As an elementary school teacher and a mom of three children in primary and intermediate grades, I love to find quality educational resources. Today, I am sharing a few of my favorite resources.
- U.S.: 50 States Map Quiz: Perhaps my favorite of the resources is this free U.S.: 50 States Map Quiz Game. My oldest son played this countless times, last year, to prepare for 4th Grade History Quizzes at the Christian School he attended. My former 5th and 6th grade students at the Christian School used this site to practice at home, as well. I wouldn’t be completely honest if I didn’t tell you that I quite enjoy this quiz from time to time, as well. My own children will be playing this game during spring break, as well. Clearly, I know how to have a good time.
Learning Across Many Subjects
Brainpop.com is offering free access during this time of remote learning. Brainpop offers short educational videos to explain concepts: historical, mathematic, scientific, grammar, reading, musical, artistic, and even the COVID-19 virus in age-appropriate cartoons through characters, Tim and his robot, Moby. I highly recommend the episodes in writing concepts and American history. Children love the humor of Tim and Moby and the fun quizzes at the end review their comprehension of the topic with ten quick questions. My students have loved Brainpop through the years. Disclaimer: Preview the health episodes before showing them to children.
ABCmouse.com is offering free access with code “AOFLUNICEF” during the school closures for COVID-19. This is an excellent resource. As frugal as my husband and I tend to be, we paid for our oldest sons to have subscriptions to ABCmouse when they were small. We eventually cancelled our subscription for the sake of our finances, but with the free code, our Kindergartener has spent time on ABCmouse this morning and our older boys spent time on Adventure Academy with their cousins, last night. This site seems to be a rabbit-hole of fun for children, but it’s really a rabbit-hole of learning activities which tend to be geared toward each child’s academic progress. This free code is such a win!
- New Updated Code: “AOFLUNICEF“
- Early Learning Academy (Pre – 2nd grade)
- Reading IQ (Pre – 6th grade)
- Adventure Academy (3rd – 8th grade) with code “SCHOOL7771“
I love this next free resource. Quizlet is an extensive collection of flashcards, quizzes, maps, and comprehension tests on any given subject to accompany any curriculum you could possibly imagine. When I taught 5th and 6th grade at a local Christian school, my students used Quizlet as a study guide for every history test because their curriculum tested them on approximately fifty terms and three maps per test. Search any topic you can imagine, and you will find it. Children enjoy the flashcard reviews. If you have any inclination to teaching, you can actually make your own quizzes or flashcards. Create a class for your own children and get started! If you don’t know where to begin, find a book with comprehension questions in the back and type those same questions into Quizlet for a fun comprehension game to match your family’s read aloud.
As a reading teacher, a mom of three littles, and an avid reader myself, one of my favorite kinds of resources are books that children can follow online to add variety to reading time.
Storyline Online: The first resource is free. I highly recommend Storyline Online which features a library of actors and actresses reading children’s literature aloud. For younger children, try Peter Rabbit read Rose Byrne. https://www.storylineonline.net/books/peter-rabbit/ For slightly older children, you might enjoy Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch read by Hector Elizondo. https://www.storylineonline.net/books/somebody-loves-you-mr-hatch/
Vooks: These are videos of read aloud books for children. My students are currently in a poetry unit for reading. Last week, we briefly discussed Robert Frost and then students viewed Papa is a Poet, A Story about Robert Frost, told from the perspective of his child. This resource is not free, but you may enjoy checking it out! https://www.vooks.com/parent-resources
Epic: Another fun resource for children’s books online when you can’t make it to the library or need some variety in your own stash of books is Epic. My Kindergarten-aged son and my niece in first grade enjoyed reading Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes last night. This resource is not free either, but includes a free trial time for parents. https://www.getepic.com/
- Prodigy: a free math game in which children can go on quests.
- Zearn: math games aligned to Eureka math curriculum.
- Cool Math: free math games and puzzles for children.
- Khan Academy: free online courses. While I am recommending this as a math resource, Khan Academy has courses in numerous subjects and standards. If I get bored of reading, writing, teaching my own children, and home chores, I just may take one of the grammar or history courses to brush up on my own skills. Again, I clearly know how to party and by “party,” I mean “read books.”
- Spelling City: There is a way to utilize spelling city without cost. Simply search your child’s school here: https://www.spellingcity.com/school-search.html and you will find lists that your child’s school has used in years past if they are not currently utilizing this tool. While these words are not necessarily aligned with your child’s current curriculum, they are words that your school deemed grade-appropriate in years past with other curricula. These are exactly the kinds of learning strategies we can use during these uncharted times of remote learning for academic enrichment.
Fellow parents and teachers, this list is not exhaustive. It isn’t screen-free. I plan to write another list of screen free resources later, but these times call for different standards and perimeters than we might usually prefer for learning experiences. May we all be flexible as we navigate the waters of learning from home. May we be grace giving to ourselves, our children’s teachers, and to other families as we work toward loving and educating children in less than desirable circumstances. We can make our own homes encouraging and nurturing for children even in this.
Above all else, may we remember that this does not come as a surprise to God. God is sovereign over all. We can trust our God. As followers of Christ, we have to know that we also have a human responsibility to be good stewards of our children and of one another. Stay home. Love well. Encourage. Post happy things online. Check on the elderly. Do puzzles. Read books. Cook meals. Pray for the vulnerable. Take care of one another. Take care of yourself so that you can love well.
Emmanuel: our God is with us.
May every heart prepare Him room in this, especially in this.
From my heart to yours,