Education doesn’t end at the school building’s doors. In fact, with the aid of these free websites, students of all ages can get extra practice, learn subjects in different ways and explore their own interests independently. These 10 websites are just a few of the many that help kids (and adults) stretch themselves and become more confident, motivated learners. What are some of your other favorites? Leave a comment and let other Living on the Cheap readers in on the secret.
Level: Elementary school through adult
Subject area: math, science, economics, humanities and computer science
About: The heart of Khan Academy is the videos, which cover everything from arithmetic to organic chemistry in an easy-to-follow format. Some schools have started using Khan Academy as part of a “flipped” classroom, where students watch the videos at home and then spend classroom time on what is traditionally “homework” instead of lectures. Khan Academy also allows users to track their progress.
Level: Elementary school through high school
Subject area: math
About: Although this website offers lessons through calculus, it will appeal more to the younger set. Its strength is its math games with names like Math Monster, Lemonade Stand and Timernator, which get kids to practice their math skills in a fun way.
Level: Elementary school through adult
Subject area: vocabulary, foreign language, basic math, humanities, sciences, geography
About: Free Rice quizzes users on various academic topics, although it’s most known for vocabulary. The twist is that for every correct answer it provides 10 grains of rice to the United Nations’ World Food Programme, which distributes food to the hungry around the world.
Subject area: Many college courses of study
About: Coursera is a collection of over 300 courses in over 20 fields of study from over 60 universities around the world. The courses include short video lectures,interactive quizzes, peer-graded assessments, and live interaction with classmates and teachers. None of the courses will gain you actual college credit, but some offer a “Signature Track” which will earn a “Verified Certificate” from the school and Coursera and will verify that the work was your own.
Subject area: Computer programming
Level: Preschool, early elementary school
Subject area: Reading
About: Starfall provides online activities that help children learn reading skills starting with letter recognition all the way up to learn reading comprehension. It’s also touted as a learning aid for older children with special needs who are struggling to learn to read.
Level: Kindgarten through high school
Subject area: Language arts
About: This website is a resource for lesson planning for teachers, but it also has a section for parents, which includes a wide variety of enrichment projects, games and activities parents can do with kids. The projects are organized by grade level.
Level: Preschool through adult
Subject area: All
About: Although the website contains games for older kids and adults, the focus is on preschool through elementary school age kids. The site includes games on animals, world geography, seasons, chemistry and much more.
YouTube Crash Course
Level: High school and above
Subject area: U.S. history, world history, chemistry, biology, literature and ecology
About: Crash Course is a YouTube channel that contains (so far) six courses, each containing up to 42 videos, each on a different sub-topic. The videos are entertaining and easy to understand. These “crash courses” might not be a substitute for high school chemistry or world history but they’d go a long way in giving a student more confidence and understanding of the topic.
Level: Middle school and high school
Subject area: History, geography, language, standardized test prep, math science, art literature
About: Quizlet gives users access to over 20 million quizzes on various topics. Teachers, parents and students can also create their own quizzes. Quizlet can be an effective aid to test preparation for students. There are even quizzes that have been created for students in professional fields like medicine and law.