Free education and enrichment opportunities

First things first: the only thing you absolutely have to do right now is just get through today, and we cannot emphasize that enough. We compiled this particular list of resources to be a useful reference for anyone who is in a position to utilize them, NOT to make anyone feel like they should be doing any one of these things. You are not in any way “less than” for not learning how to cook like a Michelin-starred chef, becoming fluent in a new language, or writing the great American novel while obeying stay-at-home directives. Do what you can when you can, and above all else, do what you need, even if that is nothing. Be well, and be kind to yourself.

Develop your cooking skills (especially if you’re just learning).
Lots of chefs have taken to Instagram and other online and streaming platforms for at-home cooking demonstrations to share cooking tips and dinner recipes. Check some of these out:

Maybe even grow your own vegetables or learn the craft of mixology!

Read. A lot.

Access thousands of ebooks, magazines, comic books, and audiobooks for free through Libby, a local library app. You can also listen: right now, Audible is offering a family-friendly story collection (including the entire Harry Potter series) for free streaming on your computer, phone, or tablet.

Take an online class for free.

  • Sign up for one of 450 free Ivy League online courses, including Yale’s extremely popular happiness class.
  • While you won’t earn any credits or certifications, you can audit most of the university courses available from Coursera‘s wide selection for free.
  • LinkedIn Learning is now offering a one-month free trial of its professional business, tech, and creative skills learning platform.
  • Every day, CreativeLive offers free live-streamed classes. Each day the classes are different and cover subjects catered to the creative community including photography, graphic design, podcasting, and more. Check the schedule and RSVP for the class you want to take.
  • Skillshare offers thousands of free classes in design, business development, photography, and more (like learning how to make fresh pasta with an Eataly chef).
  • Grab the kids and learn the secrets behind being a Disney Imagineer
  • …or keep the kids creatively engaged and entertained with best-selling illustrator Wendy McNaughton’s daily drawing classes (Mondays through Fridays at 1 p.m. EST) on Instagram Live. In addition to drawing, she also includes songs and deep breathing exercises.
  • Improve your photography skills by taking any and all virtual classes available at the Nikon School online for free through the end of April.
  • If you’ve always been interested in learning how to quilt, right now the American Quilter’s Society is offering a free online class to get you started. Many people find such highly-focused and rhythmically repetitive hobbies as quilting and crocheting to be very relaxing.
  • And here’s a bunch more that include art, languages, fitness, cooking, education, and professional development, though many of those not already listed above do involve a fee.
  • Tune in to live Q&As with Washington Post staff writers on topics covering everything from cooking to parenting to politics. These live chats are held daily, and transcripts are available afterwards.

Watch movies beyond Netflix and HBO.
Right now, the Criterion Channel (the Disney+ of the Criterion Collection) is offering a free 14-day trial of its streaming service, which offers its vast catalogue of the most classic of classic independent films for your computer, tablet, or streaming devices. If you always wanted to watch the entire Kurosawa collection but never have the time, here’s your chance. You can also watch the weekly live streams from the Toronto International Film Festival’s “Stay-at-Home Cinema” for free for the first 30 days.

Just relax.
Zen out to some animal livestreams. Watch pandas, brown bears, penguins, jellyfish, and more, and just…be. Or perhaps take up gardening, a practical skill that many find therapeutic.