For students and their families, 2020 was a year of educational improvisation. Parents became teachers, kitchens became classrooms and virtual learning replaced in-person instruction. To overcome these extraordinary challenges, adults and children alike have had to adapt constantly — which includes finding new teaching tools that can be accessed easily from home.
Whether your child has returned to school or remains a distance learner, plenty of resources are available to keep them on track academically at home. Best of all — they’re fun, too!
NATIONAL AND STATE
U.S. Department of Energy
• https://www.eia.gov/kids/games-and-activities/: Features games, riddles, virtual field trips, science fair experiments and more
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
• https://www.epa.gov/students/ games-quizzes-and-videos-about-environment: Offers a reducing food waste activity book, a game of energy choices, “Climate Kids: NASA’s Eyes on the Earth” and more
• https://ssec.si.edu/game-center: Smithsonian STEM games and simulations are available here online or for download.
• https://nationalzoo.si.edu/animals/list: Meet the animals of the National Zoo
• https://3d.si.edu/: Features an array of 3-D exhibits and virtual tours
• https://naturalhistory.si.edu/visit/virtual-tour: Museum of Natural History Virtual Tour
• https://americanart.si.edu/: Visit the Smithsonian American Art Museum virtually.
U.S. Department of Agriculture
• https://www.nutrition.gov/topics/nutrition-age/children/kids-corner: Kids’ Corner offers fruit and vegetable flash cards, a MyPlate maze, digital nutrition resources for children and more.
U.S. Geological Survey
• https://www.usgs.gov/science-support/osqi/yes/resources-teachers/learning-home: Contains online resources related to geography, physical science and more for students of all ages
• www.duolingo.com: Free foreign language classes for over 20-plus languages, including personalized lessons starting at beginner level
• gm.greatminds.org/en-us/knowledgeonthego: Features video lessons, customed by grade level and delivered by experienced teachers, that are viewable on any device. Coordinating activities are also available with each module. Knowledge-building resources are available from Eureka Math (K–12), English language arts curriculum Wit & Wisdom (K–8), and PhD Science (grades 3–5).
• https://www.khanacademy.org/: Offers resources for learners, teachers, districts and parents. Students can find practice exercises, instructional videos and a personalized learning dashboard that allows them to study at their own pace in and outside of the classroom in subjects including math, science, computer programming, history, art history, economics and more.
Wide Open School
https://wideopenschool.org: Features free learning activities for all grades
• www.commonlit.org: Literacy-focused resource that features an extensive library of passages and helps students develop reading, writing, communication and problem-solving skills.
• https://neuhausacademy.org: Offers web-based vocabulary lessons for adolescent to adult learners
The Virtual Instructor
• https://thevirtualinstructor.com: Provides drawing and painting instruction in numerous mediums, art lesson plans for teachers and more
• www.mathwarehouse.com: Features games, interactive tools, worksheets and more for a range of math levels, from kindergarten to calculus
• https://www.msaquarium.org/resources: Visit the aquarium website’s resources tab for lesson plans related to aquatic life, activity sheets, a YouTube story time channel and more. The site also features an informational blog.
Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art
• georgeohr.org: OOMA Online features digital collections and more.
Lynn Meadows Discovery Center
• https://lmdc.org/discovery-at-home: Brings the museum experience to the living room with fun activities to do at home, coloring sheets, story times and a link to a virtual database of programming from more than 240 children’s museums around the world
Walter Anderson Museum of Art
Find coloring sheets, a lesson plan library, a wealth of digital art experiences and more
Infinity Science Center
• https://www.visitinfinity.com/at-home-education: Get your child excited about science with educational videos, lessons, labs, activities, experiments and more.