Next Up Blog

Looking for free resources to use as teachers, and engage students and parents?

We’re now a week into the quarantine and school closure transition in Las Vegas, and balancing multiple roles while, as educators, trying to ensure the continuity of instruction for our students, might feel like literally having to bend backwards. We are all playing a game of limbo together learning how to balance our new roles as stay-at-home parents, remote workers, online instructors, and more – all at the same time. To help support, The Knowledge Society – a STEM-based accelerator program for teens – is fully committed to doing its part to assist the community during these times.

To that end, TKS has rolled out three major initiatives available for free to all teachers, students, and parents.

For Teachers: TKS is currently hosting a daily series of online webinars designed just for teachers at 1pm PST. In these webinars, TKS directors and participants discuss science and technology, strategies to engage students online, and ways to encourage student curiosity and self-regulated learning. Each session will feature a TKS student – Las Vegas students will be featured March 24 – 26. Learn more or sign-up at:

For Students:   TKS is also hosting a daily series of online webinars for students at 11am PST. TKS directors and participants discuss technology, strategies for learning while at home, and host conversations with TKS students. Learn more or sign-up at:

In addition to the online webinars, TKS will be offering a curated selection of their online technology curriculum (“Explore Modules”) to any student, for free. Students can access these modules and begin learning about Brain-Computer Interfaces and Space Technologies (more to come!) at:

For Parents:TKS is sharing a daily newsletter designed to help parents engage with their students to promote learning at home while schools are closed. Parents will be provided with quick, accessible resources for learning as well as suggested activities and discussions parents can have with their children.

All the opportunities outlined above are completely free and available to anyone who would like to take advantage. Please feel free to share far and wide to support as many parents, students, and teachers as possible.

In addition, TKS is committed to providing resources and online learning opportunities for students for as long as schools remained closed. Updates and sign-up links will continue to be provided online at

So if right now you’re (perhaps literally) upside down staring at that limbo bar trying to figure out how to get to the other side without tipping it off and onto your head, keep in mind that we all are – but there is no shortage of help!

This post was guest-written by Kelle Snow, Associate Director of The Knowledge Society in Las Vegas. A special thanks to Don and the team at Nevada Action for School Options for sharing!

Curious about The Knowledge Society? Feel free to reach out to

We love that there is so much sharing of resources for the benefit of new-to-homeschooling families everywhere. So much of it, in fact, where should a parent even begin?

Nevada Action for School Options carefully curated the following list of our favorite free online learning tools – kid-, grown-up- and educator-approved. Follow the live links, dive in with confidence, and please share your thoughts or other ideas our communities might find useful.

1. NASA STEM at Home  (Grades K-4, 5-8, 9-12)

Thoughtful, engaging activities that kids can do on their own, others are more complicated and require parent involvement. The deep galleries’ Picture of the Day feature was a favorite here. Go NASA!

2.  Mosa Mack Science (Grades 4-8)

High-quality science lessons by topic, good quizzes and assignments. Free for 30 days with registration (downside – have to choose one grade level).

3. World’s Greatest Art Museums’ Galleries Online

Kids can get lost for hours exploring museums. Some have virtual tours that let kids choose where they want to go. No grouchy guards barking “Don’t Get Too Close!”

4. Core Knowledge Foundation

Parents get involved and choose assignments from across the world-renowned CK curriculum for science, math, and social studies.  From the people who brought you the “What Your (XXth) Grader Needs to Know” series.

5. Ology – American Museum of Natural History

All sorts of well-curated activities for kids at every level across these Smithsonian Museum’s broad offerings.  Plus dinosaurs!

6. ScienceBuddies

Archive of all sorts of fun, cool science experiments. We liked the Ask an Expert feature.

7. Poems recommended for kids from the Academy of American Poets

Kids can read out loud to each other. Plenty of silly poems here too…

8. StoryOnline

Stories read for kids by celebrated (and less celebrated) actors and actresses, including plenty of favorites.

9. Prodigy – Game-playing math learning grades 1-8.

Kiddos will actually find these fun!  They need to be logged into personal email accounts.

10. Audible

Big archive of stories read aloud for kids, from Amazon – so much here. Even better when you find a story here you have a copy of so kids can follow along. Listen to a book together each day.

11. Brainpop

Tons of free content for upper elementary and middle school learners for many different subjects. If parents click on the educators’ option, it helps them create lesson plans. Check out the digital animation lesson.

12. Bill of Rights Institute

The Bill of Rights Institute, a longtime renowned national nonprofit focused on civics and American government education, has made available its detailed curriculum, along with historical profiles and documents, best for middle and high schoolers

13. Scientific 7-Minute Workout

This is one I’ve used happily for years, especially during stretches of business travel.  They say keep the intensity level around 8 (of 10), and by the time you feel it, you’re about done!  From The New York Times – you can even fit this in this while the kids are working.

As each of us navigates our way through these trying times with scant precedent, we at Nevada Action for School Options will be with you through it all, right here. We are working on some initiatives we think will be real of value to our community, both in the tough weeks ahead and through the long haul.  Meanwhile, if you have requests, suggestions, or ways we can help you or other members of our community, please reach out anytime and we’d love to discuss.  Our office is closed, in compliance with public health orders, but we always value hearing from you by email or phone anytime.

Remember – It’s about the educational opportunities for all learners.  This has never been more important than it is right now, as we move forward through these turbulent times.

Check in often for updates. Stay Nevada Strong.

In this episode, we hear about the relationships educators build with parents, and what shared information or other information matters most to each, from teachers and parents from Las Vegas Junior Academy and Nasri Academy for Gifted Children.  Also included are some of my observations about the value of schools of choice within our broader education ecosystems.

We launched The Schools We Choose Project to help spread understanding about these different priorities for families and educators.  As we move around our state, we spoke with parents and educators about what matters most to them about their schools.  We hope you will listen and share, so that we can all build our understanding and appreciation about what matters most to families and educators in The Schools We Choose.  And please share any thoughts of observations or suggestions for future episodes with us!

Challenges Learners Need, Nasri Academy for Gifted Children

The Broader Benefits Schools of Choice Bring
Don Soifer

The Value of Communicating with Families
Tracy Hilliard

Teachers Connecting with Learners
Las Vegas Junior Academy

My Goals As a Private School Teacher
Ryan Mouzoon