It’s certainly no secret that there are literally billions of free and for-pay educational resources available on the internet. A Google search for “math resources for grade 2 students” returns over 53 million results while “grade 2 math resources for students” returns over 127 million different results.
Assuming an average person can click on and view 15 web pages a minute, it would take a little more than 19 years of continuous clicking to view all pages. Rather than explore 127 million web pages, most people simply trust search engines to deliver the most relevant and highest quality content on the first page of search results.
According to online studies, less than 6 percent of “searchers” ever visit page “2” in a given Google search result. The moral of the story is that people put a lot of trust into how search engines rank websites and rely on the search engines to make decisions for them.
It has been my experience, however, as a former teacher in grades 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6, that many of the web’s greatest educational resources are mired on pages 2, 3, 4, or even lower on search engines results.
Below is a list of indispensable educational resources for homeschooling parents that ARE NOT found on the first page of search engine results.
Grade-Level Appropriateness: K – 8
Core Subjects: Math, Language Arts, Geography, USA, History, Science
Yes, here, I will take the opportunity to plug my own site! MrNussbaum.com features over 100 educational games, reward systems, teaching tools, interactive research tools, printables, and videos in virtually every subject taught in grades K – 6. Students will stay engaged for hours and will strive to earn achievement certificates printable when they finish each game. The site also offers interactive scavenger hunts, a massive U.S. History and Geography section, leveled Reading Comprehension Exercises (over 150 of these) and interactive math practice for every standard and sub-standard of the Common Core Standards among many, many other things.
Grade Level Appropriateness: 1 – Adult
Core Subjects: Math (but there is some content available for vocabulary, geography, and science.)
Thatquiz.org is one of the easiest, most efficient ways to track your child’s math progress on any of hundreds of different math skills. Unlike many similar programs that aren’t as powerful and are much harder to figure out, thatquiz.org is totally free. Simply sign up for an account, register your students, and create a math exercise totally customizable for the exact skill you want to reinforce. The system gives you a code, you distribute the code to students, and students complete the exercise in a format that requires virtually no additional instructions from you. Detailed results of student performance appear in your teacher console. Thatquiz.org is available in eight different languages!
Grade Level Appropriateness: K - 5
Core Subjects: Math, Language Arts, Science, Art
Fun4theBrain.com is a site perfectly suited to second, third, and fourth graders practicing addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division tables. The site has numerous games such as Alien Munchtime and Lucky Drops, which allow students to role-play and progress through the storylines using their math skills. This site features ENDLESS ways to reinforces arithmetic tables and has begun developing games for Science and English as well. This site does an outstanding job of promoting creativity in kids through its “Murb” Section. Murbs, or “Monsters under the Bed” are the creations of the site’s author, Natasha Oliver. Learners can visit the Murb section and learn how to draw them. There are even contests for students to make their own “Murbs.” Many of these kid-created Murbs go on to become characters in the site’s games!
Grade Level Appropriateness: 3-8
Core Subjects: World Cultures, History, and Geography
MrDowling.com has been around for a long time and it has always been the first site I go to when I need quick and easily read information about world cultures. This site features sections about Ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, African History, India, the Middle East, Ancient Rome, China and much more. Each of these sections features dozens of sub-sections featuring easy-to-read narratives full of pictures and maps. Reading passages are specifically tailored to young children and are probably the best sources I have come across for kids in grades 3-6 doing research projects. Each section or sub-section comes with a printable lesson plan for homeschoolers and teachers.
Grade Level Appropriateness: K - 12
Core Subjects: Geography Maps
MyGreatMaps.com is an incredibly useful and free site in which kids can make online atlases using any of the 300 available outline maps. These maps can then be made interactive so that scrolling over specified hotspots reveals messages about places or landmarks. Teachers or homeschoolers simply register and then sign up their kids, where they can make outline maps of continents, states, countries, flags, and historical events come to life with color, funny fonts, stamps, symbols, flags and much more. Maps can be embedded in web pages or blogs and teachers or parents have access to the maps made by their kids.