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Homeschooling Due to COVID-19? Check Out These Free Online Educational Programs

A man and woman and two children at a table looking at tablets.
Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock

Struggling to keep your child interested in learning during the coronavirus quarantine? Here are six inspiring educational programs you can check out—and the best part is, they’re all free!

We’ve specifically selected these programs because they have hundreds (if not thousands) of rich, enthralling, brain-stimulating materials to keep your child occupied for hours on end. All these sites offer at least several subjects to engage your child’s curiosity and fight away those boredom blues.

Keep in mind these programs are meant to be supplementary to your child’s regular education. They’ll help broaden, enhance, or expand your child’s current skills while she’s stuck at home.

That’s not to say you couldn’t use these websites as part of your complete homeschool curriculum. However, doing so would take some pretty dedicated planning on your part, which might not be possible if you’re unexpectedly working from home.

It’s okay to let your child independently explore his interests without worrying too much about checking all the academic boxes. He’ll learn something substantial from each of these sites, so you can’t really go wrong here.

CK-12 Foundation

The CK-12 Foundation website.

The goal of the CK-12 program is to encourage every child to learn at his or her own speed. Some kids want to delve deeper into one area, while others want to jump from topic to topic. This site allows your kid to control her own learning experience.

To get started, just set up a free account. Your child will then have access to more than 15,000 online resources, including e-books, videos, and quizzes. There are also some cool interactive materials.

The content is separated by grade level, from kindergarten through 12th. You can even select a specific standard, such as following the Common Core or sticking to your state’s guidelines.

Here are some of the topics available at CK-12:

  • Math: Arithmetic, algebra, calculus, and more.
  • English: Writing, spelling, and reading.
  • Science: Biology, chemistry, physics, and more.
  • Social Studies: Economics, geography, philosophy, and more.
  • Extra curriculum: Astronomy, engineering, photography, and more.

This online resource is completely free—now and always.

Discovery K12

Discovery K12 is a fantastic, all-in-one online learning option for pre-K through 12th grade.

The curriculum is non-Common Core, traditional, and secular, which is available for full- or part-time, or even occasional, students (including kids dealing with unexpected school closures).

There are over 16,000 lessons available via videos, slides, e-books, and worksheets. Plus, there’s an extensive online library with over 100 classic books.
All student accounts are completely free. Your child will receive daily assignments, automatic grading, plus email and online support. There’s also an option to upgrade to a paid parent account that includes valuable homeschool management tools.

Here are some of the topics available at Discovery K12:

  • Math
  • Science
  • Language Arts
  • Reading and Literature
  • History and Social Studies
  • Visual and Performing Arts
  • Physical Education

This program also offers a fantastic spelling program, with printed or digital worksheets, and an end-of-week spelling quiz. Furthermore, there are extra curriculum courses that include Spanish, personal finance, HTML coding, and much more.

There’s definitely something for everyone!


Created by the Monterey Institute for Technology and Education, HippoCampus offers over 7,000 videos covering 13 topics. The website states the program is suitable for middle school, high school, and college students. According to common sense media, it’s best suited for ages 13 and up.

Anyone can view the lessons and subject material, but it’s recommended that you register (for free, of course). This allows you to create playlists and give your child a more personalized experience.

Here’s a list of the available subjects:

    • Math: Arithmetic, algebra, calculus, and more.
    • Science: Biology, chemistry, physics, and more.
    • Social Studies: Economics, history, government, sociology, and more.
  • Humanities: English and religion.

Khan Academy for Kids

The Khan Academy for Kids website.
Khan Academy

Whimsical and fun, the engaging Khan program was developed by learning experts at Stanford. It was inspired by Head Start Early Learning guidelines, as well as the Common Core standards.

Five friendly characters guide your child through a mix of early literacy, writing, language, math, and social-emotional skills. There are also plenty of rewards your child can earn along the way—what kid doesn’t love a virtual toy?

The coolest part of this program is that it magically adapts to each child’s unique learning ability, ensuring he has a one-of-a-kind experience. Watch as your child learns through a collection of fun activities, educational videos, and creative lessons, all of which have been tweaked to suit his individual learning level.

The program is free and there are no annoying ads. An offline version is also available for times when you don’t have internet access.

The Khan program was designed for ages 2 through 7. So far, my 3-year-old has spent an hour a day completely enthralled by it and has learned a ton of stuff, too.

Definitely check out the Khan Academy site, too, which offers free daily lessons on a variety of topics for kids ages 4 through 18.


OnSchooler is a comprehensive half on-, half offline program. It’s been used worldwide for tutoring, homeschooling, and supplementary education. It offers engaging multimedia lessons for ages 3 through 18. There are even multilingual options, so your child can learn another language right from the comfort of home.

This program helps average students dive further into their favorite topics, as well as tackle problem areas. It’s helped students who are behind catch up with their fellow classmates. There’s also plenty of challenging material for more advanced, fast-paced students who want to soar to new heights.

The first three lessons are free. After that, you can pay for various lessons and materials, as well as online tutoring (see the price page for more details).

If your child’s school is closed due to COVID-19, you can join the Knowledge Club for free until school re-opens. Your kids will receive structured learning, including two lessons each day, worksheets, printouts, study guides, tests, and more.

bilingual reading acceleration program is also free for those affected by COVID-19. It’s designed for 3rd grade students, or those who have very basic reading skills.

Here’s a sample of the courses you’ll find at OnSchooler:

  • Math
  • Science
  • History
  • World Geography
  • English
  • Language Skills

There’s also a wide range of extra-curriculum courses, like web design, politics, botany, and more.

Scholastic Learn at Home

The Scholastic Learn at Home website.

This online resource was created specifically for kids stuck at home due to COVID-19. The Scholastic Learn at Home program is full of engaging, educational, and creative tools to keep your child reading, learning, and growing during this time of uncertainty. The material was created for pre-K through 9th grade—and yes, it’s completely free!

The program provides three hours of lessons each day for 20 days. Just think—that’s three hours every day during which your child will (hopefully) be completed engaged! That’s quite a relief for those of us attempting to work from home and keep our kids from dying of boredom (or each other).

The daily projects come in the form of articles, stories, videos, or cool learning challenges. Your child can go on a virtual field trip, meet best-selling authors, or dive into a book on their favorite topic.

Here are some links to resources the offering:

  • Learn at Home bookstore: A complete list of awesome books to expand your child’s learning at home. New additions are added every week!
  • Worksheets and activities: An awesome collection of free printable materials, divided by grade level.
  • Home Base: Scholastic’s digital community for kids in grades 3 through 6. They can explore islands from their favorite books, play trivia games, or engage in live chats with authors. It’s a great way to have an adventure while stuck at home!
  • TrueFlix: Expand your child’s knowledge by reading interesting stories and watching stimulating videos about anything and everything in the universe. TrueFlix covers cool topics, like the human body, outer space, great discoveries, and so much more.
  • ScienceFlix: Dive deep into the wonderful world of science. Your kids can watch, read, and learn about hundreds of cool topics, including marine life, shapes and solids, robotics, time and space, and so much more!

The uncertainty and stress of COVID-19 doesn’t have to ruin your kid’s day! These engaging, inspiring, and educational resources will have your child excited to explore and learn cool things every day. And you’ll get some much-needed time to tend to your other responsibilities.

Jill A. Chafin Jill A. Chafin
Jill A. Chafin is a freelance writer, aerialist, dancer, food enthusiast, outdoor adventurer, and mama, based in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Read Full Bio »
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