The extended vacation is over, and it’s time for your kids to hit the books – well, in this case, the e-books. With schools shifting to online classes for the safety and protection of their students, physical classrooms have given way to online learning platforms led by our dedicated and talented teachers.
However, some resources have become inaccessible to the students. Two of these physical resources is the school library, where kids can ideally do additional research or simply borrow books for leisurely reading; and the science and computer laboratories; where the students can explore an affinity for STEM subjects.
One good outcome about the online migration of materials is that educators and parents alike have discovered that there is already a wealth of resources that are available online, with some platforms offering learning materials for free.
Here, we give a list of child-friendly sites where your kids can safely get started on independent learning as the schoolyear starts under new circumstances.
Oxford Owl is an award-winning website from the Oxford University Press that is a chock-full of learning materials including over 250 free Oxford free e-books for kids. The engaging site that gets even pre-schoolers onboard also has storytelling videos and fun activities such as coloring pages, recipes, and video guides to writing their own stories by renowned authors. There are so many bonus bits parents can enjoy too: There’s a funny Roald Dahl-section where kids can write their own limerick about Matilda’s Bruce Bogtrotter.
International Children’s Digital Library
If you want to raise a global citizen, this should be one of your online stops. Built on a non-profit organization’s mission to “support the world's children in becoming effective members of the global community - who exhibit tolerance and respect for diverse cultures, languages and ideas”, this library is building a collection of the best in children's literature from all over the world available online free of charge. Here, kids can browse books by country to learn about other cultures through fairy tales and folk tales that are written in English and in other languages.
One really good feature about this site is its localized content. This web platform and mobile app is designed to give Filipino educators a helping hand, especially in reaching out to communities that are underserved. It provides Filipino students with free access to digital storybooks and learning videos that are age-appropriate and relevant to students in different K-12 levels. The hundreds of digital titles in the catalogue include Filipino children’s books, William Shakespeare’s works, Science manuals, and even Alternative Learning materials in Filipino. The informative short videos range from Math guides to values discussions.
National Geographic Kids Science Lab
It’s got Space, it’s got Animals, and it’s got Experiments that kids can try at home. Enrich your child’s science learning with fun facts that will definitely stick to their memory because they are presented in a really cool way via their Weird But True section. Another section worth noting is their wonderful Kids vs. Plastic tab that will inspire eco-awareness among the family and help you raise Planet Protectors.
TED-Ed Think Like a Coder
This 10-episode animated series is aimed at introducing kids to the concepts used in coding. Helpful even to Gen-Xers and Millennial parents who want to migrate to the digital age, it challenges its viewers to “think like a coder” – in this case the main character, as she tries to save the world by solving puzzles using math skills and key coding concepts like Loops, Conditionals, and Variables.
With so many online resources available, we wish you and your child a safe learning journey. With this guide, we hope we can help you navigate through safer sites that are kid-friendly and will motivate them towards self-study.
About The Writer
Maan Pamaraan is a single mom of four boys who finds fulfilment in her decades-long career as a writer for several publications. When she is not in serious journalist mode, she enjoys sitting in front of her laptop to write light-hearted anecdotes about raising her children along with general observations about life as a working mom. A survivor of an abusive relationship, her current advocacy is also that of lending a sympathetic ear for other women who have found themselves in the same situation.
The views and opinions expressed by the writer are his/her own, and does not state or reflect those of Wyeth Nutrition and its principals.