Online Learning Resources for Kids
Sometimes, home is the best classroom.
We don’t mean home schooling, although that route also benefits from online learning (and we cover that here, too). But these days, kids have access to tremendous resources online that teach everything from counting to trigonometry. When they’re online, kids can work at a pace that suits them personally.
They also have lots of choices to find one site that feels best for them.
Here are a few of our favorites for kids of all ages.
Get advice on how to deal with preschool issues, such as first-day jitters and relationships. Family Education includes a printable workbook. It has arts and crafts projects, and activities such as an Indoor Treasure Hunt. It also has resources for all primary school grades and even college.
Your kids get their favorite Madagascar and School of Dragons characters as part of their education. It’s made possible with a partnership with DreamWorks Animation. Jumpstart’s preschool resources include several printables in art, math, and science. Parents can get kids started before they’re even able to navigate a computer.
This site won a Linux Journal Readers’ Choice Award for Best Kid Friendly Application. It’s simple to use and comes with cool sound effects. Kids will love encouragement from Tux the Penguin, too. Kids get a canvas and online tools to create a masterpiece and become familiar with shapes and colors.
National Geographic for Kids
This magazine has a wonderful kids’ site. It has games, videos, and fun stuff such as crafts, jokes, and photo fill-ins to spur creativity. Kids have so much fun, they don’t realize they’re learning. Stunning photography and a user-friendly interface make it easy for your kids to get around on their own.
Baltimore County (Maryland) Public Schools has a great site with links to BCPS-TV shows featuring kid conversation and math homework helpers. There’s even a link to help you choose an instrument to play. Other resources include a guide on the big leap to middle school.
Online Toonbooks are for every age group, but we like the elementary-age activities. A year’s membership is $99 for two children’s and one parent’s login. Hosts such as a chicken, a mouse, and a rabbit guide kids through language, math, and science games. Toon University offers a 10-day free trial.
African American Registry
This non-profit education organization is a clearinghouse for history. African American Registry has a search tool that allows students to find subjects by keyword, birthday, name, and more. The Black Box feature provides videos of personal narratives. There are resources for parents and grandparents, too.
Khan Academy, a not-for-profit organization, provides free educational tools. Resources include assessments, interactive challenges, and videos. The program allows students to progress at their own pace and generates problems to ensure plenty of practice material.
This site says it “speaks student.” It offers test preparation, learning guides, and videos as study tools. Schmoop’s colorful and easy-to-read graphics break down elements of learning. Kids can access online flashcards and studies in everything from Shakespeare to music theory on the Shmoop site.
Highlights for High School
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology offers this resource in several subjects including engineering, humanities/social science, and physics. There are pages for exam preparation in biology, calculus, and chemistry. All material is under a creative commons license for sharing and reuse.
Learn 4 Good
Here’s a collection of games and business-strategy activities. Play Dinner at Romeo’s, a role-play game that puts you on the wait staff of a busy, popular diner. In Rolling Fall, you use physics and wrecking balls to fight zombies. There are resources at Learn 4 Good for art and language acquisition, too.
This site has games for little kids but it also includes topics for high schoolers. These include resources on earth and space, life sciences, and history and social studies. There are brain games such as Hare & Hounds, Memory, and Leap Froggies – also good for a little diversion during study time.
HughesNet Early Education Pack
With interactive learning games for children ages 2 through 12, HughesNet’s Early Education Pack makes science, math and reading fun and engaging. With award-winning games that will stimulate children’s desire to learn, parents can also look for progress reports and resources to encourage their child to make learning fun.
Membership to this site includes learning badges and detailed progress reports. You can get 300,000 problems and explanations for math work on Adapted Mind. Lessons cover first through eighth grades and links to math videos from Kahn Academy. Adapted Mind also offers a free trial membership.
Patrick JMT’s free math videos cover simple arithmetic, calculus, linear algebra, and more. The site developer is a college-level teacher and tutor. The Patrick JMT tutorials are clear and precise and there is plenty of opportunity for students to practice the principles he teaches.
Prongo includes sections for ages 3-6, 6-9, and 9-12. It offers free games, brain teasers, and cool links. You can also print out flashcards of math problems. There’s a creative element too: kids can design their own solar system or fish tank. It’s great for preschoolers learning to use a computer mouse.