60+ Online Learning and Homeschool Resources for Distance Learning

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There are times when we get an opportunity to teach our own school-age kids. It may be because school is canceled due to weather, emergencies, or because you’re traveling for an extended period of time. There are a plethora of free and paid online learning and homeschool resources that are available to parents.

Whether you’re looking for an online art class, dance class, STEM project, or an interesting podcast for children, there is a whole world of learning available online. You can take school with you just about anywhere!

Homeschool shouldn’t require kids to be on the computer for hours on end. But there are many resources that you can take advantage of online. Here is our curated list of high-quality online courses and educational YouTube channels for all ages — from elementary through high school.

A Note on School Closures:
While many states and counties have ordered school closures, Many educational websites and companies are offering free services and resources to parents and school. We’ve noted which of these online resources are waiving fees or having special online programs available.

Virtual Field Trips

Virtual field trips - homeschool resources
Explore space on a virtual field trip | Photo by: Bigstock/ADragan

 Trekaroo’s Virtual Field Trips

– Video | Free

Trekaroo is hosting our very own virtual field trips with amazing naturalist and interpretative guides from around the world to take a deep dive into topics that are near and dear to their heart. Join the live audience or a recording of a virtual field trip. We are taking the opportunity while everyone is home to stoke the curious of our kids about the world. Learn about ice caves in Iceland, and the Inka civilization in Peru.

For more on Trekaroo’s Virtual Field trips including how your family can be part of the live audience, visit Trekaroo’s Virtual Field Trips page.  We’ve included find other virtual field trip resources covering a wide variety of educational topics as well. 

Preparing for Home Schooling and Online Learning

Virtual school and classes
Distance learning and virtual school | Photo by: Bigstock/maximkabb

The most important first step for any homeschooling family is getting your school day organized. A traditional classroom has a predictable rhythm and your homeschool should too.

Engage your kids in creating a schedule so that everyone understands when it is time for working, exercising, doing chores, socializing and playing. This structure provides a framework to develop independent learners while injecting a sense of calm and predictability into the school day.

As parents who care about educating our kids, we are eager to return to learning from the road. Take the time to plan for when you are ready to road school again with Trekaroo’s Road School guides.

Helpful Online Tools to Get You Started

1. Trello – Online and iOS/Android App | Freemium

Trello is a wonderful tool for organizing work and family life. Many homeschool parents use it to organize their homeschool curriculum and assignments for the week. All the resources and tasks involved with each assignment can be attached to a card. 

2. Zoom – Video Conference App | Fee Waived for Schools

Zoom is the best video conferencing tool. The Trekaroo team uses this tool every day with our fully remote team. It’s a great way for kids to stay in touch with their friends while having school remotely. It’s also a great tool for allowing kids to work on group projects together from different locations.

3. G Suite Office Tools – Online Application | Free

Most kids are familiar with Google docs, Google Slides, and Google sheets for free word-processing and presentation tools. When working remotely, these are fantastic tools for collaborating on projects with classmates and teachers.

4. Soar With Wings – Videos and Lesson Plans | Free

A social-emotional learning curriculum with videos and lesson plans that help you to set up your students for successful learning. Lessons can be incorporated into art and writing assignments. 

5. Typing ClubLearn to Type Program | Free

Make all of this online learning much easier by teaching your kids to type! This free program is available through Google Play and tracks your child’s progress. 

Multi-Subject Online Learning Resources

1. BrainPop Jr.

– Online Lessons and iOS/Android App | Fee waived

BrainPop Jr. is a multi-subject resource filled with engaging animated videos. The videos are paired with interactive online activities and games to reinforce lessons. BrainPop Jr. covers reading, writing, math, science, social studies, art, health, and technology for kids K-3. Fees are currently waived for those affected by school closures.

2. BrainPop

– Online Lessons (iOS/Android App) | Fee waived

BrainPop is the elementary school multi-subject virtual learning platform which uses animated videos, quizzes, online activities, and games to engage kids in learning. Educator resources include lesson plans, printables, and tools. BrainPop is available in Spanish and French as well. Fees are currently waived for those affected by school closures. 

3. Khan Academy 

– Online Lessons and iOS app | Free

Khan Academy is a completely free resource offering a comprehensive math curriculum from kindergarten to higher education courses. Lessons include a video lesson taught by an expert followed by quizzes and practice questions.

Parents and teaches can track each student’s progress in a structured manner using a dashboard. In addition to Math, Khan Academy also offers curriculum for high school science, AP exams, and college testing (SAT, LSAT, MCAT, and more).

4. Outschool

Online Classes | Fee

Outschool offers LIVE online classes to kids of all ages on a wide range of topics – language arts, writing, math, science, art, music, history, geography, coding, and world languages. Classes start as low as $5 per session.

6. Smithsonian Learning Lab

– Online Lessons |Free

The Smithsonian Learning Lab has an impressive collection of free online lessons incorporating slides, videos, and teacher resources on a wide range of topics best suited to middles school and high school students. Topical studies range from history, culture, art, science, technology, current affairs.

7. PBS Learning Media

– Videos and Interactive Lessons | Free

A collection of PBS videos and interactive lessons on a wide range of topics from social studies, English language arts to math, science, engineering, technology, and art. For all ages start from preschool to high school and beyond. Teacher resources are also available. 

8. College Board AP

 – Online classes and exams | Free

High school students can take all AP courses online at College Board AP. During school closures, free AP courses are being taught by AP teachers around the country. College Board will also be administering AP tests online. 

9. John Hopkins Center for Talented Youth

– Online classes | Fee

Online classes for gifted kids looking for an academically challenging curriculum to augment their current school curriculum. They also offer Advanced Placement classes for college-bound high school students. 

Online Learning Math Resources

Online Math Resources
Homeschool math | Photo by: Bigstock/dolgachov

All Ages

2. Khan Academy – See description under multi-subject online learning resources.

3 .Outschool – See description under multi-subject online learning resources.

Elementary School (Grades K-5)

1. Dreambox

– Online classes | 90-day free trial

Dreambox offers math lessons for K-8 students using an adaptive learning platform. With school closures, Dreambox is offering 90-day free trials.

2. ST Math

iOS and Android App | Fee Waived

ST Math is an app for K-8 students that has a patented spacial-temporal approach to teaching mathematical concepts. “The program teaches foundational concepts visually, then connects the ideas to the symbols, language, and robust discourse.” It’s particularly good for kids with a visual learning style. 

Middle School (Grades 6-8)

1. Supercharge Science

– Videos and lessons | Free

An educational blog with a great collection of science and math videos to allow kids to get hands-on with math and science. Great for kids who like to learn by doing. Geared toward older elementary and middle school students.

2. ST MathSee description above for elementary school math resources.

High School (Grades 9-12)

1. Khan Academy See description under multi-subject online learning resources.

2. College Board AP – Take AP Calculus, Statistics, and Computer Science classes, practice tests, and exams online. Free during school closures.

Online Language Arts and Literature Resources

English Language Arts homeschool resources
English Language Arts – reading, writing, and literature | Photo by: Bigstock/ngad

All Ages

1. Scribd

Digital Library | Free one-month trial 

A virtual library with children, young adult, and adult titles. They have regular books, magazines, and audiobooks. First month is a free trial.

2. Scholastic Learn at Home

– Digital Books | Free

20 days reading and learning plan by Scholastic for all different grade levels. 

3. PBS Learning Media – Language Arts

Videos and interactive lessons | Free

For all grade levels starting with reading and writing to high school reading in science and technical subjects.

4. Outschool – See description under multi-subject online learning resources.

Elementary Reading and Writing (Grades K-5)

1.Epic!

Digital library (iOS and Andriod App) | Fee Waived

Epic is a wonderful digital lending library that is available to individual families as well as educators and schools. Through the end of the 2019-2020 school year, Epic is available to educators for free. Epic automatically keeps a reading log. It’s a great tool if you’re doing an independent study with your school and need to submit of your child’s reading.

2. Storytime with Ryan and Craig

– YouTube Channel | Free

Ryan and Craig read books to kids in their upbeat and hilarious style. They often take suggestions from kids around the country who send them books to read.

3. Storyline Online – Website with Videos | Free

Storyline Online has well-produced virtual storytimes with books read by professional readers. Text and audio allows your child to enjoy someone reading aloud to them while following along with the text.

4. BrainPop – See description under multi-subject online learning resources.

Middle School Language Arts (Grades 6-8)

1. Newsela

– Digital Journalist Library | Fee waived

Academically curated library of news articles with engaging content that are standards-aligned. A resource for teachers and school districts. They are offering free subscriptions through the 2019-2020 school year to facilitate distance learning.

High School English Literature (Grades 9-12)

1. Storytelling Training from the Smithsonian Learning LabOnline Lessons | Free
The storytelling series is particularly valuable for high school students learning to hone their writing and journalistic craft. 

2. Newsela – See description in middle school language arts.

3. College Board AP – Take AP English classes, practice tests, and exams online. Free during school closures.

Online Foreign Language Resources

1. The Spanish Experiment

Online classes and read-aloud videos | Fee-based lesson, Free read-aloud videos

Free online Spanish read-aloud children’s storytime videos (although they are great for adults who are beginners learnings Spanish). Online Spanish classes are also available.

2. Epic! Spanish section

Digital library (iOS and Andriod App) | Fee Waived

The Epic! digital lending library has a substantial Spanish section. Through the end of the 2019-2020 school year, Epic is available to educators for free. 

3. Raz Kids 

– Digital library | Fee Waived

Raz Kids has digital books for leveled reading in English and Spanish. | FeeAccompanying audio versions are also available if you log in. Especially for early readers those learning to read and comprehend Spanish. During school closures, RazKids is offering free subscription.

4. Guide to Online Spanish Learning – our friends at PuraVidaMomsMore have a full guide on keeping your kids reading, writing, and listening to Spanish.

5. College Board AP – Take AP Spanish, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, and Latin classes. Take practice tests, and exams online. Free during school closures.

Online Learning: History, Culture, and Geography

Social Studies History and Geography Online Classes
Homeschool resources for social studies | Photo by: Bigstock/PRImageFactory

All Ages

1. PBS Learning Media – Social Studies

Videos and Interactive Lessons | Free

For all ages, PBS offers educational videos and lessons covering Elementary Social Studiesn, U.S and World History, Economics, Geography, and Civics and Government.

2. Outschool

– See description under multi-subject online learning resources.

3. Our friends at Stuffed Suitcase have put together a great list of 25 Virtual Travel Day Trips to Take from Home.

Elementary School (Grades K-5)

1. BrainPop – See description under multi-subject online learning resources.

Middle School (Grades 6-8)

1. Classical Historian

Online classes | Fee

High School (Grades 9-12)

1. Khan Academy – See description under multi-subject online learning resources.

2. Smithsonian Learning Lab – See description under multi-subject online learning resources

3. College Board AP – Take AP Comparative Government, U.S. Government, European History, Human Geography, Macroeconomics, Microeconomics, Psychology, U.S History, and Modern World History classes. Take practice tests, and exams online. Free during school closures.

Online Science Learning

Homeschool resource for science and online STEM learning
Homeschool science and engineering | Photo by: Bigstock/LightField Studios

All Ages

1. All about Birds

– Lesson Plan and Webcam | Free

All about birds has a wonderful guide on bird watching from your backyard, a nearby park, or via webcam online. 

2. California Academy of Sciences Educator Resources

– Videos with Lesson Plans | Free

The educator resources section of the California Academy of Sciences has a large collections science and math videos that kids can engage with on their own. Teachers or parents can also use the lesson plans that are aligned to next generation science standards. All ages.

3. Daily DE by Discovery Education

– Weekly Activity Plan | Free

Printable weekly plan of daily STEM activities for different age groups fro K-12 with a mixture of self-paced online lessons, hand-on projects, short documentaries, thoughtful exercises, virtual field trips, and career exploration that leverage the amazing resources available on Discovery Education and other online resources. 

4. Brainchild on Netflix

Video series | Subscription required – 30-day free trial available

Brainchild is an educational Netflix series that explains the world around us in a way that is relatable to kids and teens. 

5. Outschool – See description under multi-subject online learning resources.

Elementary School (Grades K-5)

1. ScienceMom

– Youtube Channel | Free

Great science lessons and demonstrations videos with a very active and interactive community. Join their daily Youtube and Facebook live streaming science lessons called QuranTime to be part of their learning community. 8-10am PT daily until schools are back to normal programming. Geared towards elementary and middle school ages.

2. Curiodyssey At Home Science Experiments

– Lesson plans | Free

The Curiodyssey science museum has a list of fun experiments you can do at home with your elementary age kids.

3. Mystery Science

– Lesson plans | Fee waived for some lessons

Mystery Science offers ready to go STEM lesson plans for K-5. There are a limited number of free memberships available each year.

4. San Diego Zoo

– Webcams and Interactive Website | Free

Virtual field trip videos, activities, games, and lesson plans are available about the animals of the San Diego Zoo. Great for elementary age kids.

5. Kiwi Crate DIY Activities

– Project ideas | Free

STEM and craft project for preschool to elementary ages kids using materials you can find at home.

6. Brains On!

– Podcast | Free

The BrainsOn podcast is a series that explores the curious questions that kids (and adults) have about the world around them. Hear from experts around the world answering these questions, and stay tuned for the ever-popular mystery sound. 

7. BrainPop – See description under multi-subject online learning resources.

Middle School (Grades 6-8)

1. Kurzgesagt

– YouTube Channel  | Free

Kurzgesagt takes complex ideas and with the use of illustration boils it all down into a nutshell that is easy to comprehend. Middle to high school kids (and elementary school kids) can watch these videos for hours and learn about science, space, human psychology, economics, and new frontiers.

2. STEM in 30

– Videos | Free

Hosted by the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, the STEM in 30 webcast series explores different ways real life that STEM in space and aeronautics. During the school closures, kids can tune and bring their questions to scientists once a week on Thursday at 1pm ET for Air and Space Live Chat.

3. Smithsonian Science How

Videos | Free

The Science How video webcast brings science lessons from experts from the Smithsonian Museum of National History in every classroom and homeschool room. Lessons in Earth Science, Life Science, Paleontology, and Social Studies are aligned with national science standards

4. ScienceMom – See description above for elementary school science.

High School (Grades 9-12)

1. ChemMatters

– Articles and Videos | Free

An interesting series of videos and articles about chemistry in everyday life by the American Chemical Society. Perfect for middle to high school-age kids.

2. National Zoo Wildlife Careers

– Videos | Free

A video series with professionals with careers in working with wildlife. A wonderful resource for teens interested in pursuing higher education studies with animals and wildlife to expand their understanding of this career path.

3. Khan Academy – See description under multi-subject online learning resources.

4. College Board AP – Take AP Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Science, Physics 1, 2, and Physics C classes. Take practice tests, and exams online. Free during school closures.

Online Coding and Design Thinking Classes

Design thinking and online coding class
Design thinking and online coding class | Photo by: Bigstock/monkeybusinessimages

1. Code.org

– Online Lessons | Free

Code.org is a non-profit that encourages kids to code. It is known for it’s annual Hour of Code program with many free online tutorials on coding for kids. During school closures, Code.org is holding weekly  “Take a Code Break” webcast.

2. Tynker – Online Classes | Fee waived

Tynker offers online coding classes for kids as young as 5 years old to high schoolers. Their normal fee-based lessons are available for free during school closures.

3. CodeRev

– Online Classes | Fee

8-week livestream coding classes for Roblox, Minecraft, Mathcraft, Game Design, 3D modeling.

4. Play-Well Teknologies Lego Building Workshops – Facebook Live | Free

During school closures, participate in Facebook Live Lego building workshops on Play-Well Teknologies Facebook page. Fun design thinking projects using Legos.

5. Ivy-Leagues Online Classes for free – List of online classes.

6. Khan Academy – See description under multi-subject online learning resources.

7. Outschool – See description under multi-subject online learning resources.

Online Art and Craft Classes and Projects

Online art classes
Making art anywhere | Photo by: Bigstock/amveldman

1. Lunch Doodles with Mo Williams

– YouTube Channel | Free

The Kennedy Center and celebrated children’s author Mo Williams (Elephant and Piggy, Knuffle Bunny) have a live stream doodle session for kids. Mo Williams takes kids around his studio to give them a glimpse into what it’s like being a children’s illustrator and author. Best for elementary and middle school artists.

2. McHarper Manor Daily Art Lesson

–  Facebook Live | Free

During school closures, McHarper Manor is doing Facebook Live art lessons using limited supplies for 3 weeks. YOu can tune in anytime. Supply lists are here. Great for all ages.

3. Imagineering in a box by Disney and Khan Academy

– Online Lesson | Free

Disney’s Imagineers teach a course on Khan Academy on the art of storytelling and illustration. Great for young artists of all ages who want to learn from the best.

4. Re:Frame

– Video | Free

An engaging youthful video series featuring experts from across the Smithsonian—reframing how we think about art. Best for middles and high school students to see how art connects to many different areas of thought and society. 

5. Outschool – See description under multi-subject online learning resources.

6. College Board AP – Take AP Art and Design, Drawing, Art History, and Music Theory classes, practice tests, and exams online. Free during school closures.

Online Movement and Mindfulness Classes for Kids

Exercise videos for kids
Mindfulness and movement for kids | Photo by: Bigstock/fizkes

1. Go Noodle 

– Videos and Game App | Free

Go Noodle’s high energy video and game app get kids up and active in groups and on their own. Take a study break and dance along with one of the Go Noodle videos. Best for elementary school ages.

2. Cosmic Yoga

– Videos and iOS App | Free

Cosmic Yoga makes yoga accessible for young children taking a whimsical and light approach to making yoga fun for kids. Definitely best for preschool to elementary school ages.

3. CLI Studios

Free Dance Classes during Dance School Closures

If you have a dancer in your family you will definitely want to check out CLI Studios free online dance classes which are offered as part of the #KeepDancing movement. A schedule is posted daily and classes vary. Take beginning tap, intermediate hip hop, advanced lyrical, and so much more! Classes are being taught by famous dancers and choreographers. 

Private Tutoring and Virtual School

1. Varsity Tutors Private Tutoring and Virtual School – Online classes | Free virtual school. Fee for tutoring

Varsity Tutors offers live online teaching with private tutors. During school closures, Varsity Tutors is offering a free virtual school curriculum with classes on a range of topics like U.S. History, Science of Pandemics, and How to Win Arguments with Logic.

Instruction is interactive and includes practice problems and quizzes. Best for middle to high school students. 

Educational Printables and Lesson Plans

1. Made by Teachers

– Lesson Plans and Printables | Free and fee-based

Made by Teachers has a collection free and paid printables consisting of lesson plans and worksheets designed by teachers and educators. Largely elementary-focused resources.

 

 

About the author

LiLing Pang is Co-founder and CEO of Trekaroo . She is a mom to two boys and a girl and recently traveled through Central America. Together with her husband, Brennan Pang, they hatched the idea of Trekaroo one summer day along the California coast while searching for the best kid-friendly tide pool near La Jolla with their curious 2 and a half year old.

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