The biggest challenge that parents and grandparents are facing right now is how to make sure their children are getting a quality education during COVID-19.  There are no easy answers but luckily, you’re not alone.  Plenty of resources exist to help you navigate this new reality.  There are free or low-cost tools that can help keep children engaged in learning and also provide them with educational and fun activities that can occupy their time.  Weary grandparents everywhere can breathe a sigh of relief…   FirstLantic.com has put together a comprehensive list with some of the most innovative learning applications designed to help you through this difficult time.

 

Expedition Learn

Remember the encyclopedia company, Britannica?  Well, they’re still around, and their business has become digital like most companies these days.  They recently launched a new program which lasts for 12 weeks and uses online activities, games and lessons to teach children ages 5–12 to become independent learners.   There is a nominal one-time charge of $29.95.  You can learn more here.

 

ABC Mouse.com

For a small fee of $9.95 per month, you can enroll children in a complete online curriculum for kids 2 to 8.   The program consists of over 850 lessons and 10 Levels with more than 10,000 Individual Learning Activities.  For more information, click here.

 

Arcademics

This organization provides a free basic service as well as a paid service for as low as $5.00 per month per student.  They combine the excitement of video games with educational content to produce a high rate of learning through exciting, focused challenges.  To sign up, click here.

 

Class Dojo

Students can showcase and share their learning by adding photos and videos to their own portfolios and share these moments with their grandparents and parents.   Sign up here.

 

MathGames

Award-winning website provides free games, worksheets and practice quizzes to prepare children to meet Common Core standards.  You can learn more here.

 

National Emergency Library

Free access to more than 1.4 million digitized books.  Users can borrow books from the National Emergency Library for free without joining a waitlist, ensuring that students will have access to assigned readings and library materials.  Click here to find digitized books.  For books in print, you can find discounts to purchase here.

 

ReadWriteThink

Their mission is to provide educators, guardians, and afterschool professionals with access to the highest quality practices in reading and language arts instruction by offering the very best in free materials.  Learn more.

 

Storybird

Children can boost their written skills with 700+ Challenges created by professional educators and expert authors.  Lessons, quizzes and video tutorials encourage users to use their imagination as inspiration for writing.  Sign up here.

 

Virtual School Activities

What began earlier this month as a Google sheet with virtual-schooling ideas has expanded to a website loaded with a global list of resources that includes virtual museum and zoo tours, readings from renowned authors and many other educational activities and resources.  This site is updated every few days with additional information.  Click here.

 

Teens Give

This is an organization that was started by two teenagers and all their volunteers are also teenagers.  Their mission is to provide virtual tutoring services to children around the country.  To learn more, click here

 

InternetOn

Their goal is to create social and economic opportunity by connecting low-income families to affordable internet service and computers and providing digital skills trainings.  To learn more about their services, click here

 

Computers with Causes

This organization provides computers for free to individuals or families that cannot afford them.  To find out more, click here.

 

Other organizations that are donating laptops, can be found here.

 

So, while this new world is daunting for all of us, we hope that these resources will make it a little easier to find access to quality educational tools that won’t break the bank.  Please share this information so that those who have less resources do not fall further behind.  The worst possible outcome of this pandemic would be that America’s children suffer the long-term consequences of an education that doesn’t prepare them for the future.

 

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