What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that GCFLearnFree.org provides lessons and self-paced tutorials for reading, math, and computer skills. Though the site feels designed for older kids and adults, kids of all ages can find useful, educational activities and lessons to explore. Kids don't need to register to view the site's videos or other educational elements. However, to track learning history or register for one of the online courses, kids will need to enter an email address, username, and password.
What kids can learn
Language & Reading
- letter or word recognition
- reading comprehension
- academic development
- social media
- using and applying technology
Engagement, Approach, Support
The site does an excellent job of explaining topics with interactive materials. Kids can learn about addition, fractions, and other types of math; apply language skills; or find out how computers work.
Younger kids can practice their reading skills by listening to short stories, and then answering questions about the content; activities also help them match words to sounds and identify words that are read aloud in a game.
Kids can try again to answer questions they miss but don't really get much feedback. Adding clues to help them get it right might help drive the lesson home instead of just encouraging kids to guess.
What's it about?
GCFLEARNFREE.ORG offers clever, fun tutorials, activities, and quizzes to educate kids on computer use, math, and reading. The more than 750 lessons are grouped by general topic -- reading, computers, or math -- or available on a long page of links. In addition to school subjects, lessons also cover general lifestyle themes including writing a resume and applying for a job, using various software programs, and banking.
Is it any good?
GCFLearnFree.org was created by Eastern North Carolina's Goodwill Industries and is funded, in part, by proceeds from area Goodwill stores. The site provides dozens of educationally based videos, tutorials, and activities to help kids and adults learn about reading, math, and computers. There's plenty for younger kids to do -- some activities specifically focus on learning letters and words. Older kids can delve into more in-depth material about computer software, tax documents, and other topics. Kids who speak another language can also get English instruction on the site; adults can also take a free online Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, or Access class for continuing education credit.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about social media and websites. How can your kids learn to be a good digital citizen? Check out our guide for tips and conversation starters.
Discuss the videos on GCFLearnFree.org that your kids find interesting -- and the ones that help them learn new concepts. Are there other school subjects that they want to learn more about?
The site also includes information about creating a resume and applying for a job. What kinds of careers interest your kids? How could you help them start to learn more and prepare now to possibly enter those industries?