Alternative learning resources for MN students

With Minnesota’s K-12 public schools set to temporarily close by Wednesday at the latest—many have already shut down—below are several free online resources for educators and parents of students whose learning has been disrupted by the epidemic.

While most of the educational resources require internet access, Comcast has announced it is increasing Internet speeds for its Internet Essentials program and providing low-income families who sign up as new customers 60 days of Internet service for free. Visit here to sign up. Similarly, Charter is offering 60 days of free access to Spectrum Wi-Fi for households with K-12 and/or college students who do not have a Spectrum subscription. To enroll, call 1-844-488-8395.

ELA/Reading Resources


This education technology organization supports all students with reading, writing, communication, and problem-solving skills. With over 2,000 high-quality free reading passages for grades 3-12, complimented by aligned interim assessments and growth-oriented goals, CommonLit helps teachers assign short, self-paced thematic units and relevant reading passages from a variety of genres.

Cost: Free account access for teachers, school/district leaders

How to Access: Teachers can sign up for free on the website; school/district leaders can email [email protected]


This platform helps students write their own story at their own pace. Illustrations are provided to inspire stories, develop analytical thinking, and empower students in their personal writing and coding projects. Teachers can review and give feedback on students’ stories remotely.

Cost: Free

How to Access: Fill out this form


This digital library provides access to 35,000 books, learning videos, quizzes and more. The books also have a read aloud feature.

Cost: Always free for teachers

How to Access: Visit the website to sign up

Math Resources


This math platform is for students and teachers from grades 1-8. The self-paced math practice is leveled based on a student’s progress. Students can work through topics based on their grade level or specific skills—all while students think they are playing a game.

Cost: Free

How to Access: Sign up here

Social Studies Resources

Liberty’s Kids

These YouTube videos that first aired on PBS provide students animated narratives of our country’s founding and other historic periods throughout America’s history.

Cost: Free

How to Access: Visit the Liberty’s Kids YouTube channel here


Geography and science quizzes help students explore the world and learn about its countries, capitals, cities, rivers, lakes and more. Custom quizzes can also be created.

Cost: Free Level 1 Seterra Geography Membership

How to Access: Register for an account on  Then, email [email protected] with your name, school name, state/country, and email address associated with your Patreon account.

STEM Resources


This coding platform is broken down into three age groups: ages 5-7 (voice instructions); ages 7-13 (drag and drop coding); ages 13+ (real world coding). With over 40 block and text-based courses and over 3,700 learning modules, students will have access to numerous creativity-inducing features.

Cost: Free until May 2020

How to Access: Fill out the form here


This computer science curriculum and coding platform teaches computer science, object-oriented programming, web programming, design, and JavaScript. Students can upload photos, illustrations, videos, and audio and begin manipulating them with code right away. Tweens and teens discover how to connect computer programming to the media they interact with every day. (Here are webinars to help students get started.)

Cost: Free until May 2020

How to Access: Fill out the form here

Multi-Subject Resources

2Simple – Purple Mash

From publishing, story creation and grammar games to spelling, math, and themed writing templates, this platform provides thousands of learning opportunities. The platform also gives users access to over 100 books, and text size, background color, and font can be adjusted accordingly to make reading easier.

Cost: Full access to Purple Mash and Serial Mash for the duration of your school closure

How to Access: Fill out the form here

ABCmouse, Adventure Academy, ReadingIQ

For preschoolers through 2nd grade, users can access a comprehensive, research-validated curriculum at Adventure Academy serves elementary and middle-school students with learning activities in the form of multiplayer online games. ReadingIQ is a digital library and literacy platform for students age 12 and under.

Cost: Free

How to Access: Fill out this form


This platform uses learning games, animated videos and activities to cover universal topics. BrainPOP Jr (K-3) focuses on STEM, Social Studies, Reading/Writing, Health, and arts; BrainPOP (upper elementary and middle school) focuses on STEM, Social Studies, English, Health, arts and music; BrainPOP ELL is appropriate for all ages and focuses on vocabulary, grammar, listening and reading and writing.

Cost: Free

How to Access: Fill out this form on the website and watch for an email with instructions

Bonus: BrainPOP is currently offering free access to their new Coronavirus Topic and accompanying lesson plan


For struggling learners, the MobyMax platform focuses on catching students up to grade level and closing learning gaps. Its curriculum spans Math, ELA, Science, and Social Studies for students in grades K-8.

Cost: Free access for the rest of the school year once the school has closed

How to Access: Call 888-793-8331 to get started

Scholastic Learn at Home

This resource offers 5 days of cross-curricular journeys for students in pre-K and K, grades 1 and 2, grades 3-5, and grades 6+.

Cost: Free for 5 days’ worth of activities for each age range

How to Access: Visit the website to choose a grade level

Online Schools

K12 Online Learning

One of the largest online education providers is providing resources for parents and school districts in need of flexible education options due to COVID-19. Here is a list of free online public schools available in Minnesota that offer flexible schedules to accommodate a variety of health needs.

Connections Academy

Another K-12 online school program is Connections Academy. These schools are also tuition-free online public schools. Like other public schools, Connections Academy schools are part of the state-level public school systems and hold to state-specific requirements such as courses, attendance, and graduation.

Home Education


For parents who are able, homeschooling is another great option that provides a hands-on, highly customizable approach to education. Here is a helpful Minnesota-focused resource that will connect home education families with everything from books to blogs to curriculum.