Educational resources to help at-home learning for children

We compiled this list to assist parents/caregivers and educators

Photograph of a father reading to his child
07 April 2020

UNICEF Jamaica recognises the challenges parents face to protect their children from COVID-19 while maintaining their education at home. We know this as professionals, and as fellow moms and dads trying to find a new balance for our families while our boys and girls are out of school.

It’s always good to remember that when it comes to learning at home, parents and caregivers should: 

  • Engage actively in children’s learning. Use technology as one ingredient of a learning experience that includes human interaction, recognising that technology alone cannot replace teachers or parental presence and guidance. This is especially true for younger children.
  • Protect children’s data. Parents and caregivers should check the digital resources children are accessing and avoid those that do not seem safe or that require detailed personal information. Children’s identities, location, ethnic or religious affiliations or other sensitive information should not be required information to access learning resources.

We compiled some resources to assist parents/caregivers and educators with at-home learning using non-curricular and informal tools. Inclusion of a resource in this list does not mean it is endorsed by UNICEF; however, these resources have been recommended and are widely used both in Jamaica and worldwide. Please note that while the tools are free, some of their features require payment to access. 

Ministry of Education, Youth and Information (MoEYI) suggested resources - Grade levels 1-3, 4-6 and 7-9:

Early Childhood Commission (ECC) recommended resources:

  • The ECC will be hosting online activity plans to help parents support children's development in their COVID-19 Corner.
  • Free printables and activities created over the years in partnership with the National Baking Company Foundation.

Digital reading material

  • Global Digital Library - Promotes early-grade literacy by making digital storybooks and other reading materials available in multiple languages. Can be played on a desktop. 
  • StoryWeaver - Digital repository of multilingual stories for children. Can be played on mobile and desktop.
  • Worldreader - Provides free access to a large library of digital books and stories that can be accessed via mobile and desktop devices. Available on Google Play Store. 
  • Free Children’s Stories - Traditional storytelling
  • National Geographic Young Explorers - A magazine designed specifically for younger children where they can listen and follow along with highlighted text. 
  • World Digital Library - Primary-level materials from many countries and cultures developed in cooperation with libraries, archives, museums, educational institutions and international organizations worldwide. 
  • EPIC - Digital library for all ages

Learning applications (basic literacy or numeracy):

  • LingoKids - playlearn at home with 3 months free premium access. (Code: UNICEF)
  • Age of Learning - ABC MouseReading IQ and Adventure Academy support early literacy and numeracy; Adventure Academy targets slightly older children. Age of Learning has provided UNICEF with a download code to make all three free during COVID-19. (Code: AOFLUNICEF)
  • Wide Open School - a website with a collection of free online learning experiences for children curated during COVID-19. 

Learning platforms with diverse content:

Especially useful for older, motivated learners, or for learning with the active engagement of caregivers.

  • Alison - Free online courses on diverse subject areas. Available on desktop. 
  • Coursera - Online courses taught by instructors from recognized universities and companies. Available on mobile and desktop.
  • EdX - Free online courses from educational institutions worldwide. Available on mobile and desktop. Available on Apple store, Google Play.
  • EkStep - Open learning platform with a collection of learning resources in literacy and numeracy. Available on mobile and desktop. Available on Google Play.
  • Halls of Learning - Free participation in the BEBRAS, Kangaroo Math and Oxford University computing challenges. Teachers can register students for these online STEM competitions.
  • Khan Academy - Free online courses, lessons and practice. Available on mobile and desktop. Available on Google Play, App Store and Amazon App Store. 
  • Kolibri - Open-source digital learning platform designed for resource-constrained communities capable of running offline. Can be played on desktop. 
  • Zero to 3 - Early childhood resources for parents and educators from self-care to professional development during coronavirus.
  • Bedtime Math - Resources to help children keep their mathematics skills sharp – without screen time!