The COVID-19 coronavirus has kept millions of students out of school including many right here in Napa County. The public schools are closed as are most of the private schools. And if you are like me, you’re taking a crash course in homeschooling. Not so easy, is it? Many of you have come up with great ideas for activities (my daughter is keeping a daily journal and she and my husband are painting a picture every day) in addition to geography, math, Spanish and English, and we’d love to hear about them. We’ve created a Napa Valley Kid Facebook Group where we can share resources and ideas. Please join us!
All those limits on technology have been thrown out the window as we have found lots of great tools, activities and lessons we can use. We’re also doing playdates on Facebook — crazy! So many organizations across the country are offering free access for the duration of the pandemic so that learners everywhere can access high-quality online learning materials while maintaining the social interaction necessary for their continued development. And we are every so appreciative.
Here we share some of the resources we have found:
Discovery Education has created a special channel within Discovery Education Experience—the Viruses and Outbreak Channel—featuring digital content that helps educators discuss the Coronavirus outbreak with students. This content includes timely updates on what the Coronavirus is, information on how infectious diseases spread, and essential guidelines for staying healthy. Schools and school systems with access to Discovery Education Experience can find these resources
PBS for Parents has ideas how you and your kids can de-Stress during coronavirus
NESCA shows you how to make the Most of COVID-19 School Closures
Raising Lifelong Learners shares ideas How to Help Your Kids Thrive When They’re Stuck Inside
Blogger Jenn Lately has ideas of what to do with the kids when ]schools close due to COVID-19
Hand in Hand shares “sanity-saving” ideas for parents with kids off school.
Coach Sue Patterson asks the question: CORONAVIRUS Turned Us Into Homeschoolers – NOW WHAT?
Vox has advice on what to do with your kids when schools are canceled.
Princess Awesome put together a giant list of ideas for being home with the kids
CNN Health suggests we take social distancing seriously and limit playdates, other activities.
EdSource compiled this guidance about what you need to know about keeping your kid home.
The New York Times asked the experts “What Are the Rules for Play Dates During the Coronavirus Crisis?”
PBS Teachers Lounge shares advice on hot to talk to little learners about coronavirus, distance learning tips, and much more.
Slate reminds you that you are not your child’s teacher. You are their parent. You don’t need to panic about educating your child during quarantine.
Live theater is something we will miss — we had tickets for The Addams Family
and Disney’s High School Musical, among others, but now we’re trying to find
other ways to see a performance or go to the museum.
Artrageous with Nate
A six-time Emmy award-winning video series that takes you around the globe to explore where creativity is happening.
Digital Theater Plus
Access to some of the world’s finest productions, unique backstage insights, practitioner interviews, and written analysis.
Met Opera On Demand
Stream more than 700 full-length Met performances on your favorite devices, anywhere in the world!
Metropolitan Opera Live Streams
Although the Metropolitan Opera has brought down the curtain at least through the end of the month over COVID-19 concerns, the New York City institution will offer another way for audiences to take in its performances.
Seattle Symphony Free Video Concerts and Livestreams
Seattle Symphony musicians share performances to offer strength, comfort and unity through music while Benaroya Hall is closed through March 31 to limit the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).
From Newsies to Sweeney Todd, here are 15 Broadway plays and musicals you can watch on stage from home.
Museum Virtual Tours
These 12 Famous Museums Offer Virtual Tours You Can Take on Your Couch
Adventures in Familyhood
Here are 20 virtual field trips you can take with your kids.
And then of course, drama class had to be cancelled but Laura Benanti invites theater kids to share performances canceled due to coronavirus. Stage Partners has ideas and resources for drama via distance learning.
Little one missing ballet class? Cleveland Inner City Ballet is overing virtual online ballet instruction and tutorials.
And one of our favorites (since we listen to Hamilton a zillion times a day): Lin Manuel Miranda of Hamilton fame has made his new cut “I have this Friend” available for all to listen to.
Thanks to Amazing Educational Resources for compiling a list of educational companies generously offering free subscriptions to families affected by school closures.
Our Local Library
As of this writing, our libraries remain open but are no longer offering classes and special activities. However, you don’t have to go to the library to access their services.
Hoopla allows you to borrow movies, music, audiobooks, ebooks, comics and TV shows to enjoy on your computer, tablet, or phone – and even your TV! With no waiting, titles can be streamed immediately, or downloaded to phones or tablets for offline enjoyment later. hoopla is like having your public library at your fingertips. Anytime. Anywhere.
Amazing Educational Resources put together a list of education companies offering free subscriptions. We share many of them below and have added others we found. Enjoy!
123 Homeschool 4 Me
Over 300,000+ free worksheets for toddler, preschool, and K-12, which can be accessed by subject or grade level.
Four weeks of free access to a selection of online learning programs for mathematics, spelling, literacy, and science that your kids can access from anywhere if you have a device and an internet connection.
Free access to a variety of apps with visual and audible accessibility built right into the browser to support students who are blind, visually impaired, deaf, have reading difficulties or just want something fun and different.
Bring chemistry to life with Modelar, a free digital tool with cloud-sharing and real-time feedback as your kids explore and build chemical structures.
Free subscription with access to hundreds of educational videos, audios, and podcasts just in time for Passover.
All Kids Network
Thousands of fun kids activities including kids crafts, worksheets, coloring pages, printable mazes, dot-to-dot, hidden pictures and more.
Amaze takes the awkward out of sex ed with fun, animated videos that give you all the answers you actually want to know about sex, your body and relationships.
An historical atlas of the United States that combines cutting-edge research with innovative interactive mapping techniques, designed to appeal to anyone with an interest in American history or a love of maps.
Meet the Handwriting Heroes who teach students how to form their letters through captivating stories, hilarious animations, and catchy songs. The format is simple, and the pace is fast.
Boost student engagement and fact fluency with educational games, math games, language arts games, and more!
Learn how to teach your kids science without being overwhelmed because you’re not a science teacher.
Voice-powered education uses Alexa to access Bamboo Luminaries, Bamboo Books, Bamboo Math, Bamboo Music, and Highlights Storybooks from Bamboo, and gets more challenging as students master different levels.
Bedtime Math helps families introduce math as a fun part of their daily routine with free apps, bedtime math books, printable activity pages, and more.
A research-backed tool that improves reading ability for students of all ages and skill levels.
A personalized global learning solution to learn about the world.
Online Mandarin classes for elementary, middle school, high school, or college.
Big History Project
A free, online social studies course for middle and high school students that emphasizes skill development as students draw mind-blowing connections between past, present and future.
Free curriculum to learn about biology and practice data analysis skills.
Connects students to the questions scientists are currently pursuing, whether in the lab or the field; through a microscope, telescope, or the circuits of a supercomputer with classroom-tested, free, editable, tied to standards, activities.
Activities-to-Go! Free, printable activities for students in K-12, ideal for for communication with students who are strong visual learners.
Magic Spell is a carefully crafted spelling adventure that makes spelling fun. Wands, wizards and wondrous worlds…come and join the fun!
Ready-made lesson plans to create learning using what you have on hand. These lessons are free for a limited time.
A collection of educational, digital games that students can play at home. Students can click on any game and start playing!
Digital archive of a variety of media produced about current events, public history, and government.
Busy Kids do Piano
A flexible, fun and affordable approach to learning to play the piano. Free for one month with the code PIANOATHOME.
Camp Kindness Counts
In partnership with UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center, parents can access research-informed resources to raise kind, resilient kids through its “Families Building Communities of Compassion” initiative. Free download of the Kind World Explorers guidebook which is filled with fun character building and social emotional learning activities geared for children ages 4-12.
Access 100% of videos, online activities, and sample units and audios of all books in Spanish.
Beta now open to boost your math understanding by getting instant feedback on your work.
Chem Matters Online
A series of articles that explain the chemistry behind everyday phenomena, with accompanying teachers’ guides to help students see the applications behind chemical concepts and how these applications affect the world around them.
Chrome Music Lab
A website that makes learning music more accessible through fun, hands-on experiments.
Use the code homefun1 and learn and bond with your 0-6 year old. Follow and interact with an expert instructor.
Deeply interactive textbooks provide a reading passage, videos, optional review questions, and self-graded practice questions on a wide variety of topics.
Grammar practice in free, printable short stories.
Daily free science or cooking experiment supported by videos and other resources to do at home.
Explore a community of projects, create something you love with code, gain experience in professional programming languages, and share your portfolio of digital projects.
Over 2,000 high-quality free reading passages for grades 3-12, complemented by aligned interim assessments, growth-oriented data, and expert-led teacher development. English and Spanish!
“Use without account” option has vocabulary, grammar, listening activities and games in Spanish, French, Italian, German, Portuguese, Korean, and Latin.
Over 35,000 pages of online content on the cultures and countries of the world.
Creating a Masterpiece
Use the password Corona2020 to access a free month of this award-winning program to empower students who love to draw.
Keep all kids engaged in science with lessons rom Contagion Crushers, Water Watchers and Conscientious Chemists plus lots of fun STEM activities.
Free printable K-8 reading and math activity packs (available in English and Spanish).
A large selection of curriculum, lessons, and on-demand content free, open, and accessible to all.
Each science activity gives students K-16 practice working with “messy data” and interpreting quantitative information as they are guided through the entire process of science, including identifying hypotheses and predictions, visualizing and interpreting data, making evidence based claims, and asking their own questions for future research.
Each engaging project is based on a situation in a career and is complete with an authentic performance task that is specifically tailored for the student (grades 3-5: chef, grades 6-8: entrepreneur, grades 9-12: architect) home.
Online homeschool platform & curriculum for TK-12 in language arts, reading/literature, math, science, history/social studies, visual/performing arts, and physical education.
Ditch that Textbook
50 e-learning activities, templates, and tutorials.
Dog on a Log Books
Printable board games, activities, and more for phonics and reading all using evidence-based methods.
2,000+ DreamBox Learning math lessons, designed by teachers, available for grades K-8.
Engaging reading game for grades 2-8 that combines strategy, engagement, and imaginative reading passages to create a fun, curriculum-aligned literacy game.
Learn or practice another language with bite-sized lessons that are fun and addictive.
EBLI (Evidence Based Literacy Instruction)
Non-fiction read-alouds for K-12.
Coding and computer science education accessible for kids of all learning styles and backgrounds, on a large scale, without the need for guidance from a teacher.
Kids 12 and under can instantly access 35,000 of the best books, learning videos, quizzes & more.
Each course lets students choose where and how they should explore, introducing Earth Science concepts such as “How water changes Earth’s landscape” or “How are rocks formed?”
Spanish for kids through fun, interactive stories. Your kids will dive into beautiful tales full of fun characters while being exposed to the Magical Translation method, which subconsciously wires their brain to the second language.
A research site for elementary-level readers. 24/7 free access through 4/4/20. Username: read (case sensitive). Password: read (case sensitive).
Fluency & Fitness
Educational brain breaks help students review essential literacy and math skills, while getting in some exercise. Find over 900 videos to help your child (ages 4-8_ keep learning at home and burn off some extra energy.
Find and create easy, fun and educational games that motivate and engage players to learn faster and better, and to be more involved in their learning.
Movement and mindfulness videos inspire kids to be active and mindful with a wide range of offerings that appeal to kids’ different ages, interests, skills, and abilities.
Online math and English lessons at their pace in their space.
The Good and the Beautiful
Free homeschool curriculum that combine sand thoroughly covers phonics, reading, writing, spelling, literature, grammar, punctuation, art, and geography—all in one easy-to-use, beautiful course.
Lots of free resources (downloadable books, mazes, word searches, and more) from Heifer International’s school programs, with topics in social studies (geography, economics), science, language arts.
Offers personalized, fun, and proven learning products for children ages 2-8.
High-quality entertaining and educational videos come with tons of additional resources: teachers guides, activities, quizzes, and much more.
Schedules are meant to be templates that you could adopt as is or copy and modify to better suit the needs of your children.
Khan Academy Kids
Kids can learn reading, language, writing, math, social-emotional development, problem-solving skills, and motor development. Open-ended activities and games like drawing, storytelling, and coloring encourage creativity and self-expression.
Literacy with the Littles
Lots of fun activities with these free printables for K-2.
Free printables library with activities for children 0-6.
Intro to Children’s Yoga includes 12 fun beginner poses for Ages 2+. The free packet includes tons of helpful tips for introducing yoga to children.
Mo Willems welcomes you into his studio at home at 10 am daily and guides you through drawing activities using one of his favorite characters as inspiration!
Offers K-12 gifted and talented homeschool courses for credit.
Access free, virtual, live webcasts for art/drawing lessons for students needing to work from home during this period.
Sign up for a free home version account and help your kids master their math facts with a program aligned to the Common Core Math Standards.
Math Playground provides hundreds of math games, logic puzzles and educational resources.
Mindful Poetry Moments
A free program that offers a chance to pause and reflect on poetry’s ability to encounter ourselves, the world, and the mystery of each other.
A game-based learning platform that promotes creativity, collaboration, and problem-solving in an immersive digital environment.
Introductory and intermediate music theory lessons, exercises, ear trainers, and calculators.
Launch rockets, build robots, explore your world and beyond! These projects, toolkit and contests will take you into space without ever leaving Earth.
New American History
Access to digital learning resources and tools for American history/geography/current events.
Nomster Recipe Library
Illustrated recipes designed to help kids age 2-12 cook with their grown-ups. Recipes encourage culinary skills, literacy, math, and science.
Storytime is a little more fun for kids (and grown-ups too!) when you read out loud from print books (or ebooks!) and music, sound effects, and character voices play at just the right moment, adjusting and responding to your voice.
Download free coloring books from 113 museums.
The OT Toolbox
Designed to build skills in children through movement and play.
PBS Learning Media
PreK-12 digital media service with standards-aligned videos, interactives, lesson plans, and more.
Pen Pal Schools
Kids connect with other kids from around the world and collaborate through online projects ranging from human rights and the environment to fake news and robotics, all while practicing literacy, technology and social-emotional skills.
Using a step-by-step approach, the 850 games teach children the 44 sounds, the reading and spelling of words, and how to conquer sentences.
Screen-free, ad-free, audio streaming service custom-made for kids 3-12.
Literacy, science, art, math, critical thinking, and social-emotional learning are woven into this approach, which inspires children to see each topic through a variety of perspectives and allows them to express their newfound understanding through a variety of creative mediums.
A colorful music curriculum that will teach your kids 1-12 how to play their first instrument, how to sing in tune, and how to understand the language of music.
Purple Mash is an award-winning website for K-5 students, and enables children to explore and enhance their knowledge in a fun and creative way.
Online resource of reading passages and lesson plans for students of all levels K-12.
Downloadable lesson plans, resources, and activities, all in support of critical thinking. Accompanying videos are available on RedTKids’ YouTube channel.
Every day includes four separate learning experiences, each built around a thrilling, meaningful story or video. Kids can do them on their own or with their families. Just find your grade level and let the learning begin!
The Science Spot
Take-home science projects that can be completed with or without Internet access; other resources useful in eLearning.
Web-based suite of music education tools that support efficient practice, helping musicians to develop and grow.
The Spanish Experiment
Well-known children’s stories translated into Spanish and spoken by a native Spanish speaker. Great for kids… and adults too! Read along in Spanish or English.
A powerful tool for pre-school and grade school kids that provides hours and hours of engaging educational content, using animation and sound to engage children in the learning process.
Award-winning visual instructional program for grades K through 8.
SAG-AFTRA Foundation’s award-winning children’s literacy website streams videos featuring celebrated actors reading children’s books alongside creatively produced illustrations.
Teaching with the News
Free lessons connect lessons to headlines in the news.
Twig Science Tools
An award-winning supplemental resource with short videos in English and Spanish, visuals, and hands-on investigative activities. Thousands of tools including 950+ short videos (of which 750+ are available in Spanish), 1,000+ activities and activity sheets, and 1,500+ visuals.
Online math curriculum for grades 6-12.
Educational tips and science explanation for parents of children 0 to 5 available by app, text, and printables.
Free web-based lessons activate Pre-K through 2nd grade curriculum with fun, standards-based movement.
We are Teachers
Teacher-approved math websites that include resources, games, freebies, and innovative programs for teaching math.
We are Teachers
18 Best Podcasts for Kids in Elementary, Middle, and High School
We are Teachers
The Big List of Children’s Authors Doing Online Read Alouds & Activities
Short videos and readings that answers various burning questions for students. There are vocabulary challenges and comprehension questions.
The Copuncil on Foreign Relations offers a growing library of multimedia resources that explain international affairs and foreign policy issues for students through entertaining and interactive storytelling.
Zinc Learning Labs
Suite of online literacy tools for students grad 6-12. They offer differentiated authentic articles, vocabulary games, and close reading instruction. Their Reading Sprints are great for self-paced long-term assignments.