It takes a little effort, but students can still engage in learning activities while school — and Cluster Tutoring — are canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic. This certainly isn’t an all-inclusive list of what’s available online, but it’s a good place to start.
If parents are afraid of students falling behind in schoolwork, students can access free video tutorials, foreign language lessons, worksheets, quizzes, and much, much more. This online resource from Open Culture offers a wealth of information on academic subjects such as literature, history, science, and computing. There also are links to free audio books, e-books, and textbooks, all for students in grades K-12. How about a physics comic book on Nikola Tesla and the Electric Fair? Or maybe you want to find science experiments you can do at home, such as 18 recipes to make slime. You can find links to them all at this site.
Perhaps students are missing planned field trips. By using Google Arts and Culture, they can take online tours of 12 famous museums from around the world to learn about history, art, and more. The museums include the British Museum in London, which shows you hundreds of artifacts on a virtual tour, such as the ancient Rosetta Stone and Egyptian mummies; the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, featuring artworks of many Impressionist masters; the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, which offers a Google street view to walk through the whole museum; and many more.
How about a virtual trip to the zoo? The Cincinnati Zoo is closed to the public, but every day at 2 p.m. Central time, the zoo’s website will feature animals and activities that kids can do at home.
Scholastic is offering a Learn at Home website with what it describes as “Day-by-day projects to keep kids reading, thinking, and growing.” You can find out why zebras have stripes, or learn math lessons with K-Pop stars such as BTS. The courses are divided by grade level and provide approximately three hours of learning per day.
Take a YouTube crash course in lots of different subjects. You can watch short, funny videos on a variety of topics, including world history, literature, engineering, statistics, artificial intelligence, ancient Greek drama, and many more.
Watch a TED-Ed talk, made just for students, and find out about such subjects as the hidden women of STEM or why vultures are the acid-puking, plague-busting heroes of the ecosystem.
You can’t go wrong with Khan Academy. This free site (registration required) offers instruction in multiple subjects at all grade levels. It started with math and science instruction but now also covers arts, humanities, and test preparation materials. With so many school closures, Khan Academy has now announced that it will be live-streaming material on Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter.
Maybe younger students want people to read stories to them. Storyline Online offers videos of professional actors reading kids’ books. Each video includes an activity guide with lessons for K-5 students to do at home.
So go ahead. Browse. Watch the Schoolhouse Rock videos to memorize multiplication facts, learn how a bill becomes a law, or take a grammar lesson in the parts of speech. Run your own presidential campaign with a video game through iCivics. Learn more about the countries of the world at the Kids World Travel Guide site. Identify U.S. capitals and states or play geography hangman in a geography game through the Ducksters education site. Get an introduction to classical music on Classics for Kids. Take a quiz on animals, space exploration, or weird nature with National Geographic for Kids. Learn more about science and space, such as how to measure the distance to a star or the “Top Ten Weirdest Things in the Solar System,” with the Scientific American space lab videos.
Don’t forget the most important advice of all: Read a book! And be sure to wash your hands.