learn at home online learning resources

[Learn at Home] Resources during School Closures

This is part of our series at [Learn at Home] During Covid-19 School Closure

Thanks to the Internet, our children are able to continue learning at home even with sudden school closures.

I understand that many parents did not have time to prepare books or materials before the schools closed.

Some of my children’s classmates even left their books in school, not expecting a one-week school holiday to become nearly one-month or even longer.

Over the past weeks, like you, I’ve seen many lists of online resources. However, it’s simply information overload. There’s only so much time a day for screen-based learning, so we value quality over quantity.

In this post, you’ll take a sneak peek into our favourite online resources for learning at home.

Online Books

(1) Storyline Online

My top recommendation for parents with young children is to read aloud daily.

If you’ve run out of books at home, and libraries and bookshops are not available now, Storyline Online is just for you.

The SAG-AFTRA Foundation’s award-winning children’s literacy website, Storyline Online, streams videos featuring celebrated actors reading children’s books alongside creatively produced illustrations. Readers include Viola Davis, Chris Pine, Lily Tomlin, Kevin Costner, and many more.

(2) Epic!

Epic’s digital library includes many of the best kids books, popular ebooks, and videos such as Fancy Nancy, Big Nate, Warriors, and National Geographic Kids.

You can access 40,000 of the best books, learning videos, quizzes and more.

With schools experiencing closures, Epic is offering free worldwide Remote Student Access to Epic through the end of the school year (30 June 2020), by teacher invitation.

Families only need an invitation from their teacher to get started.

Until 30 June 2020, our training arm, Owlissimo, will be providing free access to Epic all our workshop and eWorkshop participants.

(3) TIME for Kids Digital Library

You can get free access to a library of four grade-specific digital editions of TIME for Kids and Your $ financial literacy magazine.

The editions are K-1, Grade 2, Grades 3-4, and Grades 5-6.

Turnkey teaching tools, with worksheets and quizzes for families or teachers, are also available.

This is made possible by Google, AT&T, HP and PwC Charitable Foundation. The new TIME for Kids digital library will be available for free for the remainder of the school year.

  • Grade levels: K to 6
  • Website: Get your free access here.

Reading Skills

(1) Progressive Phonics

I’ve used Progressive Phonics to homeschool my three boys through kindergarten, and it works for them.

It covers both phonics and sight words.

The books can be read on-screen or printed on your colour printer.

We play memory games with the accompanying word cards. There are also matching handwriting worksheets and activity sheets for each book.

(2) Phonics International

For life-long spelling skills, you may check out Phonics International by Debbie Hepplewhite.

I stick her Key Pictures Alphabetic Code Overview Chart in our home learning area for my children’s easy reference.

If you have a child who needs more help in reading and spelling, then do check out the resources at Phonics International.

General Knowledge

(1) Encyclopedia Britannica

With the amount of misinformation and dangers online, I rely on authoritative sources such as Britannica when my children need to do research.

After trying out both Britannica app and Britannica Online Premium, we decided to go with the latter.

I’ve used it to make flashcards and do research, while eldest Vee has used it for his school projects.

During my childhood days, each set of hardcopy encyclopedia cost about S$2,000, with no videos and regular updates.

So I consider this USD74.95 per year a reasonable investment.

Math & Science Videos

Video is an amazing medium to bring math and science topics alive, so we have a few favourite channels.

Ideally:

  • videos are embedded within appropriate sites and have a specific beginning and end
  • videos are within a playlist that stops

When we use Youtube, I watch with the child to facilitate discussion and to prevent endless surfing or surfing to inappropriate channels.

(1) TED-Ed Riddles

I came across this channel when researching on Math Olympiad solutions. My older children enjoy these math and logic puzzles, especially after lunch during school holidays.

(2) BBC Earth Videos

My younger children love learning about animals and my go-to sources are BBC and National Geographic (linked below).

(3) National Geographic 101 Videos

These 101 videos by National Geographic cover topics such as tsunamis, earthquakes, solar system and more.

I like that these are embedded videos.

(4) The Dr Binocs Show

My youngest child loves learning Science through The Dr Binocs Show by Peekaboo Kidz. We usually use to as a companion to Young Scientist magazines.

Art

(1) LUNCH DOODLES with Mo Willems

Little artists worldwide can draw, doodle and explore new ways of writing by visiting Mo’s studio virtually once a day, while the series lasts.

My younger children have enjoyed making finger puppets and their own board game after watching the videos.

I like that these are embedded videos.

I hope you’ll like this curated list of learn-at-home online resources. Happy teaching and learning!


For all learn-at-home resources related to Covid-19 school closure, go to our series at:

[Learn at Home] During Covid-19 School Closure

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