Today’s Solutions: October 19, 2021

As a parent of a young child, the outbreak of the coronavirus can make life particularly challenging. With schools closed, parents now have kids on their hands round the clock—with an added responsibility of guiding them through virtual school. If this situation sounds familiar and you’re new to homeschooling, here are five free resources from FreeThink that will help you and your child make the grade.

Free Internet: Teachers are scrambling to put together take-home packets and many are opting to post assignments online. But some families don’t have an Internet connection. This can make homeschooling in 2020 nearly impossible. In response, Comcast is offering 60 days of free Internet access to low-income families. And Xfinity hotspots, at locations across the country, are free to everyone.

Free homeschooling curriculums: Many homeschooling programs are offering free web-based curriculum, such as Other Goose. Their program, which was created by a homeschooling mother, generates a custom curriculum for children aged 2-7 years old. For the budding K-12 bookworm, Readworks.org is a reading comprehension service. Because it is donation-based, you can access the content for free or pay what you can afford. For math and science lessons, try Discovery K-12

Videos and webinars: There are a bunch of educational webinars and videos that will keep your kid learning and occupied when you need to turn your attention to work. Mo Willems, of “Elephant and Piggie” and “Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus” is hosting “lunchtime doodles” at 1 p.m. EDT. For free science lessons during the school closings, tune into Mystery Science. And TED-ed adapts lessons into animated videos for children.

Educational video games:  Minecraft announced that they are giving away educational lessons in the game and extending free access to Education Edition for teachers. You can find the lessons in the Minecraft Marketplace under the new “Education” category. In Minecraft, the best selling video game of all time, the 145 million active players use digital blocks (like Legos) to build virtual worlds. The lessons, which cover biology, math, and culture, will include new downloadable worlds. If your child is a Minecraft fan, this is a win-win opportunity.

Foreign language learning: For children learning English as a second language, or diving into their first study of a foreign language, leaving the classroom and not being immersed in the language for a few months will be a real setback. Thankfully Voces Digital, an online school for foreign languages, is offering free access until June 30. 

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