Homeschooling

How to Homeschool for Free During a School Closure

100+ FREE Websites to Help You Learn at Home While Schools Are Closed (or Homeschool for the Rest of the Year!)

#COVID19edu Lesson Plans for School Closures

Is your child’s school closed for two weeks — or more? Do you want to continue your child’s education at home while classes are cancelled?  Maybe you are facing the challenge of online learning, e-learning, or virtual school, thanks to COVID-19, or maybe you’ve decided to homeschool temporarily until the crisis is over. If you’re intimidated by the idea of trying to find things for your kids to do while stuck at home, the lesson plans, free curriculum, and activity ideas in this post will help you have a fun, educational, and memorable time with your kids.

These (clutter-free!) digital homeschool resources are also ideal for worldschoolers, expats, full-time RVers, missionaries living abroad, tiny-house dwellers, or homeschoolers on a very low budget. You’ll need access to the internet, time to assemble all your resources, and consistent access to a computer, laptop, or tablet. But you won’t need a separate schoolroom, rows and rows of shelving, or tons of money! At the time of posting, all the resources here are free.

100+ FREE Websites to Help You Learn at Home While Schools Are Closed (or Homeschool for the Rest of the Year!)

This list of websites is organized by subject, in roughly alphabetical order. I tried to differentiate between longer content like curriculum and lessons and shorter content like enrichment, but this often subjective, since many resources can be used in more than one way. You’ll find apps, videos, songs, audiobooks, ebooks, printable books, interactive websites, games, and printable activities. I’ve tried to link to websites which offer many activities and resources, rather than link to blog posts with a single activity. Because of that, there are far more than one hundred lessons in this list. (ETA: Huge shout out to Marie of Faithfully Wandering for texting me so many of these links and resources!)

If I missed your favorite resource, or a resource you created, please do add it in the comments below.

[We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. 

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.]

FREE Multi-Subject Resources

Ellen McHenry’s Basement Workshop (Extensive treasure trove of high-quality lessons and printable game, project, and activity PDFs. Don’t miss!)

Scholastic’s 20 Days of Reading and Learning (Lesson plans for 4 weeks. Material is organized first by grade, and then sequentially by day.)

Lucy’s List of Educational YouTube Channels (An incredible master list of dozens of educational video channels.)

National Geographic Educational Resource Library (Sort by grade, content type, and subject.)

Old Farmer’s Almanac for Kids (Designed for kids, with moon phases, weather, animal facts, and more.)

TEDed Lessons (Two separate sections — one for kids, and one for educators, with teacher-created lessons.)

Project Explorer (“Educational videos and lesson that inspire global citizens.”)

Twinkl (Original ebooks, high-quality PowerPoints, and student printables. Due to COVID-19, Twinkle is offering parents and teachers a one-month ultimate membership FREE with code PARENTSTWINKLHELPS. How can you use Twinkl during a school closure? Read here.)

Newsela (Current events, social studies, and science articles. Due to COVID-19, Newsela is offering instant, free, access to all teachers through the end of the school year.)

NeoK12 (Kids’ online encylopedia with large database of videos, articles, and quizzes.)

CK12 (Full digital courses for math, science, social studies, and English)

Khan Academy (Free K-12 education across all subjects.)

All-in-One Homeschool (Full grade online-based curriculum; faith-based.)

Seneca Learning  (UK resources for middle- and upper grades, including geography, literature, and French. Lesson plans, videos, games, worksheets, and more)

Curriki (PK-12; curriculum, lessons and on-demand content, sorted by grade and subject.)

Ambleside Online’s Homeschooling in a Crisis Plan (Uses materials freely available online to help you suddenly homeschool; faith-based.)

FREE Interactive Notebook / Paper Printables

The Notebooking Fairy (This site gives you free open-ended printables to encourage creativity. Create an interactive notebook by gluing papers, printables, maps, and more into a blank book.  See also: 50 Things to Put in a Notebook.)

Interactive Notebook Labels (In it for the long haul? Label composition books and spiral notebooks by subject.)

Graph Paper Generator (Generate custom printable graph paper with dots, grids, triangles, lines.)

STEM Sheets (“Free customizable flashcards, worksheets, and diagrams.” Amino acids, mitosis, roman numerals, and more.)

Life Skills Bingo (Taxes, sewing, tipping, and more. Includes clickable how-to links with lessons, and student worksheet to complete each activity.)

Have you considered a Kindle Unlimited subscription? It’s the only resource on this entire list that’s not free, but bottomless eBooks is certainly an attractive option as local libraries close their doors and everyone practices social distancing! Try your first month free.

FREE Art Project Ideas and Lessons

Art for Kids (Very simple how-to-draw tutorials, downloadable as one-page printable PDFs)

Deep Space Sparkle (Lessons include a video demonstration of the project as well as related printables.)

Tinkerlab (preK-12; many art and science project ideas for a wide range of ages.)

Half a Hundred Acre Wood (Includes links to coloring pages, copywork printables, and hands-on projects.)

Kitchen Table Classroom (Lots of great ideas and printable PDF lesson, like Color Theory for Kids)

Art History Kids (Email subscriber section has free art lessons.)

FREE Foreign Language Learning Enrichment

The Fable Cottage (Video and audio fairy tales and fables in multiple languages.)

The Italian Experiment  (Website; Italian lessons for beginners. Also available: French, German, and Spanish.)

Duolingo (Website and app; 30+ languages.)

Mango Languages (Website and app; 70 languages. Many library systems provide free access via your library card number.)

Spot of Sunshine Chinese (Many, many fun Chinese-English learning activities you can do at home)

Chalk Academy (Hands-on learning for Chinese, Korean, and English. Check out this post on free multilingual books for kids.)

FREE Geography Lessons and Curriculum

Building Geography Skills for Life (Grades 4+; full text of student workbook as a 238-page printable PDF.)

Seterra (Online map skills quizzes)

Geography KS3 National Curriculum (UK Years 7-9 / Ages 11-14; videos, maps, worksheets, and games to teach geography)

FREE Geography Reference Materials / Maps

Interactive World History Atlas (See how borders have changed through history, ~3000BC to modern day.)

National Geographic Eduction Mapping Resources (Create, view, and print maps.)

PDF Quads from National Geographic Maps (Renders U.S. Geological Survey topographical maps into multi-page PDFs for easy printing.)

The True Size Of… (Drag and drop countries around on a map to compare their true size.)

d-Maps (The ultimate black-line outline map generator for easy printing.)

FREE Language Arts / ELA Lessons and Curriculum

NaNoWriMo Young Writers (Full writing curriculum for K-2, 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12, from the creators of National Novel Writing Month)

Writable (Hundreds of writing prompts and assignments, sortable by grade.)

36-Week Spelling Curriculum, by K12 Reader (Grades 1-5; printable)

K12 Reader (Grades K-6; printables, lessons, and worksheets for reading skills, grammar, vocabulary, and composition. Use the left sidebar to navigate by subjects.)

Albert Grammar (Grades 5-12; complete curriculum)

ReadWorks (Reading comprehension courses, printables, quizzes, and more.)

FREE Language Arts / ELA Enrichment

Grammar Songs, by Shurley English (A playlist of jingles designed to teach parts of speech and grammar.)

Poetry Icebreakers Lesson, by Evan-Moor (PK-6; three different printable lessons.)

Crossword Puzzle Generator (Enter words and clues and use this tool to make your own printable crosswords.)

Typing Club (Learn to touch type through games.)

FREE Math Curriculum

CK12 (Online video and practice, organized by grade level and topic.)

CK12 Flexbooks (Digital lessons with corresponding online practice, aligned to standards for a full grade math curriculum)

Centre for Innovation in Mathematics Teaching (CIMT) / Mathematics Enhancement Programme (MEP) Math Curriculum (Printable PDF lesson plans, student materials, and answer keys for full grade comprehensive math curriculum designed on a Hungarian / UK model.)

Zearn (Grades K-6, full online math curriculum includes digital lessons for students and PDF guides for parent/teachers)

FREE Math Enrichment

Prodigy Math (Grades 1-8; allows you to choose country, so the content aligns with your local standards. Integrates with Google Classroom, too.)

Math Games website (PK-8; simple web-based games designed to encourage fact fluency)

Exploding Dots by the Global Math Project (ages 10-adult; originally designed for using during Global Math Week, but can be used any time. Incremental lessons, printable PDFs, and virtual math challenge stations.)

Multiplication Facts Worksheets (Printable PDF matching activities for fact fluency.)

FREE Music Appreciation

Top 100 Classical Songs for Kids (Individual list of YouTube videos, organized by time period)

Classics for Kids (Designed for kids, this site offers composer biographies, worksheets, videos, music samples, and more)

FREE eBooks, Audiobooks, Reading, and Literature

Lit2Go (“A free online collection of [classic] stories and poems in MP3 audiobook format.” Includes text, audio, and student activity PDFs.)

Glencoe Study Guides (Grades 6-12; full-length PDF study guides for dozens of titles by authors like Dickens, Tolstoy, L’Engle, Austen, Twain, and more.)

Podcasts for Kids (List of children’s podcasts, compiled by Common Sense media.)

Aesop’s Fables (eBook illustrated by Milo Winter, available via web or app.)

Open Culture’s List of Audiobooks (Roundup of many titles, linked to various sources around the web.)

List of Picture Books On Video (List of dozens of children’s book title read-a-longs available on YouTube, Vimeo, etc.)

International Children’s Digital Library (Scanned books from around the world.)

Storynory (Elementary; streaming audio stories, poems, and music.)

Vooks (Early elementary; animated storybooks. Teachers and home educators get one year access, free.)

Hoopla Digital (Works with local library access; books, movies, and audiobooks.)

Overdrive (Works with local library access; ebooks and audiobooks.)

Libby (Works with local library access; ebooks and audiobooks.)

FREE Phonics / Reading Instruction

Teach your Monster to Read (Interactive game “covers everything from letters and sounds to reading full sentences.”)

Storybots’ Alphabet Jamboree (Learn the alphabet and letter sounds with this YouTube playlist of classic songs which pre-date the Netflix show.)

I See Sam (Early reader books in ready-to-print PDF format.)

FREE Reference Materials (Art)

Picture Study by Cottage Press (Easy-to-download PDFs of fine art, organized by artist.)

The Art Institute of Chicago (User-friendly galleries of famous art. Images marked “CC0 Public Domain Designation” can be downloaded and used for free.)

National Gallery of Art (“More than 51,000 open access digital images up to 4,000 pixels each are available free of charge for download and use.”)

John James Audubon’s Birds of North America (435 images available as free high-resolution download.)

Flowers, Plants and Trees (Nature illustrations from 1500-1900, from the New York Public Library digital collection, for free use and download.)

FREE Science Lessons, Curriculum, and Enrichment

Mystery Science (All the most popular free lessons, in one spot.)

Science Buddies (“Free project ideas and help in all areas of science.”)

Physics Central Comic Books (eBooks about phsyics, with separate downloadable teacher’s guide PDFs)

Science Snacks from the Exploratorium (“Fresh, exciting science activities based in amazing phenomena. Science Snacks are hands-on, teacher-tested, and use cheap, available materials.”)

Glencoe Science Biology (500+ page PDF of a complete biology student book.)

STEM Resources from NASA (K-12; various learning modules and educator resources, including downloadable PDFs)

US Geological Survey Education (K-adult; “lesson plans and activities, maps, podcasts, online lectures, videos and animations, and much more.”)

FS Nature Live (Tons of nature-based distance learning from the USDA Forest Service, including lesson plans, videos, and more.)

National Geographic’s Explorer Classroom (Register to watch LIVE as scientists on field assignment speak from the field, directly to classrooms.)

Virtual Field Trips from Discovery Education (Video tours, and corresponding downloadable educator guides.)

South Pole webcam (See live weather and images from the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station.)

Mr. W’s Music Videos (AP-level science content, set to catchy popular music.)

Inner Body (Website lets students explore human anatomy systems.)

National Geographic Kids (Interactive website designed especially for kids.)

Bottle Biology (Free lessons from the book of the same name; create mini ecosystems in plastic bottles.)

Periodic Videos (A video for each element in the periodic table.)

Biology 4 Kids (Online encyclopedia. Also, Chem 4 Kids and Physics 4 Kids)

FREE Study Tools

Paper app (This is a digital notebook tool which features the ability to create many individual notebooks/journals inside the app. You can also place images onto virtual notebook pages and mark them up. Paper is especially useful if you have an iPad and an iPad Pencil.)

Quizlet (This is a digital flashcards tool. Content syncs seamlessly between the app and the website.)

Genius Scan app (This offers an easy way to snap a photo with your phone and turn it into a PDF.)

FREE Social Studies and History Lessons, Curriculum, and Enrichment.

Reading Like a Historian (Grades 6-12; complete list of lessons here. Produced by Stanford University)

Glencoe World History (Full textbook, in the form of PDFs organized by chapter.)

Glencoe Civics Today (Full textbook in PDF and audiobook form)

Izzit (Grades K-12; free streaming videos, lesson plans, teacher guides, quizzes, and student material. Use this chart to find lessons by subject and grade level. Standouts:  Pups of Liberty: Boston Tea-Bone Party lesson and Pups of Liberty: The Dog-claration of Independence lesson)

Election Day Unit Study from Sonlight Curriculum (Grades 8-12; free 40+ page printable PDF)

Magic Tree House lessons (Includes printable PDF teacher guides, lesson plans, extension activities to accompany the books.)

Library of Congress (Grades 3-12; lesson plans for educators based on Library of Congress primary sources.)

MET Kids Time Machine (Interactive website designed especially for kids, to explore history, art, and inventions.)

Liberty’s Kids animated series (Playlist of 40 episodes for kids about early American history)

Ancient Greece/Rome coloring pages (Classical, black-and-white printable coloring sheets from National Geographic.)

Who Was…? App  (Exploration app for kids, corresponding with the popular “Who Was…?” series)

Usborne Quicklinks: Encyclopedia of World History (Extension videos and links designed to accompany the book, but you don’t have to own the book to use this feature.)

Usborne Quicklinks: Encyclopedia of the Ancient World (Extension videos and links designed to accompany the book, but you don’t have to own the book to use this feature.)

FREE Theology and Bible Resources

Bible App for Kids  (Bonus: supports multiple languages, so great for language learning.)

Scripture Memory System (From Simply Charlotte Mason; uses the spaced repetition method to help kids memorize verses. Downloadable verse cards and file box tabs.)

Songs for Saplings streaming music (Music based on Scripture and the Westminster Shorter Catechism.)

What did I miss? Feel free to add a link to your resource in the comments below. (If you don’t see your comment appear immediately, don’t worry. I’ll manually approve links.)

Need support? Have questions? Join The Oaxacaborn Homeschool Community on Facebook!

100+ FREE Websites to Help You Learn at Home While Schools Are Closed (or Homeschool for the Rest of the Year!)

7 thoughts on “How to Homeschool for Free During a School Closure”

  1. An amazing list of resources! I’m bookmarking to use this throughout the year. My addition: there are so many amazing ebooks available to download or read online. I have a list of the best free nature lore books (as well as some other free ebook lists) and with it being (almost) spring and us being home more than normal it is a great time for reading and learning more about the natural world: https://bookishfamily.blogspot.com/2018/05/best-free-nature-lore-books.html

    Like

  2. I see some schools listed that serve High School students. If a senior and Junior student begins and finishes a course during the time the schools are closed, how to they get school credit for the class transferred to their public school?

    Like

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