Learning from home is on the rise. However, being home doesn’t mean your educational resources are limited. In fact, this is the best time to try distance learning. The Internet opens a world of possibilities. Better yet, there are masses of free resources to be used for everything from lesson planning and instruction, to supplemental resources and practice. If you are just beginning with distance learning for kids, here is a comprehensive guide with many subjects included to get you started with free distance learning programs.
What is Distance Learning?
While distance learning or distance education seems to coincide with online education, the official definition is a method of studying using live broadcast or classes through correspondence online, without the student requiring to attend a school or college.
Free Educational Websites & Subscriptions
The Internet is teeming with distance learning options. Some are actual online schools or curriculum suppliers. Beyond the curriculum, though, many websites provide educational games, interactive instruction, and incremental learning. There is something for everyone from early learning, to continuing education.
Here is a list of the most popular distance learning websites that are free or offering a free trial. (Note: these were free at the time of posting 5/13/2020, some offers may have changed or expired.)
Free Online Math Resources
If you are looking for awesome math resources online, here are some popular virtual math education portals and cool online math games. You’ll find several videos, articles, and lessons for free for many age ranges and levels.
Popular Reading Programs
There are a ton of free reading programs for preschool and elementary age kids on the internet. Keep in mind, you’ll find some subscription-based programs with trials while considering what’s best for your emerging reader.
- 6-Weeks of Phonics from Kindergarten Mom
- Free workbook from Evan Moor
- Scholastic Website
- Reading Eggs Free Trial
- Sesame Street Online
- Scholastic Learn at Home
- Reading Bear
Online Games for Kids
Kids love games and its a perfect way to teach strategic thinking, problem-solving, and focused learning. You’ll find these amazing websites a great tool to get your kids excited about their education!
Free Preschool Games
While preschoolers have a hard time sitting still, you may have an easier time keeping them focused on the tasks at hand using these interactive and free websites! You’ll find a ton of free preschool games along with sit down work such as worksheets, coloring pages, and more.
Free All in One Homeschool Curriculum
If you are looking for an all-inclusive learning site, these free online all-in-one resources are some of the most popular in the online world. As you can see, there are some great options. Please note that some may have a free trial for a limited period of time before expiring.
Virtual Extracurricular Activities
Looking for other subjects besides the 3 R’s? There are a ton of online curriculum homeschool based, but maybe you are looking for extra curriculum activities outside of these core subjects? Here are some websites and apps that teach everything from foreign languages, learning code, music appreciation, and learning to play instruments. These options will help round out your curriculum and serve your child’s unique needs.
- Old Farmer’s Almanac for Kids
- Teaching Kids Programming
- Learn Korean
- BBC History for Kids
- TIME for Kids
- How Stuff Works
- Smithsonian Earth App for iPhones
- P. E. With Joe
- Berlin Philharmonic Digital Concert Hall
Science Websites and History for Kids using Webcams
Sometimes, you need to close the books (or educational websites) and take an adventure. However, travel can be difficult or impossible for you right now. That’s when you have the adventure come to you! Here’s a collection of interactive experiences to keep your children’s interest piqued.
Science and history often go hand in hand as you take a tour around the world. You’ll discover virtual trips to see exotic animals, amazing space stations, and a broad range of sea creatures!
Science Websites for Kids
- Ashland Trainspotter Webcam
- San Diego Zoo Webcams
- National Zoo Educational Site
- International Space Station Webcam
- Los Angeles International Airport Weather Cam
- ABC Australia
- National Aquarium
- Houston Zoo Webcams
- Animal Webcams from around the World
- Indianapolis Zoo Webcam
- Maryland Zoo Animals
- Kansas City Animal Cams
- El Paso Zoo Cameras
- Woodland Park Zoo
- Skype a Scientist
- Nasa Virtual Tours
- Nature Lab
- Langley Space Center Virtual Tour
History for Kids
- Anne Frank’s House Annex
- Florida Public Archeology Network
- Yellowstone National Park Virtual Tour
- British Museum
- Great Wall of China
- Little House on the Prairie Virtual Tour
- National Air Force Museum
Geography for kids
Geography may sound a bit dull and boring, but you’ll be pleasantly surprised how fun this subject is with a visual experience! Try these fantastic and free websites to go around the world in a flash, plus you’ll fun some interactive games!
Online Art Classes for Kids
Museums are a wonderful way to experience the subject of art first hand. Even if you don’t live near a major museum, several offer virtual tours, interactive exhibits, and educational experiences. Below is a list of museums and other points of interest around the world that offer virtual experiences for art distance learning.
- Uffizi Gallery
- Louvre Virtual Tour
- National Gallery of Art
- Paul Getty Museum
- National Museum of Dehli
- National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art Korea
- Sistine Chapel Virtual Tour
Free Organization Platforms for Teachers
Now that you have plenty of resources, it’s time to organize your lessons. This could be overwhelming. Thankfully, there are many online tools for teachers to plan lessons for school. These are also wonderful resources for at-home teachers. Therefore, we have a list of free online lesson planning programs, below.
Free Online Meeting Platforms
Distance learning at home can get lonely. Or perhaps you want to host a virtual activity or club. The Internet makes it possible to connect with other distance learners. Therefore, video conferencing software and apps are important tools for distance education. The following are popular online meeting platforms for students, clubs, and one-on-one instruction.
Continuing Education Teens & Adults
Parents and Teens, we’ve got awesome online courses and lessons for you too! Discover a new world of learning code, earn a degree, or expand your business skill sets with these continuing ed websites.
Free Printable Education Resources
Online resources make distance learning easier than ever. However, distance learning does not have to happen online. Printable resources are a great no-tech option. Likewise, printables are ready immediately. You don’t want to wait for the mail to finally show up. Simply click and print. So, fire up your printer and check out these printable packets for your homeschool. You’ll find a ton of worksheets for multiple subjects including science, spelling, reading, writing, math, and more!