School Closures in Massachusetts: Online Learning in MA During the COVID-19 Outbreak

Instructor: Bethany Calderwood

Bethany has taught special education in grades PK-5 and has a master's degree in special education.

If you are affected by the Massachusetts school closures, you're probably looking for the best way to help your children learn from home. Continue reading for suggestions on making the best of home-based and online learning during COVID-19 school closures.

Learning from Home in Massachusetts

Right now, nearly a million public school students are expected to learn from home in the state of Massachusetts. Due to the coronavirus outbreak, state officials have mandated school closures statewide. Schools and students are turning to distance learning. As school officials, teachers, students, and families approach this period of home-based learning, established online resources can provide both useful content and study support.

Tips for Home-Based Learning

Is learning from home a new experience for your family? It may feel overwhelming, but with some thoughtful organization, you can set your family up for success. These tips can help you get started.

  1. Look over the resources and expectations provided by your school. Find out what they are expecting and what you have to work with.

  2. Set aside a portion of time for academic work each day. Choose the time of day when your student works best. This is one of the best features of home-based learning - flexibility! If your child is not a morning person, let them sleep in a bit and work in the late morning or early afternoon. Once you've chosen your academic time though, try to stick to it.

  3. Allow a time for your child to choose their occupation - play, leisure, etc. - and make sure your child knows that time is coming. Having a break in sight helps many students maximize their effort during work time. For example, ''Work until 10:00, then you can play in the yard!''

  4. Get everyone in the family up and moving more than once a day. Academic work is often stationary, and it is tempting to sit down with a movie, video game, or even a book. All of these options are great, but get up and move in between them. Take a walk, do an exercise video, learn a new dance, climb a tree, or create an obstacle course. Remember, your brain learns better when you move and you feel better, too.

  5. Make use of a variety of learning activities. Videos and reading can be supplemented with experiments, learning games, and creative projects. You may also want to try online group discussions for older students with more involved academic material.

  6. Don't worry if you don't get as much done as you expected or hoped. Take note of what worked for you and what didn't, then adjust your activity accordingly. Your at-home learning will look different than other people's, so don't compare. Do your best, and try to have fun with it.

Using to Learn from Home in Massachusetts

An excellent academic resource base is available at You can find resources for a variety of topics and grade-levels to learn something new or to supplement the resources you have from your school. Search any topic, and then take advantage of our:

  • video lessons
  • lesson transcripts
  • study answers
  • quizzes
  • flashcards
  • project ideas
  • activity ideas
  • discussion questions
  • essay topics

Learning from home is new and different, but it can also be an exciting experience. Use our resources to help you make the best of your home-based learning time.

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.