The Best Free Online Courses, Online Classes & Online Homeschool During Coronavirus
Online searches for “free online courses” or “free online class” are spiking, as well as “online homeschool”. This is no surprise, given that everyone is practicing social distancing and staying inside. For the lighter side, we looked at daily live streams from the Cincinnati Zoo and free trials to online streaming services so you can binge TV and movies.
A few days of acting like this is a vacation can seem fun, but you might feel bored after a bit. The kids need something to do. You don’t want to throw away their entire semester. You also need stimulation for yourself. Here are our favorite online free classes, courses & online homeschool programs you can use to keep your family’s brains & bodies active while stuck inside.
Looking for free online classes for college level and above? The adults and older children in your family can take advantage of numerous free online classes from top universities. Heck, even Harvard has some free classes you can take while at home. Here are some great online classes that cost nothing.
- Class Central – offers 500+ classes specifically from Ivy League schools.
- edX – offers over 2,500 free online courses from 140 different colleges and universities. Sort by class type, institution, or course level (difficulty).
- Open Culture – offers 15,000 classes / 45,000 hours of college-level materials that you can download in audio or video formats. It includes instructions on how to get the free versions.
Free Online Courses / Certifications
Looking for something that comes with a printable certificate? There are numerous sites where you can take free online courses that come with a certificate to print out at the end. This gives you something to show for your time and effort. Here are some of the best.
- Alison – offers over 1300 free online courses with a certificate to print at the end. Sort by subject area and even sort by who offers the course (university? business?).
- Coursera – the site offers numerous free online courses with a certificate, include certifications for IT giants like Google & IBM. Many of these are required when applying for IT-sector jobs.
- Future Learn – browse by topic, length, difficulty, and more. They offer courses from colleges & universities but also certification programs that are offered by third parties.
Online Office Skills
Looking to boost your résumé and/or office skills during this time? There are free online courses for typing and also free classes for Microsoft Office programs.
- Office 365 Training Center – take free online classes in all of the Microsoft Office programs. Start with basics and then learn more advanced uses of Word, Excel, Powerpoint, etc.
- Typing Club – learn to type, increase your accuracy, and boost your speed in typing without looking at the keys. This is great for younger kids that need to learn / practice as well.
Free Online Homeschool Classes
You became a full-time teacher overnight. Wondering where to start? Free online homeschool classes can help you set lesson plans, print out homework exercises, even tests, if you’re that kind of parent! Here are some sites offering free online classes for your children as you start this homeschool adventure during the Coronavirus outbreak.
- ABC Mouse – a mix of games and learning that is perfect for the youngest members of your household. Try it free for 30 days.
- Connections Academy – billing themselves as an “online public school”, they group by area. Start with your zip code and find resources for free online classes in your area and interact online with other students nearby.
- How To Homeschool For Free – the name says it all. Some of the resources on the site are dated, but their goal is simple: to provide free online homeschool resources.
- K12 – they’ve been in the education field a long time, but they’re upping their game during Coronavirus. They’re adding additional resources and varied themes to their existing offerings. Sort by grade level and topic.
- NASA Space Place – free educational materials about the earth and space from NASA.
Online Museum & National Parks Visits
This comes in handy with your free online classes and online homeschool that you’re doing at present. Take a trip to the museum online with some world-famous collections to keep your new online education interesting.
- Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History (NYC) – take a self-guided tour through the natural history museum. Learn about the history of nature and humanity through a free online tour.
- The Louvre – possibly the most famous museum in the world, take a tour online. It includes a tour through its Egyptian antiquities section.
- Vatican Museums – full of amazing art from names your kids will think are Ninja Turtles, see paintings from Michaelangelo & Raphael. It includes the famous Sistine Chapel.
- 32 National Parks You Can Tour From Home – A list and links to all of the available national parks you can virtually tour while staying safely indoors.
Also, if you’re looking for a broad collection in one place, check out what Google has to offer. Its Arts & Culture Collections has works of art from multiple famous museums, as well as online tours that include history lessons.
At-Home Workout Videos
Now that you’re stuck inside, staying in shape while you’re there becomes a new challenge. Aside from the kids and the cat jumping on you while exercising, these videos can take care of the rest. Here are some options for online work-out videos to follow along with at home.
- Do Yoga With Me – if you’re looking for yoga or something that’s low-impact, needs no equipment, and keeps your elderly relatives fit while stuck inside, yoga is a great option. Sort videos by difficulty and even amount of time the class takes.
- Fitness Blender – workout videos can be sorted by type, host, muscle group, intensity level, etc. They have hundreds of videos to choose from.
- Planet Fitness – venturing into online videos via live stream, one of the biggest gym chains in the U.S. is joining the at-home exercise world. Videos stream on their Facebook page.
Now that we’ve learned and worked out, maybe you’re looking for something relaxing. Or maybe you’re using this for a music lesson in your kids’ online homeschool course. Whatever it is, there are 2 great options for free online opera performances.
- Opera Vision – offers recordings of opera performances from around the world
- The Metropolitan Opera NYC – performances are available online for 20 hours, starting at 7:30pm Eastern. Performance schedule and information is here.
With the dynamic nature of what’s happening around us, it’s hard to tell how long schools will be canceled. People are unsure when they’ll return to work. That doesn’t mean we can’t be productive. Keeping your family’s brains and bodies active will help pass the time, reduce the stress, and hopefully cut down on the fights. This article provides links to resources for free online classes, free online homeschool for your kids, and even free online courses that earn certificates. For fun, we also added free online workout videos, free online museum tours, and free online opera performances.