Schools across the country are closed due to the Covid-19 outbreak. This unprecedented move has left us parents with the job of educating our children for a couple of weeks if we are lucky enough to be able to quarantine with them during this time. Educational publishers are feeling our pain, though. Many have cut the cost of their programs during this time. Here are several free educational programs for the COVID-19 quarantine.
Age of Learning: This is a family of apps including ABCMouse, Adventure Academy, and ReadingIQ. ABCMouse seems to be the most publicized on TV right now. Designed for kids 2-8, this app leads kids through math and reading activities. Reading IQ offers digital books for kids ages 6-8, although some of the levels may work for older readers. Adventure Academy has a bit of a tween feel to the graphics, but it is listed as appropriate for ages 4+. These apps all have a free 30 day trial under typical circumstances, anyway.
Brain Pop: This site has endless fun and engaging short instructional videos on every topic imaginable. Of all the free educational programs for the COVID-19 quarantine, this one is like a teacher YouTube. The videos are all safe, so you don’t have to worry about something sketchy popping up.
Epic! This is a digital book site that your kids may already be using at school. During the quarantine, children will be able to use their school passwords at home. This site has thousands of ebooks, and most are popular titles. Others have been created specifically for Epic, but they are still pretty engaging. Daily reading will be a snap with this app.
Storyline Online This is a completely free site where kids can hear stories read aloud. These are great books, too!
Starfall The free portion of this app has so many cool features for kids in grades K-3. Students can work on super engaging math and reading activities.
Heggerty Phonemic Awareness: This program helps young children learn sounds, and it is amazing. This company is creating three weeks’ worth of lesson plans for free that parents can use with their children during this time off. This one is my favorite of all the free educational programs for the Covid-19 quarantine.
Libby: If you’re not comfortable venturing to your local library at this time or your library is completely closed, don’t worry. Libby has you covered. You can enter your library card and check out available ebooks and audio books to use during your downtime. Super convenient! And free!
Newsela: Teachers use this current events site all the time to pull timely articles for kids. You can set up a free account and assign articles digitally, or print them out on your child’s level. In fact, you could give children of different ages the same article. Just go to the “max” button at the top of the screen. You’ll get a drop down with a variety of Lexile levels. I printed some articles for my middle school daughter for her science project. I could have printed the same articles for my third grade son at a lower level. There are also leveled questions and vocabulary as well. This site is always free, but does have the option to upgrade for some more features.
Readworks: This is another site teachers use to pull reading passages for just about every language arts skill and topic imaginable. If you need specific social studies or science information, you can find articles or stories with questions at levels from K-12. This site is super helpful right now! This site is always free.
Typing Club: Two weeks off from school? Why not learn to type? This always free web-based program will help your child master those pesky keyboarding skills.
Hopefully, these apps will help you keep your kids busy with academics at home during a possible school closure. Check out this previous post I wrote listing other apps your kids could use as well. Stay well, everyone!