Boost your family’s distance learning with these online resources
We have a hunch that if you’re using or considering Florida Prepaid to save for college, then you’re the kind of parent who is exploring ways to maximize your child’s education in these unusual times when we are all suddenly working and schooling from home. Whether your little one is a toddler with tabled play dates, a preschooler missing their favorite playground, or a school-age kid now completing printed-out packets, their education is looking pretty different right now. But different can be valuable, right?
Fortunately, education-minded groups are encouraging continued learning by opening the online gates to their printables, collections, reading materials and more. Some of these resources are always free; others are free temporarily due to the coronavirus outbreak, so take advantage while you can.
Here’s a list of ideas to boost your child’s academic learning (and there’s a lot here, so you might want to bookmark this for future reference):
- The Florida Department of Education has aggregated helpful resources and sorted them by age ranging from birth to postsecondary. It will take some clicking through on your part, but there’s a treasure trove of useful links here.
- Visit the websites and follow the social channels (Facebook, Instagram, etc.) for your favorite local haunts – plus some in Florida’s larger cities, even if you don’t live there. Shout-out to our partners at LEGOLAND Florida ® and the Orlando Science Center for sharing engaging videos, ideas and helpful links – such as free designs for paper airplanes and using LEGO bricks to teach science. Worth a follow!
- If your child is in grade school, you have probably already heard about some of these popular, teacher-recommended sites. Khan Academy serves K-12 audiences, with resources for math, science, technology, economics, art, history, and test prep and lectures delivered via YouTube videos. (This blog post offers specific guidance on using their site for remote learning.) Spending time at XtraMath can improve math facts fluency; also check out Coolmath.com. More teacher top-picks include Education.com, Funbrain and k12Reader.com.
- Best sites for younger kids? Try PBS Kids and Starfall.
- When your child needs a brain break and a chance to get the wiggles out, visit GoNoodle. They can jump, dance, or even try mindfulness exercises.
- Scholastic’s website now offers a Learn At Home section, with three weeks’ worth of daily activities and related books to read.
- For some biological science, head over to KidsHealth.org and choose “for kids,” “for teens,” or even “for teachers. There’s are short videos and lessons on everything from “how the body works” to “getting along with teachers.”
- Need a break from reading books to your child? Have someone else do it for you! Celebrities are reading children’s books at Storyline Online, and some Audible books are free for now with no login or credit card required.
- Crash Course ( https://www.youtube.com/user/crashcourse/featured) is a fun and educational YouTube video series that covers topics such as science, history, economics, and literature.
- And finally, are you missing that field trip experience? The links on this homeschooling blog can preserve social distancing and take you around the world in a day, whether it’s a virtual tour of the Anne Frank House, Buckingham Palace or even the International Space Station.
Happy distance learning!