So the schools are allowed to close and the children are at home. It does not matter Why this is happening. It could be a snowy day or a bit of pandemic-driven social distancing. Anyway, you are now dealing with your work from home while you also take responsibility for the education of your children.
The good news is that there are many educational apps and websites that are there to make that job just that little bit easier. The bad news is that it is not easy to determine which possibilities of e-learning for children are really good. To get you started, here are apps and tools we think will be most helpful for raising your kids while they’re stuck at home.
We’re huge fans of Khan Academy and if you weren’t reading the rest of this list, you’d still be armed with just about everything you need for homeschooling your kids.
Khan Academy offers a completely free, comprehensive online learning facility for K-12. In fact, it also includes some advanced placements and early college content for those of you blessed with a young child prodigy in the house.
Khan Academy has spent years fine-tuning their content and practice, resulting in a highly polished and effective learning experience. There is a mobile app (on iOS and android) or you can just use the web interface. There are also kids e-learning tools for both parents and teachers to monitor student progress and plan their learning schedule.
Khan Academy can be used as a way to enhance existing education, but it can also serve as a replacement as it was originally intended as a way to provide quality education to parts of the world where it is not very accessible.
While Khan Academy is free to use, if you are able to do so, you can support them through donations and help other children benefit from this invaluable learning resource.
If you haven’t checked in to Google Earth lately, you could be forgiven for thinking it’s nothing more than an (admittedly amazing) 3D map of the planet. While Google Earth may have started as an online 3D atlas, it has grown into one of the best pieces of technology to educate your kids on.
For starters, it’s a great way for kids to learn through exploration. They can freely roam the digital world and discover places naturally, which is a powerful way to learn. However, Google has created tour tools and offers curated lists of the best to choose from.
There are also simple games and links with franchises such as Carmen Sandiego. Google Earth deserves to be on every list of e-learning tools for kids.
It is difficult to put a figure on how valuable public broadcasters such as PBS or the BBC are for quality education. In the past, shows like Sesame Street have helped children read and count, with a little decency, through TV. In the modern internet age, that legacy continues through the internet and mobile applications.
PBS has a long history of quality educational programming and there are two PBS Kids apps that you should definitely consider if your kids are in the right age group.
The first is PBS games for kids, which contains over 100 mini-games on topics such as science, math, and literacy. The content is guaranteed to be safe for toddlers and young children. There are also offline games, so you don’t have to worry about mobile data.
The second app is PBS Videos For Kids which is a streaming app with their catalog of kid friendly educational shows. Unlike YouTube, you can safely let your little ones watch everything in this app as it has been carefully designed to be completely harmless. With real educational content and good life lessons to boot, this app can save your sanity and start your sprogs.
A good dictionary is essential for students of all ages, but the typical Oxford or Merriam-Webster tome may be a little too dry and technical for youngsters. That’s why the Kids Wordsmyth dictionary is worth a bookmark or app install.
The definitions are written in simple language and often include a cute illustration to demonstrate the point. Another great feature of Kids Wordsmyth is its curated vocabulary topics. That makes it more than just a companion app, but a standalone learning app. Topics such as “The Human Body” and “Everyday Life” will help build the vocabulary of English-speaking children in the first and second languages.
The only real negative we can say about the site and the apps that support e-learning for kids is that they could use a modern lick of paint but there are no issues navigating or reading the content so really we shouldn’t complain about this minor problem.
Common Core Standards
The Common Core Standards describe exactly what skills and knowledge a student should have at each stage of the K-12 process. It is intended to make it easy for teachers to plan, test and assess students so that everyone has the same basic education level.
It also means that if you’re taking on the role of teacher for your own children, you’ll need a map of the Common Core Standards to make sure everything is covered properly.
MasteryConnect (on iOS and android) did us all a favor and created an app that gives you a simple yet comprehensive overview of the entire Common Core. You can see exactly what is expected of your children at each stage of their education. Older kids can even use this app to find gaps in their own control.
It’s not the sexiest tool on this list, but you could literally get lost without it if your own kids have to conform to Common Core.
Some people just love 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 removed the barriers between children and knowledge, but they still need firm guidance to turn that access into actual knowledge. Starting with the tools on this list, you now have the power to provide that guidance and, with a little luck, create some peace of mind as well.