- Distance Learning for Special Education: Crowd-sourced Google site of special education resources
- Online Learning Resources from the National Downs Syndrome Congress
- Distance Learning Innovations for Education from the California Department of Education
Visual Schedules/Task Analysis
- ChoiceWorks App: ($9.99) Upload your own pictures or use the ones in their library to make visual schedules or a task analysis (steps to complete one task). Here is an example of a sample morning schedule. The play button reads the schedule to the child, or they can tap each picture to hear what it is.
- Wait For It ($1.99) : Visual Timer with picture supports. It’s from the company that makes PECS.
- TaskAnalysis (free): A free app that allows you to break down a task into manageable steps to encourage independence in completing tasks. You can add text, picture or even video to help model and prompt along the way.
- Children’s countdown (free): A fun visual timer you can pull up on your phone or iPad to help your child transition between tasks.
- A Day in Our Shoes lists 10 Free Visual Timers.
This is a scary thing for many parents, so in addition to any math packets sent home, consider math card games or real-life math practice (recipes use fractions, budgeting for shopping items, etc.) or accessing a good math website:
- Solve Me Mobiles (math/algebra games)
- Prodigy Math
- Khan Academy
- Khan Academy Kids (geared towards ages 2-7)
- Zearn (K-5 math)
- Freckle (K-12 program adaptive differentiation program)
Standards may fall by the wayside for a while, and that’s okay. Any form of reading is good! Search for articles on subjects your children are interested in and ask them to read and tell you about what they learned, or read with your child and ask them questions. Audiobooks are also great.
Many companies have made their resources available for free for parents and teachers:
- The Barbara Bush Foundation for Literacy Educational Toolkit for At-Home Learning offers free online resources that can help children continue to build critical literacy skills while schools are closed.
- Khan Academy Kids (geared towards ages 2-7)
- Letterland / Phonics Online
- Lexia online programs to use at home
- Nessy programs are designed to help students of all abilities learn to read, write, spell and type, especially those who learn differently. Free trial available.
- Raz-kids.com (free through the end of the school year)
- Reading Rockets offers a wealth of research-based reading strategies, lessons, and activities
- ReadWriteThink: “our mission is to provide educators, parents, and afterschool professionals with access to the highest quality practices in reading and language arts instruction by offering the very best in free materials.”
- Reach Out and Read: “Reach Out and Read is committed to helping families understand the benefits of reading with children from infancy—and providing the support they need to make reading a habit.”
- Scholastic Creates Free, Open-Access Digital Hub to Help Keep Students Learning While Schools are Disrupted by Coronavirus (courses providing approximately three hours of learning per day, including writing and research projects, virtual field trips, and geography challenges; accessible on any device; no sign up is required; will remain free and open indefinitely)
- U.S. Department of Education’s Talk, Read, and Sing Together Every Day! Tip Sheets for Families, Caregivers and Early Learning Educators provide families, caregivers and early educators with research-based tips for talking, reading, and singing with young children every day beginning from birth.
- Supporting Students During COVID-19 Closures Wilson Language
Audiobook/ Animated book resources:
- Check your local public library website- many have the option to check out and listen to audiobooks online!
- In English & español: https://www.uniteforliteracy.com/
- Picture books read aloud by celebrities: https://www.storylineonline.net/
- Epic! Books: Teachers get free accounts, so ask your child’s teacher if they have a class log-in. If not, they are offering a 30-day free trial! https://www.getepic.com/
- Kids obsessed with space? Watch astronauts read books from space! https://storytimefromspace.com/library/?fbclid=IwAR1hasu_1LdGVubT0_H5PYbQZT0iur7Z3WLegbqgqDiQT_NHlcBVFLXlCl0
- For older kids or those who don’t need the visual to follow along, try https://www.audible.com/ – 30 day free-trial, cancel anytime!
- Scholastic Learn From Home (Grades K- 6+): A Fiction and Nonfiction book pair, with activities for every day of the school closures available for free! https://classroommagazines.scholastic.com/support/learnathome.html?fbclid=IwAR2HRgOp65MKlYc7tb_o-JtVxCVjvK1VOm3FpCPfwGYIoIuAn9aOrdlR1To
- Storyline Online features celebrated actors reading children’s books
Have your child send an email, write a story, animate a story, write letters to people in nursing homes or kids in hospitals, using whatever means possible. Check out the Daily Writing Prompts, Inspired by The New York Times.
Practice typing skills online
- Free Typing Practice – Improve keyboard Speed
- Typing Club
- Learn to Type | Free Typing Tutor – Typing.com
English Language Learners
- Common Sense Media free, research-backed lesson plans in English and Spanish.
- Sesame Street and the Spanish-language version, Sésamo
- SmithsonianTweenTribune | Articles for kids, middle school, teens from Smithsonian
- Storyline Online is produced by the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television’s SAG-AFTRA Foundation as part of their children’s literacy program and includes materials aiming to strengthen comprehension and verbal and written skills for English-language learners for grades PK-8.
- Students can access thousands of videos in English/Spanish that include lessons, activities, and visuals via Twig Education.
Bring science into the mix more naturally. Plant seeds, take nature walks, cook, find a topic of interest etc. Or, as always, go online:
- Bill Nye the Science Guy Home Demos
- Codemoji to learn or practice coding
- Khan Academy science
- Mad Science at home experiments
- Mystery Science has a starter list of K-5 science lessons that are easy to do at home; now free; no sign-up or log-in required.
- Best Online Educational Resources for When You’re Stuck at Home – With Kids! MIT Open Learning
- Twig Science videos, lessons, and tutorials.
Social Studies / History
You can watch and debrief the news with your child. There are also so many “virtual world” options opening up online, many of them for free.
- Crash Course – World History, US History, Economics (Youtube – Crash Course)
- iCivics Games
- HippoCampus – Homework and Study Help – Free help with your algebra, biology, environmental science, American government, US history, physics and religion homework
- Coronavirus Resources: Teaching, Learning and Thinking Critically is a regularly updated site with “ideas for working, at school or at home, with content from The Times and other reliable sources about this global pandemic.”
Provide daily (or even hourly) opportunities for your child to move and be active. Use a web based fitness app, a YouTube exercise video, or have your child walk the dog or do jumping jacks (or vacuum the house?)
- GoNoodle provides movement and mindfulness videos created by child development experts.
- Harry Potter Yoga for Kids
- Sunrise Yoga – 15 Min Morning Yoga Practice – Yoga With Adriene
Online free art lessons:
- Art for Kids Hub
- Carson Ellis blog
- Khan Academy Art
- LUNCH DOODLES with Mo Willems!
- PBS Digital Studios the Art Assignment
- Stick Figure Art – Art Education, Art Lessons and Classroom Practice
Museums / Art → Look at, respond to, and discuss visual art together!
- Collections – Google Arts & Culture has curated collections from hundreds of museums, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, the British Museum in London and the Musée d’Orsay, Paris.
- The Louvre has online tours
- Required works of art for AP Art History
Free performances to watch online
- Berlin Philharmonic
- Broadway shows
- London Symphony Orchestra
- Metropolitan Museum of Art
- Paris Opera Ballet
- Royal Opera House
Social and emotional learning
- The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning offers suggestions for educators on addressing the social and emotional needs of students.
- Learning Is Social, Emotional and Academic, Tools to integrate Social Emotional Learning with your teaching practices (blog)
- Sanford Harmony, a Pre-K-6 research-based social emotional learning program, provides resources that can be used by parents at home
- National Association of School Psychologists Health Crisis Resources