Free Learning Websites for Kids
Computers are not a big deal to our kids. My generation was the last generation to not grow up with computers. Asking a kid to be excited about the internet is like asking my generation to be excited about refrigerators. As parents, it’s not realistic for us to say “No screens!” to our kids. Educational websites are essential for their learning. Schools use websites to teach.
|National Geographic for Kids||Kids.NationalGeographic.com|
|Little Golden Books||LittleGoldenBooks.com|
|Starfall (reading and literacy)||Starfall.com|
|Fun Brain (math, reading, Wimpy Kid)||Funbrain.com|
|National Constitution Center||ConstitutionCenter.org|
|Into the Book||Reading.ECB.org|
|Khan Academy (math)||KhanAcademy.org|
|Storyline Online (actors read to kids)||StoryLineOnline.net|
|Highlights (yes, that magazine!)||HighlightsKids.com|
The internet was not popular until after I was married. So no, I did not have free learning websites as a kid. In fact, I remember in college, there was one kid with a computer. One. He was a transfer student from a “city college” where computers were required. I think it was Drexel or LaSalle. But we treated him like a unicorn. A computer! All of his own! (yeah, that’s how old I am!)
Benefits of Online Learning for Kids
We hear so much negative stuff about excessive screen time (which is a problem!) it can be easy to forget that there is a ton of educational value. The internet has changed education and learning.
- The child can progress at their desired pace.
- Can do the work at home and control distractions.
- Learning websites usually offer a variety of learning methods, such as reading, audio and video.
- Educational websites are convenient for parents, especially for commuting and sibling sports practice.
Free Learning and Educational Websites
This list was put together several years ago, but I periodically update it to check links and add to it. Now, I’m also sorting it out by category.
Kid Learning Websites-Kindergarten
PBS Kids: Everything you love about PBS kids, all in one spot. All of your PBS favorites are here, Arthur, Wild Kratts, Clifford and so much more. There are games, songs, videos, puzzles, and printables to go along with themes and the educational programming you expect from PBS. There is a special parent section too so that you get better in your guidance as they play online. Website: PBSKids.org
Learning Websites-Science and Animals
Highlights for Kids: Remember when we were little, and the Highlights magazine was always in the waiting room when you went to the doctor? You can still get the magazine, but their website is full of great educational and fun stuff for kids…like science experiments! Website: HighlightsKids.com
Switcheroo Zoo: This website is all about animals! There are zoo related games, fact-finding and educational reading, coloring pages and now a free app. Great site for a virtual trip to the zoo when you just can’t get there in person, or as pre-learning before you go.
National Geographic for Kids: Memory games, puzzles, fun, and creepy facts, cool photos to look at…it all adds up to a great science experience for your child. If you want your kids to be excited about science, check out NGK.
Reading and Language Websites for Kids
Little Golden Books: Who doesn’t love Little Golden Books? And their website has great games and activities to accompany some of the stories we’ve grown to love. Website: LittleGoldenBooks.com
Into The Book: This is a great site for reading and literacy. It helps students identify the reading strategies (summarizing, inferring, prior knowledge, etc.) and helps them use the strategies together to become better readers. Website: Reading.ECB.org
Starfall: Starfall has different sections, some of it is free and some of it is not. It’s a site that is used by lots of homeschooling parents and has free lessons, reading, worksheets and more to help build literacy skills. Website: Starfall.com
StoryLineOnline: This site is cute and funny…and it’s reading. But parents, for the nights you want to just “phone it in” and not do storytime with the kids, you can go to this website and have your favorite Screen Actors Guild actor read one to them. For real. They promote reading and they have activity guides to go with the stories. Website: StoryLineOnline.net
Fun Math Websites for Kids
FunBrain: Math, reading or just for fun, that’s what you’ll find at FunBrain. You can choose activities by grade, all the way up to 12. They have MadLibs, Sudoku and other activities that may be too much for the primary school kids. You’ll also find Diary of a Wimpy Kid things here.
Khan Academy: No list is complete without Khan Academy. It started out (I think!) as just math but now they have just about everything. Their mission is simple: We’re a not-for-profit with the goal of changing education for the better by providing free world-class education for anyone anywhere.
Educational Websites: History and Civics
National Constitution Center: The National Constitution Center has a great list of educational resources on its website. There are videos, games, and so much more. And, it’s organized by grade level (k-12) and you can cross reference it to Common Core Standards.
There you go, 12 free educational websites. Hope it helps your kids enjoy learning, and moms feel less guilty about screen time!
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