled this very useful review to save you time before opening each of the tools. It includes tools from KG to university, from printables to VR tools. Gavin also posts weekly timetable for parents throughout the pandemic, you can find him on linkedIn.
This has list of websites, mobile reading and other apps, MOOCS, platforms and digital learning systems.
Microsoft is keeping a regularly updated free list of educational resources or remote learning, during time of Covid-19, in alphabetical order, from lAchemy which lists chemistry resources to Jove extensive video STEM library to Quizalize, as well as lots of fun learning games and so much more!
Apple have compiled resources to support parents at this time which make the most of Apple Technology
These fun-filled educational apps provide perfect brain food for children while schools are closed.
This provides parents with reviews of resources to develop literacy, though many of the resources, mostly books, are not free. It includes online read aloud books, story times, sing-alongs, tutorials on how to use at home. For free vocabulary development and grammar games and exercises for all age groups and grades, visit Dictionary.com’s home parent teacher centre.
Finally, remember your local library – most libraries now have many of their books in e-books format. My local library in Galway here is one that I use all the time.
If you come across other useful reviews or comments on any of those we have shared, please let us know on: firstname.lastname@example.org.
We wish you and your families all the best during this time, continue to focus on staying safe and well through following the WHO guidelines – Practice social distancing and frequent hand-washing. We will get through this difficult time.
Margo, Deirdre and Rosaria