This means that schools can be closed, and children at home. It doesn’t matter why it happens. It could be a snowy day or a little social distancing caused by a pandemic. In any case, you must now do your work from home, also taking responsibility for your children’s education.
The good news is that there are many educational apps and websites that can make this job a little easier. The bad news is that determining which e-learning opportunities are really good for kids is not easy. Here are the apps and tools we think are most useful for teaching your kids while they are stuck at home.
We’re big fans of Khan Academy, and if you hadn’t bothered to read the rest of this list, you would still be armed with pretty much everything you need to homeschool your kids.
Khan Academy offers completely free comprehensive online education for K-12. In fact, it also covers some advanced and elementary college material for those of you who have a child prodigy at home.
Khan Academy has spent years perfecting their content and exercises, resulting in very polished and effective teaching. There is a mobile app (for iOS and Android or you can just use the web interface. There are also e-learning tools for kids, both parents and teachers, to track student progress and plan their learning schedule.
Khan Academy can be used as a way to strengthen existing schooling, but it can also act as a replacement, as it was originally envisioned as a way to provide quality education in parts of the world where it is not very affordable.
Khan Academy is free, but if you have the opportunity, you can support them with donations and have other kids benefit from this invaluable learning resource too.
If you haven’t checked into Google Earth lately, you might be thinking that this is nothing more than a (admittedly awesome) 3D map of the planet. Google Earth may have started out as a 3D online atlas, but has evolved over time to become one of the best technologies for teaching your kids.
First, it is a great way for children to learn through exploration. They can freely navigate the digital world and discover places naturally, which is a powerful way of learning. However, Google has created excursion tools and offers carefully curated lists of the best to choose from.
There are also simple games and sidebars with franchises like Carmen Sandiego. Google Earth deserves to be on any list of e-learning tools for kids.
PBS children’s games and video app
It is difficult to say how valuable public service broadcasters such as PBS or BBC are for quality education. In past TV shows, such as Sesame Street, children, through television, helped children learn to count correctly and count, with some degree of morality. In the modern Internet age, this legacy continues through the Internet and mobile applications.
PBS has a long history of creating quality educational programming, and there are two PBS Kids apps you should definitely consider if your kids are in the right age group.
The first is PBS Kids Games, which includes over 100 mini-games covering subjects such as science, math, and literacy. The content is guaranteed to be safe for toddlers and young children. There are offline games as well, so you don’t have to worry about mobile data.
The second app is PBS Kids Videos, a streaming app with a catalog of educational shows for kids. Unlike YouTube, you can safely leave your little ones watching anything in this app as it is carefully designed to be completely harmless. With authentic educational content and good life lessons, this app can save your mind and teach your friends.
A good vocabulary is essential for students of all ages, but a typical Oxford or Merriam Webster tome may be too dry and technical for young people. That’s why Kids Wordsmyth Dictionary is worth bookmarking or installing the app.
Its definitions are written in simple language and often include cute illustrations to show the point. Another great feature of Kids Wordsmyth is the carefully selected vocabulary topics. This turns it into more than just a companion app, but also a stand-alone core learning app. Topics such as “The Human Body” and “Everyday Life” can help improve the vocabulary of English-speaking children in both their first and second languages.
The only real negative we can say about the site and its apps that support e-learning for kids is that they can handle modern paints, but there is no problem navigating or reading the content, so we really shouldn’t complain about this minor issue.
Common Core Standards
The Common Core Standards accurately describe the skills and knowledge a student must have at each stage of the K-12 process. It is designed to make it easier for educators to plan, test, and assess students, ensuring everyone meets the same basic education level.
This also means that if you are taking on the role of a teacher for your own children, you need to have a General Basic Standards card in place to ensure that everything is being followed properly.
MasteryConnect (on iOS and Android has done all of us a favor and created an app that shows you a simple yet comprehensive overview of all of Common Core. You can know exactly what is expected of your children at every stage of their education. Older kids can even use this app to find gaps in their own skill.
It’s not the most attractive tool on this list, but you can literally get lost without it if your own kids need to conform to Common Core.
Some people like to watch the world learn
There has never been a time in history when e-learning for children was more accessible than it is today. The Internet has broken down the barriers between children and knowledge, but they still need solid guidance to turn that access into real knowledge. Starting with the tools on this list, you now have the opportunity to provide this guide, and with a little luck, you can also create some peace and quiet.