With school closures now becoming the norm across the world, a lot of parents may not just be worried about childcare - but also how to ensure the continuing education of their children. This is especially as we still have no idea how long the corona virus pandemic is going to continue, or when schools will re-open.
However, there are distance learning platforms out there that do cater for children and even better are dedicated to keeping them safe online, and here we’ll feature some of our favorites:
ABCmouse (2-8 years)
ABCmouse (opens in new tab) offers learning activities for young children, from preschool age to 7th grade, all accessed from your home computer or mobile device.
There are 10 different levels involved, and over 850 lessons. As expected with online learning for children, the aim of the activities is to be fun and engaging while still ensuring that children are taught core concepts. Additionally, there are rewards and tickets to help guide and motivation children through the different lessons, which encompass all areas of reading, math, science, and arts.
Among the activities are a range of animations, games, books, songs, puzzles, and printables for coloring in. There’s also an interactive zoo, farm, and aquarium. Kids can create their own avatar as well, so that progressing through lessons and activities can feel more personalized and engaging.
ABCmouse is available as a subscription, costing $9.95 (about £8.50, AU$17) each month, but the first month is free, which is a great way to test out the site while giving your children something to do during the school closures.
$9.99 per month free for 30 days (opens in new tab)
This superb distance learning tool is packed with lessons for kids between two and eight years old, and includes a huge range of activities across every subject that they'd normally be studying in the classroom. A subscription usually costs $9.99 per month, but you can try it free for 30 days.
Adventure Academy (8-13 years)
Adventure Academy is aimed at children aged 8-13 years, and offers a learning program that covers reading, math, science, and more. As with ABC Mouse, gamification works at the heart of the learning process to ensure that lessons remain fun, interesting, and engaging. The result is that Adventure Academy works something like a MMO adventure game, where players can create avatars, meet online, and they can even have their own online homes.
The language section offers curriculum development for reading, writing, spelling, as well as general English comprehension. The math section covers multiplication and division, geometry, fractions and decimals, as well as word problems. The science section covers curriculum studies involving various aspects of physics, chemistry, and biology, such as forces and motions, environments, and atoms. A social studies section allows for children to learn history and geography, economics and innovation, as well as cultures and traditions.
Pricing for Adventure Academy is currently offering a promotion where all the courses are available for a single annual payment of $59.99 (about £50, AU$100), which auto-renews at the same price each year after. However, there’s also a free month’s trial available so you can try the platform out to ensure you and your kids like it first.
$59.99 per year free for 30 days (opens in new tab)
For older children, Adventure Academy covers math, science, literacy and more, all within the framework of an RPG game. It's a great way to keep kids engaged with their learning, and it's free to try for the first month.
ReadingIQ (12 years and under)
ReadingIQ is a lending library of digital children’s books, best suited for the under-12s. Like Amazon’s KDP Select, you pay a single monthly fee which opens up instant access to a very wide range of books. There are thousands of books for children available in every type of genre, from story and picture books, informational and reference books, as well as graphic novels, joke books, and song books.
There are helpful suggestions by age group, specifically for pre-readers who are younger than two years old, emerging readers up to four years old, growing readers aimed at ages five to eight years, then advanced readers up to around 12 years old. There’s also a Spanish section suitable for readers between two and 12 years.
All of the books are available to read in digital format for tablet or smartphone as well as desktops, and there are both guided reading and recommended book options offered to encourage children to keep reading.
Pricing is a single subscription of $7.99 (about £7, AU$14) per month, and the best news perhaps is that a single account can serve up to three children, making it especially suitable for families, as well as a cost-effective way to encourage your children’s’ reading.
$7.99 per month free for 30 days (opens in new tab)
ReadingIQ is a huge library of digital childrens' books, with thousands of titles available to read on a tablet or e-reader. Subscriptions are usually a very reasonable $7.99 per month, but you can get one month free right now.