Online educational resources for Sonoma County parents
Are you panicking at the thought of having to spend weeks teaching your kids from home?
Have you seen your friends posting impressive bell schedules and elaborate plans for every hour of the day? Online Japanese? Yoga practice in the mornings?
With schools closed across the nation and families sheltering in place, Sonoma County parents are trying to figure out how to keep their children's minds stimulated while squeezing in a little work from home.
Experts agree that long breaks in education can lead to less retention of information, especially for high school students and especially in the areas of math and science. According to the Brookings Institute, during summer breaks, students forget approximately one month's worth of material they have learned during the school year.
To combat learning loss during the coronavirus pandemic, here are some online educational resources for kids and teens.
English Language Arts
TeachingBooks.net - Among the hundreds of online resources provided by the Sonoma County Library and California State Library is Teaching Books, a collection of interactive materials such as lesson plans, readings, interviews, story maps and vocabulary lists to go with award-winning children's books. Selections include Madeline L'Engle's “A Wrinkle in Time” and John Lewis' graphic novel on the inauguration of Barrack Obama, “March.” Although the full texts of the novels are not available through this site, e-book and audio book versions of many of the titles are available through the Sonoma County Library.
Noredink.com - Fine tune your writing skills. No Red Ink is a free resource for online writing and grammar practice.
Abdodigital.com - This educational e-book site has made their entire collection of books free during the COVID-19 pandemic. The electronic children's books include books in Spanish, historic titles, books on crafting and biographies on musicians and athletes. Have your kids read a title and write you a detailed book report while you catch up on emails with clients.
Khanacademy.org - Structured like a classroom lesson, this site is a solid resource for math and science instruction as well as a variety of other subjects. For children ages 2 to 18.
2simple.com/us/purple-mash - Purple Mash is a website designed for children ages 3 to 11 with colorful graphic tools for learning coding, animation, art, math, spelling and grammar. The activities are formatted like games, so your kids won't even know school is in session.
Ck12.org - Offers online “FlexBooks” for students of science and math, plus online lesson plans for parents and teachers. Excellent source for science and math textbooks, but also has social studies, photography and language arts. Watch their helpful video for parents and teachers on how to teach from home using their online collection of materials. Also available in Spanish.
Omni Calculator - Scientists and researchers established the platform with hundreds of math and physics calculators. Topics range from ecology and chemistry to food and sports.
History & Social Studies
Academy4sc.org - During the coronavirus pandemic, Academy4SC is offering free videos on various topics including psychology, rhetoric, logic, reasoning and economics. Each video comes with an explanation of the topic as well as a lesson plan. For students in grades 6 through 12.
Learn.kqed.org - Improve your child's critical thinking skills and tackle the big issues with KQED's media literacy site for middle and high school students.
Duolingo.com - Have your kids play interactive language games with their peers through the Duolingo website and free app. Duolingo offers 30+ languages including Spanish, French, Portuguese, Hindi and High Valyrian (for all of you Game of Thrones fans out there).
Mango - What a more structured language lesson? Mango is heavy on conversation skills and reading assignments to advance language skills quickly. Languages include Spanish, French, German, Russian, Mandarin Chinese and more. Access it at sonomalibrary.org/eresources.
Art, Music & Drama
Artsandculture.google.com - Get some artistic inspiration from the masters. Google Arts & Culture paired up with over 500 museums from around the world to provide virtual tours of their most popular collections. Some of these collections date back to the prehistoric era, so technically it's a history lesson, too.