Website review by
Erin Brereton, Common Sense Media
GCFLearnFree.org Website Poster Image
Educational site is packed with practical lessons and info.

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The parents' guide to what's in this website.

Educational Value

Kids can learn a range of math, language, and computer skills. Activities help younger users recognize letters and words; kids who speak another language can also practice English. Other instruction focuses on money management, using the Internet, and everyday tasks like using a microwave or applying for a job. 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. GCFLearnFree.org introduces useful academic and life lessons with engaging, interactive materials. 

Positive Messages

The activities can make learning fun. Sections include lessons on using information correctly and avoiding plagiarism, Internet safety, and other helpful topics.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What 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.

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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.

Talk to your kids 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?

Website details

  • Subjects: Math: addition, fractions
    Language & Reading: letter or word recognition, reading comprehension
  • Skills: Self-Direction: academic development, self-assessment
    Tech Skills: social media, using and applying technology
  • Genre: Educational
  • Pricing structure: Free
  • Last updated: February 12, 2021

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