101 Free Educational Courses & YouTube Channels

What do you (or your child) want to learn today? Fortunately, the internet abounds with resources for learning! It’s great to keep the brains buzzing during school breaks or nearly any time.  These resources are always free, and there’s a wealth of learning to be had here!

Be sure to check the entire list- many sites and resources cover a wide range of age levels and were difficult to categorize. So you will find elementary resources in the secondary categories, and vice versa because they very much overlap!

Free Educational Courses and YouTube Channels For All Ages

Elementary

Learning Circuits

Kids will get hands-on learning virtually and discover all of the ins and outs of electrical circuits using this tool. It’s interactive, and always free. Check it out for kids from grades K-5.

Khan Academy Kids

Here’s a resource for kids ages 2 to 7 (preschool through young elementary). Like the other resources from Khan Academy, this one is comprehensive, and it’s free. Kids can learn beginning reading, beginning math, and much more with this app-based system.

Scholastic Learn at Home

This site offers activities for preschool through grade 9. These daily projects and activities from the industry leaders at Scholastic turn stay-at-home days into learning fun. Keep the kids reading and thinking by checking in each day!

My Story Book

This great resource offers your child a chance to become an author. Create and illustrate stories for free, then, if you wish, purchase a real storybook printed with your child’s creation.

KidLit.tv

Here’s a resource that offers stories, read-alouds, craft ideas, and much, much more just for elementary aged students. There’s even a kiddie-lit podcast to enjoy together!

National Geographic Kids

From the experts at National Geographic comes this digital “magazine” that offers so much more than articles. The site includes multimedia presentations about a wide array of science-y topics for kids ages 7-13, as well as a selection of hands-on activities and experiments that will knock boredom right on its heels.

FunBrain Pre K/K Playground

Preschoolers and kindergarteners will revel in this selection of learning games and activities designed just for them. Learn about reading, math, shapes, colors, and so much more by playing games that seem to be endless.

FunBrain Math Zone

Get your elementary-aged student practicing and applying math concepts from basic computation to measurement and place value, all while playing engaging games. There’s no better way to practice than these fun activities.

FunBrain Books

Kid pleasing favorites, including Diary of a Wimpy Kid, and more are right here for your elementary-aged reader. Make up a trivia contest or a few questions along the way and presto! You’ve got reading comprehension!

PBS Kids

PBS Kids is an often overlooked resource for elementary-aged students. Most of us think preschool programming that we remember from when we were little, but PBS Kids has grown and expanded since then! They now have a dedicated educational channel that is probably available on your television, and if not, the content streams on this website. There’s a wide range of educational content here for preschoolers up through middle elementary, and it’s always free.

Lunch Doodles with Mo Willems

Here are free video art lessons (they really are great for all ages!) to tickle your child’s artistic fancy. Mo Willems is Artist-in-Residence at the Kennedy Center, and he’s chock full of great ideas for your youngsters to express themselves through art.

Cosmic Kids Yoga

This YouTube Channel will help your kids (3 and up) get exercise while they learn mindfulness. Active screentime seems like a contradiction in terms, but this channel has got it down cold. There is something here for nearly everyone and you will want to subscribe!

GoNoodle

And here is more healthy, active screen time for elementary students and preschoolers. Get kids moving with these great videos and activities. This site is subscription-based, but it’s free, so check it out.

CK-12

Here’s a comprehensive resource that covers elementary grades and subjects as well as middle and high school learning. There are lessons, resources, activity ideas, experiments, and more.

International Children’s Digital Library

Looking for some variety for your children, especially while your local library is closed? Look no farther. This collection has thousands of children’s books from around the world! It’s a great way to read traditional and folk literature from other cultures, too.

Cool Math 4 Kids

Looking for computation, basic skills, and fractions practice? This site is the best. The games are engaging and fun, and if kids aren’t really, really careful, they will learn concepts and improve their skills. It’s great for elementary-aged kids.

Xtra Math

Don’t miss this opportunity to build math fact fluency. The website will help your elementary-aged student (or older!) learn to answer addition, subtraction, multiplication and division facts with speed and accuracy. Since this forms the foundation of later math success, you should consider making it a part of the kids’ routine early on!

Starfall

Starfall was one of the first and most comprehensive early reading sites on the internet, and it’s still free! It boasts activities and lessons for preschoolers through grade 3 that will build reading skills, phonics skills, comprehension, and more.

Highlights Kids

Remember how much you loved Highlights magazine whenever you went to the doctor’s office? Now you can share some of the same high quality content with your child online. There are stories, jokes, experiments, activity instructions and much more, suitable for just about any child from K-5.

Exploratorium

Pull up a chair- here are loads of free experiments, engineering activities and other STEM content that will have your child riveted. Each hands-on activity just needs a few household or common and inexpensive supplies, and a little bit of supervision from an adult.

The Kidz Page

Here are games and activities across the curriculum for elementary-level kids. There are also free printable activities and worksheets and a number of other resources for reading, writing, math, and more.

Time for Kids

Time for Kids is a very familiar brand to most elementary school teachers – it’s a current event and nonfiction reading periodical that is used in K-6 classrooms across the country. Now they have opened up a large digital library that’s free at least until the end of the 2019-2020 school year. It’s great for reading comprehension and research on a boatload of current topics.

WordWorld

This YouTube channel is dedicated to helping young children make the jump from prereaders to readers (about preschool through grade 2). There are rhyming games, spelling games, adventures and much, much more. It’s all wrapped into a free weekly video so you can come back again and again.

Netflix Jr.

Here’s the learning arm of Netflix…and it’s fabulous for kids. There are over 600 videos that cover timely topics, including how infections spread. The characters are colorful, silly, and very entertaining, while the topics are serious and important.

The Houston Zoo

There are over 500 video shorts (seconds to 2-3 minutes) about nearly any animal under the sun on this YouTube channel. The zoo has recorded some fabulous Keeper Talks as well, that are hugely informative. Enjoy the gorgeous photography while you learn about animals.

Crash Course Kids

If science is the name of the game for your elementary student, then this collection of videos is just what the doctor ordered. There are over 100 videos, mostly in the three to five minute range, that are keyed to the national Science Standards so you can actually be intentional about covering content that your child would be covering in school.

Free School

Science and social studies topics are covered at an elementary level in this collection of videos that you’ll want to bookmark. Each video is just 5 to 10 minutes long, and they are tightly focused on topics that every child needs to learn about, like our Constitution, the solar system, and more. There’s even a series on the channel called 50 States Tours that offers two-minute tours of each of the states in our country.

Math Playground

Here’s loads of math practice that is dressed up video-game style. The games are suitable for elementary-aged students, and cover important concepts like computation, fractions, story problems and more. There’s a wide variety, too, like sports games and action games, so something here for nearly everyone!

SplashLearn

This website is free at least for the time being, and it offers an individualized program of practice and tutorials in math for students in grades 1-6. Your child will be presented with just-in-time and appropriate activities to build math skills.

Math Game Time

This site features hundreds of free math games with a video game feel that kids from pre-K through grade 7 will enjoy. The games cover nearly every basic concept in the elementary curriculum, and are fun, to boot!

Word Game Time

Like its mathematical cousin above, Word Game Time offers hundreds of free games related to reading, writing, and spelling. They all have a video-game-like feel and the selection ranges from kindergarten through grade 7. You can also sort the games by skill if you are looking for something in particular, or let your kids explore on their own.

NASA Kids’ Club

This site offers space-themed games and activities for kids from pre-K through grade 4. If your child dreams of being an astronaut, wants to drive the Martian rover, or learn about NASA’s other missions, these games, lessons and activities will be just the ticket.

 Math-Aids

Does your child need extra math practice in nearly any skill or level? Math-Aids features dynamically-created worksheets that are finely-focused at just the level you need. That means you can create an endless array of randomized paper-pencil practice for things like multiplying with double digits or long division with a single-digit divisor. Very handy if a skill needs some brush up, too.

Teach It DIY

By their own admission, this is what happens when teachers get bored. They create hundreds of videos designed to show people how to teach key concepts! This YouTube channel is full of some great resources on all sorts of topics and how to teach them.

4-H

This national program offers tons of at-home activities for kids as well as the traditional animal and home arts competitions we think of at the county fair. They have programs for character development, various types of science, sewing, bugs, and much more.

Girl Scouts

Whether you’re a member or not (or even a girl or not!), Girl Scouts USA has added a slew of STEM based badges and that means that you and your child can explore the online versions to grab some great research-driven activities for things like robotics, engineering, and being a citizen scientist. It covers grades K-12.

Boy Scouts

Boy Scouts of America has put the requirements for all of their merit badges online for everyone to use. Of course, members can earn their recognitions, but anyone can enjoy and learn from the activities. Just check out the merit badge section to get started. 

 When schools are closed, online learning takes the driver's seat

Plus you can grab some great apps for this age group!

Check out these resource lists:

Best Writing Apps for Kids [Updated for 2020]

Best Apps to Help Your Elementary Schooler with Math [Updated for 2020]

Middle School

Libby

This app from Overdrive connects you with a huge digital library using just your library card. You can check out ebooks for personal use for up to two weeks.

Cool Math

Looking for practice games and activities for algebra, geometry, pre-algebra, and the like? This is the site. The games are engaging and fun, and the site is completely free. It’s a must-see to keep your kids up to snuff in their middle school or high school level math.

Quill

Quill offers your middle and high school student practice and instruction on basic writing and grammar skills. It’s self-paced, and even includes a free pretest to identify and assign specific skills that will help your student the most.

Read Theory

Read Theory offers adaptive reading comprehension practice that is perfect for helping your youngster make the jump from learning to read to reading to learn. Parents will need to create an account, and then students can do a pretest. The content accommodates skill levels from early grade 1 to above grade 12, so your student can use it nearly forever.

Smithsonian Channel

You know that national treasure of a museum that’s mostly located in Washington, D.C.? The one where you can learn about nearly anything? It’s here on YouTube as well! Much of the content is on a level that secondary students can appreciate, too. Learn something new today!

The Brain Scoop

Your friends at the Chicago Field Museum are happy to help you explore virtually! Whether you want to learn more about animals, insects, or a wealth of other topics, this is the place with over 200 videos.

TED – ED

Adults no longer have a monopoly on educational TED talks! This YouTube Channel boasts nearly 2,000 informative instructional videos on a wealth of topics that will interest almost any teen or preteen.

Smart Girls

Here’s a YouTube channel that’s chock full of smarts, for both boys and girls, but if you want the young ladies to sit up and take notice, it’s a great place to begin to find role models and more. There are hundreds of videos to turn kids on to home science, STEM projects, current events and issues, and more.

Soul Pancake

This channel has thousands of videos to explore arts, philosophy, science, and more. The style is edgy and engaging, and secondary students will appreciate the wide array of topics and discussions. It’s positive and uplifting, and even Kid President is in the act!

It’s OK to Be Smart

Got a hankering to learn some science? This is a great place to start. It’s funny and informative and right on top of the cutting edge in the education world. There are over 300 videos, all high quality and waiting for you to enjoy, or even binge on them!

Google Earth Educational Activities

While most of us think of Google Earth as a cool tool, or maybe even an enjoyable voyeuristic pastime, teachers have known for a long time that there’s a lot of educational value here, too. This site can help with lesson and activity ideas related to all things Google Earth.

Code Academy

This is a serious (and seriously FUN) site dedicated to teaching kids how to code. It starts with basic lessons and moves on up from there, and includes some great projects that kids can actually do themselves. The site has something for beginners, something for intermediates, and even projects and learning for expert coders. It’s a great resource!

How Stuff Works

This has got to be one of the largest free resources for explainer videos on the entire internet. If you have ever wondered about nearly anything, you will probably find an answer right here. It’s really for all ages, but secondary aged kids are likely to enjoy it the most. The site also includes other resources, like quizzes and puzzles based on its content.

Modern Woodmen Youth Educational Programs

No time like the present to satisfy that ecological bent and no better curriculum than this one. Modern Woodmen’s Youth Curriculum has been used in camp programs for years, but you can access the activities and lessons online to teach your children.

Instructables

If your child has always wanted to make it, the instructions are probably here somewhere. And if it has not yet occurred to your child to make it, the instructions are here somewhere, too. This site has classes, contests, and dozens and dozens of sets of directions for out of this world things to make.

MoneySkill

This free financial basics class is perfect for middle or high school students to help them gain the type of solid financial foundation that is needed for a successful transition to adult responsibilities. Check it out!

Amplify ELA

Here are teacher guides and discussion questions for some of the most popular classroom reading novels in middle school. You could even use them to create a virtual book club or an independent learning project!

CommonLit

This site offers a wealth of articles with comprehension exercises that you can use with nearly any age group. It includes over 1500 texts, learning tools, and resources, and it’s always free.

Amplify Science 6-8

This website takes scientific inquiry to the next level. Students can learn how to think like scientists, how to set up and complete experiments, and more.

Everyday Earth

Help kids learn earth science with this supplemental curriculum. There are video lessons, experiments, and other resources to help students learn. The site is a bit Oklahoma-centric, but very very good for the areas it covers.

Backpack Science Simplified

These tutorial videos aim to take the overwhelm out of teaching science and put the fun and exploration back in. Keep your student moving with science concepts with these great ideas.

Freerice

Grab some free vocabulary practice with the added twist of knowing you are helping to feed the hungry. Each time a student plays, correct responses add to the “rice” they send to an impoverished area of the world through the World Food Programme.

Arcademics

Cross academic learning and arcade games, and this is what you end up with. These free, online, multi-player games will get kids practicing nearly anything while they satisfy their urge to play. There are dozens of free games to choose from.

CK-12 Foundation

Get some on-point reading and comprehension practice for all ages at this site. Articles can be assigned via Google Classroom, or used directly. Each one has comprehension questions and scores are generated automatically.

Classroom Cereal

Brain food for your student! This site offers a selection of short stories with five grammar errors embedded within them. Your student’s job is to find and correct them. It’s the best combination of reading and grammar practice that you’ll find.

Clean Net

This amazing site offers activities, lessons, and hands-on learning ideas as well as articles designed to teach environmental concepts including conservation and ecology. The activities are aligned to national science standards, and they cover concepts from grade 3 and up.

KQED Learn

Here’s an online platform for middle and high school students to discuss current events and issues. The activities will help students build their media analysis and media creation skills with hands-on activities and discussions within the community.

Mindful Poetry Moments

Listen to a variety of poetry and respond to thoughtful prompts that help students analyze the work and their own reaction to it.

NoRedInk

Now students can build writing skills BEFORE they get their work evaluated by the teacher. This site will help with the editing process and with proofreading so that work can be improved before the teacher gets out the red pen.

Minecraft Education Edition

Unlock the educational power of this popular game. Minecraft has been used in countless classrooms by savvy teachers who’ve adopted the “If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” attitude. Tons of creative souls have put their heads together to wring educational value out of the popular game.

Nitro Type

There’s no time like the present to improve typing skills! This site is suitable for all age groups, but might be most helpful to middle schoolers who are getting ready to transition to more digital learning tools. Play the games, do the activities, and build speed and accuracy with the keyboard.

High School

Fiveable

Here are free study guides, trivia contests, and more designed to help students through AP coursework at the high school level.

Collisions Chemistry

Here’s a site that uses games to teach and review concepts in high school chemistry. Kids will hardly realize they are really learning as they play the games.

National Geographic

Keep up with science and social studies topics here. You’ll need to subscribe to get full access, but there is content available for free that makes great references and informational reading for middle and high school students.

DeltaMath

This site offers free lessons and tutorials, as well as practice activities for math ranging from middle school levels up through AP Calculus. If you need to do some brushing up or need another resource to go over classroom content, this is it.

Hippocampus

This site really comes into its own with high school students, but some middle schoolers can benefit as well. The website offers free tutorials across the higher math and science courses that are school-quality. They even have whole courses here that your student can take online for free.

Coloring Nature

Take a break from the hard work of learning natural science concepts with these coloring pages that teach important concepts about biomes, plants, anatomy, and more. The coloring is suitable for all ages, and the pages are designed to be informative as well.

Purple Math

Tutorial videos that are searchable are the order of the day here if you need something that is related to high school or college level math. Stuck on a skill? No problem! Just use their handy search function and you’ll have what you need in no time. Plus there are a few dozen complete math courses ranging from fifth grade math through test prep for specialized college exams.\

Banzai!

Several banks and credit unions have joined forces to create three outstanding courses on financial literacy for middle and high school students. You can check them out today, and help your middle or high schooler gain the skills needed to achieve financial goals.

Carnegie Mellon Open Learning Institute

Carnegie Mellon was one of the first institutions to offer Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), and they have it down to a science. This site is great for high schoolers that need more advanced work or want to get a headstart on learning before heading off to college.

DuoLingo

Why not learn a language? Duolingo’s program features small bites of information and vocabulary with lots of practical practice. The system is “gamified” too, which improves everyone’s performance and consistency using incentives to progress through the challenges. It’s not quite like language class at school, but still very, very helpful.

iCivics

Here is a huge collection of free activities, lesson plans, and games devoted to better understanding of our government and political system. Some activities can be used by younger kids, but Civics is typically given attention in high school.

Discovery #MindBlown

Science, STEM, and more right here for kids of all ages! This is a multi-media site that links easily to the developers’ mobile apps, their YouTube Channel, and more. Kids who explore will get their fill of space, earth science, engineering, and so much more.

AmazingSpace

Explore tons of STEM activities related to the physical sciences and astronomy right here. From galaxies to gravity, black holes to the colors on the spectrum, these activities and informative tutorials will guide your student through high school level concepts.

American Chemical Society

Awesome collection of articles and research for students in chemistry. The ACS is one of the leading world-wide professional organizations in the field, and a source of very reliable information.

Gizmos

Check out this powerful collection of learning simulations for math and science concepts. If your student struggles to understand ideas from class, these will be a huge help to him or her. Or, maybe you can ignite a love of math and science that has not been there before in your favorite high school student.

Bites Media

Keep your high schooler current with these high-quality articles on the events and issues of the day around the world. It’s great for reading comprehension as well as social studies, civics, and more.

Can Figure It

Got a high school geometry student who needs practice with proofs? This site is ideal. It’s free and it’s comprehensive. Kids can practice the logical steps needed to prove the theorem while they exercise deductive reasoning skills.

TinkerCad

This is a free, cloud-based CAD software system that allows anyone to design nearly anything using professional tools. Create a house, a thingamajig, or a whatchamacallit, but do it professionally!

ASU Virtual Field Trips

Check out these virtual field trips where students can watch real scientists at work. Everything is filmed with educational experience in mind, and your student can get a sense of being actually IN the situation. Cool for science, and cool for career exploration!

Artrageous With Nate

This YouTube channel features lessons and activities designed to stimulate creativity and self-expression. With nearly 100 videos (and counting) to choose from, your young budding artist will have a wealth of content to explore.

7000 Languages

Anyone curious about Indigenous languages of the Americas? This site is collecting and sharing hundreds of teaching videos to help preserve and revitalize languages that otherwise might die out.

Biology Simulations

This site allows young biologists to actually run multiple trials of experiments in genetics/heredity, cellular energy, and more. It’s an incredible resource that will put your biology student right in the middle of the virtual lab.

Allery Chemistry

This YouTube channel features video tutorials about concepts in high school chemistry and beyond, all in easy-to-watch formatting and easy-to-understand language.

American Archive of Public Broadcasting

This collaboration between the Library of Congress and Public Television offers recorded versions of many famous moments in American television history. It’s a great primary resource for history projects, and fabulous for general education.

Big History Project

This massive online social studies course is free and open to anyone. The developers have designed it to focus on the kinds of thinking skills that students will use throughout their lives, too. It’s research-based and very, very high quality.

American Panorama

Through the wonders of technology, students can visually explore nearly every point of interest in our country along its historical timeline. This site offers maps that help students understand history in a whole new way.

Bio-Rad Laboratories

This YouTube channel offers high-level tutorials for biological techniques used in laboratories. If you can’t actually get into a lab right now, this is the next best thing!

Check-ology

A relevant website that will help your teen learn to evaluate news sources for bias and accuracy, this site should be on the mandatory list for all students. In this age when it is tough to tell the news from the hype, it will help them learn to make their own judgments.

Dr. Roger’s Math Neighborhood

This YouTube channel boasts video solutions to over 1000 publicly released math problems from the big and important tests like the SAT, and the SAT Math Subject Level tests. It’s the perfect resource if you want to hone skills for the important testing milestones or to ace a scholarship test!

EdReady

Here’s a site offering personalized learning paths through ELA and Math to help students gain skills needed for academic success in high school and college classes. Set up your learning path today!

English52

This site offers a free English course online for both struggling native speakers and those wanting to improve their English as a second language.

Infinite Maths

This site allows you to choose the exact type of focus for math problems at the middle or high school level. It provides a quick run-through on problems you miss or skip.

Write the World

Teens can share their writing with a safe online community, respond to writing prompts, give and get feedback from other young writers and even enter writing competitions, all for free.

And be sure to check out these resources:

Best High School Apps [Updated for 2020]

101 Free Educational Courses and Youtube Channels