The 7 Best Online Homeschool Programs of 2020

Help your kids get the best education possible from home

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Our Top Picks

Best Overall: K12.com

"K12 offers online tutoring sessions in math, world languages, English, science, or social studies from its roster of state-certified teachers."

Best Budget: ABCmouse.com

"At around $10 per month, purchasing a subscription to ABCmouse.com is the most budget-friendly educational decision you can make for your early learner."

Best for Structure: Time4Learning

"This is one of the best programs if you want to keep your kids in a more traditional educational setting, even when they’re learning remotely."

Best for Community: Connections Academy

"Online live sessions with teachers and classmates allow kids to foster meaningful connections with peers."

Best Free: Khan Academy

"It offers free educational resources for students, parents, teachers, and homeschoolers."

Best for College Prep: edX

"Most courses, even credit-eligible ones, are free, with completion certificates that will cost around $50 in most cases."

Best for Math and Science: CK-12 Foundation

"It’s one of the most advanced resources available in terms of its seamless use of technology and cutting-edge approaches to learning."

With thousands of daycares, schools, and tutoring programs closing across the U.S. and the world, the COVID-19 outbreak has made many parents homeschoolers overnight. If you’ve never taught your child at home before, it might seem like a daunting task. But not to worry: There are plenty of high-quality, interactive homeschool programs that you can easily use on your tablet, smartphone, or laptop. 

Whether you’re looking for SAT prep for your high school student, ways to keep your toddlers engaged and educated, or hoping your elementary-aged kids won’t fall behind in their studies, we’ve come up with a list of the best online homeschool programs on the market. These picks are interactive, user-friendly, and cost-effective, meaning you don’t have to panic about your child’s education even amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: K12.com

K12.com

K12.com

Notable for its comprehensive and ultra-customizable approach, K12.com is a one-stop-shop for online learners and their families.

K12’s online homeschool options include tuition-free, virtual public schools for students in grades K-12 taught by state-certified teachers. There are options for three different tuition-based private schools, and a variety of summer school, intensive, and standalone course offerings for kids with special interests or subjects they’d like to brush up on. 

If you and your kids have been affected by coronavirus-related school closings, K12.com is offering several low-cost and free options, including a discount for new K-12 students at The Keystone School (one of K12’s private virtual schools). 

If you’re not looking for a full-time homeschool program, you can draw from K12 Digital Literacy Solutions—a free library of literacy tools and over 17,000 eBooks—to boost your child’s reading ability, or sign your teenagers up for one of K12’s several free camps centered around high-interest areas like coding, marketing, or information technology.

Free, game-based learning is available for kids in grades K-8 through K12’s program STRIDE. And, if there are subject areas in which you don’t feel comfortable homeschooling your child, K12's state-certified teachers offer live, online tutoring sessions in math, world languages, English, science, or social studies.

Best Budget: ABCmouse.com

ABCmouse.com

ABCmouse.com

At around $10 per month, purchasing a subscription to ABCmouse.com is the most budget-friendly educational decision you can make for your early learner. ABCmouse.com’s Step-By-Step Learning Path is accessible on tablet, smartphone, or computer for kids ages 2 to 8. 

Spanning 850 lessons across 10 levels, this award-winning curriculum includes a comprehensive reading system (from letter recognition and phonics to reading full-length books), as well as math, science, social studies, and even art (including both drawing and painting).

Music, read-aloud stories, puzzles, and educational games round out the ABCmouse.com library, making it a solid choice as a supplement to an existing homeschool curriculum and for a comprehensive educational system. 

ABCmouse.com is also gamified, meaning your little ones can play it like a video game, complete with a ticket system that rewards them for completing levels successfully.

As they sharpen a particular skill set, they’ll receive tickets they can use to “buy” virtual treats, like fish for the online classroom aquarium. Built-in incentives allow your kids to move at their own pace and make the learning experience more enjoyable and engaging. 

Best for Structure: Time4Learning

Time4Learning

Time4Learning

Time4Learning is a comprehensive, subscription-based online homeschool curriculum. It’s reasonably priced, at around $20 per month (and about $15 per month for each additional child) for PreK-8 students and approximately $30.00 per month for high school students. This is one of the best programs if you want to keep your kids in a more traditional educational setting, even when they’re learning remotely.

Your child’s curriculum will include hundreds (and sometimes thousands) of animated lessons, activities, quizzes, worksheets, and full-length tests, all suited to each student’s grade level and your particular state’s learning standards. In contrast to some of the other curriculum resources on this list, Time4Learning offers a combination of online and offline, printable worksheets and other hands-on activities. 

Additional resources that make Time4Learning stand out are the many lesson-planning tools and learning style guides that can help you track your kids’ progress. If you’ve found yourself an “accidental homeschooler” during COVID-19 isolation, this curriculum can help you breathe a little easier. 

Best for Community: Connections Academy

Connections Academy

 Connections Academy

If you’d rather enroll your child in a full-fledged online school rather than teach them yourself during the coronavirus-related school closings (or beyond), Connections Academy is a great option for elementary, middle school, and high school students. 

At this tuition-free, online public school, your children will be taught according to your state’s educational standards by certified teachers. Even textbooks and other instructional materials are provided free of charge. 

True to its name, Connections Academy might be one of the best online homeschool programs for your family if you’re interested in building a connected community with fellow parents, students, and educators.

The online school encourages you to be directly involved with your kids’ education as Learning Coaches. Online live sessions with teachers and classmates, in addition to extracurriculars like online clubs and activities, allow kids to foster meaningful connections with peers. 

What’s more is your kids don’t have to miss out on many of the perks of a brick-and-mortar school—like career counseling, one-on-one sessions with a guidance counselor, standardized test prep, and college prep advising—as these resources are all offered at Connections Academy. 

Best Free: Khan Academy

Khan Academy

Khan Academy

Khan Academy, an award-winning nonprofit that offers free educational resources for students, parents, teachers, and homeschoolers, first garnered international attention for its high-quality, completely free SAT prep materials—an attractive alternative to its much pricier peers. But Khan Academy has since expanded to include curriculum pieces for children and teens of all ages. 

Simply select your child’s grade level and subject—the Advanced Placement (AP) or standardized test they’re preparing for, or the specific skills they need to boost—and send them off to gain “mastery points” as they progress. Easy-to-follow video lessons accompany practice quizzes and unit tests that help you track your kids’ progress. 

This resource is notable not only because it’s free, but also because of the sheer variety of the content available. Khan Academy’s materials include many niche topics for adult learners and high school students that aren’t offered by many other online learning programs.

The virtual academy’s inclusion of unique subjects—like computer programming and animation, personal finance and entrepreneurship, art history, college admissions, and English as a second language—solidify it as one of the best online homeschool programs in 2020. 

Best for College Prep: edX

edX

edX

If you’re going to get an at-home education, you might as well get it from Harvard, right?

If you're looking to help with your teen’s college prep, consider enrolling them in one of the many classes at edX, a platform that partners with high-ranking institutions like NYU, Harvard, and MIT (as well as international universities, like Oxford and Australian National University) to offer over 2,500 college-level courses. Some are self-paced and available for college transfer credit, while others are taught by qualified instructors—most of whom have doctorates in their fields. 

You and your teen can choose from a variety of standalone courses across the arts and humanities, STEM fields, music, computer science, education, and more. Most courses, even credit-eligible ones, are free, with completion certificates that will cost about $50 in most cases. 

Particularly proactive high school students looking to get a head start on their college career while at home can enroll in an edX MicroBachelors program in popular majors like computer science, for just $166 per credit. Or, they can start earning college credits now by attending the Global Freshman Academy that offers common, foundational first-year courses like English composition, pre-calculus, or college algebra and problem-solving through edX’s partnership with Arizona State University. 

Best for Math and Science: CK-12 Foundation

CK-12 Foundation

CK-12 Foundation

If you’d like your child to beef up their math and science skills, look no further than the wealth of interactive learning tools at the CK-12 Foundation. This free resource offers one of the best online homeschool programs for STEM subjects. It’s also one of the most advanced resources available in terms of its seamless use of technology and cutting-edge approaches to learning.

While writing, spelling, and social studies are available, math and science topics (from arithmetic and earth science to calculus and engineering) are where CK-12’s creative curriculum really shines. 

Simulations and the Play, Learn, Interact, Explore (PLIX) series integrate graphics and games into lessons about STEM concepts. Meanwhile, CK-12’s FlexBooks—interactive online textbooks that allow students to learn as they play and play as they learn—distill complex concepts into digestible pieces.

Check out your kids’ central Dashboard to follow along with their Adaptive Practice progress, which tracks the skills they need to boost and those they’ve already mastered in order to tailor their upcoming lessons.

How We Chose The Best Homeschool Programs

We kept five main factors in mind when selecting the best online homeschool programs: flexibility, budget-friendliness, interactivity, breadth of content, and ease of use. 

Flexibility is key when selecting a virtual educational program, as you’ll want to be able to customize your child’s learning experience to their particular needs, style, and level. 

Ease of use and budget-friendliness are especially important during the COVID-19 outbreak, as you might need to start teaching with little preparation right away. Meanwhile, the interactive approach of these programs ensures that your kids will stay engaged outside of the conventional classroom environment. 

Finally, the variety and breadth of content offered by the resources in this list will allow your child’s brain to fire on all cylinders—from developing their spatial reasoning skills and strengthening their historical knowledge to sparking their creativity—even during the unusual circumstances of coronavirus isolation. 

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