Over one million Arizona children are now learning from home. All of Arizona’s 230 school districts are closed for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year. This has forced Arcadia parents to take on the additional role of teacher.
“I encourage all parents to find the appropriate level of involvement for their child’s age and needs, to communicate with their child’s teacher as concerns arise and to balance their child’s social-emotional needs (and their own) with online learning requirements,” Arcadia High Principal Todd Stevens said.
There’s no shortage of online educational resources, but not all of them are accredited or secure, and vetting each one takes time and focus. Parents are also concerned with exposing their kids to too much screen time and not enough sunshine and social interactions during the pandemic. Arcadians have been creative with ways to integrate real-world learning into daily life.
Aida Hatem is an enrichment teacher at Pop Up Science and Art. If you pass by her home on 51st Place (north of Osborn), you’ll see “Watch This Space” display boards in her garden. They were designed to provide interactive, real-world applications for students in the neighborhood.
“I see a lot of adults and kids walking by nowadays. They often point at things in my garden so I thought it was a great educational opportunity,” Hatem said.
Here is a list of some at-home learning resources for parents and students that are loved by educators in the community and beyond.
Complete Curriculums and Courses
ArizonaPBS and PBS: Curated videos and lesson plans in all subjects for toddlers through high school. az.pbslearningmedia.org.
BBC Bitesize: United Kingdom based educational resources for students’ ages three and up. bbc.co.uk/bitesize.
BrainPop: Learning resource with lesson plans, videos and more for all grade levels on dozens of core topics. brainpop.com.
Artsology: Over 15 years’ worth of art games, resources and “The Arts Adventurer” series of non-traditional art installations across the world. artsology.com.
Fender Play: Three months of free guitar lessons. try.fender.com.
Kitchen Classroom: Culinary activities, recipes and quizzes broken down into weekly lessons by America’s Test Kitchen Kids. americastestkitchen.com.
SFSKIDS: Online games that allow anyone to hear and learn about music, provided by the San Francisco Symphony. sfskids.org.
Science and Social Studies
Big History Project: Customizable history curriculums that focus on earth science and civilizations from the beginning of time into the future.
National Geographic: Offers K-12 at-home learning resources and citizen science opportunities. National Geographic Kids provides a more entertainment-centric approach with videos, games, quizzes and more. nationalgeographic.org.
U.S. History and American Government: A complete lesson plan developed by The Ashbrook Center at Ashland University and National Endowment for the Humanities. teachingamericanhistory.org.
Grammar Bytes: Exercises, quizzes, handouts, presentations and more. chompchomp.com.
ReadWriteThink: K-12 reading and language arts instruction. readwritethink.org.
Quill: Writing and grammar activities for students of all ages. quill.org.
Cabin Fever Math: Non-screen math activities and lesson plans.
Math Games: Worksheets and a variety of online math games for all grade levels. mathgames.com.
Zearn Math: Math curriculums for children of all grade levels. about.zearn.org.
Movement and Mindfulness
Cosmic Kids Yoga: Interactive storytelling using yoga and relaxation techniques for young children.
Debbie Allen Dance Academy: Live online dance classes that cover everything from ballet to flamenco taught by world-renowned dance instructors via Zoom. Enrollment for each class is $3. debbieallendanceacademy.com.
GoNoodle: Content and games made by child development experts that are centered around movement. gonoodle.com.
YMCA 360: Kids activities, youth sport performance and youth soccer online classes. ymca360.org.
Technology and Engineering
FUTURE U: Virtual field trips, guides, lesson plans in aerospace and engineering for students and educators in grades 6-12. Created in partnership with Boeing and Discovery Education. boeingfutureu.com.
Take a Code Break: Teach an hour of coding every day. Children have access to free labs, courses and other computer science resources when a parent creates an account for them.
Arizona STEM Network: Community resource for educators and parents. sfaz.org.
Cambridge Textbooks: Access to hundreds of textbooks through the Cambridge University Press. cambridge.org/core.
Canva: Free and paid subscription service that offers design templates for everything from presentations to lesson plans. canva.com.
Circletime: On-demand and live educational online classes for children 6 years-old and younger. circletimefun.com.
Civic Online Reasoning: Course for students on how to evaluate and consume online content. cor.stanford.edu.
ETS At-Home Solution: Testing for the TOEFL iBT test and GRE General Test. news.ets.org.
MIT OpenCourseware: Open classes from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. ocw.mit.edu.
Open Library: Open and editable library catalog with over 20 million records. openlibrary.org.
Open Yale Courses: Open classes from Yale University. oyc.yale.edu/courses.
Quizlet: Flashcards, games and study tools to help students master a variety of subjects. quizlet.com.
Real Play Coalition: No-screen educational games and activities for kids of all ages. realplaycoalition.com.
Special Education: Special education support, resources and guidance during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Standard E-Books: Revised versions of books from Project Gutenberg formatted to be readable on multiple devices. standardebooks.org.
Storytime from Space: Astronauts on the Space Station reading children’s books. storytimefromspace.com.
Teach from Home: A resource hub for at-home learning created by Google. teachfromhome.google.
Time for Kids Digital Library: Access to Time’s digital library through the 2019-2020 school year. time.com/tfk-free.
TinkerGarten: Technology-free developmental activities for children. tinkergarten.com.
Visual Dictionary Online: Written and visual definitions for students. visualdictionaryonline.com.
Vooks: A subscription-based streaming service of read-aloud animated storybooks with lesson plans. First month is free. vooks.com.
YouTube Learning: Educational resources for families of all age ranges. learnathome.withyoutube.com.