Compiled by World Family Education
Numerous free educational resources are available online, and the list below includes some of the best free sites for those living in another culture. The majority are completely free, but some do have paid content or a paid membership.
Most of the sites below are hosted only in English, but starred sites (*) offer media in other languages.
*International Children’s Digital Library — Children’s e-books in a variety of languages.
Project Gutenberg — Nearly 60,000 free ebooks online. Collection is mostly classic literature in the public domain.
*Open Library — Thousands of ebooks available for borrowing from anywhere in the world. The site’s goal is to maintain a web page for every work ever published. Many books in multiple languages.
Librivox — Public domain audiobooks. Find a book to listen to or read and record one yourself.
*Children’s Books Forever — A few children’s books by Hans Wilhelm in pdf format in 12 different languages.
Ck-12 — Digital classrooms, customized electronic textbooks for students of all levels.
*Bookboon — Ebooks and textbooks for older students (middle school–adult). The site is primarily focused on publishing educational ebooks for engineering, IT, and business college students, but has numerous other educational resources. Resources in a variety of languages.
*ManyBooks.net — Free ebooks online with many from the public domain. Ebooks in multiple languages.
*Khan Academy — Free video courses for anyone aged from kindergarten to adult. Great content in subjects such as math, history, sciences, engineering, and economics. Also some courses in test prep. Course content may be translated into multiple languages with built-in site translator.
Open Culture — Free education courses, e-books, audiobooks (mostly classic literature). The page highlights 1,000 lectures, videos, and podcasts from universities around the world.
*Edraak — Educational site for Arabic speakers of all ages. Curriculum resources for students and teachers, and adult courses offered as well.
Alison — Free courses, including diploma and certificate programs. Appropriate for high-school level and up.
Coursera — Numerous university-level courses for free.
edX — University-level courses from Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of California Berkeley, and more.
Crash Course — High-quality courses presented on a YouTube channel. High-school level content is at the Crash Course YouTube channel, and children’s content is at the Crash Course Kids YouTube Channel.
*Sophia for Students — Over 37,000 free tutorials to help students learn concepts, refresh knowledge, and refine academic skills. Multiple languages available. Site includes resources for preparing for the ACT college entrance exam.
Starfall — Focuses on teaching young children to read, using fun and interactive games and e-books. Designed for children ages preschool to about grade 3.
Sesame Street — Videos, games, and activities for young children. Children will learn letters, animal sounds, rhymes, colors, and more.
PBS Kids — Produced by the Public Broadcasting System in the United States, site offers numerous educational activities, games, videos, and activities for children.
Mighty Book — Lots of educational read-aloud books, songs, and games for kids.
Literacy Center — Professionally designed education material with fun games and activities for letters, shapes, writing, words, numbers, and colors.
Kids Math Games — Games, videos, worksheets for kids.
Fun Brain — Fun, informal learning in math and reading for children in kindergarten to grade eight.
Cool Math — Lots of fun games, activities, and reference materials for math instruction from kindergarten to high school. Other affiliated sites are Coolmath-Games, Coolmath4Kids, Coolmath4Teachers, and Coolmath4Parents.
*Students of the World — Find penpals (up to age 25), clubs, blogs for a variety of ages with young people from around the world. Interaction is monitored daily for safety. Content is also available in French or Spanish.
Write the World — Writing community for 13-18 year olds from around the world. Includes competitions, peer review, writing prompts, and writing groups.
Power Poetry — Designed for teens to create and share poetry. Offers tips, community, and forums for writers.
Teen Ink — Online magazine run by teens for teens. Site welcomes submissions of several kinds of original writing, artwork, and photos. Also has a writer’s workshop forum and contests.
Storybird — Teaches kids to write stories with confidence and creativity. Lots of writing challenges, community, and artwork used for writing prompts.
NaNoWriMo Young Writers Program — Helps writers track their progress, set milestones, and connect with other writers in a vast community. The Young Writers Program is specifically designed for under-18 aspiring novelists.
Read Theory — Online reading activities for all levels. A student can improve their reading ability using this fun, interactive, educational tool in school or at home.
Chemistry Activities for Kids — Chemistry demonstrations, crafts, and projects for kids.
NASA for Students — The U.S. space agency provides numerous educational media for grades kindergarten to 12.
Science Kids — Experiments, games, lessons, facts, projects, and videos for kids.
hhmi Biointeractive — Hundred of free science education resources for older students.
Science News for Students — Helps students stay up to date on science trends with a magazine format.
*Kids Try Science — Instructions for a variety of kid-friendly science experiments. Articles also available in other languages. Other areas of the site provide lesson plans for teachers. Includes a built-in site translator for multiple languages.
Bill Nye the Science Guy — Article and and short video content from the original “Bill Nye the Science Guy” series for children.
Switch Zoo — All about zoos and animals — build a biome or habitat, make a new animal, go on a zoo tour, etc.
Physics Central comic books — Free electronic comic books about physics created by Physics Central.
Stellarium — Free open source planetarium for your computer. It shows a realistic sky in 3D.
National Geographic Kids — Lots of information, photos, and videos about countries around the world.
Google Earth — Explore the globe with the world’s most detailed virtual map.
World Atlas — Free world maps, atlases, and in-depth geography information.
World Data Atlas — Statistics about every country in the world.
The Ancient Web — Explore ancient civilizations with articles, videos, photos, and maps. You can even order vintage collectibles from this site.
Classics for Kids — Playful site introducing kids to classical music. Includes podcasts, audio files, games, articles, and downloadables. Kids can compose their own music.
Justin Guitar — Instructional site to learn guitar or ukulele.
Virtual Drums — Learn how to play the drums with games and videos.
Piano Lessons.com — Piano lessons by video for beginner, intermediate, and advanced students.
World Music for Children — Videos and activities about music and instruments around the world.
New York Philharmonic Kids Zone — Playful site with games and activities about music.
San Francisco Symphony Kids — Fun site with interactive features, games, activities, and more.
Making Music Fun — Resources and downloadables to teach music. Also features an annual online MusicStars competition for children with prizes for the winners (international students are invited to register).
Artyfactory — Free art lessons, art appreciation, and graphic arts lessons.
Online Art Lessons — Many free lessons in painting and drawing.
Draw Space — Some free lessons, e-books, and classrooms for many levels of artists. Site also includes a paid membership to access all of the lessons and resources.
KinderArt.com — Numerous art lesson ideas for kindergarten to grade 12.
Kline Creative — Free video drawing classes for beginners.
DrawingCoach.com — Free drawing lessons with an online coach.
NGAkids Artzone — Interactive site produced by the U.S. National Gallery of Arts to help kids learn and experience art.
Asian Art Museum — Learn about Asian art by region with articles, photos, and videos. Good site for middle school age and up.
Scratch — Designed by MIT students and aimed at children ages 8 to 16, this easy-to-use programming language lets kids build numerous projects. Allows interactive learning with other young people.
*Code — Coding site geared to teach kids of all ages. Includes a built-in site translator for multiple languages.
Code Combat — Interactive, competitive gameplay to stimulate learning for older kids.
Crunchzilla — Simple interactive coding lessons for anyone. Specialized sections for pre-teens, teens, adults, for beginning to advanced skill levels.
Code Academy — Some free lessons, aimed at teens or adults. Learn how to code with a practice window.
*Hello World — Lessons, games, dictionaries, and activities to help children learn 20 different languages. More than 5,000 words taught for each language. Content available in multiple languages.
Fun English Games — Activities, worksheets, videos, and games for English-language learners. Includes classroom activity ideas for English language teachers.
Learn English Kids — Created by the British Council and teaches all ages of children, including teens. Also includes section for English teachers and resources for finding English courses in your location.
IXL — Thousands of exercises designed to help students (kindergarten–grade 12) practice a variety of academic skills including Spanish. Site also includes a paid membership program.
Duolingo — Learn a variety of languages for free using drills that require a mix of reading, writing, listening, and speaking.
Memrise — Flash-card style language learning in numerous languages. Content is user-generated.
Live Lingua — Free ebook and audio courses. Learning can be advanced with paid Skype instruction in 11 languages.
*Kids Web Japan — Kids can learn about Japanese culture and language with lots of photos, articles, maps, games, videos, etc. Includes a built-in site translator for multiple languages.
Voyage Kids — Kids can learn some introductory German with activities, articles, pictures, etc.
Online Free Spanish — Colorful site to help anyone learn basic to advanced Spanish and is very kid-friendly.
French Games — Games and lessons for beginners learning French.
Lifeprint — Teaches American Sign Language with video instruction produced by the American Sign Language University.
*Mondly — Free site with some paid services to learn languages. Mondly also features language-learning apps for kids and adults.
*Kids Health — Interactive articles, videos, photos for kids of all ages and parents about health topics. Some content in Spanish.
Whyville — Designed for preteens and early teens, the site offers social features blended with educational games and content.
How Stuff Works — Numerous educational videos, podcasts, and articles about thousands of topics. Good for older students (middle to high school level).
Highlights for Kids — Play, read and craft with your children. Includes educational podcasts, articles, activities, and games.
Learning Games for Kids — Lots of short educational games for children ages preschool to grade eight.
Knowledge Adventure — Educational games and lessons for kids ages preschool to grade six.
The Old Farmer’s Almanac for Kids — Information about weather, calendars, astronomy, and the outdoors for kids.
Wonderopolis — Uses curiosity and wonder to spark learning in children grades kindergarten to 12. Includes interactive features, articles, videos, and photos. The site also features an online “summer camp” in various educational topics complete with lessons and activities.
Scholastic — Educational games, stories, printables, and videos with your child’s favorite Scholastic book characters.
IXL — Thousands of exercises designed to help students (kindergarten–grade 12) practice math, language arts, science, social studies, and Spanish. An affiliated site is ABCya!, which has educational games for kids ages preschool to grade 5. More features are available with a paid membership.
Seussville — Games, activities, and videos all about Dr. Suess and his books.
TedEd — The maker of TED Talks provides carefully curated educational videos or “lessons worth sharing.”
The Kid Should See This — Fun educational site with videos that were not intended for kids but are great for them to see. More than 4,000 videos.
NeoK12 — More than 5,000 free educational games and videos for kids.
Watch. Know. Learn. — Kid-friendly educational videos from Youtube organized into searchable categories. Videos may be filtered by age and topic.
*Make Me Genius — Educational videos for kindergarten to grade seven, and some videos are available in the Hindi and Urdu languages.
HippoCampus — Free resources for middle school to college age, with over 7,000 educational videos.
*TIME for Kids — From the publishers of TIME magazine, this site has articles, photos, and video news stories just for kids from kindergarten to grade six. Content is available in Spanish.
Youth Voices — A news-themed blog written by teen and young adult correspondents from countries in the UK Commonwealth. Produced by the Commonwealth Youth Programme.
Scholastic News Kids Press Corps — Articles written by kids ages 10–14 who are reporters for the site. A blend of news from the United States and around the world.
Have you found a great online resource that your children love? Share with others about it at the World Family Education forum.