In addition to what students learn day-to-day in school, many parents find that their children can benefit from additional supplemental learning opportunities outside of the classroom. While some of these supplemental activities address an area that a student is struggling with in school, others seek to build on and advance present student learning. Still other supplemental learning activities can help gifted and talented students pursue interests that aren’t addressed in the regular classroom. Below, we have outlined a variety of supplemental learning activities that will help your child catch up on areas they may be struggling with, or push their learning to the next level.
To jump right into learning essential computer science skills, sign your student up for Create & Learn's award-winning online small group coding classes, led live by experts, and designed by professionals from Google, Stanford, and MIT:
How Can You Supplement a Child’s Education After School?
With the wide variety of resources available online, it is easy to supplement your child’s education after school. One important consideration when choosing after-school enrichment activities is to analyze a platform’s ability to engage a student; after sitting in school all day, students will be eager for engaging, fun activities that will help them learn. In this article below, we have included activities in reading, math, and computer science that include games, songs, and more to help your child succeed.
How Can Supplemental Learning Challenge Your Child?
In the regular classroom, teachers must cater to the needs of all of their students, and, as they work to teach all students in the class, more advanced students may feel insufficiently challenged. Supplemental learning can help to fill this gap and challenge your child by allowing them to tackle more advanced and difficult problems and subjects than they may face during the regular school day. By working through the activities included below, your child will be able to build on their classroom learning to develop new understandings.
Check Out Free Supplemental Learning Activities and Resources for Your Child
To kick off our list, we have included below 5 free resources that will supplement your child’s learning. Free resources are a great way to explore what might interest your child most, and get started without making a big commitment.
1. Khan Academy
Khan Academy offers a variety of high-quality, self-paced courses on a range of topics, including math, science, reading, and computer science. If a student is struggling with a certain concept from their class, or they want to learn more on a subject, it is very easy to use the search bar to find a video specifically catered to their needs. Khan Academy is a fantastic resource to complement your child’s learning. It's a particularly great resource for students that are movitated to push themselves, and/or have a specific area they'd like to grow in.
Tip for getting started: Use the search feature to find the perfect resource for your child.
2. Create & Learn's Free Coding Classes
If your child is interested in computer science, consider a free coding course from Create & Learn. These free classes are taught in small groups so your child can get the individualized attention they need to thrive. Courses are also separated into grade bands so that each class is developmentally appropriate. Free course offerings cover topics such as Scratch, Minecraft Redstone, Roblox, Python, and more, and can help students build their creativity and problem solving skills as well as prepare them for their future careers!
Tip for getting started: Most young students begin with Scratch, while teens prefer to get started with Python.
Blockly is a wonderful, free resource for intermediate to advanced computer science learners. This website features a series of coding puzzles which increase in difficulty, allowing students to utilize their understanding of programming to solve problems.
Tip for getting started: Start with the leftmost puzzle to tackle the challenges in order of difficulty.
4. National Geographic Kids
We’ve all heard of National Geographic, but did you know that this organization also has a fantastic educational website for kids? National Geographic Kids hosts games, videos, and articles that will help your child learn about geography, science, history, and more. This resource is a perfect complement to your students’ classroom learning and will help them pursue their unique interests.
Tip for getting started: Consider reading articles along with your child to help engage them in their learning.
Freckle is great for any parent that hopes to support their child’s understanding of reading or math. Freckle hosts lessons on both these topics that are self-paced and meet your child where they are, so they can practice the specific skills that they may be struggling with in school. And the best part? It’s free!
Tip for getting started: Encourage your child to use this resource regularly, preferably daily, to see the best results.
Explore Supplemental Learning Reading Programs
Reading is an essential skill, and supplemental reading programs can help students build on the reading abilities they’ve developed in the classroom. The activities below focus on reading comprehension, vocabulary development, and reading fluency to help students develop the core skills they will need to succeed in the future.
ABCmouse is kid-safe certified and a recipient of numerous awards, including the Parents’ Choice award. Offering a full online curriculum, ABCmouse will engage your child and help them to improve their reading abilities through games and lessons. And, with a 30-day free trial, you will be able to ensure that the product meets your child’s needs prior to committing to a paid subscription.
Tip for getting started: Try the free trial prior to committing to a monthly subscription.
Raz-Kids is a highly regarded resource that helps your child improve their reading skills. Beginning with a diagnostic test, this website will gauge your child’s present reading level and areas for improvement. The website then offers students a library of virtual books to choose from, and supports students as they read with highlighted text, an embedded dictionary, and pronunciation guides. This resource also offers a free trial to help you get a feel for the product prior to purchasing a subscription.
Price: $128/year (after free trial)
Tip for getting started: Encourage students to try their best and focus when completing the diagnostic to get an accurate assessment of their present abilities.
Newsela merges current events with reading practice to create a productive learning experience for your child. Once you create a caregiver account, you will be able to find articles of interest for your child and assign them either digitally or by print. Each article contains comprehension questions and discussion questions that you can practice with your child to ensure they understood what they read. Your child is sure to be engaged by articles that interest them, and they will also improve their reading abilities.
Tip for getting started: Create a parent account so that you can hand pick articles for your child.
Discover Supplemental Learning Math Programs
Similar to the supplemental reading programs, these supplemental math programs can help students address areas of confusion in mathematics or learn new concepts that haven’t yet been taught in school. When choosing a supplemental program, it is important to focus on the level of engagement the platform offers and how well it meets the learning needs of your child. Check out the list below to find the best match for you and your student.
Education.com hosts a database of nearly infinite educational resources that can help to supplement your child’s learning in math. Featuring a searchable library of games, songs, guided lessons, and worksheets, you are certain to find whatever you need to help your child succeed. And, if your student is struggling in a particular area, you can search for resources to specifically target that need.
Tip for getting started: When playing games, have your child complete the diagnostic assessment first so that they can receive games targeted to their present abilities.
Prodigy prides itself on its ability to help students love learning. Featuring a combination of games and lessons, Prodigy helps to engage students and get them invested in improving their math abilities. Parents can also track their student’s progress to help them succeed.
Tip for getting started: Use the parent dashboard to monitor your child’s progress and support their learning.
SplashLearn is a great resource for any students looking for live tutoring in mathematics. In addition to a learning app with games, lessons, and personalized learning plans, SplashLearn also offers tutoring services for students that would benefit from one-on-one support. This resource is sure to help your student catch up on areas of difficulty in math or get ahead in class.
Price: Plans start at $5/mo
Tip for getting started: Take a close look at the weekly reports you receive to your inbox to identify areas of growth for your child.
Enjoy Supplemental Learning Computer Science Programs
Despite its importance as a 21st-century skill, computer science is a topic that is often not addressed in school. As such, it’s essential that students have access to opportunities in computer science through supplemental learning activities. Below, we have outlined resources for novice and experienced coders alike to help them continue to develop their understanding of computer programming.
If your child is just beginning to learn computer science, Scratch coding is a fantastic resource. Scratch features a drag-and-drop coding interface that makes learning easier for beginner and intermediate coding students, and also helps them develop an intuitive understanding of coding which prepares them for more advanced projects in the future. The platform also includes helpful tutorials to guide your child through a variety of different projects. Create & Learn also has free tutorials on getting started with Scratch, learning Scratch, and even a free live online Scratch class. We also have tons of tutorials for cool games kids can make in Scratch to practice coding.
Tip for getting started: Be sure to use the tutorials to grow acquainted with the program.
2. Create & Learn's Coding Classes
If your child is interested in hands-on coding experiences taught by expert teachers, Create & Learn’s live online coding courses are a great option. Create & Learn offers classes on Scratch for younger students that wish for a chance to learn in a small-group setting with other students. For older students, Python courses are a great option. Your student will enjoy a curriculum designed by professionals from Google, Apple, Stanford, and MIT, and will learn real-world technologies in a fun, interactive environment.
Price: Prices vary per class; refer to website for accurate pricing information
Tip for getting started: Consider first completing one of the trial classes described above to help find a class that is a great fit for your child.
Code.org is another incredible resource for any child interested in computer science, featuring a large collection of free classes that help students develop their programming abilities. With courses for all grade levels which cover a wide variety of topics, students of all ages and skill levels will be sure to find a class to help them thrive.
Tip for getting started: Read the course descriptions to find the perfect match for your child.
Get Started With Supplemental Learning
Supplemental learning offers a great opportunity for students to continue their education outside of the classroom and pursue areas of particular interest to them or areas in which they need a bit of extra support. We hope that you were able to find one (or more!) resources in the list above that will help your child succeed. If you’re looking for more after-school activities for your child, check out problem solving activities for kids. Thanks for reading!
Written by Matt Schofield, an educator and avid coder. After studying Spanish at the University of Pennsylvania, Matt began teaching English as a second language to elementary students in Baltimore. In addition to his full-time teaching position, Matt enjoys teaching computer science in the evenings and weekends with Create & Learn.