Whether you are homeschooling or looking for more educational screen time opportunities for your kids, I have compiled a list of my favourite free resources. So in no particular order, here are my favourite online resources to help kids learn from home.
A little tip: Bookmark all these pages into your browser to make it easier for your kids to discover and next time your kids say they are bored, let them spend some screen time learning while giving you some quiet time! 🙂
National Geographic Kids
Let’s start with an iconic brand where many of us instantly recognize the magazine with its distinct yellow colour. The National Geographic Society published its first issue in 1888 and has been providing educational learning opportunities ever since.
National Geographic Kids will keep your children engaged and interested in everything the world has to offer. From learning about animals to reading a map, world history, and beyond. This site is packed with reading, puzzles, games, and so much more!
TIME for Kids
Another globally recognized magazine, Time, has built an education website just for kids. TIME for Kids explores politics, culture, the environment, health, and sports. This site is best suited for kids a bit older. I would recommend 10+ where their reading skills can enable them to learn more about the world around them, gather knowledge, and form their own opinions. Although this site is less interactive/game-driven, your kids will learn new information that is easily understood and will create great conversations at the dinner table.
For parents in their 30’s and 40’s, we remember much of our childhood watching non-streamed TV from the local PBS channels. PBS Kids brings back many of our childhood characters like Sesame Street Muppets or Curious George. These short stories, videos, and games are well suited for younger children under the age of 10. As a bonus, check out the various tips they have for parents on how to incorporate online learning at home.
As the title suggests, CoolMath4Kids focuses on helping children from kindergarten to grade 6 learn key math concepts in a fun and interactive way. From games and quizzes to brain teasers and puzzles, there are many choices that your kids will love to try and play. For kids aged 13+, you can access the sister website called CoolMath that focuses more on algebra.
Note: This website should not be confused with CoolMathGames,. Although the name suggests something similar to the website above, most of the games are simple Atari-like games that will not teach your children anything useful.
Want to help your kids learn a new language? Exposing young children to languages is a perfect opportunity to pick up a skill that will be long-lasting and impactful on their lives. Duolingo is an easy-to-use website that encourages children to learn a new language through writing, speaking, and listening. Even if your child does just 5-10 mins a day, they can start to learn. With hundreds of languages to choose from (including French, Spanish, Mandarin, and more), the little green Duolingo owl will encourage your kids to complete a lesson. One thing we do at home is let our kids watch an extra movie/tv show on weekends, but it cannot be in English. Therefore, they usually watch something they have already seen to make it easier to follow along while learning the new language, in our case French.
Is your child a future rocket scientist? NASA Kids is a fun website to learn more about space. Nebula, your child’s online sidekick, will become your child’s friend and help them take on missions with real-life space images and videos. The website covers various space topics through interactive games and puzzles that are both fun and educational.
If space is not your child’s interest but they love to dance, try out GoNoodle! GoNoodle encourages children to funnel their energy into positive and mindful exercises. This website publishes regularly fun activities, dance routines, challenges, and even science lessons. As a parent, you will also like that they encourage your child to tidy up, eat healthy food, exercise, and believe it or not, help out with the cooking!
Similar to GoNoodle, Cosmic Kids created a website and YouTube channel that teaches kids yoga and mindfulness. Wellness for kids is something I strongly encourage. To help motivate your child’s interest, Cosmic Kids uses favourite stories like Harry Potter, Cinderella, and Frozen. This site is definitely one in which you should join in with your kids. You too can learn new skills such as breathing techniques, how to avoid stress, and dealing with anxiety.
Speaking of resources that are great for kids and adults, TED-Ed is an awesome resource of inspiring videos on a huge range of topics and suitable for children of all ages. You and your child can learn from video-based lessons many new and interesting topics. You will be surprised by such a wide range and hopefully open your child’s interest in learning new things.
This resource was created by teachers. Fuse School provides great resources including short videos on topics including math, chemistry, physics. and biology. Parents will also enjoy this website because a lot of topics are covered in ways that even we can enjoy and follow along. There is a social network aspect for this platform, so as always, I strongly recommend keeping an eye on who is talking with them to ensure your child is staying safe online.
The Exploratorium is a popular public laboratory where your kids can explore the science behind computing, physical balance, gadgets, and sea-to-space. There is even some arts and history! The Exploratorium features lots of inspiring hands-on experiments that they can teach your children to do at home, called “Science Snacks”.
Make Me Genius
Last but not least, Make Me Genius is a website for children who like to be more challenged, providing more advanced topics and materials. With videos, presentations, quizzes, and more, your child with a real hunger for knowledge will enjoy this one. A true site for all our young geniuses across the world.
“I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious.”Albert Einstein
Don’t forget to check out what your local library has to offer. Not only do many libraries now offer workshops, reading workshops, and other fun activities. At our household, the latest popular thing to do is download eBooks, where the kids get to listen to their favorite stories. This is a fantastic way to keep your kids entertained for road trips instead of watching tv and movies.
Do you have any favourite resources?
Feel free to reach out, always looking for more to add to our list at home.
Jonathan is the VP Growth at TutorOcean. Jonathan previously worked at Klipfolio, Invest Ottawa, Irdeto and IBM. Jonathan is also the Co-Founder of STEAM Foundation who successfully launched a Kids Coding Camp helping inspire students early in their educational development. Jonathan is also an active startup advisor, giving back to help the next generation of entrepreneurs. Feel free to reach out on LinkedIn.