Summer is here and your grade school, middle school and high school students are probably very excited to finally get a break from learning. You on the other hand may be a little worried that all play and no work may make them forget some of the exciting material they learned in the previous school year. A little review can be very helpful during the school year and summer months. It is also a good idea to help you child be a step ahead of the curriculum by getting familiar with topics that will be covered in the next school year. Technology has come very far since the days we were in school. Now students can easily log on to a computer to learn new material and practice old ones. These days, schools are also adapting to giving tests online so the sooner your student familiarize themselves with navigating the world of online learning, the better.
FREE Kids and Teens Online Learning Activities for the Summer and School Season
Khan Academy – Khan Academy was recommended to me by a teacher. I trust her judgment and decided to check it out. I was not disappointed. I had to ask myself where Khan Academy was when I was paying for learning programs. Khan Academy is mainly for kindergarten to 8th grade use but also covers topics that can be used up to college level. Although its grade level main focus is Math, they also teach a variety of other subjects. My favorite part of Khan Academy are the videos. It is similar to 10 Marks by Amazon in how it delivers video tutorials. Video tutorials are very helpful. Kids love visuals and being able to visually process a problem can make a difference in how that problem is solved.
We started Khan Academy when we were getting familiar with fractions and it has been a gem. Each assignment is designed to meet state standards. Each assignment also comes with tests to help test your students knowledge of what they are learning. When we started Khan Academy, we took the Mastery Challenge which pretty much accesses your child’s skills. It has a lot of practice test and rewards the child for each work completed. You can use reward point to unlock avatars. It’s like having a learning game with perks.
Other subject categorizes covered at Khan Academy are; Science and Engineering which has Physics, Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Biology, Health & medicine, Electrical engineering topics. Computing which has Computer programming, Computer science, Hour of Code and Computer animation. Arts and humanities which has Art history, Grammar, Music, US history and World history. Economics and finance which has Microeconomics, Macroeconomics, Finance and capital markets and Entrepreneurship.
These other subjects are not grouped into grade levels so you have to browse through to see which one suits your child’s needs. It is only the math subjects that are grouped into grades levels. I noticed they seem to be big on computer science, computer animation, and coding which is definitely helpful if you have a child who has computer science interests.
They also have test preps for SAT, MCAT, GMAT etc so I am guessing although it has grades K to 8 as its main focus, it can be used beyond those grades, probably up to the 12th grade. If your child attends a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math), and even if they do not, Khan Academy would be very ideal for their use.
IXL Learning – I stumbled on IXL Learning during on of my numerous searches for a good online learning program. I really like IXL because of how vast their subjects are and how easy it is to navigate through the website by grade level and by subject. IXL is a great quiz tool. It is also handy if your child already knows the subject topic and wants to practice. Although they have a paid membership, we use the free items and it serves us very well. IXL Learning is aligned with common core. The practice quizzes use visual aids but unlike Khan Academy, IXL does not have learning videos attached to each subject or topic.
IXL is great for those who home-school their student because you can easily use the site to practice what you have taught them. IXL Learning covers grades Pre-K to 12th grade. Personally, as much as I love Khan Academy because of it’d videos, I like testing on IXL a tincy-wincy bit more because it covers other subjects by grades levels and in detail. Do note – I am comparing their testing – not the learning aides. For me Khan Academy is perfect for Math and Computer Science testing while IXL is great for everything else, including math. In IXL each subject topic is called a “skill.”. Each grade level will cover a certain number of skills per subject. An example is their 8th grade level. It covers Math, Language Arts, Science, Social Studies. Math for example has 305 “skills” aka topics to go through and learn. If you want a good practice using quizzes, IXL is it. If you are looking to learn new topics in detail, this site may not be the right fit for you
Vocabulary Spelling City – We have been using Vocabulary Spelling City for about 2 years and it is one tool that I believe we will use through elementary and high school. Vocabulary City comes in handy during the school year because I take our weekly spelling words, input it in vocabulary city and use the activities to practice. It has helped us in prepping to pass a lot of spelling tests. Vocabulary spelling city has a great summer spelling program as well as spelling words that have a subject focus. You can find math vocabulary words, science words and much more. You can also find spelling words per grade level. You can create your own word list and add activities based on those word list. Although we use the paid version for $29.99 a year which covers up to 5 students, the free version is also good to use. If you are looking to help your child keep up with their spelling skills, vocabulary spelling city is a must have. It has an abundance of tools for parents, teachers and educational institutions. I recommend most classrooms should have it.
PBS Kids – We know kids love visuals. Personally, I would prefer my child enjoy a visual /cartoon about life science than spend time watching cartoons that they gain nothing educational from. This is one of the reasons I am a big fan of PBS Kids. PBS Kids create visuals that kids enjoy and still learn from. Shows like Wild Kratts have taught us a lot about life science. Shows like Odd Squad teaches about math. Shows like Martha Speaks teaches you spelling. They have a nice amount of shows kids will enjoy over the summer while still learning because learning can be fun.
These are some online programs we use and that I recommend because they have been very helpful. If you have any tested and trusted online programs you use please feel free to share in the comment section. If your kids are more of the physical textbook learners, I have some awesome workbook recommendations here – Some Recommended Work Books for Elementary School Kids. If you are in the Los Angeles area or planning a visit you can also read my post on – Some Ideas for Hands on Learning for Kids in the Los Angeles Area.