10 Free Online Educational Resources You Never Thought of Using
Updated: Jan 27, 2020
As parents, teachers and caregivers, we all know that you can spend a small fortune on educational materials, but that doesn't always have to be the case! In this digital era, there are tons of free resources online. Here are 10 resources that we use everyday (and how we use them) that I bet you've never tried.
Teachers Pay Teachers
Most people think that TPT requires you to be a teacher or that the resources are expensive, but this is not the case! Anyone that educates can use TPT including parents and homeschoolers. They even have a homeschooling option on the page when you sign up! When a seller signs up, they have to post a free resource first, so there are tons of free activities, lessons, fonts, clip art images and more available to you. Here is my "store" with completely free educational resources. https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Inspire-By-Example Sort by grade, subject, or resource type and find activities that you can print and use for homeschooling, after school activities, classroom, or even just for fun!
Pixabay is another site that may not seem like it would be useful for homeschooling, but you'd be surprised what the right image can do for boosting education and learning fun! Pixabay has over a million photos that you can use, loyalty free. There are no watermarks, you can choose the size of the file, and you don't even need to sign up to download! I love using these images knowing that I am not breaking any copyrights, trademarks, or plagiarizing someone's work.
We've used the images from Pixabay for puzzles, flashcards, coloring books, create a story, and more. Share some of your ideas in the comments!
Now that you have tons of pictures, it's time to use them. Lunapic is a free photo editor that can apply tons of effects, including my personal favorite, the coloring book effect (under the effects menu). Best of all it's free and easy to use! Upload a photo, apply the effect you want, and then save it. That's it!
If, like me, you have some images that don't have enough details for the coloring book effect, there are also pencil and pen drawing effects. I use those for images with fine details and still use those as coloring pages for my older child. Here is an examples (feel free to save and print this for coloring, if you like).
I can think of tons of things to do with this website. You could upload picture of your kids and use the comic book effect with little chat bubbles for a DIY comic book that you child can fill in with a story. You can make puzzles from pictures, feature a favorite toy in spelling or sentence building lessons, create posters to print and so on.
Be Funky Collage Maker
Be Funky offers more than just the collage maker, but we use it most for that. Upload your images into the grid (there are many different layout options), add text and BOOM.... you've got instant and professional looking worksheets or posters to share with the kids. I threw this collage together in under 5 minutes. There are tons of uses for this at home or in the classroom.
This site is literally built for learning multiplication tables and offers much more than just drilling. When your child needs to learn one of the times tables, they click on that option and are taken to a new page. The page start with the times table written out for them and instructs them to read it aloud and practice it. As you go down the page, there are activities that go from easy to hard which allows them to practice that times table, like fill in the answer in order, fill in the answer shuffled, drag and drop the correct answer, and finally a diploma session where they have to get all of the answer right 24 times to pass.
Cute images for getting the right answer on the speed test mode
Pick any times table you choose from 1 to 12
More than just drilling, the site includes lessons and games
Easy to use
This website offers reading and math lessons with activities for grades K-5 with a monthly subscription. Wait..... I thought you said free???? Why yes, yes I did day free and K5 offers some free options! They have a free trial of their subscription like so many other sites do, but they also offer free printable resources for reading, grammar, and math. Simply click on the Worksheets tab in the top right corner, no login required!
Your local library.... ONLINE!
Many libraries, including school libraries now offer online resources through Overdrive. If you already have a library card, it may be as simple as registering with your card number. Check out e-books, watch videos, read magazines and more, all without leaving your home. Overdrive now has Libby and Sora right on the frontpage, making it easy to find the perfect book to engage your child or class.
What? I don't want to create a blog! I just want to teach my kids... Completely understandable! Everyone thinks that creating a website or blog is hard work, and it is... for the public. But you can create a simple, free website from a template on sites like wix.com, yolasite.com, or even wordpress. But why would you want to? Creating your own website will allow you to add your own personal resources that your child can engage in using things like embedded games and activities. Once your child completes the lesson set or tires of the activity, you simply replace it!
Here is an example of a page that I added to this site just to help my daughter with multiplication. It took about 3 minutes to do this because I grabbed a precreated game from a free educational embeds website (see below).
Online educational game/resource creation sites
There are tons of websites out there that you can use to create online games, quizzes, flashcards and more. You can use them alone or add the activities to your free website or blog to create entire lessons! Recognize this? It's the same activity that is shown on my Math Lab page above. I just copied the embed code and added it to the Math Lab page for my daughter.
Some of my favorites are listed below. Many of them have activities that other users have submitted which are free for your own use!
Almost all of the online learning sites, like abcmouse.com and k5learning.com, offer a free trial. If your child is struggling with a certain subject or lesson, consider giving one of these types of sites a test drive! It will give you a helping hand moving past the plateau that your child is on and perhaps show you new ways to engage your child in learning. Even if you decide to cancel before the trial ends, you will be able to use the resources, printables, activities, and so on for the duration of the trial. Pay attention to what worked for your child when they used the resource (videos, books, step by step examples, games, reading) and try to implement more activities to match in your own lesson plans.
And there you have it! Tons of resources that you can use aside from the obvious online museum, zoo, cooking, NASA etc websites that your child explores because they are interested in that subject. Share your "hidden gems" in the comments below!